Pop culture hasn’t been kind to budget accommodation. Movies featuring grimey, dingy, cockroach infested rooms have been prevalent for years. While that may be the case in some impoverished nations, or just poorly managed facilities, my experience in Canadian hostels hasn’t seen much of that. Sure, you’ll get an un-comfy bed every once in a while; maybe a messy kitchen, but for the most part, what you get is typically “good enough”. It’s easy to get used to “good enough”, which makes it all the more memorable when you come across luxury where you weren’t expecting it. I was fortunate enough to have that moment in Banff at the Banff Alpine Centre, operated by HI Hostels.
Friendly Staff with smiles to boot!
Entering the HI – Banff Alpine Centre with the rest of my Moose Network group; everyone was aching for a shower and a stretch. It had been a long few days and any bed would have done. The friendly staff checked us in with their familiar Aussie accents; Banff is funny that way. It’s totally normal to be greeted by a Kiwi one minute then a Brit the next.
Sleep in your own Wooden Cabin
I hauled my backpack in the directions I was given by the desk staff. Outside the doors and along a paved path, a small wooden cabin greeted me. As I opened the door, I dropped my bag with a loud thud. A smile wider than the prairies stretched across my face as I scanned the private room. My smile evolved into a dropped jaw as I closed the door and proceeded to dance better than Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, and Justin Timberlake combined. It was a shame I didn’t have a single audience member to witness it.
Big Comfy Beds
Two queen sized beds, a small flat screen tv, a leather couch, hardwood floors, and a private bathroom. The quiet of the room made me start talking to myself. “Corbin, you are one lucky s.o.b!” It was hard not to jump into bed right then and there; but I had plenty to do that evening. Instead, I opted to test out the shower; which rocked. I spruced up a bit, and ran to meet up with the rest of the group.
A Pub, Restaurante and Cafe all under one awesome name
As I walked to Cougar Petes (the Hostel Restaurante), I couldn’t help but think about how incredible this hostel is. Amazing views, awesome private rooms with all the amenities you’d expect to find in a hotel (at a fraction of the cost), and a downtown-ish location that can’t be beat. As I sat down to eat and took a bite of the Chicken Caesar Salad I ordered, I knew this was going to be a favourite hostel of mine from this point forward.
Luxury Private Rooms are the bee’s knees
This type of room would be perfect for traveling couples of any age, or even if you’re just backpacking with a couple friends and need a break from the dorm rooms. The spacious rooms and comfy beds would please the most spoiled travellers. This hostel is living proof that hostels can’t be painted with the same brush. Luxury does exist in hostel form. Do yourself a favour, and enjoy it when you find it.
Have you ever come across some luxury backpackers or hostels?