I found the overall atmosphere quite depressing :(. Even though many guests, especially the very young ones I guess, seemed to enjoy themselves I have to say and the staff was friendly. BUT: The place definitely lacks in cleanliness and the kitchen is a bad joke: very badly equipped, not even dishcloths. No real recycling.
I didn't sleep in a cell but stayed in a dorm-room which was airless, hot and sticky, even though there was AC. It would have helped more if we had been able to open a window, but that wasn't possible.
The first evening there was a party in the (public) "Mug Shot Bar" (which is also the dining area) in the basement and all the tables were stored away to make room for the party-guests. So I had my dinner from a plate balancing on my lap :(. The next morning there was a big group of school kids (approx. 40) for whom the majority of tables was reserved. Guess how I ate my breakfast? And because of the bar area also serving as eating area = common room, there was no way to get away from the loud music.
I did get the impression the individual hostel guests did not count as much as the groups, bar- and party guests :(.
I will not recommend this place even though it is situated in a real convenient downtown location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in downtown Ottawa, the HI-Ottawa Hostel is within easy walking distance of Parliament Hill, the Byward Market and all the major downtown attractions. We offer a relaxing, friendly atmosphere, heaps of on-site parking, free wi-fi, linen and towels. A great place to hang! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hi Ottawa Jail Hotel Ottawa