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“Overpriced and undercleaned” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Pacific Spirit Hostel at UBC

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Pacific Spirit Hostel at UBC
1935 Lower Mall | Place Vanier Residence, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1X1 , Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
1 review
“Overpriced and undercleaned”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012 via mobile

If I wanted to pay 70 bucks to stay in a crummy dorm room with dirty sheets and no kitchen access, I would go to... oh wait, I would never want to do that. Unfortunately that is what ended up happening when I stayed here. Lop 25 bucks off the price and maybe well talk, but this place was not worth it at all. No way to meet other travellers, not exactly close to downtown. But I guess it is close to the nude beach, so that's a plus?

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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26 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012 via mobile

Zero kitchen amenities. Dirty common areas and kitchen, rooms not very nice. Bathrooms on different floors than room. Online pics and info promised way more but didn't deliver. Didn't expect a university run place to be so poor. Recommend staying at any other hostel in Vancouver except this one.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

In an out-of-the-way location, this hostel can be accessed by bus or car. It was quiet when we visited even though it was grad night. I was anticipating rudimentary and spartan, but I wasn't prepared for the smell. Only with the windows open all night did it fade. I understand it's a university dorm but do air fresheners cost so much?
Also be prepared for the $10 charge for a towel.

Room Tip: Check Jericho Beach before booking this location.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2011

This is THE best lodging deal in Vancouver. Basic? Yes. Clean? Yes. Quiet? Mostly. Some people don't seem to be able to close their doors without slamming them. WTF?

The setting is beautiful. It's like you're staying in a tree house. Unfortunately, when the hostel (UBC dorms) is open, many of the food places are closed. However, there is a SavOn Foods store just to the south off 16th. Not the best value but it is convenient.

If you're into the Wreck Beach scene (nude beach) like I am, this location couldn't be more convenient. It's literally at the top of "Trail 6" to the straight beach and only a 5 minute drive to trail 7, the gay beach.

I have stayed in the "Okanagan" and and the "Kootanay" houses. The Okanagan is nicer and has new carpet in the halls. Both have newly tiled shared bathes but I found that three out of the four or five shower stalls in Kootanay had broken shower-head brackets. I reported this to the front desk so it should be rectified by next season.

Unfortunately, since these are college dorms, they are only available from mid April until mid August.

The front desk staff are super. Kia and Ahmad were great. I hope they are both there again for spring 2012.

Campus-wide WiFi is available but, the concrete and brick walls in the dorms doom connection. You have to go to the Commons Block (Lobby) to get a connection. That's not a totally bad thing as you get to see such a variety of people there.

Of note also; there is a shared space on each floor with a kitchenette (sink, microwave, fridge) and a TV. Just mark your stuff in the fridge with your name, room # and checkout date.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
asheville,nc
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

I spent a week at UBC for a retreat. It is a BEAUTIFUL university campus, with so much. Botanical gardens ($), asian center, Japanese garden ($), museums ($), libraries, various places to eat all kinds of food, access to the beach, areas with trees, pool, workout area. Just a awesome campus with some beautiful buildings. I stayed in a dorm I am assuming is called the hostel. I had a room with one bed. Bed was on a wooden platform. After a few nights my body was aching from the hardness of it. No air was in the room (there was one window) but I went downstairs and asked if they had a fan which they did. That helped. Some of the other rooms on the floor had two beds in a room. A bath with numerous showers and toilets/sinks was on our floor for all to share. Since our retreat was mostly silent, it was pretty quiet, but when others doors would shut it was loud. There is no TV but a room down the hall for others to use with a refrig, micro, sink and TV. The food in the cafeteria was ok...after 3 days I ventured over to the student center and found chinese, sushi, and loads of other food. You can rent bikes on the campus which I recommend (not cheap though) cause we actually walked 10 miles a day going back and forth to various events on the campus. There is also a bus but it costs and only stops at a few places. I did not take bus into city, since i wasn't interested in going into town. It is advertised for 33 bucks a night...so its a deal...!! I would stay there again if I had to...my body was so happy to get into a nice soft bed after that week!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

We stayed at the Hostel this week in order to attend a concert at Chan on the UBC campus. The Hostel is located relatively close to the hall, making it a more affordable option in order to avoid a late night trip on transit to downtown. The Hostel ISN'T conveniently located for transit. It's around a 20 minute walk from the loop, with a far amount of zigzags (some due to construction, some not).

When we arrived, conference goers filled the lobby and out the door, making it tricky to find the counter to check in. Check in was a breeze, and the students working the counter were lovely and very welcoming. They gave great directions to our building and a map of the campus. We were sharing a twin room, and were each given keys. There's a card to scan to open the main door of the building, and a key for the actual room door.

