HI-Banff – 6.1/10
801 Hidden Ridge Way
|Length of Stay||1 night|
|Room Type||4-bed dorm|
We stayed at this hostel as part of a tour with Moose Travel Network. Accommodation at HI Banff was included in the package we purchased.
We spent one night at HI-Banff, but arrived quite late, so didn’t really get a good feel for the place. There was a lounge by the entrance, with about 15 guests all on their phones in silence. The downstairs bar was pretty cool, and had a good vibe, but we didn’t spend much time here.
When we checked in, only one of our beds was made, the other had clearly just been slept in (which was confirmed by another roommate who said a guy had checked out but refused to leave, until an hour or so before we had arrived). Our roommate had just completed the PCT (walking from the Mexico-US border to the US-Canadian border) with only two pairs of undies and one pair of socks. Safe to say our room smelt like a wheel of brie that had been left out in the sun for a few days. We opened the window, but it really didn’t do much to eradicate the odour.
The hostel had an alpine lodge feel, lots of wood and stone, and had an awesome view of the snow covered pine trees surrounding the building. The restaurant was nicely decorated and served a good selection of food at a reasonable price (for Banff). I ordered the $7 Lasagna, which was a tasty and a pretty decent portion size. Wifi signal was poor, it didn’t work in the room and was barely strong enough to upload a photo when you were next to the router. The bar was small, but had a good selection of drinks.
HI-Banff is located on the other side of town, away from the main streets and shops. You could walk to Banff Avenue if you really wanted to, but the hostel offered free bus passes for guests. The nearest bus stop was practically outside their front doors. A phone located in the hostel front entrance has a direct line to a local taxi company, and they can take you on a one-way journey into town or back for about $10.
We stayed in a 4-bed dorm for one night. The room was very cramped with two bunkbeds, but offered large lockers that fit the majority of my belongings. As mentioned above, one of our bed’s had not been cleaned or turned down from the previous guest, and the room had a horrible smell. Bunkbeds had an individual shelf, bedside lamp and plug socket.
We stayed in the main building, and I don’t recall seeing a lock or keypad/code for the front entrance, but this only allowed access to the reception desk and a waiting lounge. Each guest had a coded swipe card for entry to the halls and their room. There is also security personnel onsite throughout the night.
We came across a few different members of staff during our one-night stay. The receptionist was friendly, able to answer out questions about local shops and showed us to the phone for the taxis. We quickly made a complaint about the bed not being clean to another member of staff, and had to mention it a second time before it was sorted. The team was not apologetic about the problem or for the delay.
We were here for a very short amount of time, but I would not stay here again based on the experiences we had.