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“Good facilities and fun!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Samesun Banff

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Samesun Banff
Ranked #1 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
1 review
“Good facilities and fun!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2011

This place was awesome. Some of the nicest rooms I've come across! Spacious, clean and ensuite so you have a bit more privacy than in most hostels.

The bar downstairs was fun and an easy place to make friends. A group of swiss guys were nice enough to invite me to join their team for scattegories night!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Phil L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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439 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2011

They have a lot of claims which doesn't live up to the money it costed ($70 for two people per night):
Parking: only about 10 spots in total for about 100 people. 3 or 4 of those spots are always "reserved", meaning the guests have no access.

Pancake Breakfast: a bowl of pancake batter for you to make it yourself. The kitchen/cooking equipment is not enough to accommodate the people during rush hour.
We checked in 4 hours later than what we indicated, and for some reason they still didn't have beds ready. When I got in, we saw a guy changing his underwear on his bed (there is a bathroom for that!), and the place smelled terrible. I was shocked by how messy and dirty the room was as well. If my girlfriend didn't tell me that there are better hostels out there, I don't think I'll ever go live in a hostels again.

The room: We (a young couple) were put in a room with long term stayers, so the room was never cleaned. They have no maximum stay limit so there are many people who 'live' at the hostel. The long term stayers just leave their stuff anywhere in the room, which I didn't even have a place to sit.
The place is poorly lighted, and awkwardly designed. I sleep at the top bunk of a bed, and there was a light shining just 10 cm above my pillow. Worst thing is, the switch is about 2 meters away near the floor, so there's no way I can turn off the light while I am in bed.
The bed was uncomfortable and loud, as you literally feel you are sleeping on the springs, and every time someone turns in their sleep, the whole room can hear it.
The place is really loud as people like to party downstairs until very late in the bar downstairs. I can hear the music easily from third floor, even with the door closed.
The other people store their private belongings in the bathroom, so we didn't even have space to rest our toothpaste while brushing teeth. One girl left her money in the bathroom as well. One day, as my girlfriend was showering in the bathroom, the girl wanted to get her money from the bathroom to buy a drink. Apparently she needed a drink from the bar downstairs so bad that she even claimed, "I swear I feel like kicking the door down soon if your girlfriend doesn't open the bathroom door."
In my room, there isn't enough lockers for people to store their things. I just left most of the stuff in my car trunk, and hope people won't touch my stuff. All these things make my entire staying feeling very sketchy and insecure.

Lastly, the place only had air conditioning in the first floor. So second and third floor were poorly ventilated and it was like a furnace. While the temperature outside was in a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius, it was about 30 degrees inside. For some reason, the window couldn't be opened either, so the only thing you have is this old and loud fan in the room going all night.

So in summary:
this place is expensive, dirty/messy, and loud. The bed is uncomfortable and the whole place feels sketchy as hell. If you have a car, for the same money, I would just stay in Canmore or somewhere else.

This place is for you, if:
you like to party.
you are a backpacker and planning to stay here long term.
You don't have the car, so you can just walk to the town and work part time.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chenxing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toby b, Front Office Manager at Samesun Banff, responded to this review, September 3, 2011
Hi there, thanks for staying, we appreciate all of your feedback.
We are one of the cheapest accommodations in Banff and are happy to provide parking to as many people as we can cater for. Occasionally drivers try to block off spaces for themselves, but it is something we try to check on regularly.
We appreciate that breakfast can be busy, which is it why it is checked by staff every 15-20 minutes to make sure it is kept clean and all supplies topped up. All of our rooms are cleaned daily which results in our check-in being at 3 o clock, but if we can check people in earlier we do. If you need to arrive early, we have day storage that you can leave your bags in while you relax in our lounge or use the kitchen.
We do have a bar on site which can get busy, which is why we close all doors where necessary to minimise the noise levels and operate a quiet time throughout the hostel between 11pm and 7am. Through this time our 24 hour night desk/security patrols the building to ensure this quiet time is respected by other guests staying in the hostel.
All rooms have an ensuite bathroom with plenty of space to change and to leave washing supplies. We are also currently upgrading the lockers that are supplied in the rooms, so in the mean time are happy to keep anything of a higher value behind reception.
Like many buildings, in the summer the upper floors can get warm. We have just invested in new tower fans to help keep the rooms that little bit cooler, as well as the rotary fans we had before. Toby, Assistant manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2011

