Disclosure: My stay at Coogee Beach was kindly hosted by Mad Monkey, however, all opinions are entirely my own.
As a Brit, it was only natural for me to gravitate towards the beach when deciding which area of Sydney to base myself in during my recent trip. And after a fun stay at Mad Monkey in Cebu Philippines earlier in the summer, I was keen to see what the hostel brand’s Australian accommodation had to offer.
So here’s my review of Mad Monkey Coogee Beach…
Mad Monkey Coogee Beach Location:
It may seem odd to start with the location rather than the hostel itself, however, my favourite thing about Mad Monkey had to be the amazing location right opposite Coogee Beach.
And by opposite, I’m literally talking a one minute walk across the road and directly onto the sand, separated only by a small food kiosk selling takeaway coffee, smoothies and pastries which you can grab on the way and enjoy on the beach of a morning.
In the suburb of Coogee Beach, you’ll find a number of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars along the seafront.
Coogee Bay Hotel is a bar and restaurant just a few doors down from Mad Monkey, with a large outdoor terrace where you can enjoy food throughout the day and drinks of an evening. The bar also has a live DJ each night and hosts parties into the early hours.
Coogee Pavillion is another cool beachside venue serving pizzas, burgers and Mediterranean food, with a charming rooftop terrace overlooking the beach and ocean.
The hostel itself is also located right above a 24hr McDonalds for those late night snacks after a night out in the bars.
From Coogee Beach, you then also have the option of taking the famous 1.5hr Coogee to Bondi coastal walk up to iconic Bondi Beach or jump on the 30 minute bus to Circular Quay to see the sights of Sydney Harbour.
Mad Monkey Dorm Rooms:
Although not quite as big as some of its sister hostels around Asia, Mad Monkey Coogee Beach has three floors with a number of spacious and clean 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 bed mixed and female-only dorms.
I was slightly surprised to find that despite being on the opposite side of the world, all 7 of the other girls in my 8 bed dorm room were also from the UK – reiterating my earlier point that Brits gravitate towards the beach. Saying that, having already spent a month in Australia at this point, it was quite nice to take a break from translating Aussie slang for a little while.
The dorms rooms themselves don’t have lockers, however, there are small and large lockers available in the corridor for a small fee.
The hostel has such a homely and safe atmosphere that I personally felt pretty safe leaving the majority of my belongings in the room, but I did lock up valuables such as laptop, camera and passport when heading out for the day.
Clean and well-maintained single-sex bathrooms are also located on each floor.
I must admit I was slightly worried about the number of people sharing just two showers, but as it turns out I didn’t have to queue for the shower once during my entire stay.
Mad Monkey Communal Areas:
During the day, reception can be found inside FNKY MNKY, Mad Monkey’s on-site bar and restaurant on the lower floor of the building.
When FNKY MNKY is shut, you can check-in by entering the building via the blue door to the right, ringing the buzzer on the left-hand wall and walking up the stairs to the top floor where there is a reception desk in the top floor common room.
Check-in is quick and easy – just remember to bring AUD$50 cash as a deposit which you’ll get returned at the end of your stay.
On the top floor of the building is a homely communal area consisting of a kitchen, large dining table and a TV area with sofas, as well as a small balcony with chairs overlooking the ocean.
The kitchen is well stocked with utensils and cooking equipment, with a large fridge and cupboard for guests to keep their own food. A small breakfast of cereal, tea and coffee is supplied for all guests every morning in the kitchen – a great little perk for those travelling on a budget!
Mad Monkey’s communal area also features a large TV and several sofas where you often find people hanging out and socialising or watching movies and TV shows together of an evening. The lounge area is the real heart of Mad Monkey Coogee Beach and gives the hostel a homely and chilled-out vibe.
Mad Monkey Group Events:
During peak times of the year, Mad Monkey Coogee Beach hosts a number of free events to help guests meet new people and enjoy the facilities and surrounding area. These include a weekly BBQ on the beach, movie and pancakes night, free fitness classes and more.
View this post on Instagram
FNKY MNKY Bar & Restaurant:
FNKY MNKY is Mad Monkey Coogee Beach’s on-site bar and restaurant. Although it’s also open to the general public, you’ll find that it’s a popular hangout spot for hostel guests (you only have to walk downstairs after all).
Open daily, the restaurant serves a large menu of food including burgers, steaks, ribs, salads and plenty of other tasty dishes. While on weekends, FNKY MNKY opens earlier for those needing a slightly more substantial hungover breakfast.
Plus, not only do guests staying at Mad Monkey get 20% off of all food and drink, but the restaurant also has daily deals, making it one of the best value for money meals in Coogee Beach.
Of an evening, FNKY MNKY becomes a lively bar, with a pool table, games and regular events including a pub quiz every Wednesday, live music on Saturday nights and occasional open mike nights.
Plus don’t forget to try FNKY MNKY’s very own MNKY larger.
During the daytime when the restaurant and bar is a little less busy, FNKY MNKY is also a cool coworking space.
As someone who often needs a quiet place with good wifi to work while travelling, but can struggle when staying in social hostels, sitting on the balcony of FNKY MNKY overlooking the ocean with a coffee was the ideal place to catch up on some work.
Rather than the crazy party hostels that you’ll often find across Australia, Mad Monkey Coogee Beach has a far more homely and chilled-out vibe and is somewhere you wouldn’t mind staying for more than a weekend.
The location is one of the main selling points of the hostel, with the prime beachfront location being one of the best you can get in Sydney on a backpackers budget.