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HI - Vancouver Downtown Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
One of three great Hosteling International Vancouver hostels, HI - Vancouver Downtown Hostel is a friendly and welcoming place for guests both young and old. The hostel organizes clubbing nights as well as hockey nights when the Vancouver Canucks are playing, although it caters to a wider audience and isn’t for serious partiers. It's not uncommon to find guests staying here who are looking for jobs and hoping to settle in Vancouver long-term.

The Location

Located close to a Skytrain station with links to a ferry terminal and international airport, this hostel is nestled in a residential neighbourhood one block over from the fashionable Yaletown district. The hostel is close to restaurants and clubs, but the street is quiet and safe.

Rooms and Bathrooms

All the rooms are accessed by way of electronic keycards, meaning that only those guests staying in a particular room have access to it. Upon check-in, each guest is assigned a bed number, and must stay in the bed to which they have been assigned. The hostel provides lockers that are numbered according to bed number, but guests must bring their own lock. The rooms are fairly small, and when there are multiple guests with large suitcases, it can get a bit cramped. The great thing about the bedrooms is that they have very heavy window coverings, and once these are closed, the rooms are pitch dark, which means guests are likely to get a good night’s sleep. There is one female and one male bathroom on each floor, with three shower and three toilet cubicles. The bathrooms can get a bit chilly at times, so it encourages guests to keep their showers short! Both the bathrooms and bedrooms are kept extremely clean.

Common Spaces

The hostel provides a basic breakfast that is included in the room price, and it is served in the dining room every morning. It includes breads, buns, and oatmeal, as well as coffee, tea, and juice. The dining room also has a television that broadcasts the news in the morning. There is also a large, industrial-style kitchen that guests can use, and it’s possible to have access to private boxes in which to store food. There is also a rooftop patio that guests can use during good weather. Although Wi-Fi is free, the hostel also provides a room with computers that guests can use for a small fee.

Summary

All in all, this hostel is a great choice for almost anyone looking for a clean place to stay in downtown Vancouver. Serious partiers might want to look elsewhere, but generally speaking, this hostel will cater to almost anyone.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
October 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is HI - Vancouver Downtown Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
85%
82%
89%
93%
79%
88%
Hostels.com  
85%
84%
88%
90%
81%
85%
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
85%
83%
89%
92%
80%
87%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
4   Safe location Excellent staff. Large hostel. lots to do. Great help. Good sized lockers. Small rooms (dorm). Bunk bed very squeaky and not that comfy. Warm rooms but there is a fan, and sink and mirror in the rooms. Quite pleased actually.  , age 35, canada ()
4   Great base in Vancouver I have stayed here a couple of times and I find that it is a really good, quiet place to base yourself in Vancouver. It is located in a residential street so it is quieter than other Vancouver Hostels, the beds are really comfy and the Kitchen is big. You also get a really yummy breakfast. It is also within walking distance to many attractions. Only annoying thing is they need to fix the sinks in the rooms and some of the doors. Also I would recommend going on one of Erik's tours that go twice a week during the warmer months.  , Australia ()
1   Absolutely dreadful, no atmosphere, horrible staff, dead Let's be clear, this is not a youth hostel -- it is more like a university dormitory watch over by a bunch of arrogant jailkeepers. I have never been to such a DEAD place in my life. In every other youth hostel I've been to, the staff have been fun, friendly, warm and welcoming. Here, every staff member is devoid of personality, dull as hell and cold as ice. These stiffs couldn't create an atmosphere if your life depended on it. It is so cold, so boring, no life, no activities, no music, no banter, just AWFUL. Staff are rude, mocking, and have no idea how to create a youth hostel atmosphere. Next problem. For some insane reason, they have installed very heavy metal doors on the dorms which slam shut under their own weight at all hours of the day or night. The 3 people I shared a dorm with said they had not got more than 3 hours sleep in the 2 weeks they had been there. The blankets are not clean, and I heard another guest mention she had been bitten during the night. Bedbugs would just top it off. Plus it's expensive -- about $40 a night in a cramped dorm where sleeping is impossible and there is absolutely no youth-hostel vibe going in. The staff here should travel round to some real youth hostels with cool people to see how it should be done. If you ask them anything, they talk to you as though you were a naughty kid or something, when they themselves are doing the bare minimum to herd people in and out, with no glimmer of a smile on their faces. DO NOT STAY HERE if you want to have an enjoyable and pleasant experience.  , Italian ()
4   Great location This is my first time staying at a hostel and the experience is interesting. This hostel is located right in the Vancouver downtown, very convenience. The hostel is quiet and the staffs are friendly and helpful. The room is key lock 24/7 which is good, the bad thing is that you have to carry it all the time and the public bathroom is down the hall. So if you have to go in the middle of the night and you forget your card key. Good luck waking up your roommates. The room is dorm style and small with 4 bunk beds, lockers and sink are also in the room. Don't expect any privacy! The hostel offers free breakfast and Wi-fi which is rare. Good luck trying to "connect" with any backpackers. The rate is comparable to most hotels. If you need privacy and can afford a hotel, better stay at hotels, but if you are on a very tight budget and need a place to crash for a day or two This hostel maybe for you.  , USA ()
3   Pretty average experience. If you want a hostel that's relatively clean and close to some good eats, I'd recommend this one. You can see quite a bit within walking distance and it's in a pretty quiet area off the main streets. However, for nightlife, the central hostel would be a better choice. My only complaints were that the elevators were constantly broken (although there are only four floors so the hike up isn't too bad) and the common areas aren't very welcoming and not designed to help stimulate conversations with fellow travelers.  , Canada ()
2   BedBugs! After staying for one week at another hostel in Vancouver without any problems, I decided to try out HI-Vancouver Downtown. During the first night I was bitten all over the left side of my body by bedbugs. They changed me to another room the second night and I was bitten again by bedbugs! I could even see them crawling all over my pillow! Although the hostel itself is decent, I am very disappointed by the way the staff treated me when I explained the situation to them and that they even had the audacity to ask me to pay for the two nights I was there! Thanks for nothing HI. Will never recommend this hostel to anyone I know -- utterly disgusted.  ()
3   Nice place for hikers but lacks a social atmosphere. I stayed at this hostel for one week although it felt like much longer. When the weather is nice in Vancouver outdoor activities will keep you occupied, but when it starts to rain (and it will) the search for alternative activities begins. The downtown hostel's eating and lounging areas are inadequate to facilitate mingling with other guests and entertaining yourself on rainy days. The Downtown Hostel is on an amazing street where you feel safe and are right next to the beach and great restaurants. In summary, I have to say that considering its facilities (lack of areas to socialize and average rooms) the Downtown hostel is over priced, but if you have a full itinerary or are traveling with a group it gets the job done and gives you a great base location.  , USA ()
5   Great hostel centrally located in the middle of downtown Vancouver! This hostel is a really big hostel. We stayed in a private room with a shared bathroom. The room was very big and bright. I also thought that the price we payed (180 CAD for three nights) was really good. The hostel is pretty modern -- everything opens with keycards for example. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the common area and there are also four other computers to use. But you have to buy internet time for these computers. 4 CAD for an hour is okay though. They also have free parking but unfortunately there are only ten parking spaces. But six of them are under the east building and there cars are locked behind a gate there which is very nice I think. The hostel lies really close to Stanley Park, Granville Island, and the rest of downtown Vancouver. It is also a nice neighborhood. They have kitchen which seems to be getting a little small during "rush hour." Same thing goes for the dining room, but in summer time you can also eat outside at the picnic tables. The staff were really friendly and helpful. You feel very welcome in this hostel.  , Germany ()

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