We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Brilliant hostel, easily the best in Cape Breton” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bear on the Lake Guesthouse

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Bear on the Lake Guesthouse
Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Brilliant hostel, easily the best in Cape Breton”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2013

Stayed in the dorm room for one night. The whole place was very clean and welcoming. Carman runs it fantastically, was a great help for other accommodations in the area as well as pointing out good trails and moose spotting areas. The hostel is perfectly located at the start of the cabot trail with gorgeous views over the lake. Would definitely stay again!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve_Paine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

153 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    133
    15
    4
    1
    0
See reviews for
15
31
60
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

Really enjoyed my stay here, I had one night in the dorm room, which was super clean and then moved up to one of the private rooms upstairs - beautiful decor, fabulous views, comfy bed & pillows, it was a perfect end to my holiday. Carman is a fantastic host and the house has a great atmosphere for mingling with other guests; there was quite a varied age range while I stayed there, which made for interesting conversations.

I would definitely stay here again if I was heading to Cape Breton. A tip for those on a quest to find the best seafood chowder - it's only 5 mins away and Carman can point you in the right direction. I ate it every night I was there :)

Excellent hostel. 5 stars.

Room Tip: If you want a little more privacy, go for one of the private rooms upstairs.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank astrogirl_79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2012

I stayed at Bear on the Lake on two different occasions in June and July of 2012. My times there were unique in that I was hosting groups of 15-20 young teenagers and their chaperons. We filled every room. It's the cleanest hostel I've ever stayed in (and I stay in many of them because of my work). Quiet. An excellent location from which you can easily check out the Cabot Trail, Mabou Highlands, Bras d'Or Lake, et cetera. I would wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone traveling in and around Cape Breton. Give it a couple days at least.

Most of the reviews here mention Carman--for good reason: he's a great host, and will go far out of his way to make sure you have a pleasant stay. I have one particular anecdote that exemplifies the level of his service. My group had rented a couple of vans and one of them broke down. We had planned to make a day trip, but waiting for the rental company to drive the new van up to BotL (BotL is about 3.5 hrs from Halifax) was going to force us to change our plans. Carman offered to drive his van, so that we didn't have to split our group. "Offered to drive" meant: change his entire day to make sure that we got to where we needed to go. Truly amazing service. And as other reviews have mentioned, he's friendly, knowledgeable, and all that.

When I'm not traveling with groups, hostels are generally not my first choice for accommodations. Bear on the Lake, however, is a very exceptional kind of exception--one which I hope to return with not only future groups, but my family as well.

Room Tip: You can't really go wrong with any room, though I would recommend the private rooms upstairs.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brugg, Switzerland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2012

Originally I wanted to stay just one night to do the Cabot Trail, but because of bad weather and Carmans helpful hints of what to do in the area, I decided to stay two nights. It was almost being at home: Familial, clean, friendly, not too big dorms (the first night I was even alone in the room because of the season). A second stay after the Cabot Trail was therefore the logical choice.

The view from the large dining table or from the patio over the lake is amazing. With the right weather one could probably see a nice sunrise.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank IngoCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012

Carmen runs a fantastic, picturesque Guesthouse. Waking up to coffee overlooking the scenic Bras D'or Lakes is very easy to get used to. After arriving late, (don't miss the 4:30 pm ferry from PEI!), we found Carmen and the whole household still awake playing games, socializing and swapping travel stories around the table and we were welcomed like we were family. In the morning we struck out for the Cabot Trail, a must see for any traveller on Cape Breton Island. If you don't know what to take in first, just ask - Carmen has an extensive knowledge of the island and all it's treasures and can get you sent on your way for a great day of travel and sight-seeing. I hope to return soon and spend more time exploring the beauty of the Island. A wonderful introduction to Hostel travel for my son and his friends and such a fun way to meet others from all over the world! Thanks Carmen - all the best for the 2013 travel season!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SaskHeidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012

Me and two friends just stayed at Bear on the Lake for three days. We're all from mainland Nova Scotia, but we wanted to spend a weekend exploring the rugged trails and waterfalls in Cape Breton. We decided to stay at Bear on the Lake because it was more affordable than a hotel room, and we are so glad we did.

Right off the bat, Carmen, the owner, was extremely welcoming and friendly. He introduced us to the other guests, and despite the fact that we're a pack of introverts (more or less), we felt right at home. Carmen lit the camp fire and we spent some time having drinks and getting to know some of the guests. It was so comfortable that it felt like meeting up with distant relatives that you've never met, but like.

The building itself was very clean and cozy. There's a good-sized kitchen with plenty of room to prepare some grub. The large window by the dining room table overlooks the Bras d'Or Lakes, and it's a wonderful place to sit and eat your breakfast. The location is also great, geographically. Because it's tucked between Whycocomagh and Baddeck we had access to lots of great trails, scenery, and shops. Carmen was also a great source of information, so be sure to ask him if you want any ideas on some beautiful places to explore.

We had an amazing trip, and part of the amazement was staying at a place like this. It's great, after an entire day of hiking, to be able to have somewhere relaxed and cozy to hang your hat. We're already planning a longer trip for next summer, and we'll definitely be back at the Bear on the Lake when we do!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Marie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2012

My husband and I, two kids and the lovely Auntie Anne stayed for three days. This is a fantastic place for families. We enjoyed the large kitchen and spacious suite upstairs. Great views on a very nice property that gave our kids lots of room to play. Nice campfire at night where we met people from around the world. Carmen is very hospitable and made us feel right at home. We had an amazing vacation on Cape Breton that we will remember for the rest of our days.

Room Tip: There were five of us, so we booked the two bedroom suite upstairs with the balcony overlooking the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Meurmabear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Whycocomagh
7.4 mi away
Silver Dart Lodge
Silver Dart Lodge
#1 of 7 in Baddeck
4.0 of 5 bubbles 581 reviews
49.8 mi away
Seascape Coastal Retreat
9.3 mi away
Broadwater Inn
Broadwater Inn
#3 of 18 in Baddeck
4.5 of 5 bubbles 270 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.1 mi away
Aberdeen Motel
Aberdeen Motel
#2 of 2 in Whycocomagh
4.0 of 5 bubbles 57 reviews
7.9 mi away
Telegraph House Hotel
Telegraph House Hotel
#4 of 7 in Baddeck
4.0 of 5 bubbles 272 reviews
5.7 mi away
Cabot Trail Motel
Cabot Trail Motel
#2 of 7 in Baddeck
4.0 of 5 bubbles 101 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Bear on the Lake Guesthouse? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Bear on the Lake Guesthouse

Property: Bear on the Lake Guesthouse
Address: 10705 Highway 105 | Aberdeen, Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia B0E 3M0, Canada
Location: Canada > Nova Scotia > Cape Breton Island > Whycocomagh
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Whycocomagh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bear on the Lake Guesthouse overlooks the beautiful Bras D'or Lakes of Cape Breton Island at the start of the Cabot Trail. We're centrally located and within an hour to all of Cape Breton's highlights such as the Cabot Trail, Highlands National Park, Louisbourg Historic Site Newfoundland Ferry and just down the road from world class hiking, whale watching, kayaking, sailing and museums. We have both dormitory-style and private accommodations and all guests are welcome to use our kitchen, campfire pit, free wi-fi, hammocks, board games and more! Watch the eagles overhead and the moose in the backyard! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and HostelWorld so you can book your Bear on the Lake Guesthouse reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Bear On The Lake Guesthouse Whycocomagh, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing