HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse Hostel, Nanaimo

575 Reviews
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HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse Hostel is listed at the following booking sites:

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HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse Hostel Reviews

Peaceful hostel

I loved staying at HI-Nanaimo -- the hostel is focused on making a peaceful impression and creating a relaxing atmosphere. Everything is simple, efficient. The outward appearance of the HI-Nanaimo is a bit deceiving, as it looks like nothing special, or even like a very rough structure, but the inside of it is much nicer and deserves praise. Music and sound from the bar can be heard in the Great Room, but not in the dorms.


HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse Hostel is a Hostelling International Hostel in the heart of Nanaimo with access to some great discounts at many places within walking distance of the hostel.

The Location

The hostel is located on the corner of Bastion and Commercial Streets in downtown Nanaimo, just one block away from the waterfront. Commercial Street is also one of the main shopping strips, so it is a great location if you like to shop, eat out, or go for a drink. But it can get noisy at night with the clubs around the area. If you arriving at the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal, you can just catch a bus; then it is a few minutes walk to the hostel. The train station is also close by. Parking is free and unlimited outside the hostel on weekends, but during the week it would be harder to find parking, as there is a two-hour limit on Commercial Street. Most of Nanaimos attractions are within the downtown area, which makes it easy to walk from the hostel and see what Nanaimo has to offer.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are various different room sizes, including four-bed dorm rooms as well as private rooms including singles and doubles, as well as family suites with one double bed and a bunk or two bunks (each sleeping four people). The rooms are really clean and have a homey feel to them; the beds are comfy and towels are included in the price. Each room has its own key as well as a key for the front door for use when the reception is shut. There are four individual bathrooms with a shower and toilet with plenty of hooks for hanging things and good hot water.

Common Spaces

The main common area is called the great room, which is open between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. -- this is a great common space with a full kitchen as well as dining tables and couches, and even a foosball table but no TV. There is also good Wi-Fi through the entire building as well as two computers to use if you dont have your own device. It is a family-friendly hostel, which means the clientele tend to be fairly quiet and laid-back -- quiet time starts at 10 p.m., so it wouldnt really suit party animals.


This is a well located Hostel with budget-friendly beds that is perfect if you want somewhere quiet to stay in Downtown Nanaimo with easy access to transport links from the Mainland and Vancouver Island.



It's a Guesthouse with hostel room rates!! We were pleasantly surprised with the cleanliness, amenities, the pillow top beds (hmmm), the showers, everything. It exceeded our expectations. My advice to travelers is go straight to the Guesthouse, you will have a great time.

A & B
New Zealand


Fab! We stayed at the PT in May '06. Kitchen, shower rooms, and dorm rooms lovely and clean. It's quiet, very friendly, and in a nice area. All staff were helpful. Book in advance though, they get booked up!


The Painted Turtle hostel is located at 121 Bastion Street, smack in the middle of downtown Nanaimo. If you are arriving by ferry through Departure Bay, you can hop on the local transit bus and it will bring you to the downtown area. If you are traveling by bus, then it's just a ten-minute walk to the hostel. The train station is an easy five minutes' walk from the hostel. The Painted Turtle is in a great location just one block away from the ocean! Many of the sights and attractions are within walking distance from the hostel.

The Painted Turtle offers clean, spacious rooms. Both dorm rooms and suites are available. The suites offer private accommodation that is perfect for families or couples. Clean linen and fluffy towels are provided. Numerous shared three-piece bathrooms are located on each floor. Coin-operated laundry is available on site. Two computer terminals provide free access to surf the web or you can bring your laptop to take advantage of the free wireless internet.

The great room offers a large, modern kitchen and a lounge area with ample reading material. The room is bright and smartly decorated. There is hardwood flooring, modern decor, and a comfy couch and chairs.There is also a game area with various board games and table football. The great room is a lovely place to sit and read a book, socialise with other guests, or sit by the calming fireplace. The kitchen has ample work surface space, new appliances and facilities, and a table that seats ten.

The Painted Turtle opened in 2004 and is kept exceptionally clean, tidy, and just like new! Quiet hours are from 9 p.m., so don't expect a party hostel, but it does offer a peaceful, secure place. If you are seeking an affordable, clean, spacious accommodation right in the middle of downtown Nanaimo, then look no further than the Painted Turtle.

Jeannita Bourgeois

Really classy hostel which was nicely decorated. Bathrooms clean with great showers. Common room could definitely use some more seating, and no one in my group could access our e-mail on their super slow computers. But the rooms were comfortable and the staff were friendly. Parking is a bit of an issue if you have a car (just downtown street parking or pay-parkade). For most backpackers, though, its a great hostel and I would recommend it!

Jessica P.

Wow! I am pretty hard to please when it comes to affordable accommodations, but this "hostel" blew me away. We arrived thinking that we would spend three nights and then head up to Tofino and then continue around the island. Instead, completely impressed with both the Painted Turtle and Nanaimo, we came back from Tofino early and spent another three nights with Bruce and Angie. The kitchen is so clean, so user-friendly, so wonderful! Truly, my husband and I were sad to leave, but will be back as soon as we can.

Casey and Dave

Smartly decorated, great location, fully equipped kitchen, and lovely hot showers. It's run by Bruce and Ang, who are very helpful and friendly. I would stay here again! A wonderful atmosphere.


More reviews...


Gateway to internationally acclaimed Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is the "Harbour City" and features a fabulous ocean-side location, heritage architecture, boutique shops, cafes & restaurants, galleries, and easy access to transportation and commercial services.

Located in the heart of Nanaimo's Downtown, the Painted Turtle Guesthouse is in a charming heritage building and offers freshly renovated rooms, open-style living areas, and great on-site amenities. You'll experience a splash of funky Canadian style and fair dinkum Australian hospitality!

From here you can venture to other parts of Vancouver Island, with its exceptional natural beauty, outstanding attractions, and endless recreational and adventure pursuits.

Video of HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse Hostel

Here is a video of HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse Hostel. The video gives you a better understanding of what you can expect.

Location and Contact




Address: 121 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse Hostel is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Booking.com Not listed at HostelsClub


Website HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse Hostel Nanaimo www.paintedturtle.ca
Phone Number: +1 (250) 753-4432, Toll Free: +1 (866) 309-4432
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

+50 Traveller

Digital Nomads

Family-Friendly Hostel

Solo Traveller


Lockers in Rooms

Luggage Storage

Safe Deposit Box


Wi-Fi in Rooms

Bike Rental ($27/24hours)

Breakfast ($1.50+)

City Tours ($55)

Parking ($6)

Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons ($3-$12)

24 Hour Security


Book Collection/Exchange

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Currency Exchange

Entirely Non-Smoking



Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Power Point/Sockets in Rooms

Airport Pickup

Wheelchair Accessible


Service Animals

Genders: Males & Females

Max. Age: All Ages

Min. Age with Parent (dorms): 12

Min. Age with Parent (private room): All Ages

Min. Age without Parent: 17

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: Only for private bookings.

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 7.00am - 10.00pm

Size: Medium (30-60 beds)


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