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“Could be a lot better”

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The YWCA Banff Hotel
Ranked #16 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Reviewed November 18, 2013

Finding cheap accommodation in Banff during the summer was not an easy task but we settled for a double private room the Banff Y Mountain lodge, expensive for a hostel but cheap compared to surrounding accommodation. For what we ended up paying I had expected better. On the plus side the view out of our window to the surrounding mountains was lovely, the short walk into town was very convenient and having a private bathroom was a bonus. Said bathroom however was very small (think sitting on the toilet with your feet in the shower) and rather old. The bed was VERY uncomfortable, the room sterile with lino flooring and minimal furnishings. The blinds didn't work and even if they did would not have shut out much light at all. The worst part was that there was a group of kids staying in the same area and due to the lack of sound insulation (gaps under the door), we ended up waking up at 6:30 ever morning to hear them running around the corridor. On our last morning we were woken up by the fire alarm and after a little uncertainty decided to head down to reception to vacate the building/find out what was going on. Staff were completely useless, made no attempt to clear people from the building and had less of a clue what was going on than us. We waited around in the reception area for a while until the fire crew arrived and decided they couldn't be sure if there was a real fire or if it was just a faulty alarm. They decided we could probably go back to our rooms then. It just seemed very unorganized and potentially unsafe. With some improvements the Y lodge could really be a fantastic spot but until then I would not return.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AliceMatthews
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 reviewResponded November 29, 2013

Hi Alice,

Thank you for spending the time to write such a comprehensive review following your stay with us this summer.

If we may we'd like to respond directly to your comments, both to acknowledge your valuable critical feedback and to improve our hotel policies.

Firstly, value for money. As you saw yourself when researching your trip Banff can be an expensive place to stay, especially in summer season. We feel we provide our guests with great value for money throughout the year and pride ourselves on offering 42 comfortable private rooms priced below the Banff average. Together with our great location, licenced cafe and excellent customer service we feel we offer a great product. In addition we often find that guests see more value when they learn that the profits from their stay go directly to supporting YWCA of Banff programs and services.

We were pleased that you found the properties location highly convenient to you. This 5-minute walk was has been made even more accessible since the opening of the new Banff pedestrian bridge in summer 2013, which connects the rear of our property to the heart of downtown.

We're sorry that you didn't find the queen sized mattress and blinds in your room to your liking. Can we ask if you contacted our Front Desk during your stay to raise the subject? All of our queen beds were upgraded in the last 2 years and so far we haven't had any other comments about them. Many of our rooms have had their old blinds replaced with new 'blackout' blinds, with the final rooms being completed in 2014. We would always recommend guests contact us during their stay so that our staff can find a solution which will make your visit as comfortable as possible.

Lastly, we wanted to address the topic of fire safety at our property. We want to assure you and all future guests that we take fire safety extremely seriously. Our comprehensive fire alarm and evacuation policy has been approved by both Banff Fire Department and our insurance agency and we have a great track record of successful test evacuations. After doing some research we found that during the time of your stay our fire alarm panel reset actually malfunctioned leading to a prologued problem. As this issue can only be worked on by a certified engineer we can see how our staff were less than their usual helpful selves. We apologize for their lack of clear communication at that time.

To close, I would like to thank you once for spending the time to compose your review. Guest feedback is always incredibly useful as it highlights issues that we might not see on a day-to-day basis. We would always suggest that if a guest has 'any' issue during their stay that they contact our Front Desk using a room phone. Our Front Desk is manned 24/7 so all issues, especially sound complaints can be dealt with immediately. Our staff pride themselves on finding solutions to guests inquiries quickly and professionally.

As a not-for-profit enterprise supporting the YWCA of Banff programs and services your stay at the Banff Y Mountain Lodge will help this community grow stronger, and also help fund investment in the property. Following the rejuvenation of all our private rooms in 2013 we are now looking forward to 2014 improvement projects.
We hope that when you next come to Banff you'll allow us to show you the improvements we've made.

Safe travels,
Steve Woollard
Banff Y Mountain Lodge

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96 - 102 of 261 reviews

Reviewed October 18, 2013

myself and my 4 kids stayed here, in a family room, it was clean and warm, had a microwave and a small fridge, could have done with a small counter top or something as we were making sandwiches on the coffee table, but that is my only complaint, the staff were all efficient and really friendly, the complementary breakfast was fine for us, cereals and toast, the place is so convenient to downtown Banff and theres so many activities within walking distance, such good value, we will definately stay here again,

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank andreaand4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve W, Guest Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 12, 2013

Hi Andrea and 4 kids!
Thanks for taking the time for putting together such a fantastic review.

