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“Disappointing”

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Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites
Motueka, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

This is a very well situated backpackers right in the middle of Victoria. The ensuite rooms are a good size and have storage space and a fridge. The common kitchen is well equipped but not well cleaned.
The hostel is noisey because of traffic and local nightlife.
The beds have plastic covered mattress which might be good for hygiene but are noisey and sweaty to sleep on.
We booked for five nights and had the booking confirmed but several weeks later were told that there was only three nights available. As a consequence our travel and transport plans were messed up. Not good enough! And despite asking for a room at the back of the hostel when booking (for quietness) we were put in a front room.
Altogether a disappointing experience.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Donald H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean I, Manager at Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Hello there,

Thank you for taking the time to review us online. We’re sorry to hear that you felt your experience was a disappointing one, but It’s good to hear that you enjoyed aspects of your stay such as our location, your ensuite private room with fridge, and our well-equipped common kitchen.
Our high-quality covered mattresses are very hygienic and medium-firm, which most guests seem to enjoy. All mattresses have a padded mattress-cover to add comfort. Considering your comments, we have added an extra mattress pad to all of the beds in our ensuite rooms for additional comfort.
Regarding your booking, our email correspondence shows that a manager contacted you within 48 hours of your original booking to notify you that due to an error in our booking system, the room you requested was only available for three rather than five nights. We offered alternative rooms for the other two nights, and extended a small discount for your inconvenience. This was six weeks prior to your reservation date, and you seemed to indicate that this was acceptable to you.
The type of room you requested is not available at the back of the building. Extensive details regarding each type of room (including room location) is available in our reservation system, but we apologize if we did not reiterate this to you in response to your request. Like all downtown accommodation, street noise can sometimes be an issue. We do provide earplugs free of charge, and our front desk staff can move guests to a quieter room if requested.
Our housekeeping staff ensure our communal areas - including the kitchen- are cleaned twice daily, and checked throughout the day. During the busy summer months, even this rigorous schedule can unfortunately leave room for untidy moments in the kitchen.

Safe travels,
Ocean Island Management
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547 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2013

The hostel was easy to find, and in a great location. It was very clean. The private room had a bathroom and tv. Friendly staff, and they have a pub on the main floor that seemed to be busy everynight. The windows were hard to keep open as they were old and heavy.

The one drawback is there is little to no parking. Only 5 spaces and we had to pay the day before to confirm we had a space, otherwise we would of had to park on the street. Parking was $10 a day.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steph W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean I, Manager at Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Good afternoon and thank you for taking the time to review Ocean Island.
We’re so glad to hear that you enjoyed our cleanliness, great location, your private en-suite room, our friendly staff, and our fun cafe lounge! Our character 1891 building is beautiful and historic, but its original windows can be a bit harder to operate.
For accommodation that’s right downtown, we feel that we have good parking options. Our five spots are $10 a day, which is one of the lowest rates you’ll find in downtown Victoria. If our spots are full, we can offer almost unlimited parking across the street for $11 dollars a day.
We hope you join us at Ocean Island again some time!
Safe travels.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

This place is ideally located, close to everything in downtown Victoria. But, it's extremely noisy, at all hours of the day. The walls are paper thin, the doors of all the rooms slam shut, and the windows make some odd and loud rattling noise from the people walking on the floor above. I got a private room, knowing that I would want a bit of privacy and quiet. But, was sorely disappointed. You can hear the showers running from the next hallway over even. Impossible to sleep. Plus, the bathrooms, while not the worst that I've seen, are far from being clean. They don't even have paper towels or dryers in them for when you just go to relieve yourself. They also put a notice on my door for me to vacate my room between the hours of 11 and 6 so that they could maintain their "pest prevention program." Surely this is something they could do BETWEEN visits??
They're also pretty cheap about things. Pay extra for a towel, key, map, etc.
The staff is friendly, but the constant noise of the building and the dirt are enough to keep me away a second time.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Heidi F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean I, Manager at Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Hello from Ocean Island,

We’re glad to hear that you found our location ideal and our staff friendly, but we’re sorry to hear that you found your stay with us to be less than satisfactory. It sounds as though your major concern about our inn is in regards to noise- our downtown location, while convenient, means that noise is an issue, so we have made great efforts to address this issue. We do inform guests about which rooms are closer to the street or other sources of noise as part of the booking process, and many of these rooms are discounted. We also offer alternatives such as quieter rooms near the back of the building. Our walls are built to standards beyond the building code requirements for soundproofing, and we’re diligent at adjusting our doors and windows to minimize slamming and other noise. For guests who are lighter sleepers we offer the option of free earplugs. However, it’s always possible that your room is not the right match for you. In this case, our friendly front desk staff is around 24 hours a day to help, including moving guests to a room that better suits their needs.

