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“Stay away!”

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The YWCA Banff Hotel
Ranked #15 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
winnipeg
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Stay away!”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

If you want to stay in a stuffy, musty room, be kept awake all night when the place is overrun by people slamming doors and literally jumping on and off the furniture and singing, and don't mind fearing for the safety of your possessions, then this is the place for you. The toilets don't flush properly, housekeeping leaves the windows unlocked (is that so thieves can get in?) and someone had their car broken into in the parking lot during our stay. If you are a grownup who needs a decent night's sleep you will likely endure great annoyance for the small savings. The staff routinely forget to tell you things you need to know (they should give you a continental breakfast pass when you check in - ask for it!). I stay at the Y Vancouver all the time and it is a million times better than this.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank goldenbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve W, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Hi Goldenbob,

Thanks for taking the time to review your stay with us. All feedback, even constructive criticism helps us identify where we need to improve our product or service, so we thank you once again.

We've looked into this review with particular interest as many of the points you raise, we hadn't heard about. For example, you mention someone's car was broken into during your stay, but in follow up with all front desk and night security staff we can confirm that no one came to us to report a break-in. Nor did the RCMP contact us, which we would expect if someone had reported a robbery.

To address some of your other points you raise, we were surprised to hear that your were kept awake by other guests. We do our very best to ensure that 'quiet time' is respected by all guests and our night security patrols every hour to swiftly deal with any "singing" guests. You also mention guests were "literally jumping on a off furniture", we apologize for this inconvenience, but as we do offer some dorm-style accommodation with bunk beds, we imagine it was them going to bed, or getting up to use the bathroom which you refer to.

We have recently installed 4 new security cameras around our facilities for added peace of mind and security. Although all rooms have locks on their doors, we offer guests who travel with valuables to keep them in our safe or behind the secure front desk. Therefore there is no need for guests to fear about the safety of their possessions

All guests staying in private rooms are eligible to our free continental breakfast. This does require a card to prove that guests are staying with us, but if a card is not issued during check-in, once can be obtained within 30 seconds for the front desk. However as a fail-safe a list of registered guests is provided to our cafe staff who can look up a name at any time.

Finally, thank you for mentioning the YWCA in Vancouver. We agree, they have a wonderful property. We have recently been to visit them to compare our facilities & learn best practice from one another.

Safe travels,
Steve Woollard
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248 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2012

The staff are fantastic at both the front desk and the Cafe. The food at the Cafe is also great and reasonable pricing for Banff, daily specials are great for people on a budget! The central location is super handy, less than 5mins walk from downtown Banff (probably about 2mins to be exact!). The only downside to the hostel is the beds! I stayed for over a week and wake up feeling like I've been hit by a bus every day. There is no ventilation in the rooms and is too cold to have windows open but there is visible signs of water stains/damage on many of the beds in the dorm. This place needs a serious renovation for the prices they are charging!

Room Tip: If you are needing wifi try to get a room as close to the lobby as possible as the signal weakens th...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jephry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve W, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Hi Jephry,

We're thrilled to hear that your had such a great time when you stayed with us. We were especially pleased that you enjoyed both the quality and price of our cafe menu, whilst being served by "fantastic" staff.
As you keenly observe, our location is one of the very best in town, only 2 minutes walk to Banff Avenue and the main shopping district.

We've discussed your review within our Management meetings here at the Lodge and performed room inspections to identify the "water stains/damage" you wrote about, but to no avail. We haven't found anything of that nature at this time. Regardless, all of our Housekeeping team are trained to spot damage and report to maintenance immediately. As to the issue of the bed, all we can say is that our beds are typical hotel style but if guests have a difficulties sleeping they should contact Front Desk, where we will arrange another room.

We appreciate your feedback about renovation being required. As a not-for-profit it is challenging for us to get the funds together for such a large capital project, but we identify that in some areas it is much needed. We will continue to offer the best service and product we can whilst updating and renovating incrementally.

Thank you once again for your stay with us.
Happy travels,
Steve
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Got stuck staying here for brother in laws wedding. He booked us I this dump while he stayed elsewhere. This never would have been a choice I would have made. If you are going to spend this much money you might as well spend a little more and stay in a real hotel. Small shower and no television in a closet sized room. Still smells like the old hospital that it was.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bcprst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve W, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Hi Bcprst,

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. We hope your brother-in-laws wedding went well and all the family had a great time.

Obviously when your brother-in-law booked the room for you his primary motivator was cost. As the most cost-effective place to stay in Banff we offer simplicity at a rock bottom price. Sadly, even with our best efforts it appears that our facility did not meet your expectations. There are plenty of hotels in Banff which offer luxury facilities, but expect to pay around $200 per night, rather than the $59 we currently charge.

For those travelers who are looking for a comfortable place to stay with great conveniences like a large guest kitchen, licensed cafe and free Wi-Fi this is the place for you.

