Ex-staff launch online attack on ‘s******e’ city hostel

Caledonian backpackers hostel on Queensferry Street is now closed down. Picture: Alistair Linford
Caledonian backpackers hostel on Queensferry Street is now closed down. Picture: Alistair Linford
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A CITY-CENTRE backpackers’ hostel has closed amid a row between staff and the owner – with departing workers taking a parting shot online.

Caledonian Backpackers in the heart of the West End was marketed as the perfect base for budget tourists to explore Edinburgh.

But visitors to the hostel’s former website are now being directed to a message informing them the Queensferry Street guesthouse is no more.

“With deepest regret we must announce that Caledonian Backpackers has ended its existence,” begins the note.

“New owners have moved in and decided to operate the business in a different manner.”

The hostel was marketed as a “wonderful place for backpackers to stay” on the Scotland Hostels Group website, boasting “the best views” of Edinburgh Castle.

Sleeping 120 in group dorms and private rooms, the premises boasted free WIFI and breakfast as standard.

It also featured showers and bathrooms on every floor, three well-equipped kitchens, TV rooms and a 24-hour laundry.

Located in the old Procurator Fiscal’s offices, the hostel also had a fully-licensed bar and hosted music gigs.

A review on Hostelz.com, the world’s largest online database on hostels, once described it as “large, comfortable, and has every amenity that a backpacker could ask for!”

The hostel is understood to have been popular with young tourists from all over Europe and as far afield as Canada and Australia.

But problems are believed to have arisen between the owner and a group of long-term guests, some of whom also worked at the hostel.

The premises have now been turned into luxury holiday flats for large groups including stag and hen parties.

Referring to Caledonian Backpackers’ demise, the online message continues: “This is, of course, quite a disappointment.

“Many people have over the years enjoyed life-changing experiences in this most interesting Edinburgh hostel.”

And it includes a nod to the hostel’s party atmosphere. “It hasn’t always been perfect, of course.

“Indeed, sometimes it was quite the s******e, but when it shined it really shined.

“Often the home to crazy shenanigans, Caledonian Backpackers can claim birthright to quite a number of marriages, many children, and a few liver cancers.”

The note signs off by urging tourists to visit the Capital – with tips on other hostels still available.

“Fortunately, Edinburgh still retains its place as a spectacular destination and one all people should visit sometime in their lives.

“Of course, it also has some most spectacularly wonderful hostels. In fact they are getting better all the time.”