The Rex is a guesthouse in Tamworth, a city in the New England region of New South Wales, located between the major cities of Brisbane and Sydney. Tamworth is known by most as the "Country Music Capital of Australia" - they host the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival in late January; the second biggest country music festival in the world.
The famous Big Golden Guitar is less than 5km from The Rex.
A family guesthouse that started as a business idea from a 'solo mama', The Rex is one of the three guesthouses that was established by Jody. Jody originally started her business in order for her to stay home and raise her son, Elliot, without the long working hours - Jody's Guesthouses started out with Jody renting rooms out in her personal house, but her business soon grew so busy that she found an old guesthouse, and then another, and then a third - The Rex! Jody now has over 55 rooms for rent across the inner west in Sydney, in addition to The Rex in Tamworth.
The Rex is perfect for those who are looking for a friendly place to live in, for any period of time, that gives off a home like vibe. The Rex "love independent travellers, students and families who aren't looking for 'the party scene'". The Rex was built in the 1930s, and originally served as a 'halfway house' - the design of the place is basic, but has heaps of character with a bright and positive vibe. They offer an alternative place to live to camping, without being too harsh on your wallet! The Rex has extremely reasonable prices, with cheaper prices for longer stays. For me, another strong selling point is Jody's impeccable service, cemented by her son Elliot's chats and banter!
From when we first enquired about their definition of 'pet friendly' to when we actually stayed, Eddy and I had nothing but a very positive experience every step of the way. Jody responded very quickly to my enquiry about what they meant by 'pet friendly' (they are most definitely pet friendly, not just pet tolerant!), and was kind enough to change the date of my visit, due to a change in circumstances, at no extra cost - this was despite having booked a 'non-refundable' price (which includes both cancellations and amendments) through a third party website. Eddy was spoilt rotten while we were there (he had a brand new dog bed to sleep on!) and Jody took time out of her busy morning to have a lengthy chat with us before sending her son Elliot to school. We recommend The Rex to any budget traveller out there - you get way more than what you paid for!
Okay, I'm sold; what are the rooms at The Rex like?
The rooms at The Rex are split into three main categories - outside rooms, inside rooms, and group spaces. The Rex recommends outside rooms for longer term guests, as they can come and go from the property without going through the main house - this provides a good level of privacy, although wifi is not as great out here. There are many inside rooms to choose from, all with good wifi and aircon - these rooms are available as a single, twin, or double. These rooms are bright and colourful, although are quite compact - those who want more space may want to upgrade to a larger room, otherwise, these rooms are a great budget option for travellers. The Rex also has group spaces for travellers in larger groups - all of their larger rooms are unique, and can fit up to four adults. The Rex is happy to link up areas to create bigger spaces for your group if possible - just contact them to find out.
Eddy and I opted for a single, which we found was enough space for just the two of us. The room, despite being small in size, contained all necessary facilities - a bed, couch, luggage area, clothes hanger, desk and chair, and a fridge. There were also additional items provided as a nice touch, including a kettle and mugs with sachets of tea and coffee, a towel, mosquito repellent, soap, ear plugs, and information on the local area. A map of The Rex's layout is also provided, to ensure new guests don't get lost!
There are separate male and female toilets and bathrooms, in addition to a shared kitchen with basic facilities, including an oven and stove. Patrons are asked to wash their own dishes, a rule that people obviously follow seeing as there were no dishes in the sink! The kitchen itself was clean and spacious, and definitely gave off a 'home vibe'. For longer-term guests, The Rex also has 'food lockers' available for hire, in addition to kitchen kits for those who want to cook for themselves.
Note: The Rex was in between cleaners (one full-time worker had just quit) during my visit.
In regards to entertainment and recreation, The Rex has a 'TV room', with comfortable seating and of course, a TV! There is also an ironing board here, for those who want to get some ironing done while watching TV. The Rex also has some board games available, including Monopoly, in addition to a 'book exchange' scheme with a selection of books available. For the musically talented, The Rex also has a wooden piano that works well - Eddy and I tested it out!
Is there anything else worth noting about The Rex?
"Feel free to take any of the promotional things in your room - lanyards, mugs, folders or cards. Not that we'd suggest it's a bribe... BUT we grow by word of mouth. Ask us for extra leaflets and business cards and we'll love you forever."
Eddy and I of course grabbed all the "promotional things" we came across... of course strictly for research purposes! Or favourite was the folder - I didn't realise until later how much effort was placed into the design, which is a drawing of The Rex, with Elliot and the two resident dogs having a blast outside. We love it!
This is a truly pet loving hostel and the Rex is proudly run by the family. Although no great facilities as starred hotels, the genuine passion atmosphere is her selling point. I hope people could think of this kind of family base hotel/inn when they travel along. A very good article.