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Samesun Backpackers Banff

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Hostelz.com's Review
Banff Chalet - SameSun is affiliated with the six Samesun Backpackers Lodges located in Vancouver, Kelowna, Revelestoke, Silverstar, and Banff. Samesun operates two hostels in Banff located approximately fifty meters apart. This review is for the Samesun Chalet. The other hostel is the Samesun Backpacker Lodge (not reviewed). They are independent hostels (non HI).

The Location

The Samesun Chalet is exceptionally well located on world famous Banff Avenue. The hostel has free parking underneath the hostel (unsecured) and it's a five-minute walk to pubs, restaurants, shopping, and a large supermarket (grocery store). It's a short walk to the bus depot. If you're driving, there is a Shell gas (petrol) station next door to the chalet. You can easily walk anywhere in Banff town from this location.

Rooms and Bathrooms

This hostel, a former four-star hotel, has recently been extensively renovated. There are seven mixed dorm rooms that each hold about six to eight people. Each dorm room has a gas fireplace, cable TV, jacuzzi soaker tub (yes, in a coed dorm room! We have never seen that before but it was immediately used by our dorm mates!), and shared bathroom in each dorm room. The dorm rooms, which are cleaned daily, are some of the cleanest rooms and bathrooms we have encountered.

The bathrooms also have a shower and hairdryers. The beds are comfortable, bedding is provided, and the dorm rooms are secured by locks. The only downsides are at the time of this review, there are no individual lockers in each dorm room. However, there are lockers in the parking lot area for skis and snowboards, as they are not allowed in the hostel rooms. Also, there are no chairs or desks in the dorm rooms, you can find these in the common area.

The private rooms are extremely nice and resemble a typical expensive Banff hotel room that accommodate one to four people each. One room is available with a king-size bed. The other private rooms generally have two double beds. They have an ensuite bath, coffeemaker, cable TV, gas fireplace, soap and shampoo, and towels. All private rooms reviewed were very clean. The private rooms are also a great choice for a group of travelers desiring their own room, a same-sex room, or a family room. One note for families or light sleepers might be to reserve a private room away from the pub as it's a happenin' place most nights.

Common Spaces

The chalet offers free Wi-Fi throughout the building, as well as a common TV lounge area along with four pay internet computers. There were no issues with the Wi-Fi or pay computers during our stay. The kitchen is well equipped, clean, bright, and has a small seating area with large windows and gas fireplace overlooking Banff Avenue. The small seating area is also a nice common area in which to make a new friend. The lobby is bright and welcoming.

The Chalet also boasts a pub which advertises the cheapest drinks in Banff (not verified, but believable), as well as dinner deals and theme nights. A free pancake breakfast is provided, but you basically have to make it yourself, as only the mix is provided along with the coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. If you prefer Starbucks, it three blocks away. The staff are exceptionally helpful and friendly, as are the majority of the guests during this visit. Most guests seemed to be in their twenties during our stay -- many are international travelers. Our dorm mates were part of a popular tour company that frequents this chalet.

Summary

Aside from a few minor maintenance issues, the lack of downsides and many upsides pretty much sums it up. This is a great place to stay while you visit Banff -- it's friendly, clean, has a superb location, friendly staff, and who can argue with a fireplace and jacuzzi in a coed dorm room? A good time was had by all. This place is highly recommended!

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
July 2010

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Location/Contact
How is Samesun Backpackers Banff rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
87%
85%
91%
92%
89%
86%
Hostels.com  
84%
84%
86%
90%
88%
80%
HostelBookers  
90%
88%
91%
96%
92%
92%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
87%
86%
89%
93%
90%
86%
Samesun Backpackers Banff Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   Awful. We booked into this hostel after completing a bike trip from Jasper to Banff, we unfortunately did not look into reviews of the place before we booked. It was disgustingly dirty -- the rooms have carpet in them, and our room did not appear to have been vacuumed in a very long time -- on top of the extra carpet of hair and lint all over it, there were TOENAIL CLIPPINGS and chips all over the floor. Moreover, the shower in our room did not drain, so while showering, your feet were under the backed up, slimy, dirty water. The kitchen only had a hot plate for cooking on, definitely not large enough for more than one group to cook on at one time -- probably exactly what they are going for, as it would encourage more business in their sh*tty little pub. Both myself and my trip partner have spent significant time traveling and have stayed in numerous hostels in both Canada and overseas. Neither of us have seen such a dump of an establishment before -- AND it was over $40 per person. It would be worth the time finding a free shed to sleep in rather than paying to stay in this dump.  , age 28, Canada ()
4   Nice little hostel I have stayed at that hostel a couple of times, i am actually here for 2 weeks so i believe i like it so far. Common room are a bit small but its make it actually easier to connect with the other traveler. Room looks like hotel room, some mattress have done their times and i think they should get some new one though. I heard the free breakfast was awesome, i could never test it as i am far from being an early bird ... always go out of my room after 10am ... the bar downstairs has good vibes, nice parties, cheap drink. The 6$ dinner is pretty awesome for the price. Staff is friendly. I think they should have one room for senior only, i had some old creeps in my room that were really sketchy and gross, the girls in my room were kinda scared.  , Canada ()

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