The Urban Retreat Hostel - Big White, Big White Mountain Village

6 Reviews
How to book...

your hostels in Big White Mountain Village


Do you want to book your hostel online?

Check out

How is The Urban Retreat Hostel - Big White rated on booking websites?

The Urban Retreat Hostel - Big White Reviews

Would stay again, great location.

If you're going to ski seriously then I'd recommend a private room or you're going to be regularly woken up by drunk kook snowboarders in the wee hours. Location is great and facilities adequate for the price tag. Regular loud foul language is a feature in the common areas from both staff and guests so if you're precious or traveling with kids you might want to go elsewhere. All in all good but falls short of great by a fair stretch.

Age 39 | Australia

Would stay again

Stayed in a 10 share. Really laid-back. Good atmosphere, good location, good people. Probably could be cleaner, and the showers were awkward.

Age 19 | Australia

The Urban Retreat Hostel - Big White is perfect for anyone looking to stay in the heart of the Big White Mountain Village on a budget during the winter season.

The Location

The hostel is located just a couple of minutes' walk from the main Big White Village, where you can find restaurants, bars, and shops. The accommodation is also just a few minutes walk away from access to the chairlifts and you can ski back to the hostel. There are a couple of overnight parking spots in front of the hostel and a minutes walk up from the hostel -- these will cost you, but the price is apparently the same throughout the whole resort, according to the hostel (according to Big White, parking is free). There is a shuttle that runs daily from Kelowna Airport right to the door of the hostel and there is shuttle from Kelowna that leaves only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and on holidays.

Rooms and Bathrooms

You have the option of staying in dorm or private rooms -- the four- to eight-bed dorm rooms are divided into girls only, mixed, weekly-stay, and season-long stay. All of the dorms come with lockers in the room to store your belongings and boot trays to place those snowy boots. The dorm rooms are brightly painted and some have also been painted by local artists; all the windows also have different flags for curtains, which add a great international feel but dont really function well. The private rooms come with a bunk that has a double on the bottom and single bed on top and has a small kitchenette, but the room only has one power point, which is not near the kitchenette. The rooms also have no way to control the heat so it was freezing during our stay as the heater seems to be off in the room in the middle of winter.

There are single-sex bathrooms with a few showers and toilets on each floor. The showers do not really have anywhere to change or hang your clothes, though, and one of the toilets doesnt lock. As the hostel is set up on a long, straight corridor and toilets are at opposite ends, it feels like a long walk to the other end.

Common Spaces

The hostel gives you access to a big kitchen with several different cooking stations as well as a large TV room that can fit thirty people. There is a free computer station (it was out of action during our stay) and free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel. There is a ski locker to store your skis and snowboards as well as a waxing station. A coin-operated laundry is also provided. The hostel does have some long-term stayers, so it can get a little noisy and rowdy at night, but the decorating is well thought out.


This is the only hostel on the mountain, so if you are on a budget, this is the place to be -- you couldnt find a more central location at such a great price.

Exterior Kitchenette Bathroom Private Corridor

Not that great -- but where else are you going to go?

The hostel itself resembles a concrete barracks inside, the hot tub is kinda skanky, and the common room is more like the staffs own party zone but you're not here for the atmosphere. You're here for the snowboarding, and for this the location can't be beat. The staff are indifferent at best; they act like this place is their own private clubhouse and the guests are a nuisance to be put up with. Expect a lot of exasperated sighs, groans, and glares (unless you're Australian). I've stayed here a few times over various name and/or management changes, and I'll probably stay here again. Each time it gets a little worse, but where else are you going to go? A good place to hit the slopes from, but that's about it.


The SameSun Ski Lodge - Big White is a unique hostel as it has great ski-in/ski-out access to the extensive Big White Ski Resort yet still offers all the affordability and facilities you'd expect to find in a typical backpackers' hostel. Operating during the ski season (November to April), the location is great at only two minutes' walk from the heart of the on-mountain village centre and the resort's many retail shops, ski rentals, supermarket, liquor store, and popular night spots Snowshoe Sam's and Raakels.

Eight-bed, four-bed, private, kitchenette, and deluxe rooms are available and the loungy TV and entertainment area is a good social point to watch ice hockey and meet your new ride buddies for next morning's first powder runs. The kitchen and bathrooms are clean, thanks to staff who stay free in exchange for part-time housekeeping. The communal hot tub is a definite bonus!

The free, cook-your-own Canadian pancake breakfast every morning is very much appreciated for the first few days until you eventually crave something a bit more substantial. Internet facilities appear on the pricey side until compared with other on-mountain options. There are laundry facilities, lockers in the dorms (bring your own lock!), and basic linen/towels available with deposit.

The Big White SameSun offers a variety of services to backpackers and the considerable number of mountain staff who stay permanently or until they find accommodation. Daily shuttle services are available from the Kelowna SameSun Backpacker Lodge and affordable group activities are run weekly (think pumpkin carving for Halloween, bonfires, discounted sports tickets). In the end, if you are here to ride, the hostel is basic but great for a social and amazingly cheap on-mountain stay.

Kaarina Lindell

I stayed in this hostel last March. At the time, they were combining the two hostels into one. I shared a dorm room with my friend. The location can't be beat! It's a ski in/ski out hostel, literally. The room we stayed in had a TV and bunk beds. It was clean and reasonably comfortable. During our visit, one of the two computers were not working. The hot tub was non-existant (I believe it was still at the other hostel.) The pancake breakfast was also not an option, unless we hiked back up to the old hostel that was being torn down. We made the mistake of doing that the first day, only to find a box of pancake mix on the counter. No syrup or any other food or beverage product anywhere in the kitchen! We got smart after that and stocked up on our own food supplies, which we were able to keep in our room, which featured a mini-kitchen. All in all, not bad. I'm going to assume that things have improved since our stay, as both hostels are now one. The staff was friendly and helpful, which I find to be almost as important as cleanliness and a good mattress!


The rooms are newly rennovated: hardwood floors, new bunks, mini fridges. It almost felt like home. Very large building. And you can actually ski right in!!


The Urban Retreat Hostel - Big White Reviews from the Web

Liked: Ski in ski out, atmosphere was good, big kitchen Didn't like: Nothing


Liked: Location and price Didn't like: Poor cleanliness but that may have been due to roommates


Liked: Not much Didn't like: The staff were rude, the Internet never worked, the bedding is gross, it is notski-in ski-out as advertised and partying went till very late.


Liked: Nice place, good to meet new people and location is perfect! Didn't like: Nothing



The Urban Retreat Hostel at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna is the hills only hostel with over a hundred beds for rent. 4 person to 8 person dorms, private rooms and monthly rentals. A massive kitchen, TV Room, hot tub, free internet, wax station, ski lockup, and a front desk that's more of a store for your snaking needs. Best part is the hostel is a two minute walk to the Telus Snowboard Park and you can ride up to the front door.

Location and Contact


• Ski In/Ski Out location in the village at Big White Mountain Resort
• 60km South East of Kelowna, located in the Okanagan Valley
• From Kelowna just follow Highway 33 for 32 km, then turn left onto Big White Road or take the SameSun shuttle from Kelowna.



Address: 7470 Porcupine Road, Big White Mountain Village, British Columbia, Canada

The Urban Retreat Hostel - Big White is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld


Website The Urban Retreat Hostel - Big White Big White Mountain Village
Phone Number: +1 (250) 765-7920
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Family-Friendly Hostel



Luggage Storage

Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Lockers in Lobby




BBQ Grill

Cable TV

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Entirely Non-Smoking

Hot Showers

Hot tub/Jacuzzi



Lounge Area


Checkout: 11:00 (11 AM)

Lockout: Yes

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 2 nights

Open Dates: October 1st to May 15th

Reception Hours: 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM

Size: Large (60-100 beds)


Rate The Urban Retreat Hostel - Big White

Have you stayed at this accommodation? Help your Hostelz Community by leaving a detailed review.

Create your free account to keep track of your hostel portfolio.

Unlock your Hostel Account to Freedom!

Unlock your Hostel Account to Freedom!

Sign up with and get access to exclusive hostel content and much more.

Do you already have an account? Login
Home Wishlists Login