We were in town to visit Vancouver, check out the paraolympics, and enjoy the Workless Party party. We chose the Budget Inn because of proximity to the party (just three blocks away!) and the low cost.
The room was decent. We got everything we were promised, the room was clean, and the beds were comfortable. The in-room fridge proved very useful and the shower had good water pressure. All in all, an average experience.
Here's what made the experience so much better:
1. Noor Din. This fellow, working the front desk, greeted us in a friendly manner every single time we came by with a question. He was a font of information, and provided us with countless insights into the local transit, entertainment, and cuisine. Noor Din went out of his way to make our visit more convenient and more enjoyable, and his efforts were very much appreciated.
2. The rate. While the website quoted significant rate increases for the paraolympics, a manager by the name of Chris not only gave us a decent room ( two queen beds) for a good price, he also offered us a 10% courtesy discount because we were all students (though this isn't policy and I doubt they'll repeat it, see below).
Issues that Arose:
1. Our bill. The credit card machine didn't print out our receipt properly so they had to bill us a second time and assured me the first charge would be annulled at the end of the day. We won't know if the hold was effectively removed, or if the charge will be properly annulled, until we check out credit card bill next month. That's very annoying. I don't like having stressful tasks in my list. Additionally, there was no easy way to apply the 10% discount in the computer system and the manager on duty seemed (at first, at least) uncomfortable honoring it. While Noor Din made the stressful situation almost pleasant via his congenial nature and casual conversation, the manager on duty (not Chris) was aggressive both to his employee and to customers that tried to greet him. I don't know the situation (those clients might be problem cases, and/or the manager might have been having a stressful day) but it left me a little uncomfortable with leaving the bill correction to them. I will check online in a few days to make sure the charges are correct.
2. The location is a bit sketchy. Now, I'm a fairly laid-back individual and clearly something of socially uninhibited fellow (re: Workless Party) so I wasn't too bothered by the spattering of prostitutes and drug dealers every 10' down most of the side streets from the hotel. They didn't bother me, and I didn't bother them.
A few blocks west on Hastings, however, is a more serious issue. We wanted to walk downtown and we didn't know the area so we progressed west along Hastings and found ourselves in sketch-town. Now, I want to be clear: no one accosted us, or even made any threatening gestures. Our anxiety was derived mostly from being outnumbered (50:1 at least) by people with values and priorities that do not align with ours (like obeying civil authority, and washing). We opted to move a block or two south and continue on Pender, which seemed to be a much cleaner and safer street.
Oh, an aside, the Inn is connected to a pub that had live music. We didn't get a chance to check it out (we were only there one night), but it was convenient to have an indoor connection to a pub in case we did partake of the convenient boozing and wanted to come home late and wasted. Wouldn't really want to be wandering those streets at night and impaired.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This Heritage style hotel best suits the budget-minded traveller that seeks quality "no-frills" accommodations and budget rates! Located on the edge of the downtown core, guests are only 1 block from Chinatown, 5 blocks from historic Gastown and enjoy easy access to shopping, dining, entertainment, Stanley Park, Granville Island, Grouse Mountain, and other major city attractions. Visit Pat's Pub and BrewHouse located in the hotel for great homemade pub food and our feature beer- "Pat's Classic Lager" - All Natural, Preservative Free, and Micro-Brewed On-Site! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Budget Inn Vancouver
- Vancouver Budget Inn