Ocean Island Backpackers is Victoria's premier hostel. Located right in the center of historic downtown Victoria, its convenience ranks well with many hotels in much higher price categories. The colorful hostel has a fun alternative vibe and staff are helpful and friendly. Housed in a building from the early 1900s, it has been spruced up and is clean but do not expect full modernization. Baths in particular are old fashioned. Separate hot and cold water faucets were typical of the time and here at the hostel too. It is probably a great place to hang out and meet fellow travelers but with only two days in town, we were pretty busy and kept to ourselves when we rarely were in the hostel.
They have rooms of all shapes and sizes and their elaborate website is designed to help you get exactly what you want and need. It provides room dimensions and configurations for all of them along with helpful information on each room's location (ie, possible noise, baths, steps etc). Dorm spaces start at just under C$ 20 per night. Double rooms with private bath can be had for as little as C$ 53 in the off-season.
Unique Quality: We stayed at the hostel for two nights. The first night we had a mini-double room without window for C$ 47 which was very small and hot. Probably under normal conditions, it would not be so warm but it was unusually hot in town. The second night we had a mini double with window for C$ 51. The window did make the room feel a bit bigger but it didn't provide much heat relief until well into the night, about the same time the traffic noise subsided...until the buses got going in the morning. If you are the kind of person that likes to hang out in their room, these will feel claustrophobic. We were out all the time and only came back to the room to sleep so they were fine for us. With Canada's considerable PST and GST taxes, the bill came to C$ 131 for the two nights stay.
We would stay there again, especially in the off season when it is cooler.
Directions: Right in Victoria's historic downtown.
If there's any gay couples out there wondering if Ocean Island is going to be a comfortable place to stay without getting weird looks from the staff, I can say: Yes! We had no troubles, just fun!
Unique Quality: They've got a rainbow flag out front among the international flags (and the pirate flag) and they actually knew about interesting stuff happening around town.
Directions: Corner of Pandora and Blanshard
We were satisfied with this hostel. They have a variety of rooms. We got one of the smaller ones, but not the smallest (#2.5). The staff was friendly. Laundry facilities, food available, bar in the main area, tours could be booked at the front desk. I recommend ear plugs if you're on the first floor just in case, though it was pretty quiet when we were there (plus we had the fan going). The location was good too, we walked around a lot. We would stay here again.
Unique Quality: For those looking to work to travel, the hostel will let you stay for free if you do a bit of work. It's also a good place to stay longer-term (they offer monthly rates).
Directions: Near (in?) downtown
Our first impression wasn't good. They mixed up our reservation, so we had to wait for like fifteen minutes to get into a room. But the rest of our stay was so much fun I kind of forgot about it.
Unique Quality: My big favourites were the parking right next to the building, and they fixed my boyfriend's laptop which pretty much saved our lives (we're making a documentary about our trip for a film course) and except for the initial error our stay was great. I'd come back.
Directions: It's on Pandora, so if you walk towards the water you end up in Chinatown in about five minutes. It's close enough to everything that it's easy, but it's also right on the inbound highway into town, which was convenient for us.
The place is fun and pretty energetic in the summer, I was also here last winter and it was a bit quieter but still fun. Location is just far enough from the bars and stuff but still within quick walking distance.
Unique Quality: The bathrooms are nicer than I've learned to expect from hostels. There's lots of them too, each with their own bathtubs and showers. They also have a lot of small private rooms, and if you're a couple it's actually cheaper than dorm beds.
Directions: Pretty central. Closest grocery store is about five minutes' walk east on Pandora Ave, and if you walk five or ten minutes into downtown you can check out all the clubs and stuff. It's also super-close to Chinatown - like three blocks away!
The Ocean Island Backpackers Inn, is quite possibly, the most unique and welcoming hostel that I have ever stayed in. The rooms are affordable, snug and the whole building brims with character and vitality. Any questions that you may have are answered by the friendly, helpful front desk staff who seem to genuinely love what they do! This hostel provides everything that the budgeting backpacker will ever need, including the opportunity to work in exchange for stay. It also hosts a vibrant lounge, giving you the chance to meet and exchange stories with fellow travellers.
All-in-all, this is a great place and I will most definitely be returing some day!
Directions: On the corner of Pandora and Blanchard
Ocean Island is more than just a place to stay, it's an expeience of a lifetime. A great place to meet lots of good people from all over the world. The Inn has the very unique style which i thinks makes the stay so enjoyable. Im having a great time here and it will be a place that I will never forget. Anyone travelling through should check it out with great prices and excellent staff.
Directions: located ine the middle of victoria
I stayed 2 nights at the Ocean island backpackers and was very happy with my stay.
It's a very laid back place with a youngish feel to it.
Very good place to socialise with other backpackers from around the world.
Unique Quality: The hostel bar is great and attracts locals too.
There was a damn cute asian girl behind the reception desk too :O)
Directions: near chinatown.
I was looking for something inexpensive - just a bed to sleep in. When I saw photos of the single rooms at this hostel, I immediately booked it. The fact that the "room" could just basically hold a twin size mattress and not much else was intriguing for me. I enjoy unique accommodations and this was certainly one of them.
I've stayed here a couple times when in Victoria. What I like most is the price and the location. There are a variety of rooms to choose from and even private rooms that are relatively cheap! The photos on their website were taken when it was recently painted and since then, the rooms have aged a bit. Still, the place is decent enough for a short stay and has the usual hostel kitchen, laundry, lounge facilities. Most rooms have their own fridge and fan, and dorms have lockers that you can bring your own lock for. Bag storage is done in a secure way, which is great for afternoon departures.
Unique Quality: Ocean Island is especially close to Chinatown and within walking distance for most of downtown, close to bus stops to/from the ferry.
Directions: Corner of Pandora and Blanshard in the downtown area
Great staff, location, very clean, cheap, there's a work-for-stay program if you're strapped. The bedrooms are small, but if you're like me, you won't want to spend much time cooped in a room. There's free storage for customers, internet access, t.v. room, laundry. The prices here are fair. I like how this place is like Victoria central, you can really start from here and it's a good way to experience the city. Good full kitchen, a lounge with entertainment. Most of the guests seem really happy (with the exception of one very angry old man) There's always something to do here and it feels very welcoming. If you're backpacking in victoria, check this place out.
We stayed for 3 nights and this was the most fantastic experience of my existence. Period. Friendly staff, awesome guests, good vibes, stationed in an awesome part of downtown Victoria, near public transit, all at a reasonable price.
Unique Quality: Well, for starters there's a bar. Need I say more? Okay, well how about laundry, food, work-for-free-stay programs, internet, a safe environment, colorful personalities, a coffee and muffin for $2.50. That's a meal, travelers. Whoo-hooo!
Directions: Corner of Pandora and Blanchard. Bus stops at Pandora and Douglass. It's a one block walk from there.
463 Belleville Street, Victoria
906 McClure St., Victoria
680 Montreal Street, Victoria
1450 Douglas Street, (formerly Hotel Douglas), Victoria
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Address: 791 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 1N9, Canada