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“Dirty/messy, uncomfortable, sketchy. Terrible value for the money!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of SameSun Backpacker Lodge

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SameSun Backpacker Lodge
1.5 of 5 Hostel   |   433 Banff Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B4, Canada (Formerly Global Village Backpackers)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
“Dirty/messy, uncomfortable, sketchy. Terrible value for the money!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

They have a lot of claims which doesn't live up to the money it costed ($70 for two people per night):
Parking: only about 10 spots in total for about 100 people. 3 or 4 of those spots are always "reserved", meaning the guests have no access.

Pancake Breakfast: a bowl of pancake batter for you to make it yourself. The kitchen/cooking equipment is not enough to accommodate the people during rush hour.
We checked in 4 hours later than what we indicated, and for some reason they still didn't have beds ready. When I got in, we saw a guy changing his underwear on his bed (there is a bathroom for that!), and the place smelled terrible. I was shocked by how messy and dirty the room was as well. If my girlfriend didn't tell me that there are better hostels out there, I don't think I'll ever go live in a hostels again.

The room: We (a young couple) were put in a room with long term stayers, so the room was never cleaned. They have no maximum stay limit so there are many people who 'live' at the hostel. The long term stayers just leave their stuff anywhere in the room, which I didn't even have a place to sit.
The place is poorly lighted, and awkwardly designed. I sleep at the top bunk of a bed, and there was a light shining just 10 cm above my pillow. Worst thing is, the switch is about 2 meters away near the floor, so there's no way I can turn off the light while I am in bed.
The bed was uncomfortable and loud, as you literally feel you are sleeping on the springs, and every time someone turns in their sleep, the whole room can hear it.
The place is really loud as people like to party downstairs until very late in the bar downstairs. I can hear the music easily from third floor, even with the door closed.
The other people store their private belongings in the bathroom, so we didn't even have space to rest our toothpaste while brushing teeth. One girl left her money in the bathroom as well. One day, as my girlfriend was showering in the bathroom, the girl wanted to get her money from the bathroom to buy a drink. Apparently she needed a drink from the bar downstairs so bad that she even claimed, "I swear I feel like kicking the door down soon if your girlfriend doesn't open the bathroom door."
In my room, there isn't enough lockers for people to store their things. I just left most of the stuff in my car trunk, and hope people won't touch my stuff. All these things make my entire staying feeling very sketchy and insecure.

Lastly, the place only had air conditioning in the first floor. So second and third floor were poorly ventilated and it was like a furnace. While the temperature outside was in a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius, it was about 30 degrees inside. For some reason, the window couldn't be opened either, so the only thing you have is this old and loud fan in the room going all night.

So in summary:
this place is expensive, dirty/messy, and loud. The bed is uncomfortable and the whole place feels sketchy as hell. If you have a car, for the same money, I would just stay in Canmore or somewhere else.

This place is for you, if:
you like to party.
you are a backpacker and planning to stay here long term.
You don't have the car, so you can just walk to the town and work part time.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Thank Chenxing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toby b, Front Office Manager at SameSun Backpacker Lodge, responded to this review, September 3, 2011
Hi there, thanks for staying, we appreciate all of your feedback.
We are one of the cheapest accommodations in Banff and are happy to provide parking to as many people as we can cater for. Occasionally drivers try to block off spaces for themselves, but it is something we try to check on regularly.
We appreciate that breakfast can be busy, which is it why it is checked by staff every 15-20 minutes to make sure it is kept clean and all supplies topped up. All of our rooms are cleaned daily which results in our check-in being at 3 o clock, but if we can check people in earlier we do. If you need to arrive early, we have day storage that you can leave your bags in while you relax in our lounge or use the kitchen.
We do have a bar on site which can get busy, which is why we close all doors where necessary to minimise the noise levels and operate a quiet time throughout the hostel between 11pm and 7am. Through this time our 24 hour night desk/security patrols the building to ensure this quiet time is respected by other guests staying in the hostel.
All rooms have an ensuite bathroom with plenty of space to change and to leave washing supplies. We are also currently upgrading the lockers that are supplied in the rooms, so in the mean time are happy to keep anything of a higher value behind reception.
Like many buildings, in the summer the upper floors can get warm. We have just invested in new tower fans to help keep the rooms that little bit cooler, as well as the rotary fans we had before. Toby, Assistant manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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249 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

A great hostel! Everything was good. Free breakfast, cool bar to meet people, rooms spacious. I Had a room away from the bar, otherwise people said the music was loud on some nights. But was a great place in a great location and would highly recommend it to everyone of all ages

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Thank JessicaWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2011

overall, great experience, and i can recommend it.

staff were always friendly and helpful (even late at night), friendly atmosphere and other travelers were cool. top location too.

only minor gripes: wireless needs some serious work, pub crawl was good but descended into a shemozzle half way through.

Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
Thank wanderingsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2011

Stayed here over Christmas with my younger sister in an 8 bed mixed dorm. The room would have been really crowded if there was ever more than 6 people staying in it and there wasn't enough lighting. The room had it's own gas fire place, tv and bathroom with a large bath. It was about a 5-10min walk to the main part of town. A good atmosphere, we had a lot of fun.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Thank melz_belz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about SameSun Backpacker Lodge

Address: 433 Banff Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B4, Canada (Formerly Global Village Backpackers)
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:1.5 star — SameSun Backpacker Lodge 1.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SameSun Banff is located downtown just steps away from everything the town has to offer. A recently converted hotel, we have all the amenities a backpacker could want. With a clean and comfortable environment, we boast spacious dorm rooms, a great atmosphere and friendly, helpful staff. Home to the Beaver Lounge, with Open Mic nights, live gigs and weekly trivia, it is the only backpacker pub directly on Banff Avenue! No membership required! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samesun Backpacker Hotel Banff

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