Happy travels,
Steve
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Travelers are raving about these Banff hotels

Golden, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2012

Myself, my girlfriend and my parents stayed here for 3 nights early September 2012.
While both the communal kitchen and location is great, it is closer to downtown than many other hotels/lodges on Banff Av., the building is quite out dated inside and this needs attention.
Within 5 minutes of arriving our toilet had overflowed all over the bathroom floor, and we must have seen two or three others with the same problem during our stay....the maintenance man must be kept busy!!
All up it is one of the cheaper lodging accommodations in Banff however I believe next visit I will pay that little extra for a better stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Troy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve W, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
Hi Troy,

Thanks for taking the time and composing a review of your recent stay with us.

We're happy to hear that you took full advantage of the guest kitchen, which cuts down cost eating our in Banff for every night of your visit.

As you point out our facility does have some maintenance quirks, which keep our dedicated maintenance team very busy. We hope that you were reallocated a different room quickly and conveniently.

We are constantly updating our infrastructure and facilities to provide the best service for travelers on a budget. Please contact me before your next trip to Banff and we'll arrange a special rate for you and your party.

Safe travels,
Steve Woollard
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Aspen, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2012 via mobile

When planning our night in Banff on our road trip, this was the only place with available rooms, and was right in town on a very busy weekend. It ended up working out really well for us and that's probably partially because we're flexible and easygoing. I say this because in no place online that I searched for lodging did it say that this is a hostel. The room was private at least and the bathrooms were clean (shared with public) - but I definitely didn't want to touch anything and I wore my earplugs to sleep! It ended up being fine, as we were able to enjoy the amazing beauty of Banff, and ski Lake Louise on closing day, but travelers should know that this is a hostel.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HoboHealth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve W, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, August 28, 2012
Hi Hobo Health,
Thanks for taking the time to review your stay with us.

We're really pleased to hear that accommodation at The Banff Y Mountain Lodge worked out really well for you and you found the room private and shared bathroom clean. At busy times of the, such as Long Weekends and during great snow conditions, most hotels and hostels will sell out, so it's best to book ahead to avoid disappointment.

To acknowledge your comment about us 'just' being a hostel. We must respond by saying we are 'not your typical hostel'. Yes we do offer some dorm-style accommodation, which is ideal for groups or budget travelers but overall we offer a whole range of room types including those with semi-private bathroom. (Shared with 1 other room)
Advantages our property has over many others in town is that we offer a full guest kitchen for guests to cook their own meals and save money.

Happy to hear that you were able to enjoy the amazing beauty of Banff, and ski Lake Louise on closing day.
We hope you'll consider coming back to see us when you next ski in Banff.
Steve
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Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2012

first off the people working at this lodge are some of the stupidest people i have ever had to deal with, the lack of orginizational skills and the lack of respect they show for guests is amazing. The food at the cafe on the lobby level is horrible serving forzen and microwaved foods. the room rates are fare because the room is terrible and small and nothing like what the pictures online show. SAVE YOURE MONEY AND ENERGY DO NOT STAY HERE

Room Tip: if you want a good room then try a good hotel this one sucks
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank yo m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve W, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, August 28, 2012
Hi Yo M,

We're really sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your stay with us.

We pride ourselves on our level of comustomer service, from our Front Desk staff to our Maintenance Team, so it sadens us to hear we didn't live up to your expectations. Ive done some research into your booking and I cans see that you stayed on a very busy weekend where our new Front Desk agents were under-staffed and over-stretched. Since you stayed we have made some executive decisons to bring more staff on during these busy times to ensure that our quality of service never drops below our standard.

Our cafe serves hot food, to order from 7am - 9pm daily so I can only assume you mean the frozen ready meals available to purchase in our freezer as the 'microwave food'.

Our website is there to show you what to expect when you book a room with us. We are very transparent in this and feel obliqued to ask you to look again at our site.

Good luck in your future travels,
Steve
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2012

If one has to pick any superlative attribute about this lodge, it is the in-town location. It is smack in the Banff downtown just across the Bow river. Other than that is pretty less-than-basic dwelling with $115 per day tab. We usually stayed at Radisson at Canmore during our previous visits, but decided that the additional money and driving between Banff and Canmore is not worth it, when all we have to is to spend the night. Considering that Banff lodgings are pretty expensive, this was the best compromise that we could find at a short notice.

For the above money we got a tiny room with a queen bed and wash basin and attached bath. The room had only couple of wire hangars that you get from your local dry cleaners. They did have good quality towels though as a redeeming feature. Another redeeming feature was huge window with good blinds. We also got complimentary parking as a bonus.

Another good thing going for this lodge is the cafe that serves meals throughout the day.

Room Tip: Just make sure that you ask for attached bathroom, as not all rooms have attached bath.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SriniIyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve W, Public Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this review, August 28, 2012
Hi Srinilyer,

Thanks for taking the time to review your stay and recognizing our awesome in-town location.
We appreciate that there a large number of other hotels/hostels in town and that you chose us for your stay.

We hope the HUGE windows in your room gave your a great mountain view and the newly installed blinds kept the light out well.
Glad to hear that our good quality towels also got a mention, as we try our best to offer small luxuries to all guests, even on those on a tight budget.

Parking can be a huge issue in town so we're pleased that you enjoyed this complimentary service.

Thanks for offering the room tip too. We appreciate everyone's suggestions on this.
Safe travels,
Steve
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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 #15 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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