In regards to your comments about our bathrooms - we found that using paper towels creates a massive amount of unnecessary and wasteful daily garbage. Electric hand dryers create other issues; they’re noisy, and many people don’t want to use them because studies have proven them to be unsanitary. Our guests generally seem happy to use their own towel. In terms of cleanliness, our bathrooms are thoroughly cleaned once a day and inspected and cleaned as needed several times more. However, we are quite busy during the high season, and splashes from the shower can give some people the false impression that the bathrooms are not clean.

Our pest prevention program must be done in every room on the same day to be completely effective, so we unfortunately cannot wait until rooms are unoccupied. The procedure only takes five minutes in each room, which happens between the hours of 11am and 6pm. We believe that our notices clearly communicated this, but considering your feedback we will review the notices. We are very serious about pest prevention because bedbugs are a major problem in most hotels (even luxury properties) on the West Coast of North America. Our program has allowed us to be 100% pest free for over a decade, a rare achievement. The substance we use is a form of soap effective to stop pests, and thus is environmentally friendly and completely safe.

We’ve found that our guests feel lower rates are more important than the option of free items which only some people use. With this focus we are able to offer the lowest rates in Victoria, without compromising on quality. We do offer free Victoria maps and inexpensive high quality maps of the region. We take small deposits on keys and towels but all of the deposits are returned except for a $1 towel cleaning fee.

We’re sorry to hear that you don’t plan to return to Ocean Island. We encourage you to contact us the next time you’re planning to visit Victoria, so we can discuss how your concerns can be alleviated.

Thank you for reviewing us online, and safe travels.
Ocean Island management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peace River, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

This is a good value hostel. It's reasonably clean and has friendly staff, good food, a cozy bar, and live music on most nights. Check in was efficient, with many languages spoken. For $25 pp per night, it's a nice place to lay your head on the cheap in Victoria.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JBOtski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 21, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 5 days while we traveled around Victoria. Almost all of the staff was very friendly and helpful. We chose to stay in a private room with our own bathroom and were happy with our decision. If you are on the fence about staying in a hostel vs. hotel, this is the way to go! If we were to go back, the only thing I would do differently is bring my own pillow and a cheap foam pad to use for the bed. (NOT comfortable!) The hostel is clean and the location is prime for exploring the city.

Room Tip: If you book a couple months in advance, ask the staff for the quietest room!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean I, Manager at Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites, responded to this review, June 7, 2013
Hello and thank you for reviewing us!
We are extremely pleased that you decided to stay with us rather than a traditional hotel, and that you enjoyed your stay and found our staff friendly and helpful; that’s what we’re all about at Ocean Island Inn. It sounds as though you chose one of our en-suite Queen rooms, which are the perfect option for couples looking for a hotel-style room at an unbeatable price! I’m sorry to hear that you found the bed in your room less than ideal - we use medium-firm mattresses and pillows that seem popular with most of our guests. However, in light of your comments, we’re looking into providing additional mattress padding for our Queen rooms, and we’ll check through our pillows to ensure they’re in good condition. Excellent room tip, too - although you don’t need to book a couple of months in advance to request a quieter room - a few days is usually fine, perhaps a week or two in the summer.
It sounds as though you had a great time exploring Victoria from our prime location, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Thanks again! Enjoy your travels, and perhaps one day we’ll see you two in Victoria again.
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Calgary, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed April 30, 2013

