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YWCA Banff Hotel

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Hostelz.com's Review
Banff Y Mountain Lodge is a YWCA property perfect for all ages located on the beautiful Bow River and the perfect base for the great range of Outdoor activities available in the area all year round.

The Location

The Y is located at 102 Spray Avenue, which is just across the bridge over the Bow River from Banff Avenue, where you will find all the shops, restaurants, and nightlife. There is a bus stop right outside the hostel if you need to get to somewhere in Banff quicker than walking -- there are two different routes, one going to Tunnel Mountain and the other to Sulpher Mountain. If you are arriving by Greyhound, the bus station is about a twenty-minute walk from the hostel. The buses to the ski resorts also are only a few minutes' walk away. If you have your own car, then there is also free on-site parking, you just need to get a parking permit from the front desk.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There is a range of different rooms available to suit every budget; dorm rooms can hold either six or eight to ten people, or if you want a bit more privacy, reserve a standard, double, or family-sized rooms that come with or without bathrooms. Dorm rooms are a little squishy and do not have any lockers, so it is hard to store your valuables. There is a separate toilet and shower though. The dorms are also quite cold and don’t seem to have any heating, so many guests have to get extra blankets to be able to sleep. Also in at least one of the eight-bed dorms, there is a very noisy air conditioning box that makes a lot of noises continuously -- if you can’t sleep through noise, these rooms would be very difficult to sleep in.

The private rooms are quite spacious and a lot quieter, although the basic ones do have linoleum flooring, which is not that comfortable or welcoming. Some rooms have their own bathrooms -- otherwise, there are a couple of bathrooms on each floor with a shower and toilet. Some of these bathrooms are quite big, whereas the rest are quite compact and not all of them have hooks or they are over the toilet, so it can be difficult to hang up your stuff.

Common Spaces

The hostel offers a guest kitchen, TV room, and a great room for guests. The kitchen is quite large, although it could have been better designed. There also seems to be a lack of tables for the number of guests, but there are four large refrigerators that provide plenty of room to store your perishable food but there's nowhere to store the rest of your food. The TV room has cable TV as well as a selection of books, so you can relax in here or you can go up to the great room for a little bit more luxury. The hostel also has its own café open throughout the day to get breakfast, lunch, or dinner, as well as a small selection of groceries. The hostel also offers pay computers as well as very expensive Wi-Fi, although they have plans to change to a better provider so they can offer free Wi-Fi in the future. It’s a semi-social hostel but it also very family friendly, so don’t expect any partying. As it is YWCA-owned, they also offer discounted accommodation to underprivileged people, so you might see them wandering around the place.


Overall this hostel is more like a lodge with its relaxed atmosphere; it has one of the most convenient locations in Banff at a budget-friendly price.

by keppers
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
May 2012

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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YWCA Banff Hotel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Ok Breakfast and location are good, staff very helpful and friendly. Some community space for sitting, chatting and playing cards is missing though (just put some tables in the library) and the rooms are a bit untidy as some people seem to stay for weeks and put their stuff all around their beds on the floor so effective cleaning is impossible. Kitchen is too small when there is a group of 20 students there doing their own cooking every night, no space for others.  , age 6, Germany ()
4  I was in a private room with private bathroom. It was very clean, welcoming, like the whole hostel. Staff was nice and it is well located (a bit far from the coach station but not for downtown or bow falls). Good breakfasts (have to pay) in the main floor.  ()
4  was here a few days over new yr 2005/06 and was a good few days. rooms were great, place was clean, good tv room, plenty of good people around, staff were good. kitchen a bit small would be my only complaint - as i like to cook my own food. everything pretty close (supermarket, shops, bushwalks etc) unlike the HI. good hostel  ()
5  I stayed at this hostel in year 2001 December. They were four of us staying in a room with two double beds. The room condition was very good and clean, which is about the same standard as typical four-star hotel. The shared bathroom was very clean too. I had an excellent view from our room's windows. Staff were friendly. Breakfast was included too. Wow, I will definitely stay here again if I return to Banff one day.  ()

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