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“Great!”

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HI Ottawa Jail Hostel
Ranked #2 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Ottawa
Sao Goncalo, RJ
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great!”
Reviewed February 5, 2014

It is a really nice place to stay! The jail is really exciting. It is a mysterious place to sleep. I had no problem with the place, It is cheap and comfortable. There are some events and it is amazing. I approve it!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Alexander R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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460 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    48
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2014

Thought we'd try this place based purely on novelty factor, which was ok to begin with but sometimes it resembled a jail a little too much. Great location in Ottawa and the staff were helpful. Little things like the showers and dodgy wifi make this place not worth the money, probably wouldn't stay more than a couple of nights.

Room Tip: our mixed dorm was on the top level up 9 flights of stairs
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Laurie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2014 via mobile

Seems like a great idea and thought it would be cool and interesting. Spent hr trying to find it, nearly dies dragging my case up all the stairs and then literally could not believe my eyes when I got to where I was meant to be spending the night. May seem like stating th obvious but it really is literally a CELL! I mean the type with bars so that you can see the corridor whilst in bed. The room literally fits a single bed to the extent that there was not even space to put my case down anywhere. I admit I sat and cried (to add context I was travelling on my own and at the end so had no money to find somewhere else and no idea how to at such short notice). To their credit the staff were really sympathetic and refunded the money I had already paid (I am eternally grateful to you guys) and I left as quickly as I could. It seemed friendly etc but was just too much for me. As a bare minimum I need real doors to shut when I sleep. Can't thank them enough for dealing with my hysteria with compassion though.

Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Helen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Ottawa hotels

Kennewick, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 11, 2014

I stayed here years ago..in 1997. I wanted to go to Ottawa for a few days and found this hostel. At the time, prices were a lot cheaper and I loved that it was so close to everything. ( I think it was $15-20 Canadian) Not having a car, this was must. I must admit I was a little creeped out. I stayed in a two bunk dorm cell and didn't realized the door had bars on it too. I went in late October during the off season so there weren't as many people and I felt a little scared staying in this cell by myself. Fortunately I did get a "cell mate", a girl from Australia. I spent three days there and most of it I was sightseeing around Ottawa and Gatineau so the only time spent there was at night. I thought the bathroom and showers were the creepiest. At that time everything was clean and quiet. I did at times felt like someone was watching me when I walked in the hallways, but it could have been my nerves. Everything was within walking distance and I enjoyed Ottawa a lot. It's one of my favorite cities in Canada. When I got back to the States it was fun telling people I had stayed in a "jail cell." The looks on their faces was priceless!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Barb A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Stayed here one night, December 2013. It's so creepy being in an old building.

Pros: The staff are really helpful and friendly. The lounge is cool, had a DJ and good beer. Breakfast the next morning consisted of boiled eggs, cereal, fruit and OJ. Pretty decent. The room is pretty standard for a hostel, 8 bed dorm style. Bed was comfy. Right next to Byward Market for bars etc.

Cons: There are 9, yes NINE floors to this place. Expect to do a lot of stair walking. The showers are located on the 6th floor for men and 4th for women. I really didn't like that the shower is at one end of the hall but the bathroom is at the other end! Plus the floor is very slippery, no mats or anything. Watch your step!

It's okay but I don't know if it was worth $36. I'd rate it a 6/10.

Room Tip: Not the 9th floor! Lots of stairs. try to go on a lower floor.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ToAFarOffLand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dusseldorf, Germany
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

The rooms are to small, no space for everything. it's sound good but is isn't. It is to expensive for the stay, if you are not a hi- member you have to pay much more. No signs outside to find the entrance. Bad showers, bad washrooms, the breakfast isn't this much to get only bagels, jam, peanut-butter, cream cheese and fruits. Very bad coffee and only milk powder.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Anja H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alnwick, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2013

The Missus and I wanted to spend time in Ottawa, but not in the usual way. We wanted 'QUIRKY' and in the old Jail on Nicholas St, Ottawa, we got it in spades ! IT DOES QUIRKY !!! I have memories of this building, from my childhood, and my father taking me past it on dark winters nights, telling me blood chilling stories in black and white, about the prisoners reaching out of their cells, to grab people as they walked by. Well, now, I have returned to the old place, found it a splendid place to 'do time' and the boss and I were put in the old Admin section, (solid construction too ) warm, basic but comfortable enough, even with jet lag ! The inmates are friendly, completely international, and all ages from 16 to 70 ! Brekky, is basic, not any cooked stuff, but a reasonable starter for the day. Cereals, toasted rolls, jams and hard boiled eggs, a curious menage, but all adds to the 'quirk' factor.
This place is NOT for the fastidious, fussy or conservative. NOT for the whinger, nor the dependent victim tourist. It is FUN, and something to write home about, tell the kids, grand-kids and shock the family. I reccommend it to the more unconventional traveller.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Pete B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about HI Ottawa Jail Hostel

Property: HI Ottawa Jail Hostel
Address: 75 Nicholas St, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B9, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Ottawa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Ottawa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — HI Ottawa Jail Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in downtown Ottawa, the HI-Ottawa Hostel is within easy walking distance of Parliament Hill, the Byward Market and all the major downtown attractions. We offer a relaxing, friendly atmosphere, heaps of on-site parking, free wi-fi, linen and towels. A great place to hang! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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