We're so pleased to hear you found the hotel friendly and your Family Room 'fantastic'!
Great suggestion on the counter-top for sandwich making.

We're so pleased that you and your family enjoyed their stay here in Banff.

Look forward to hosting you again soon.
Steve

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Reviewed September 29, 2013

We stayed at this facility for one night in July when we visited Banff for a wedding. This is the cheapest place we could find and the location of the facility not far from the city center. The room was clean, average size, comfortable but somewhat dated. It appears the some areas of the hotel need renovations in near future. Parking will be an issue during weekends in the summer months. The staff is very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank upalis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve W, Guest Relations Manager at The YWCA Banff Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 12, 2013

Hi upalis,

Thanks for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay with us.

We're pleased to hear that you found our staff friendly and helpful and enjoyed the hotels location, close to town and the Bow River.

Thanks for posting a comment about the parking; we also felt we were under-servicing our guests needs. Since your stay in July 2013 I'm pleased to inform you that we've just completed an extensive overhaul of all our parking increasing capacity by 12 cars. The new spaces were created in collaboration with the Town of Banff as part of the new pedestrian bridge project.

As always we're working hard to improve our property for our guests, with big plans coming in 2014. We hope you'll come to stay with us once again next year!

Safe travels,
Steve

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Reviewed September 25, 2013

I was very impressed with the cost. I found the place very clean, wholly welcoming, and I got to meet a bunch of people from all over the world. The food was good and served up by friendly employees whom I got to know pretty well. I took the room with a private bathroom and the place was just as neat and tidy as a regular hotel. The only difference was the size of the room but I've never needed much space when I travel alone. The one and only minor itch I couldn't easily scratch was the issues I had with the wi-fi, but since I was in Banff and all its amenities I didn't care one whit. The employees all seemed to take extra care when I was in need of information or even places to consider checking out. I give the Y Mountain Lodge two thumbs up. And I should mention that it is my opinion that all the people with the negatives are simply used to living in a bit more luxury, or more likely, expected it to be a regular Banff hotel. They're to be pitied. But in summary, if you have reasonable expectations and would like to stay in a cost-effective quaint clean friendly atmosphere in a great location in Banff, this is the place.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank ToddMiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2013

We stayed three nights and really appreciated the place. First, there was n o TV in our room - who would come to Banf to watch TV ?!? The view from our room was just perfect. The place is very close to the town center. Both tourists (as us) and seasonal workers mix up in the buiding. The kitchen is large enough for everyone to cook - not just throwing noodles into a microwave. Staff was friendly. The reason why we came to Banff was the price ($100 for two nights, including a light breakfast), have a look at their website to find out about specials.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Guillaume M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2013

The Y is trying hard to extend its customer range...free Wi-Fi, free continental breakfast for private room occupants, an excellent team of friendly attentive staff, a great location and all for a good charitable cause.
However, to bring greater success to the cause they need to look hard at the facts.
Our "double" room was tiny. Small bed only made up once during our 5 day stay. No TV, no fridge, one broken chair between us, a broken blind which couldn't do it's job even if it was repaired and woefully inadequate lighting.
Worst of all was the communal kitchen in the basement. It was filthy, with open waste bins, no separate hand washing facilities and a dire need of a regular deep cleaning program, supervision of Lon and short term guests standards of hygiene.

We stayed at the Y in Vancouver about 3 weeks earlier and were impressed by the high standards achieved there. Perhaps someone in a position of authority at the Banff Y could take a hard look at both operations and make the necessary changes for the long term benefit of the worthy cause.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank blackandwhitecat99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

No TV in the rooms....was an old hospital and there are parts that still seem like it......our room had a couple of light switches.....but they were outside the door. Location is excellent, as is the price! Really easy to walk to the downtown and many hiking trails.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MAMB
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

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:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range: $58 - $159 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — The YWCA Banff Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
YWCA Banff Hotel is a perfect mountain hideaway for travellers looking for budget-friendly, cozy accommodation in downtown Banff. Gearing up for the ski season or planning a summer of hiking and biking? We have great options for you! Choose from a range of room types to suit your needs; private double & single rooms with ensuite or shared bathroom, family suites and 4-10 bed dorms- all at unbeatable rates! Our hotel offers you the unique opportunity to experience life in the heart of Banff National Park while directly contributing to the health and safety of our charming mountain town. We are proud to be a social enterprise, which means that by booking your stay with us your vacation dollars are reinvested into programs and services that protect local women, children & communities from violence. In return for your support, we provide a 24-hour Guest Services team, complimentary WiFi, clean & safe rooms, free guest parking, security lockers, & the lowest rates in Banff! Come settle in. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banff y Mountain Hotel Banff

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