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“Don't stay here if you like to sleep at night.”
Review of Hostel Bear

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Hostel Bear
Ranked #12 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Canmore
Warks
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Don't stay here if you like to sleep at night.”
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Well as this was the final proper stay (before an overnight and flight in Calgary) it was always going to be memorable, just a shame it was for the wrong reasons.

As mentioned in a previous review of mine of a different hostel, we're not big hostellers. Luckily this wasn't our first otherwise it would have put us off staying in one again.

Having found the place easily and parked in the free car park we checked in.
We found the staff to be friendly on the desk and were given the rules and they read as though they were enforced strictly, if only the quiet time after 11pm rule was strict....

Anyway, we got to our room, which if I remember correctly was 107 and had a private bathroom. Even though it was just the two of us the room slept 6, so it was nice to have a bit of space. Immediately we noticed that one of the double beds still had dirty sheets on, we spoke to a member of staff to get this sorted, which it was, after she had asked if it was ok to do that!!

The biggest problem with the room though was the broken window, a great big crack across the pane and a damaged frame which also meant it didn't lock properly (you also had to push it shut from the outside).

Other problems with the building maintenance in our room were;
1. The main door had a loose top hinge which meant you had to slam the door to shut it.
2. The bathroom door had it's top hinge pin missing.
3. Both the sink and bath plugs were missing.
4. Although off the heater was always putting out hot air.

On the plus side with the room;
1. The shower was lovely.
2. It was serviced (bins emptied)
3. Spacey.
4. Beds were quite comfortable.

Onto the sleep deprivation, we were staying four nights unfortunately and on the 1st night we found out about the trains!
I seemed to nod back off ok after these but my wife didn't.
On nights three and four, we were woken by a few lads making a lot of noise in the corridors, I do not know if they were the same group or not but it was about 2.30am for about 20 mins.
On the first night of the noise I was waiting for the duty staff to come and calm them down but that never happened. The following morning I complained to reception and the guy who was on duty overnight was there said some lads "turned up late but hadn't heard anything". I asked if anything could be done with all the security camera that are up and got told a flat no. He just didn't seem bothered, so when a similar thing happened later that night and our last night, I knew that the staff didn't have any respect which is reflected in some of the people who stop there. I would have gone out and said something to them on that occasion but didn't want to wake the whole hostel up due to having to slam our door shut!

We couldn't leave soon enough on checkout. Having previously reported the damaged window so we didn't get charged for it, I reminded the staff at the front desk and got told it had been like that for ages!

I know that the hostel can't help the trains and that it's the same for other properties in that area but it has to be mentioned but it can help all the other problems mentioned above.

The kitchen was a good size but missed a few critical things like wooden spoons and plastic bowls to use in the microwave but on the whole was ok, despite a lot of users leaving dirty dishes.

I found that the no drinking your own booze rule in public areas a pain, as I would have liked a beer in a cooler part of the hostel. However I can understand why it's there.

Canmore is a great town and I would visit again but would definitely stay away from the Hostel Bear.

Room Tip: Don't stay here.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jimbowarks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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163 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2012

As I spotted my two-week road trip of Western North America (of which Banff would be the crown jewel), I needed to find lodging that would not break the bank. I had never tried hosteling before, and am hesitant to try it when traveling within the US, but for this Canadian trip, I decided to give it a try, especially considering that the Hostel Bear was getting a lot of traffic from friendly, seasoned British Commonwealth and European travelers, and that given the long daylight and the gorgeous sights of the Canadian Rockies, a nicer lodging would be a waste of money.

- Reserving -

I found this hostel via a Google search, and easily booked at a rate of about $25 Canadian per night, giving me a bunk bed in a 6-person dormitory room (my choice of co-ed or single sex).

- Arriving -

I arrived directly from Yellowstone National Park in the US, entering Canada at the I-15/Alberta 4 border crossing in Coutts. From Coutts to Canmore via Calgary, it is about a 4-hour drive, though due to an unusual border delay for all foreigners on my arrival day, I could not arrive in Canmore until 2 in the morning. As it turned out, while my reservation was guaranteed all night with a credit card, phoning the hostel from the border checkpoint, advising the reception desk of my border delay and my expected arrival time, still helped out on the receptionist's end.

While the hostel website indicates ample parking, the parking spots surrounding the building are accessed via a very narrow, tight driveway. For most visitors who use small cars rented locally, that is fine, but for my larger Hyundai Genesis, it was a bit of a struggle. (Also turns out my car was the only US-registered one on the hostel lot during my stay.)

I was given a set of linens and towels at check-in, to be returned at check-out.

- Room -

My dormitory room had three bunk beds, for a total of six people. I was given a women-only room, and my roommates were travelers from Europe and Asia and very courteous. Enough storage areas exist for the belongings of all occupants. Some (not all) beds also have privacy curtains.

I found that the room (I stayed in 203, which faces toward the side) was a bit on the warm side, and had to crack the window open slightly to sleep comfortably. While train noise is an issue as mentioned in another review, it did not bother me too much (but then I am a heavy sleeper).

Each room has its own toilet and shower, and additionally I found an extra toilet and shower down the hallway. For my entire stay, the toilet and shower down the hallway was practically my private bathroom and changing room.

- Amenities -

There is a lounge on the ground floor in front of the check-in area. Additionally there is a well-organized kitchen, where there even are refrigerators for the guests to store their groceries (all items must be labeled with the guest's name and departure date). Within the town center of Canmore there is a Safeway grocery store, so I bought some simple meals there and warmed and ate them in the kitchen to save on dining costs.

There is another lounge upstairs, with a few tables, a pool table, a video game machine, and a television set showing cable channels from Canada and the US.

