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“Great hostel but a noisy location!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hostel Bear

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Hostel Bear
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   1002 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, Alberta T1W 1N6, Canada (Formerly "Bear Country Lodge")   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Canmore
Cork, Ireland
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great hostel but a noisy location!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

The Hostel Bear is spacious, clean and comfortable. There's an airy open-plan kitchen, and a nice games room/ bar. Staff were helpful and we were able to leave our bags when we went on a weekend hiking trip.
The bedroom (we had our own private room) was spacious and clean, and the bathroom was very clean with a great hot shower. I can appreciate the hygiene aspect of plastic mattress covers, but I'm afraid they don't make for a comfortable night's sleep!

The one downside to the hostel is the location. It's bounded by a busy road to the front, and a freight train line to the rear... with trains during the night. If you're not a sound sleeper, bring some earplugs!
Other than that, a great value stay.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
mpettis, General Manager at Hostel Bear, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. We apologize for the noise of the train behind our building. Due to the location of the hotel strip being located right next to the railway it does become unpleasant to some guests in each any every property located along the strip. We have had several meetins to move the railway system out of the town centre and hopefully next time you stay with us it will be in a different location.

We do however sell ear plugs at our front desk for anyone wishing to drown out the train or a neighbour that likes to snore. Thank you again for your review and we will see you again in the future.

Thank you,
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89 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    8
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I would have to say this is in the top 2 hostels I've ever stayed at having done a fair bit of travel through Eurpoe & North America. The rooms are huge & clean & the free parking is a bonus! Comfiest hostel beds you will find plus the views from the common areas are amazing.

The Staff could not have been more helpful, they helped organise all the different activities throughout the time there & just made the stay all the more bearable (even the one that looks like a sasquatch!).

I doubt you'll find anything as good quality & good value for money anywhere in the rockies.

Room Tip: Get a room at the front if possible
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mpettis, General Manager at Hostel Bear, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Hello Micheal,

Thank you for your review it was a pleasure to read. I am glad you have rated us so high in your books of accommodation. We hope to see you again in the future but unfortunately our "Sasquatch" night employee has moved back home and no longer works with us. He will be missed and I am sure he enjoyed being mentioned in this review very much.

Thank you,
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Yosemite valley
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012 via mobile

Friendly staff.very nice modern kitchen. Solid wooden bunk beds instead of wobbly metal ones. Free wifi and gear storage. Close to town and food places. Nice atmosphere. I went to bed early and didn't hear any noise from common areas.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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mpettis, General Manager at Hostel Bear, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for the review and we look forward to seeing you again in the future. We are currently making some upgrades and hopefully you will be able to enjoy everything we have to offer next time you are in town.

Thank you,
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Calgary, Alberta
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

Our girls volleyball team was in Canmore for a tournament, and we decided to try the hostel at $25/girl per night instead of a hotel. We had six girls to a room in bunk beds. Rooms were clean and the beds had little curtains for more privacy. The girls were given a package of bedding to make their own bed, plus bath towels. Each room had its own bathroom. We brought our own food for a team dinner, plus breakfast before the early check out of 10 a.m. It was placed in a communal fridge and all had to be labelled and dated. It was great to have dishes at our disposal. Disappointed in the plastic cutlery, which should have been replenished. If serving from bowls, bring your own large spoons. The girls did not seem to mind the train noise, but it probably helps when you are exhausted! There is a nice lounge area, which we didn't use, but some ladies were relaxing with books. The front desk personnel was helpful. I was somewhat hesitant to use a hostel for a group of young ladies, but our experience was nothing but positive. The location was convenient and the price was certainly right!

Room Tip: Ask for rooms as far away from the train tracks as possible.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
mpettis, General Manager at Hostel Bear, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your review, I remember your group and they were a very nice bunch of girls. I am sorry you had to use plastic cutlery as we provide all stainless steal forks,knifes,spoons. It was a very busy time when your group was staying with us and I can only assume another group may have left a bunch of plastic cutlery around for use. We have way to much cutlery still in boxes located in our storage and would have been glad to provide you with more. We hope to see you again in the future and we will make sure there is a generous amount of cutlery for your group and any other groups needs.

Thank you,
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Warks
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

Well as this was the final proper stay (before an overnight and flight in Calgary) it was always going to be memorable, just a shame it was for the wrong reasons.

As mentioned in a previous review of mine of a different hostel, we're not big hostellers. Luckily this wasn't our first otherwise it would have put us off staying in one again.

Having found the place easily and parked in the free car park we checked in.
We found the staff to be friendly on the desk and were given the rules and they read as though they were enforced strictly, if only the quiet time after 11pm rule was strict....

Anyway, we got to our room, which if I remember correctly was 107 and had a private bathroom. Even though it was just the two of us the room slept 6, so it was nice to have a bit of space. Immediately we noticed that one of the double beds still had dirty sheets on, we spoke to a member of staff to get this sorted, which it was, after she had asked if it was ok to do that!!

The biggest problem with the room though was the broken window, a great big crack across the pane and a damaged frame which also meant it didn't lock properly (you also had to push it shut from the outside).

Other problems with the building maintenance in our room were;
1. The main door had a loose top hinge which meant you had to slam the door to shut it.
2. The bathroom door had it's top hinge pin missing.
3. Both the sink and bath plugs were missing.
4. Although off the heater was always putting out hot air.

On the plus side with the room;
1. The shower was lovely.
2. It was serviced (bins emptied)
3. Spacey.
4. Beds were quite comfortable.

Onto the sleep deprivation, we were staying four nights unfortunately and on the 1st night we found out about the trains!
I seemed to nod back off ok after these but my wife didn't.
On nights three and four, we were woken by a few lads making a lot of noise in the corridors, I do not know if they were the same group or not but it was about 2.30am for about 20 mins.
On the first night of the noise I was waiting for the duty staff to come and calm them down but that never happened. The following morning I complained to reception and the guy who was on duty overnight was there said some lads "turned up late but hadn't heard anything". I asked if anything could be done with all the security camera that are up and got told a flat no. He just didn't seem bothered, so when a similar thing happened later that night and our last night, I knew that the staff didn't have any respect which is reflected in some of the people who stop there. I would have gone out and said something to them on that occasion but didn't want to wake the whole hostel up due to having to slam our door shut!

We couldn't leave soon enough on checkout. Having previously reported the damaged window so we didn't get charged for it, I reminded the staff at the front desk and got told it had been like that for ages!

I know that the hostel can't help the trains and that it's the same for other properties in that area but it has to be mentioned but it can help all the other problems mentioned above.

The kitchen was a good size but missed a few critical things like wooden spoons and plastic bowls to use in the microwave but on the whole was ok, despite a lot of users leaving dirty dishes.

I found that the no drinking your own booze rule in public areas a pain, as I would have liked a beer in a cooler part of the hostel. However I can understand why it's there.

Canmore is a great town and I would visit again but would definitely stay away from the Hostel Bear.

Room Tip: Don't stay here.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

As I spotted my two-week road trip of Western North America (of which Banff would be the crown jewel), I needed to find lodging that would not break the bank. I had never tried hosteling before, and am hesitant to try it when traveling within the US, but for this Canadian trip, I decided to give it a try, especially considering that the Hostel Bear was getting a lot of traffic from friendly, seasoned British Commonwealth and European travelers, and that given the long daylight and the gorgeous sights of the Canadian Rockies, a nicer lodging would be a waste of money.

- Reserving -

I found this hostel via a Google search, and easily booked at a rate of about $25 Canadian per night, giving me a bunk bed in a 6-person dormitory room (my choice of co-ed or single sex).

- Arriving -

I arrived directly from Yellowstone National Park in the US, entering Canada at the I-15/Alberta 4 border crossing in Coutts. From Coutts to Canmore via Calgary, it is about a 4-hour drive, though due to an unusual border delay for all foreigners on my arrival day, I could not arrive in Canmore until 2 in the morning. As it turned out, while my reservation was guaranteed all night with a credit card, phoning the hostel from the border checkpoint, advising the reception desk of my border delay and my expected arrival time, still helped out on the receptionist's end.

While the hostel website indicates ample parking, the parking spots surrounding the building are accessed via a very narrow, tight driveway. For most visitors who use small cars rented locally, that is fine, but for my larger Hyundai Genesis, it was a bit of a struggle. (Also turns out my car was the only US-registered one on the hostel lot during my stay.)

