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Bear on the Lake Guesthouse
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful hostel beautiful people”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

We stumbled upon this place almost unintentionally - heard about it from a friend but weren't planning on staying until the last minute. Boy am I glad we did!! The view of the lake is gorgeous, not to mention the house itself. Probably THE nicest hostel I've ever stayed in - leather furniture, nice picture frames on the walls, big kitchen, patio and yard with nightly bonfires. Our private room upstairs had our own private living room (also with a view) and bathroom (I'm unclear on whether we would have shared these facilities if the other upstairs room was occupied, but regardless, it was lovely). Carman was lovely and helpful, so friendly and excited to have us there. We brought our 10 month old daughter with us, and he was nothing but happy to have her. Can't wait to visit again :)

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cecilia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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154 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    134
    15
    4
    1
    0
See reviews for
15
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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
Fergus, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

Stayed for one night as part of a weekend motorcycle trip around the Cabot Trail. I choose to take one of the private rooms as I was planning an early escape and did not want to disturb anyone. Carman is a great host and very friendly. He certainly should be proud of his establishment. Everyone I met was super friendly and seemed to be enjoying their time on the Island. The location is good if you are planning to tour the Island as it is central to most anything.

I can only give this an average rating because there was several small items throughout that needed attention from a maintenance point of view and for me were rather annoying. Also due to the intense amount of black flies and mosquitoes you could not sit outside for fear of being eaten alive, but this of course is out of our hosts hands. The additional cost of the private room I considered rather steep considering what I got for it, $20 cheaper and it would be an ok deal, I think I would stay in a regular motel/hotel next time.

Bear on the Lake is best suited for someone who wishes to stay longer term while seeing the Island and save money while doing so. There is a full kitchen available with a fridge for use and a bbq outside for cooking up meals. The downstairs family room / eating area is kept clean and has nice big windows that look out over the lake. There is free wifi and phone to make local calls. There is lots of parking but be aware that the driveway and parking area is loose gravel that is all sloped and can be tricky for motorcycle parking or turning around.

As I did not sleep or see the dorm sleeping area I cannot speak of it. I am not sure if the house has a/c.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FergusRob1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pleasent Bay
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2013

Although I only stayed at Carman Hostel for one night, it's was an amazing stay. From the second you arive you feel interagted in the group and Carman is the worlds nicest person. Better make your way over there if you are in Nova Scotia. I met a lot of people there who were just as nice a he was. It's a great place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jan O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2013 via mobile

This has got to be the best hostel to come to in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia as a whole. Carman is incredibly helpful and was great to hang out with as well whenever he was free. He went out of his way to help us out and make us feel settled. And also went out of the way to help us see the area.

Really recommend the place and that everyone would check it out.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jay P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve_Paine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 67MichaelF67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 
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Also Known As:
Bear On The Lake Guesthouse Whycocomagh, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

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