Value Score Great Value!
Good For Families
Banff Mountain Y best for young folk
For a hostel, it's nice looking, has a big lounge to relax in, has decent kitchen facilities, and a café. The rooms are basic. You can get rooms for couples with a washroom in it.
I have stayed in the Y twice. I probably won't stay again. There are so many young people and they make lots of noise. My first stay, we were at the front of the building near the entrance and there was a commotion in the middle of the night outside. You can hear when anyone closes a door in the hallway. On my second visit, we were at the back with a view of the dumpster. We could hear some young people talking next door as they left their door open and had to ask them to close it. Again with the door noise. Then we had our lights go on at 6 a.m. (we weren't planning on being up yet). It seems that you can adjust the light from the outside of the room - isn't that special? Anyways, I recommend it for the young who don't need sleep as it is inexpensive compared to some places in Banff, especially if you share and split the room. For older folks, try a bed and breakfast and you'll be glad you did.
Unique Quality: Near the river. Can walk to downtown. Phil's restaurant across the street. Near the big ritzy hotel in Banff - do see it. Not far from gondolas and cave and basin.
Directions: Near downtown/river.
Hostel/Hotel near the town center
This is a hostel/hotel just across the river from downtown. Everything seemed okay here, except that it is currently undergowing extensive renovations (as of Sept. 2007), so things aren't very pretty and at times could be noisy. Otherwise, it's clean and the price is right.
This place was a bit of a dump, it was an ex hospital. Stayed there one night, in a room full of smelly old men. The fire alarms went off thruout the nite. Surely there are better places to stay in Banff.
The only good thing was that it was central!
Y in the mountains
Formerly a hospital, this Y offers dormitory beds or private rooms for the budget traveler. Clean and spcaious, and in a unique location - the other side of the river between town centre and Banff's major attractions. Very limited parking available though, and service at the front desk could use extra staff and some overall improvement.
Unique Quality: Excellent location. Just a short walk across the bridge from town centre, but being across the river makes it quite tranquil after all the tour buses leave Sulphur Mountain. Quick access to the river, easy waking distance to Bow Falls.
Directions: Head down Banff Ave towards Banff Springs Hotel/Bow Falls/Sulphur Mountain. Once you cross the river, turn left, and it's the building immediately on your left.
Banff Y Mountain Loadge
This hostel is clean and has very friendly staff. It has a restaurant in the lobby and a wonderful location. It's located at the town centre, walking distance to everything. The rates are the lowest in Banff. It has wonderful scenery in the back where deer and other animals cool off in the lake... This is a good place to stay for budget travellers.
Budgeting in Banff
This is a YWCA hotel. You can chose from shared bathroom or private and a few room combos. It's conveniently located just across the bridge from the main street in Banff.
I found it very quiet and the staff were nice.
If your looking for luxury, don't stay here. It's clean, but sparse. My thought was "I'm in Banff and the sun is shining....If I'm spending lots of time in my hotel room, I'm doing something wrong." So, if you're looking for a convenient, cheap place to stay. This would work for you.
Definitely book in advance, they get lots of visitors in during the summer (and ski season too).
I booked through the Web site and received a response/confirmation within 3 days. If you need it faster, you could call.
Unique Quality: Great location, just across the bridge from downtown restaurants, shops etc. Backs onto the Bow Falls trail so you can walk along the trail to the falls easily.
Directions: Through the main street, across the bridge, turn left in front of Canada House and it's the first building on the left.
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