This hostel is overrated. So, to be fair, let's put things straight. The beds were of low quality... hard mattresses and unstable structure made them rocking. There were no ventilation systems in the rooms, so you either had to open the windows and hear the noises from the street below, or suffocate with all the people inside your room. The concept of having to carry your food from your room to the kitchen every time you wanted to cook was very unpleasant. The kitchen wasn't well equipped and there were no possibility to drink other alcohol than from their cafe. I have to agree that the place was clean, but they should have been more picky about the people they were hiring, some people were nice but others were clearly lacking politeness or good manners. So now, I say, unless you want to earn your stay and plan on drinking so much you could sleep anywhere afterwards, AVOID THIS HOSTEL. I'm thinking people who were earning their stay wrote good reviews... One word, BIAS!
Oh, and one more thing... don't bother asking them for parking...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jimmy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean I, Owner at Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Hello there and thank you for reviewing Ocean Island.
I’m sorry to hear you had a less than satisfactory experience at our inn. Regarding our mattresses, we use a medium firm, high quality foam mattress that’s popular with most of our guests. I’m sorry to hear it was less than ideal for you. Our dorm beds all have sturdy metal frames, but we will take an extra look at them to be sure that they are all in good repair.
Regarding ventilation, we feel that fresh air from open windows is a pretty effective system. If you feel that your room is too noisy or has any other issue, we encourage you to approach our 24 hour front desk staff so they can remedy the situation. Our rooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes and we can usually find a more suitable room- perhaps one of our four person dorm rooms away from the street, or one of our small and inexpensive private rooms would have been more ideal for you. We feel that our dorm rooms are a good size with a maximum of 6 beds per room; a lot less crowded than some larger hostels which can have up to 20 beds per room.
We have a large refrigerator for food storage in the kitchen, as well as small fridges in each room, so the choice is yours where to leave your food. Our kitchen offers 3 sinks, 2 ovens, 3 cooking ranges, 3 microwaves, and plenty of counter space. It’s also equipped with all manner of cutlery, utensils, dishes, pots and pans, and small appliances, which we inventory regularly. Please let us know specifically what you thought was missing so we can consider including it.
Alcohol consumption is not permitted by law in any public spaces in BC, including our dorms and common areas. But our licensed cafe allows our guests to enjoy drinks and meals conveniently at unbeatable prices for Victoria. And of course, if you are in a private room you can drink your own alcohol!
Thanks for mentioning how clean you found Ocean Island, we work hard to ensure that our historic character building is in top shape at all times. We’re glad that you found some of our staff friendly, but we’re sorry you didn’t feel that way about all of them. We do ongoing work and training to ensure the best possible guest service and experience, and we’ll bring up your comments with everyone.
In regards to your suggestion that our staff members write the positive reviews about us online, we can assure you that this is not that case- we’re proud to have earned all those reviews by providing quality, affordable accommodation that people enjoy. Also, websites such as Trip Advisor have ways to ensure that all reviews are authentic.
Considering our downtown location, we have excellent parking options- six spaces in our own private parking lot, and virtually limitless parking across the street from us, both at below average prices for Victoria.
We hope that despite your concerns, you will consider staying with us again, and give us a chance to show you why we receive so many positive reviews!

Safe travels,
Ocean Island Management.
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Exshaw, Canada
1 review
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Ocean Island is top-notch: professional, clean, friendly. They had open mic live music, good scene, great security, great location, very professional and helpful. If only there were an Ocean Island in all major Canadian cities!

Room Tip: I chose a private room, still a great deal and great ambiance.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Doug S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites

Property: Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites
Address: 791 Pandora Ave, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1N9, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Victoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites 2*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centrally located in downtown Victoria, Ocean Island Inn is minutes away from Chinatown, the Inner Harbour, the Empress Hotel and the Royal BC Museum. With easy access to public transit, ferries, and the airport, we're a great home base for exploring the city of Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island. We have a wide array of rooms to suit your budget and lifestyle, from comfortable 4 or 6 bed dorms to private rooms in all shapes and sizes. Add to that our excellent customer service, clean and secure facilities, and a variety of guest discounts, and you'll see that Ocean Island can't be beat! Ocean Island Amenities: * Free Wi-Fi* 24 hour internet access* 23 shared bathrooms* Rooms with ensuite bathrooms* Fridge in every room* 24 hour Front Desk * Fully equipped shared kitchen* Laundry facilities* Discounts at local businesses including museums, whale watching tours, kayak rentals and more! * Free secure bike and bag storage* Discounted parking* And our very own guide to Victoria so you can enjoy the city like a local.Check us out and you'll see why Ocean Island Inn | Backpackers | Suites is considered one of Victoria's best-kept secrets! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Hotel Victoria

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