Hooray Vancouver hostels! Prepare to be verbosed.
I’ve stayed in 3 there, and there is only one I’ve stayed in more than once — and that is the Samesun.
Why I like it:
1) Full of Hostel Quirkiness (e.g. the doors are all painted as different flags, genders are separated by room [usually] and not by floor, the door codes are often creative)
2) Nice central location (yes it’s near a jillion sex shops and so is the HI across the street [Central], but it’s quite fine — I’ve never felt unsafe)
3) Crappy free breakfast, in my opinion (it’s all-you-can-eat pancakes and I’m vegan; I’m biased), but! the kitchen is more than adequate for self-catering. (I am thrifty as hell; kitchens help enormously.)
4) Seems more likely to have Travellers Who Know What They’re Doing. This is, of course, entirely subjective.
5) Nice little bar downstairs (HI Central does too, but it’s … different).
Assorted other notes on the other hostels I’ve stayed in:
a) HI Downtown is not downtown, not really; it’s walkable but annoyingly far away if you’re coming back late and what’s more you’re liable to be In Trouble anyway (talking whatsoever, even outside, was apparently “too loud” after around midnight — and no, we weren’t drunk or noisy). On the other hand, I remember loving their breakfasts (continental-style but great variety), and they had a kitchen to end all kitchens, as well as some great daytime staff (who introduced me to some places I visit nearly every time I’m there, and took the time to mark them on a map). It seems a more family/Grown-Up-oriented place. The party is not here, but you’ll sleep well.
b) HI Central faces the Samesun. They both have a great location, nice bars downstairs, sunny paint jobs inside, yadda yadda. For me, the big thing doing this place in was the fact that the kitchen consists of a sink and a couple microwaves (more or less); your mileage may vary. (They have marvelous one-person bathrooms, though. Heaven, as far as hostel bathrooms go.) Whether or not you stay here, check out their weekly events (shared with Downtown?) — they’ve got something going on pretty much every weekday, if memory serves me right.
c) Thirdly, I’ve never stayed in HI’s Jericho Beach hostel (though it’s always intrigued me), because it’s only open during the summer, but if you want to be real close to the beach, voilà.
I was just there for a week … ended-up spending alot of time at Jericho Beach … I don’t know the name of the place, but there’s a youth hostel right around there … it used to be an old military barracks building, or something like that … it’s a 30 jaunt to Jericho Beach, where you’ll see gorgeous sunsets over the bay, and over Vancouver Island to the west …
Google “hostels” in Vancouver, and look for the place the matches the above description — unless, you might want to be downtown — pretty grungy compared to Jericho Beach
- which is GORGEOUS)
Good luck :
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