I was given a set of linens and towels at check-in, to be returned at check-out.

- Room -

My dormitory room had three bunk beds, for a total of six people. I was given a women-only room, and my roommates were travelers from Europe and Asia and very courteous. Enough storage areas exist for the belongings of all occupants. Some (not all) beds also have privacy curtains.

I found that the room (I stayed in 203, which faces toward the side) was a bit on the warm side, and had to crack the window open slightly to sleep comfortably. While train noise is an issue as mentioned in another review, it did not bother me too much (but then I am a heavy sleeper).

Each room has its own toilet and shower, and additionally I found an extra toilet and shower down the hallway. For my entire stay, the toilet and shower down the hallway was practically my private bathroom and changing room.

- Amenities -

There is a lounge on the ground floor in front of the check-in area. Additionally there is a well-organized kitchen, where there even are refrigerators for the guests to store their groceries (all items must be labeled with the guest's name and departure date). Within the town center of Canmore there is a Safeway grocery store, so I bought some simple meals there and warmed and ate them in the kitchen to save on dining costs.

There is another lounge upstairs, with a few tables, a pool table, a video game machine, and a television set showing cable channels from Canada and the US.

Laundry machines are also available. Washer and dryer are free but the detergent costs $2. Additionally during my stay, second floor laundry machines were out of service, and I had to do my laundry on the ground floor.

Free wireless Internet is available throughout the building. This was the first spot during my trip where I could actually manage to access the Internet at my own pace and without having to pay extra.

In the upper floor hallway there is a world map where visitors are encouraged to mark their hometowns with a pin. I noted that there were plenty of past visitors from within Canada as well as from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and East Asia, but comparatively few from the US.

- Afterthought -

My first-ever hostel stay, at the Hostel Bear, was excellent! Rather than spending a few hundred dollars per night on a room I would most likely only sleep in, I paid just a fraction of the cost for a clean and reasonably comfortable bed, plus a place to do laundry and cooking. It was also a bonus to get to meet some of the fellow travelers, including a large group of cyclists riding across Canada. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Calgary, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

We stayed at this hostel for one night and were very disappointed. It was a lovely building and very clean but we did not realize it was located about 100 feet from the busy trans-Canada rail line. Trains go by about once an hour on average and it was very hard to sleep.

In addition, there were people playing pool and having a good time in the common lounge area at 3 a.m. I had to phone down to the front desk and complain or they would have let this continue. Although they shut it down promptly, I was annoyed that they let it start up in the first place.

When I complained to the front desk in the morning they weren't very apologetic and simply said, "Well, those people arrive kind of late." And that's an excuse????

We will be staying at the Alpine Club Hostel from now on.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mpettis, Manager at Hostel Bear, responded to this review, August 16, 2012
Hello,

Firstly thank you for your honest review of our establishment. I regret that you did not have a lovely stay due to the train track located behind our building. All hotels along the "hotel strip" have the same train track running behind and we all have to deal with this annoyance on a regular basis. As far as people playing pool until 3am unfortunately since we run a bar we are required to have our bar hours open until 3am. We do try to keep the noise down for everyone after 11am and if we did not succeed to your standards thank you for letting us know.

We encourage everyone to go to the alpine club hostel as it is indeed a lovely location and it fits some peoples needs better then we can accommodate and vice versa. We are two different styles of hostels and we are in different locations each of which has it's ups and downs.

I apologize again if your stay with us was not satisfactory and hope you may stay with us again in the future.
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Additional Information about Hostel Bear

Address: 1002 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, Alberta T1W 1N6, Canada (Formerly "Bear Country Lodge")
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Kananaskis Country > Canmore
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Canmore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hostel Bear 2*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Canmore’s newest hostel! Conveniently located one block from downtown Canmore. The Hostel Bear sleeps 170 guests. The spacious dorm rooms sleep 4-10 guests, with privacy curtains and night lights on each bunk, in addition each room has its own an en suite. Private rooms are also available. Amenities include large fully equipped kitchen, free wireless access and a large common lounge. Our friendly, helpful staff are here 24 hours a day to ensure your stay exceeds expectations! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostel Bear Hotel Canmore
Hostel Bear Canmore, Alberta

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