I went to Tall Ships Halifax, which unfortunately was the same weekend as a Kiss concert, and every room in Halifax under $200 was booked. I managed to find a last-minute vacancy at Dalhousie's Howe Hall.
The student staff were nice and it was biking distance from the waterfront which was what I wanted.
Day 1: The room was stifling hot, & even with the window open, there was no air circulation. Some kind of generator for the chemical storage building next door roared like a jet engine till around 2:30 a.m. The choices were either boiling but relatively quiet with the window shut, or a hint of air & a ton of noise. Either way no sleep. (I do have earplugs.) The room was so hot that the little bar of courtesy soap (you do get a sink) had dried up in its wrapper & crumbled into little pieces when I opened it.
Day 2: Had to move rooms due to their booking arrangement. Notice about there being no water is mis-dated, but apparently for today. Water to be restored in the afternoon; didn't happen. No water for 24 hours. Guests directed to use bathroom in next wing of another building and one floor down. A major expedition in the middle of the night. From the appearance of the toilets, other guests also declined the trek & just went on our floor without flushing.
Day 3: Building invaded by an extremely noisy crowd of young people. A great deal of yelling in the halls. This continued for the length of my stay.
The layout is terrible -- like a rabbit warren, with the parking-lot exit and the front desk on different sides of different floors. I spent a lot of time wandering poorly-signed & similar-looking halls just to find the way out. The map you get at the front desk is very poorly done and was little use. I even heard one housekeeping person asking another, "it's this way, right...?"
You need a card to get into the building AND a key to get into your room. Somehow I managed to have both when running back & forth to the car, but I get the impression many people lock themselves out. Also, you need your card AGAIN to get into the tv lounge -- why, when you are already in the building?
The bathrooms were clean enough, but very inconvenient being way down the hall. Try to remember to take a key, just to go to the bathroom, at 4 a.m. when you're half awake? If you lock yourself out, it's another long trek to the front desk & back. The halls had motion-activated lighting which was good -- saving power when no one was around.
The elevator is extremely slow if you are the only one using it. If there are a bunch of other people around, it might be quicker to try to find your way out through the maze of halls & steps.
There is one pay phone per floor. The one on the 2nd floor was missing the earpiece & I had to go up a floor, on the slow elevator, to make calls. There was ONE phone book for the entire 4 floors.
If you don't have a cell phone and someone needs to reach you, they have to call the front desk, & someone will write your name on the message board there. If you don't happen to remember to find your way down to look at it, you will not get your message.
You do get a sink, and you can go down to the front desk to borrow a fan. I also had to go down to get a window screen. The window in my second room only opened about 6 inches, so there was no airflow there either. The peephole in the door was too high, and had an industrial-sized coat hook right in the way.
The second room had no towel bar & on my last night I found a rather large dead bug under the desk. Not a cockroach...
I did call around looking for other vacancies -- not a one. About to embark on a transatlantic passage with one of the ships, after 5 nights here I was exhausted before I even got aboard.
If you are stuck for a place to stay & desperate for a bed to crash on, and have no money for a real hotel, this might work for you in a pinch. I would never recommend it to anyone otherwise.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC