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“Worst hotel we have had in 40 years” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of The YWCA Banff Hotel

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The YWCA Banff Hotel
Ranked #16 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Hitchin, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Worst hotel we have had in 40 years”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2012

June 2012 room 305 1st night - bed frame broken (squeaked). Matress totally lacking in proper support or stability as bed. When we moved partner bounced about - like being on a trampoline or quivering jelly. 2nd night room 306 - bed frame had broken jagged metal support - matress no better. Gave partner backache after few seconds on it, unable to sleep. We paid in advance for 4 nights but 1st time ever we felt the need to go elsewhere. WORST BEDS in 40 years of travel. A lot of money spent on external paintwotk to building but internally all we wanted was a bed we could sleep on - a very bad experience. Not acceptable in 21st century. A former sanatarium - but now lacking in TLC.

Room Tip: Avioid this 'hotel' if you want a good nights sleep
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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239 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    32
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2012

We wanted a low-budget, clean, decent place to stay in Banff and that is what we got. Yes, it is very institutional in its feel and yes some rooms have very cramped space--but the price is right and the rooms are pleasant enough. We actually stayed two nights, left for Jasper, and then returned for two nights. The result was that we stayed in two different rooms. There was quite a difference. One had a micro and kitchen sink, the other did not. One had glorious windows, the other a small window. One had a full sized shower, the other a smaller square shower. You might consider requesting a specific room. I noticed another reviewer noting the thin blinds--this is a very fair assessment. If you cannot sleep in the light (and the sun keeps very long hours in Canada in the summer) either plan to hang blankets from the windows or find a room somewhere else. The location is also excellent.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank k j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tainan, Taiwan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2012

Simple, but cheap, and good location.

We got a private room - they made a mistake & gave us one with a bathroom - but didn't charge any extra (nice surprise) - the staff is very kind & helpful - and the other people there were nice too.

No extras or special service - pay per use internet - free parking, community kitchen w/ refrigerators & spartan continental breakfast - basic, but very very affordable, and very clean, welcoming, and exactly what we needed.

Excellent place to stay - would definitely stay again & woudl recommend to friends.

Steve

Room Tip: Dorms can be hard to sleep in because of different people's sleeping schedules (coming & goi...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scybulsk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The world
Level Contributor
56 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2012

Stayed twice, once in March and once in May of this year. Only getting around to our reviews now.

Had a private room for about a week on the first trip. Loved it. Great location. Super nice staff. Great wee cafe. Very very clean place.

All of the tours we done picked us up at the lodge. Though town is only around the corner.

Great price on rooms. The private rooms were also huge, loads of space. Top class kitchen down stairs.

Two things to point out though:

U really need darker blinds in the room. It was hard to get a sleep on with the early morning sunrise.

Also the price of internet was crazy high. Just done a tour of all of Canada and your lodge cost the most out of everywhere we stayed. Most places (80%+) were free. I'm sure its got something to do with ye being in the mountains but still the price was crazy high for backpackers.

A big thank u too. On our first trip, one night some drunk fool in the room next door made alot of noise. Not your fault at all. This happens everwhere. Your staff delt with him well. On our return a month later we got upgraded to a room with our own toilet. I thought that was great customer service. So thank you from us both.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, July 12, 2012
Dear ConorH,

We are thrilled to hear you had such a great time when you stayed with us both in March & May.

We pride ourselves on our outstanding customer service, so we are were pleased to read that you too found our staff 'super nice' and also enjoyed our 'wee' cafe (which expands greatly in the summer with the addition of a large outside seating area).

In response to your points about the blinds and wi-fi, I'm pleased to say I have 2 great pieces of news!
Following feedback from guests like yourself we have started a complete overhaul of our existing blinds and curtains to ensure they provide more darkness in the rooms. We will be doing this upgrade incrementally but rest assured we will make every effort to guarantee you can sleep-in as long as you like, even on sunny summer mornings.

In regards to the highly priced wi-fi, we are also pleased to announce that we have a new wi-fi provider for The Banff Y Mountain Lodge. Brand new high-speed connections and super fast routers ensure that guests get a fast and reliable service. In addition to this upgrade we are happy to offer a drop in price for the service. Prices to connect to the wi-fi start at just $3 and we hope to offer free wifi by October this year.

Thank you again for taking the time to review your stay with us.
Look forward to seeing you again sometime soon.

