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“Terrible to No Internet. Otherwise Good for A Hostel.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of HI-Banff Alpine Centre

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HI-Banff Alpine Centre
2.5 of 5 Hostel   |   801 Hidden Ridge Way, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B3, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Swindon
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Terrible to No Internet. Otherwise Good for A Hostel.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Terrible Internet, that’s the only problem with this hostel.

Indeed, in the two weeks that I was here – the internet only worked for one week, and even when it did work during peak periods one was dealing with speeds slower than dial up. Given the amount of occupants of this hostel, I personally feel like it’s a poor show not to have multiple aggregated connections.

Location wise, this hostel is located on a main bus route into downtown Banff and to the Sunshine Village Gondola. The distance is walkable, however, a bus pass is provided for free so you might as well make use of it.

It’s recommended that you elect to reside in the new block, it’s much nicer – and has a beautiful fireplace in the centre of the lobby. That said, it does have a curfew at 11pm, so it’s a little annoying, but also fantastic if you wish to sleep. It’s a double edged sword. Annoyingly the kitchen area is closed after 11pm so no late night snacking.

It’s a little bit of a party hostel, not a Miami style party Hostel but there is definitely a social atmosphere here – that’s a good thing, however, don’t be surprised if you end up having to deal with people having sex in your room. It happens.

That said, there are older - +60 and younger (>18 people) whom do also seem to use this place as a base, it’s an interesting mix.

Would I recommend it – yes, unless you need the internet on a regular basis. It feels expensive without the internet as you’ll end up at Coffee shops.

The hostel is kept very warm!!!

Room Tip: Select the new block.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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145 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 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 (25)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Banff, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I have been staying here for 6 weeks and there is hardly enough internet to support the amount of people staying at the hotel.

all the staff are nice and the rooms are ok but for me having to travel to town just to check my emails is a bit of a pain...

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Langley City, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We stayed in several of the Rocky Mountain HI hostels and like the others, this also itself proud.

A few days before our arrival we received a reminder that we were expected and when we did arrive it took very little time to receive our keys and get settled.

The reception desk was very friendly, and equally important, helpful.

We had our own room, with a bathroom just outside our door. Everything was clean and there was easy access to a place to eat, as well as a cozy place to sit and play a game or read a book. Even access to WiFi was provided.

While you think of hostels as places where young people go (and they did), we (seniors) did not feel out of place. It was comfortable every where and felt inclusive.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

Spent two nights here. The majority of the people staying in the hostel are currently looking for work in the local area, so not many backpackers at the moment. Still, it has a good vibe to it and the staff are helpful with arranging onward travel or suggesting activities.

The hostel is located slightly out of town up the road to Tunnel Mountain. If you don't fancy the hike, a perk of staying is that you get a 'roam' bus pass for the local service. This stops almost outside the hostel and runs into town. The pass can be used on the two local bus routes, with the other taking you to Sulpher Mountain.

Food in the restaurant is cheerful and is priced in line with other Banff food outlets.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rossendale, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

Spent three nights here and enjoyed the experience. Although well above the town it is on a free bus route and is a short scenic walk down to the town. The counter staff were very friendly and helpful with lots of useful tips and advice and booked our trip on the "Rocky Mountaineer", to Vancouver. Our private room was clean with comfortable beds and we had no problems with our bedding! A small sink would have been useful but this was our first Canadian hostel and our private room at Jericho Beach, Vancouver, also had no sink. We fully intended to eat downtown for our meals but the breakfast of pancakes and coffee with the option to pay for "extras" was more than adequate, and, after sampling the evening dishes in "Cougar Petes' Cafe washed down by the excellent "Traditional Ale^ we never felt the need to eat out. We
are both volunteer wardens for the English YHA, and. the Scottish Hostel movement and this hostel is comparable with the best!.

Room Tip: Try for a private room if you can as there are only a limited number available.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

I stayed here for a month or so when I first moved to Banff for the ski season.

Because of that it would have been a bit different than travelling there. It was ok, located out of town but got a free bus pass which did the job.
Clean, bar downstairs with mostly good activities (wouldn't kill the bar tender to smile occasionally though..), good kitchen, good pub crawl.

Staff were friendly when I was there.

Not many options for budget accom in Banff but I have no complaints. Didn't love it.. but yeah.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

My friend and I hated it. We don't keep great memories from Banff I believe in part due to the bad experience in this hostel.

We stayed in the HI Central Vancouver and got impressed with it. Well, this is the other side of the coin.

We had a private room for the two of us. They don't have proper private twins, they just give you a 4-bed for two people. 4-bed rooms had bunk beds and are cheaper than twins so them being less confortable is something to expect. So they were.

The room stank even leaving the window open the whole day. It smelled as if the homeless had been living there for months. As if the smell had got into the carpet. It started to fade after two days there.
Duvets were rags, well passed their intended serving life. We had to wrap up in sheets to avoid touching the stuff.

Air conditioning was at full blast in the corridors so transit from the shower to the bedroom was quite chilly and unpleasant.

Shared bathrooms were dirty and unkept. One washbasin and one WC were out of order when we arrived and were still at this state when we left. Tangles of hair stayed days in the showers.

The one thing that was OK was the kitchen. The reception area is pleasant enough too but once you cross the locked door to the dormitories, it feels that you have entered a hospital.

No choice for breakfast: If you booked on line you had pancakes. If you don't or you have diet restrictions, you pay extra for rather expensive options.

It was rather expensive considering the above, apart from painful. It was also very far away from downtown. True that that was plain. A bus pass was complimentary but buses don't run that often.

Stay away from that place... It's worth spending a bit more and get a decent accomodation...

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about HI-Banff Alpine Centre

Address: 801 Hidden Ridge Way, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B3, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — HI-Banff Alpine Centre 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Are you looking for an place to stay in Banff? Seeking the Canadian Rocky Mountain experience? HI Banff Alpine Centre Hostel, has a more than just dorm beds, this Banff hostel also has many family and couples rooms available to book for your holiday in Banff. Looking to make a reservation? * Cougar Pete's on site restaurant * The Storm Cellar Pub and Gamehouse * Free guest use Wi-fi through out * Two spacious guest kitchens, * Two cozy lounges with fireplaces * Lookout deck with spectacular views of the mountains. * Internet kiosks to send a message to your friends at home. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, Tingo, HostelWorld, HostelBookers, Odigeo and Venere so you can book your HI-Banff Alpine Centre reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hi-Banff Alpine Centre Hotel Banff

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