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“Nice hostel, quiet location.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of HI-Banff Alpine Centre

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HI-Banff Alpine Centre
Ranked #7 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Nice hostel, quiet location.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

Spent two nights here. The majority of the people staying in the hostel are currently looking for work in the local area, so not many backpackers at the moment. Still, it has a good vibe to it and the staff are helpful with arranging onward travel or suggesting activities.

The hostel is located slightly out of town up the road to Tunnel Mountain. If you don't fancy the hike, a perk of staying is that you get a 'roam' bus pass for the local service. This stops almost outside the hostel and runs into town. The pass can be used on the two local bus routes, with the other taking you to Sulpher Mountain.

Food in the restaurant is cheerful and is priced in line with other Banff food outlets.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ImpulsiveHopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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236 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    74
    101
    37
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    10
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rossendale, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

Spent three nights here and enjoyed the experience. Although well above the town it is on a free bus route and is a short scenic walk down to the town. The counter staff were very friendly and helpful with lots of useful tips and advice and booked our trip on the "Rocky Mountaineer", to Vancouver. Our private room was clean with comfortable beds and we had no problems with our bedding! A small sink would have been useful but this was our first Canadian hostel and our private room at Jericho Beach, Vancouver, also had no sink. We fully intended to eat downtown for our meals but the breakfast of pancakes and coffee with the option to pay for "extras" was more than adequate, and, after sampling the evening dishes in "Cougar Petes' Cafe washed down by the excellent "Traditional Ale^ we never felt the need to eat out. We
are both volunteer wardens for the English YHA, and. the Scottish Hostel movement and this hostel is comparable with the best!.

Room Tip: Try for a private room if you can as there are only a limited number available.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank v_marcinkiewicz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

I stayed here for a month or so when I first moved to Banff for the ski season.

Because of that it would have been a bit different than travelling there. It was ok, located out of town but got a free bus pass which did the job.
Clean, bar downstairs with mostly good activities (wouldn't kill the bar tender to smile occasionally though..), good kitchen, good pub crawl.

Staff were friendly when I was there.

Not many options for budget accom in Banff but I have no complaints. Didn't love it.. but yeah.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Hayley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
65 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

My friend and I hated it. We don't keep great memories from Banff I believe in part due to the bad experience in this hostel.

We stayed in the HI Central Vancouver and got impressed with it. Well, this is the other side of the coin.

We had a private room for the two of us. They don't have proper private twins, they just give you a 4-bed for two people. 4-bed rooms had bunk beds and are cheaper than twins so them being less confortable is something to expect. So they were.

The room stank even leaving the window open the whole day. It smelled as if the homeless had been living there for months. As if the smell had got into the carpet. It started to fade after two days there.
Duvets were rags, well passed their intended serving life. We had to wrap up in sheets to avoid touching the stuff.

Air conditioning was at full blast in the corridors so transit from the shower to the bedroom was quite chilly and unpleasant.

Shared bathrooms were dirty and unkept. One washbasin and one WC were out of order when we arrived and were still at this state when we left. Tangles of hair stayed days in the showers.

The one thing that was OK was the kitchen. The reception area is pleasant enough too but once you cross the locked door to the dormitories, it feels that you have entered a hospital.

No choice for breakfast: If you booked on line you had pancakes. If you don't or you have diet restrictions, you pay extra for rather expensive options.

It was rather expensive considering the above, apart from painful. It was also very far away from downtown. True that that was plain. A bus pass was complimentary but buses don't run that often.

Stay away from that place... It's worth spending a bit more and get a decent accomodation...

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank xenale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milano
Level Contributor
267 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

This hostel is very similar to the one HI runs in Lake Louise, meaning that is more similar to a hotel in terms of rooms and quality of common areas. The location is very good, and from the main lobby you have a beautiful view on the valley. Rooms are big and clean, we had one with bathroom and had a great sleep. Kitchen is huge and offers everything needed for preparing meals. I recommend you to have a barbecue in the outside patio, we had a great time. Only thing is, 45$ per dorm bed is not cheap but.. alternatives are also expensive, and probably not as nice as this.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank miike78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dusseldorf, Germany
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

The only thing I will keep in mind about this hostel is that there are no windows to open, therefore the air inside the halls and rooms is pretty hot and stuffy.
The staff was not very helpful and there were no community activities offered. Not central.
Different than expected, breakfast was not included and pretty expensive for hostel standards.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sveee D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BanffHostelManager, General Manager at HI-Banff Alpine Centre, responded to this review, August 3, 2012
Hello, thank you for taking the time to comment on your stay. It is true that our older building has limited air conditioning, so hot days in the summer such as during your stay can make it uncomfortably warm. We do hope to upgrade our system down the road. However, until that happens, our new building has better facilities and ventilation and for a slight premium can be reserved by request.

Ken Campbell
General Manager
HI-Banff Alpine Centre
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

Stayed in a private room for the family - only had to share shower, in the newer building. Lovely communal spaces, good cafe/restaurant, and good kitchen for own catering. Great fun to watch ground squirrels outside, too. Is uphill from the town, but once you are there, you can get a free bus ticket.

Room Tip: "New" building has good communal spaces, so ask for it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank littledawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about HI-Banff Alpine Centre

Property: HI-Banff Alpine Centre
Address: 801 Hidden Ridge Way, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1H5, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — HI-Banff Alpine Centre 2.5*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Are you looking for an place to stay in Banff? Seeking the Canadian Rocky Mountain experience? HI Banff Alpine Centre Hostel, has a more than just dorm beds, this Banff hostel also has many family and couples rooms available to book for your holiday in Banff. Looking to make a reservation? * Cougar Pete's on site restaurant * The Storm Cellar Pub and Gamehouse * Free guest use Wi-fi through out * Two spacious guest kitchens, * Two cozy lounges with fireplaces * Lookout deck with spectacular views of the mountains. * Internet kiosks to send a message to your friends at home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hi-Banff Alpine Centre Hotel Banff

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