Laundry machines are also available. Washer and dryer are free but the detergent costs $2. Additionally during my stay, second floor laundry machines were out of service, and I had to do my laundry on the ground floor.

Free wireless Internet is available throughout the building. This was the first spot during my trip where I could actually manage to access the Internet at my own pace and without having to pay extra.

In the upper floor hallway there is a world map where visitors are encouraged to mark their hometowns with a pin. I noted that there were plenty of past visitors from within Canada as well as from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and East Asia, but comparatively few from the US.

- Afterthought -

My first-ever hostel stay, at the Hostel Bear, was excellent! Rather than spending a few hundred dollars per night on a room I would most likely only sleep in, I paid just a fraction of the cost for a clean and reasonably comfortable bed, plus a place to do laundry and cooking. It was also a bonus to get to meet some of the fellow travelers, including a large group of cyclists riding across Canada. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank skinnylawyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2012

We stayed at this hostel for one night and were very disappointed. It was a lovely building and very clean but we did not realize it was located about 100 feet from the busy trans-Canada rail line. Trains go by about once an hour on average and it was very hard to sleep.

In addition, there were people playing pool and having a good time in the common lounge area at 3 a.m. I had to phone down to the front desk and complain or they would have let this continue. Although they shut it down promptly, I was annoyed that they let it start up in the first place.

When I complained to the front desk in the morning they weren't very apologetic and simply said, "Well, those people arrive kind of late." And that's an excuse????

We will be staying at the Alpine Club Hostel from now on.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank look4fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mpettis, Manager at Hostel Bear, responded to this review, August 16, 2012
Hello,

Firstly thank you for your honest review of our establishment. I regret that you did not have a lovely stay due to the train track located behind our building. All hotels along the "hotel strip" have the same train track running behind and we all have to deal with this annoyance on a regular basis. As far as people playing pool until 3am unfortunately since we run a bar we are required to have our bar hours open until 3am. We do try to keep the noise down for everyone after 11am and if we did not succeed to your standards thank you for letting us know.

We encourage everyone to go to the alpine club hostel as it is indeed a lovely location and it fits some peoples needs better then we can accommodate and vice versa. We are two different styles of hostels and we are in different locations each of which has it's ups and downs.

I apologize again if your stay with us was not satisfactory and hope you may stay with us again in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2012

Stayed here with a friend for 2 nights. We had the private room with private bathroom. We pre-booked ahead of time. The staff was very welcoming upon our arrival. We were in our room within 5 minutes. You get a set of sheets and a towel upon check-in. Our room was clean, spacious and well setup. Bathroom was clean and appeared to have been renovated in the last few years. It was very comparable, if not better than any hotel bathroom, I've experienced. Shampoo and soap were also provided. The common kitchen area has everything you'd ever need to cook/enjoy a meal. Hostel Bear is centrally located on the Bow Valley Trail right off the Trans-Canada highway, approximately a 5-10 min. walk to Downtown Canmore. The only downside to the location is the train track located approx. 30 ft. behind the hostel. Freight trains pass by regularly throughout the night (and there are quite a few of them). Compared to other hostels I've stayed at over the years, I would say this one surpasses most of them, it is excellent. I would stay here again without hesitation, would also stay with my kids/family.

Room Tip: The private rooms have two bunk beds, but even with two of us staying, we didn't have to share r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank hallowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mpettis, Manager at Hostel Bear, responded to this review, August 16, 2012
Hello,

We are glad you had a great stay with us and appreciate your business. We also hope that you got to do and see some of the many things that Canmore has to offer and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2012

The Hostel Bear is by far the best hostel we ever stayed at (and we are globe trotters ;-) Great location, fantastic staff, super clean common spaces and confy rooms makes it my favorite of all. They thought of everything : curtains for more privacy in dorms, lockers in the rooms, organized food storage, laundry room, spacious kitchen with a lot of clean equipment, bar, ..... Stop looking, you simply must stay there !!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marion L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fontenay-sous-bois
Level Contributor
25 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2012

Clean and well located, 5 min walk from downtown Canmore, a few rooms with 6 beds each and a bathroom per room, good privacy too with curtains around the beds. Spacious common kitchen and living room with good equipment.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alice G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2011

I came to Canmore for work and expected to stay at the hostel for a little while while I found a place to live but almost 3 months in and I still haven't left. Some might find that strange, though there are people here that have been staying longer than I.

Truth is it is just a fantastic place, the staff are very friendly and there is always interesting characters to talk to from all over the globe. The rooms are quite nice, the one i'm in now is complete with a fireplace and a balcony looking out on a gorgeous view of Mt. Lady MacDonald. It has decent laundry facilities a great common room including a bar and spacious fully equipped kitchen area which is always clean.

The location is great too, only a short walk to downtown, though being on the train line can be a little noisy at times. It usually doesn't bother the rooms at the front of the building as much. The hostel is making a big effort of late to be more socially active, organising events involving things inside and outside the hostel.

I dont have anything negative to say about this place. On the whole Canmore is a beautiful place offering so much to do and I would definitely stay at THB again.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dean0rock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostel Bear

Property: Hostel Bear
Address: 1002 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, Alberta T1W 1N6, Canada (Formerly "Bear Country Lodge")
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Kananaskis Country > Canmore
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Canmore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hostel Bear 2*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Canmore’s newest hostel! Conveniently located one block from downtown Canmore. The Hostel Bear sleeps 170 guests. The spacious dorm rooms sleep 4-10 guests, with privacy curtains and night lights on each bunk, in addition each room has its own an en suite. Private rooms are also available. Amenities include large fully equipped kitchen, free wireless access and a large common lounge. Our friendly, helpful staff are here 24 hours a day to ensure your stay exceeds expectations! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostel Bear Hotel Canmore
Hostel Bear Canmore, Alberta

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