Once again, another great Canadian hostel has agreed to give the readers of iBackpackCanada.com a bit of a tour and answer a few questions about the backpacking life in Edmonton, Alberta. This city has been growing in popularity as a tourist destination, and for good reason. There’s plenty to see, and even more to do. So we’ve got Greg Waskul, the manager of HI-Edmonton, to tell us about this hostel.
Q: How long have you been operating HI-Edmonton?
I have been managing HI-Edmonton for just over 13 months, but before that I was the assistant manager here for about two and a half years.
Q: Tell us about HI-Edmonton
HI-Edmonton was an old convent dating back to 1918. It was converted into a hostel once Hostelling International bought it in 1998.
We have 8-bed dorms, 2-bed dorms, private rooms, one ensuite room and one family room. We have a fully equiped self-serve kitchen with a dining room, a large common room, a TV room, a games room, a library, two laundry rooms, a meeting room, a secure storage room, and a backyard with a BBQ. We have free parking and day storage for luggage, too.
Q: Tell us about the area of town your HI-Edmonton resides in.
HI-Edmonton is in the city’s Old Strathcona neighbourhood – the most popular area for shops, restaurants, clubs, live music, live theatre, indie & foreign movie theatres, live comedy, and more. The city’s beautiful river valley is only a few blocks away with lots of hiking and biking trails to explore (we have bike rentals and trail maps at the hostel). Downtown is nice walk or a short bus ride just across the river. The University of Alberta is nearby and the West Edmonton Mall can be accessed by transit one block away.
Q: Does your HI-Edmonton offer any activities or help book tours for it’s guests?
HI-Edmonton has some hostel activities going on mainly during the spring until fall and our friendly front desk staff will happily book your tours or help you plan other ways to explore.
Q: What is your favourite activity / tour that you guys offer, and why?
The most popular hostel activites over the past few years have been our weekly BBQ in our backyard and our bike rentals. The BBQs bring people together outside to relax and chat in the sunshine and the bikes are a great way to see Edmonton.
Q: How much does it cost for for a dorm room and private room?
Our dorm prices start at $26.00; and our private rooms start at $61.00.
Q: Are there any special promotions you’re currently running or have run in the past?
Our Summer in the City package kicks off on June 1 until September 30. It includes: four nights in a dorm; one West Edmonton Mall choice pass, which gets you into the waterpark or Galaxyland amusement park or two of the smaller mall attractions; two bus tickets to get you to the mall and back; and a full-day bike rental. Packages start at $138.50 (8-bed dorm) and $150.75 (2-bed dorm), tax included.
The rest of the year we have a seven nights for the price of six deal; a four-night deal, where your 4th consecutive night is 50% off, and a two-week Job Seekers package, which comes with free internet time, resume printing and faxing and a bunch of helpful local information.
10647-81 Ave, Edmonton Alberta
Thanks Greg for taking the time to answer some questions, and thanks again to HI-Canada for bringing some valuable information to iBackpackCanada.com. Edmonton has got bunch to offer to backpackers, hikers, campers, and travelers. If you’re looking for a well priced bed and some great people, be sure to stop by HI’s Edmonton location.