During the last 2 months I have stayed at 4 hostels. I am amazed by this as during my New Zealand trip I was never in a hostel for more than a few nights at a time so end up staying in a lot more than 4!
I started my trip with the group from BUNAC which was great as I then knew more people in the city. We were all staying at the SameSun Backpackers on Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver. I wouldn’t have stayed here if I had come on my own as it is not my kind of hostel. It is geared towards travellers who like to party and that is not me. However I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the hostel. The staff were friendly. It’s a great location. Breakfast was included. It’s a fun place. But it was not for me. The beds were not comfy, not that I expect much in a hostel, but they need new mattresses. The bathrooms are very small and there are not many of them. It is also a noisy place at all times of the day. Granville Street is the centre of the bar and club scene, so people would come and go at all times of the day and night. The common areas were a bit of a let down and not very welcoming. free wifi was a big bonus!
After a few days I moved to the HI Downtown in Davie Village. There is another HI in Vancouver, but that is opposite the SameSun, so I opted for the ones ureter away from the bars. Davie Village has lots of restaurants, but not many clubs. It is also the gay village. It’s a fun and quirky neighbourhood! The hostel is just off the main street and it almost feels like a residential street. It is a newer hostel than the ones on Granville. As it is part of the HI and YHA chain it has a reputation to uphold. The rooms were basic, but clean and with slightly more private beds than the SameSun as there are dividers between them. The downside was was that there were no book lights by each bed. It meant the main light had to be switched on a lot. It was not too bad on the bottom bunks, but I would not have liked it if I was on a top bunk. The hostel had a good kitchen, a games room and a TV room, but they were not the greatest places to hang out. Also free wifi and breakfast!
In Whistler value accommodation is hard to find. When I stayed there previously I stayed at the old HI which was good and bad. It was in a lovely location by a lake, but only had 2 bus services a day! Since the Olympics they have closed that one and opened up a brand new purpose built hostel in the Athletes Village. The bus service was fantastic to the village and to other parts of the valley, such as the sports centre. It is amazing! big clean rooms with good beds. 2 rooms share bathrooms unlike the other hostels where floors share bathrooms. The hostel has a great TV and lounge room, with comfy sofas and a pool table. It was a great place to hang out. There was also a cafe/bar which did some great food at good prices. This hostel also had free wifi, but it could be quite slow. The kitchen was great, but no free breakfast at this one. Here it was all about the mountain. Lost of people got up early to get on the slopes and would stay in at night. This suited me so well. I really enjoyed staying here and would recommend it to everyone!
The last hostel I stayed at was the GreenTortoise Hostel in Seattle. This one I chose for location. It overlooks Pike Place Market and that sold it!. It was a great older hostel which surprised me. It was nosing at all, which was my main concern, but as the market is a morning place everything close shut down in the evening, except the restaurants. The rooms were good sizes and the although they were shared floor bathrooms,they were private rooms themselves. The kitchen was small, but they included breakfast and did 3 free dinners a week. I only went to one dinner as I liked to eat out and try new things. I occasionally went down for breakfast but it depended on what I was doing. What I really liked about this hostel were the beds. The lockers where underneath the beds so there was lots of space in the room. Each bed had its own plugs and privacy curtains. This was great for having a bit of me time or if you wanted an early night as you could just shut out everyone
Hostels are fantastic places to stay when you are on your own and on a budget. I would recommend researching the hostels available in each place and pick the one that you think works for you. Am other people, but it is good to know the type of people they are as their views could be very different from your own. This happened a lot when I talked about the SameSun. I would say listen to yourself and what chose where you would feel most comfortable.
I’ve got some tips I want to share for hostel living, which will be the next post 🙂