A great hostel! Everything was good. Free breakfast, cool bar to meet people, rooms spacious. I Had a room away from the bar, otherwise people said the music was loud on some nights. But was a great place in a great location and would highly recommend it to everyone of all ages

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JessicaWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2011

overall, great experience, and i can recommend it.

staff were always friendly and helpful (even late at night), friendly atmosphere and other travelers were cool. top location too.

only minor gripes: wireless needs some serious work, pub crawl was good but descended into a shemozzle half way through.

Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank wanderingsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2011

Stayed here over Christmas with my younger sister in an 8 bed mixed dorm. The room would have been really crowded if there was ever more than 6 people staying in it and there wasn't enough lighting. The room had it's own gas fire place, tv and bathroom with a large bath. It was about a 5-10min walk to the main part of town. A good atmosphere, we had a lot of fun.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank melz_belz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2009

I am glad I did not read Trip Advisor on this one or I might have been scared away. I was staying at Bumpers for $85/night, was was an ok place. I saw a sign in front of Branff Avenue Inn showing a $59 night special. This was cheaper than the YWCA Hostel we usually stay at. It turned out to be very nice.
Pluses: Large warm room with two queen beds, fireplace (gas) and jacuzzi
Adequate continental breakfast
Friendly staff
Underground parking with ski lockers
Minuses: Towels not regularly replaced
No ski lift ticket discounts

For the price, it can't be topped.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tomg99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Alberta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2009

I booked at the Banff Avenue Inn to take advantage of their 'Breakaway' package - billed as a relaxing getaway for Mom and Dad. The $139/night price tag included breakfast, admission to the Hot Springs and a 30 min massage. All staying in the Queen suite with a fireplace and jacuzzi. Sounds great, right? My first issue was our room - right by the lobby and dining area/bar and it would seem our door was hastily constructed of tissue paper, as we heard everything that transpired out there until about 12:30 am. Not a room I wish to relax in. Secondly, the bathroom. Neither of us were willing to use the jacuzzi - it just wasn't clean enough for me to get into naked. Hard water stains were all over the tiles, crusted on the knobs and partly obstructing the faucet. I think the grout used to be white, but is now some shade of yellow. A bottle of CLR and some elbow grease would go a long way. My third complaint was with the TV in our room. When we went to turn it on, it wasn't working. My husband went to the front desk to inquire and was told 'Oh right, we knew about that. Sorry, we forgot to mention it when you checked in. Did you want to watch tv?' Our stay was booked several weeks in advance...they knew we were coming and didn't bother to repair/replace the tv. We waited while they brought us another one. Not a big deal if it just happened, but again, they knew about it. Overall, this hotel might be fine if you aren't worried about cleanliness and want a place to put your head at night while you ski all day. If, however, you want a smidgen of peace, quiet and/or a clean environment, this isn't the place for you.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Roxymamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Samesun Banff

Property: Samesun Banff
Address: 433 Banff Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B4, Canada (Formerly SameSun Backpacker Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Samesun Banff 1.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SameSun Banff is located downtown just steps away from everything the town has to offer. A recently converted hotel, we have all the amenities a backpacker could want. With a clean and comfortable environment, we boast spacious dorm rooms, a great atmosphere and friendly, helpful staff. Home to the Beaver Lounge, with Open Mic nights, live gigs and weekly trivia, it is the only backpacker pub directly on Banff Avenue! No membership required! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samesun Backpacker Hotel Banff

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