Happy travels,
Steve Woollard
Marketing Dept
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
199 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2012

The Y Mountain Lodge is different! It is within the old Banff Hospital, has both “normal” double rooms for visitors and also has groups of school kids visiting and staying in dormitories. We were in a double room, so this review reflects this.
The staff are lovely, a mix of international short term workers and staff, the visitors are a real mix as well. We ate several meals in The Y Mountain Café and found it to be good quality and value, once again we enjoyed talking with the staff as well as eating the food.
So what is our recommendation? If you like featureless hotels just like the other featureless hotels around, then don’t come here. If you enjoy something a bit different, with an eclectic mix of staff and visitors, you will love it…

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank josiow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, July 12, 2012
Hi Josiow,

Something a little different describes The Banff Y Mountain Lodge perfectly. Not only does the building have a great history, owing to it's role as the main Banff hospital for many years, but also that it's a social enterprise helping to fund the domestic violence prevention work of the YWCA of Banff.
We embrace this past and bring it into the 21st century, with great amenities like wi-fi & media facilities, to provide a wealth of different accommodation types for all groups, large or small. The one thing that all these room options have in common are outstanding value for money, the best location in town and friendly knowledgeable staff who are pleased to help you.

We will pass on your kind words to our front line staff - it makes their day to hear great comments from guests.

Thanks once again for the review we are so happy you came to stay.

Happy travels,
Steve Woollard
Marketing Dept
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2012

Two of us stayed here thinking this would be an inexpensive alternative to a regular hotel. We stayed in a room with 2 beds and private bath. We will never return. The money saved was not worth it. Most disturbing was that there are signs everywhere encouraging guests to write good reviews on TripAdvisor! How ironic. These signs mention that the Y is doing good works for women, and therefore we should all be encouraged to write a good review. Readers of these reviews should be aware of this. It's highly likely many of the reviewers have responded to this guilt play. The reality is this is the equivalent of a 1 star hotel. Very noisy; had to wear earplugs, but that still was not enough. No curtains - just thin "blinds" that don't block the light; dirty carpet in the room; old mattresses; all the pillows in our room should be thrown out- these were basically just independent clumps of stuffing in a pillow case. Comical. I turned in my pillows at the front desk, but got back ones that were almost as bad. At least the guy at the front desk was nice about it and immediately acknowledged "we have reached the bottom of the barrel on pillows, sorry". The only positives are the friendly staff and the location close to town.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank EasyTraveler264
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Hi EasyTraveler264,

Thank you for taking the time to compose your review. We were sorry to hear that we weren't able to provide the quality of product you are accustomed to, in this instance.
I can assure you that this isn't the norm at our social enterprise, based on the feedback we get from other guests. Although your review wasn't so positive we are pleased you were motivated by the Trip Advisor signs around the hotel to do so. All feedback, positive or otherwise helps us know what works within our hotel and what needs to improve.

As a social enterprise which directly funds the programming of the YWCA of Banff and the Bow Valley Women's Shelter we take pride in offering the best hotel/hostel experience in Banff. Some guests realize we are a social enterprise while others do not. Therefore I would take a point to respond to your 'guilt' comment. We do not offer an financial or credit incentive for reviews, we simply ask guests to review their experience, as you have done.

I will be sharing your review with all members of our staff at our departmental meetings so we can discuss the issues that you've raised.

Thank you once again for staying with us and sharing your thoughts.
Best wishes,
Steve

Marketing Dept
The Banff Y Mountain Lodge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Banff hotels

Gunnedah, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2012

The staff at Banff Y were very hospitable, especially Cameron, on my arrival. He was quick to point out the hot spots in Banff and lead me in the right direction for all my needs. The shared Kitchen had great facilities. The location also is fantastic, walking distance to Banff Ave.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank KristenM2781
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The YWCA Banff Hotel

Property: The YWCA Banff Hotel
Address: 102 Spray Ave | P.O. Box 520, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1A6, Canada (Formerly Banff Y Mountain Lodge)
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — The YWCA Banff Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The YWCA Banff Hotel is the perfect mountain hideaway for travelers on a budget. Whether you're coming to ski & snowboard in the winter or mountain bike and hike in the summer, we've got great deals for you! Our hotel has a number of room options, so we can easily accommodate your parties needs. We feature private rooms with bath, private rooms with shared bath, (4, 6, 8 and 10-person) dorms and family suites all at lowest-in-town prices. As the YWCA Banff Hotel is a social enterprise funding domestic violence preventions programming you know what when you stay with us, not only are you getting a great room at a fantastic price, but you're also helping women and children in the Banff. Other features;*Knowledgeable friendly staff*Clean, safe rooms *2 tv/media rooms*New! Large open plan guest kitchen which seats upto 24 people *Wi-fi Internet (For a small daily fee) *Free parking*Coin-op laundry *Large outdoor space with volleyball*Security lockers*Free linens*Licensed restaurant with Happy Hour beer prices *24/7 front desk service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banff y Mountain Hotel Banff

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