In my 20's I was a budget traveller. Through Europe and Asia, I stayed at some places that would make your hair stand on end. But hey, if that meant I had more money leftover for site admission, food, and shopping, all the better!
It turns out, I'm not in my 20's anymore. We booked the Parrotfish lodge, thinking we could handle it, we were still in our 20's at heart, and as long as we booked a private room, it'd be OK. Turns out I was wrong...
Staff: As with most hostels, the bulk of the staff at Parrotfish consists of other travellers looking to make some $ so that they can keep travelling. Although this makes for great conversation on where they've been, it doesn't make the staff very customer-service oriented or knowledgeable. There was one staff member (a lady) who was quite knowledgeable, but that was about it. You really can't tell who works there and who doesn't.
Breakfast: It's included and you get a choice of Wheetabix or toast with jam and margarine. They claim there is free coffee and tea all day but I don't think I could get any hot water out of the pot thing once. It was always empty or unplugged, and there was no one around to ask whether hot water would be available or not. Ehg.
Kitchen: There is one for guests to use but it's very busy during lunch and dinner (obviously), and not many people wash up after themselves. If you really want to save $$ by cooking your on meals, for out the extra $$ for an apartment. Then you're only dealing with your own mess.
Noise: I have to say, the Lodge was not as loud and boisterous as I was expecting it to be. They have a no-noise-after-11PM policy and I guess it's enforced because the noise really did die down later in the night. Our room overlooked the pool area where a lot of people hang out so we were expecting the worst, but were pleasantly surprised.
Rooms: Not bad. The floor was bit grimy, the A/C noisy, but the bathroom was functional, and the linens were clean. We saw 2 roach friends but hey, it's Australia so what can you do?
Location: It's on a street that isn't very well lit at night. I was always with the husband so I wasn't too worried but anyone travelling alone might be, and also, it's hard to see where you're stepping. Other than that, It's very easy to get to Four-mile beach