I'm unsure why everyone here is ripping on this hostel. As far as hostels go, this place was absolute MAGIC. My boyfriend and I were here for 7 nights over New Years this year. We shared a private room with ensuite and only paid $50 per night which we booked online. (SUPER CHEAP considering everything in Banff was booked out)
There is nothing I would complain about.... at all. But I will take the time to list everything that made it so great for us:
* The staff were super helpful. This was our first stop when arriving in Canada, and no matter how dumb our question, they answered with as much info as possible. The 24/7 reception desk was always happy to do more than asked of them - even personally organising our day trips for us to Kicking horse etc.. and even the wait staff in the restauarant there were always happy to help (or just kick back ad have a chat)
* The internet worked everywhere via wifi and was free. For those who say it didnt work - occassionally if i was connected too long i would have to disconnect/reconnect but i think that was just due to timing out. No issue!
* The free pancakes in the morning were absolutely DEICIOUS, but the meals servied throughout the rest of the day at Cougar Petes was delicious. There were many nights after returning from snowboarding that we actually CRAVED their food.. nomomnom
* The bar downstairs in the hostel was SO MUCH FUN! Every night there would be something on down there, and always free pool. Drinks were ridiculously cheap, and NYE there went OFF!! The bar guy there was awesome.. always up for a chat and gave us heaps of info on where we should go next and the best/cheapest way to do things
* The hostel might be a 20 min walk out of the main street of town, but you are given a free bus pass when you arrive and the bus goes in/out of town every 20 minutes. THe hostel also puts the timetable up in the reception area AND if that isnt good enough, the bus stop out the front lists EXACTLY how many minutes (digitally) until the bus comes.. and its ALWAYS on time. Just amazing. We had hired a car for the week, and we used it twice... to drive to the hostel.. and to drive back to the airport. And if you are coming back after a big night and the buses arent running? A taxi from in town to the hostel was $7 including a tip.
* Its actually rather quiet cosidering its a hostel.. and we were there over NYE week!! There were some times when it was loud, but HELLO - you are in a hostel!
* Our shower had a permanent bench seat in it. Possibly the highlight of our snowboarding trip.
* There were lots of communal kitchens that had heaps of fridge space, numerous ovens, heaps of microwaves and every utensil you could think of.
In summary, this place operated like an expensive hotel rather than a hostel. FOr those with complaints, I can only imagine they never discussed their issues with the staff there, because i know first hand that they would have done anything and everything to ensure any problems were fixed. 10/10 in my books!!
Go private! For only a little extra you get your own bathroom with a permanent bench seat in it! ama...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Shelley Kate, thanks so much for taking the time to write about the great time you had while staying with us! We've had ongoing issues with our Internet which has annoyed a lot of people and it's good to read such a positive review and know that we are back on track (after many thousands of dollars of wifi upgrades, it had better be!)
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I am also very pleased that you decided to use the bus pass we provide to guests while you were here, rather than using your rental car. This service was one we worked out with the Town of Banff's Transit Commission and while expensive, it does allow people the option of free transportation if the 20 minute walk to Main street seems too much for them. Personally, I like being a bit out of the main drag - as I type this, I'm looking out the window at a large bull elk with huge antlers grazing just outside on the front lawn! Where else can you see things like this? However, I do recognize that some folks find the walk a bit tedious so the bus arrangement with the Town is a great solution. Finding out that people with cars are using it reinforces the decision to continue with the bus service as it is a great environmental initiative as well, which is part of our operational goals.
Finally - I'm glad you liked the shower bench! :)
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.