While dated, the building was clean and tidy. The bathroom on the floor was for our gender, as requested. Toilet stall doors were crazily noisy, we could hear from our room each time someone went into a stall. The bathroom was kept very clean, and there was always paper. There was a kitchen with a functioning fridge, microwave, kettle, and food left behind by other visitors (some going more than a bit off).

The room was a twin room, two beds (surprisingly, not any cheaper than getting two singles). One bed was up high, in order to accommodate dressers underneath. A person with mobility issues would not be able to get into the bed. The beds were stripped, with piles of DIY bedding. I used both blankets underneath my sheet in order to try and provide some padding... didn't work. Insanely, incredibly hard beds. I've never felt such a firm mattress, it was like sleeping on the floor. I can't understand how students would survive.

The room also contained two desks, each with a lamp (one didn't work), two closet areas with coat hangers, and a large mirror on the back of the door. The two windows provided good air circulation, and we were comfortable with the temperature. There was minimal noise outside, although as mentioned, the noise from the bathroom was fairly loud. Lots of people were outside in the morning, playing, having breakfast, so don't expect a big sleep in.

Overall, it felt very safe, but the incredibly hard beds and long walk to transit are drawbacks. At almost $90 for a twin room with the bathroom down the hall, no breakfast, it's hard to justify it unless you have a reason to be nearby. If you're on your own, and can cope with a rock hard mattress, the price is much more reasonable.

I'm not sure if we'll be back, the negatives overwhelm the many positives for us.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011

It was nice to return to Pacific Spirit Hostel this year. This was my third year staying here and I appreciated my newly painted,clean room.The mattresses are acceptable but nothing great.If you are expecting a hotel like atmosphere,please look elsewhere.This is a university dorm open for a few months during the summer.What I like about it is the fact that you get your own room when travelling solo, or 2 beds if you are travelling with someone else.The washrooms were very clean,the service from the staff was friendly.

The location is close to the ocean amongst the beautiful tall trees and beautiful landscaping.UBC is a peaceful place and this hostel is right on the edge, close to the ocean.This year I ate breakfast again at The Pendulum in the Student's Union Building (SUB). The food was very good but the manager was his grumpy self,reminding me that the refills on coffee were not free of charge.I did not ask him for free coffee and was ready to pay whatever I owed.I just asked for more coffee.Its funny how small things like this can stick with a customer. What I have learned myself, from being in customer service for over 40 years,is to never assume anything,but instead "listen" and then respond with a respectable attitude,treating the customer in a positive manner.
The White Spot restaurant is close to the hostel and was excellent,however it has now closed and will be renovated into more of a take-out only type of place.The server was excellent when I ate there, the food was terrific (Wild Salmon burger and Caeser's salad).There is also a Tim Horton's beside it.The Pond Cafe was also closeby and they serve Starbuck's coffee.
The convenience store was closed in the building where the front desk is located,and I found that to be disappointing.The other thing was that the vending machines were sold out of drinks and snacks,as the University has a huge influx of young kids there attending summer programs and they empty the machines of snacks and drinks very quickly.Remember to load up on water and food before you come as the nearest store is on the opposite side of campus.I also found the single fridge to be quite small considering the number of rooms and it was fairly full most of the time I was there.I am not really a t.v. watcher but the few times I wanted to watch it,it did not turn on.I could have brought it to their attention but it was not important to me so I didn't bother with it. There was also a noticeable "smell" in the kitchen area.I have no idea what this was.Maybe the staff at the front desk need to check this and the t.v area more frequently to make sure everything is in order.
Lastly I wanted to comment on the noise factor which I know cannot be rectified but is worth mentioning.Behind my room there is a beautiful green space and then a roadway where loud noisy garbage trucks come by to pick up trash early in the morning.When on holidays,I would like to sleep in past 830 AM most days and these woke me up.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Pacific Spirit Hostel at UBC

Address: 1935 Lower Mall | Place Vanier Residence, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1X1 , Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Vancouver
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pacific Spirit Hostel is the perfect location for backpackers visiting Vancouver. Rooms are quiet and clean and, unlike other hostels, you only have one or two people to one of our private single or twin rooms. The hostel is on the beautiful UBC campus, with easy access to campus amenities, affordable food, pubs and entertainment and Vancouver's many attractions. It's a safe, secure environment surrounded by hiking and biking trails and Vancouver's most popular beaches. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pacific Spirit Hostel At Ubc Hotel Vancouver

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