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“Very quiet, clean, great staff, rotten beds and long walk...”

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Pacific Spirit Hostel at UBC
Canada
Level 5 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Very quiet, clean, great staff, rotten beds and long walk...”
Reviewed 13 August 2011

We stayed at the Hostel this week in order to attend a concert at Chan on the UBC campus. The Hostel is located relatively close to the hall, making it a more affordable option in order to avoid a late night trip on transit to downtown. The Hostel ISN'T conveniently located for transit. It's around a 20 minute walk from the loop, with a far amount of zigzags (some due to construction, some not).

When we arrived, conference goers filled the lobby and out the door, making it tricky to find the counter to check in. Check in was a breeze, and the students working the counter were lovely and very welcoming. They gave great directions to our building and a map of the campus. We were sharing a twin room, and were each given keys. There's a card to scan to open the main door of the building, and a key for the actual room door.

While dated, the building was clean and tidy. The bathroom on the floor was for our gender, as requested. Toilet stall doors were crazily noisy, we could hear from our room each time someone went into a stall. The bathroom was kept very clean, and there was always paper. There was a kitchen with a functioning fridge, microwave, kettle, and food left behind by other visitors (some going more than a bit off).

The room was a twin room, two beds (surprisingly, not any cheaper than getting two singles). One bed was up high, in order to accommodate dressers underneath. A person with mobility issues would not be able to get into the bed. The beds were stripped, with piles of DIY bedding. I used both blankets underneath my sheet in order to try and provide some padding... didn't work. Insanely, incredibly hard beds. I've never felt such a firm mattress, it was like sleeping on the floor. I can't understand how students would survive.

The room also contained two desks, each with a lamp (one didn't work), two closet areas with coat hangers, and a large mirror on the back of the door. The two windows provided good air circulation, and we were comfortable with the temperature. There was minimal noise outside, although as mentioned, the noise from the bathroom was fairly loud. Lots of people were outside in the morning, playing, having breakfast, so don't expect a big sleep in.

Overall, it felt very safe, but the incredibly hard beds and long walk to transit are drawbacks. At almost $90 for a twin room with the bathroom down the hall, no breakfast, it's hard to justify it unless you have a reason to be nearby. If you're on your own, and can cope with a rock hard mattress, the price is much more reasonable.

I'm not sure if we'll be back, the negatives overwhelm the many positives for us.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JumpinBug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Calgary
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2011

It was nice to return to Pacific Spirit Hostel this year. This was my third year staying here and I appreciated my newly painted,clean room.The mattresses are acceptable but nothing great.If you are expecting a hotel like atmosphere,please look elsewhere.This is a university dorm open for a few months during the summer.What I like about it is the fact that you get your own room when travelling solo, or 2 beds if you are travelling with someone else.The washrooms were very clean,the service from the staff was friendly.

The location is close to the ocean amongst the beautiful tall trees and beautiful landscaping.UBC is a peaceful place and this hostel is right on the edge, close to the ocean.This year I ate breakfast again at The Pendulum in the Student's Union Building (SUB). The food was very good but the manager was his grumpy self,reminding me that the refills on coffee were not free of charge.I did not ask him for free coffee and was ready to pay whatever I owed.I just asked for more coffee.Its funny how small things like this can stick with a customer. What I have learned myself, from being in customer service for over 40 years,is to never assume anything,but instead "listen" and then respond with a respectable attitude,treating the customer in a positive manner.
The White Spot restaurant is close to the hostel and was excellent,however it has now closed and will be renovated into more of a take-out only type of place.The server was excellent when I ate there, the food was terrific (Wild Salmon burger and Caeser's salad).There is also a Tim Horton's beside it.The Pond Cafe was also closeby and they serve Starbuck's coffee.
The convenience store was closed in the building where the front desk is located,and I found that to be disappointing.The other thing was that the vending machines were sold out of drinks and snacks,as the University has a huge influx of young kids there attending summer programs and they empty the machines of snacks and drinks very quickly.Remember to load up on water and food before you come as the nearest store is on the opposite side of campus.I also found the single fridge to be quite small considering the number of rooms and it was fairly full most of the time I was there.I am not really a t.v. watcher but the few times I wanted to watch it,it did not turn on.I could have brought it to their attention but it was not important to me so I didn't bother with it. There was also a noticeable "smell" in the kitchen area.I have no idea what this was.Maybe the staff at the front desk need to check this and the t.v area more frequently to make sure everything is in order.
Lastly I wanted to comment on the noise factor which I know cannot be rectified but is worth mentioning.Behind my room there is a beautiful green space and then a roadway where loud noisy garbage trucks come by to pick up trash early in the morning.When on holidays,I would like to sleep in past 830 AM most days and these woke me up.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank swcgy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Alberta
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2011

I've stayed here (private single room) for a week or so every summer for the past 8 years.
PROS: very affordable (private single room w/ shared washroom: $33-$35/night, 10% off for HI members), very secure, very clean, 24 hour access, fridge & microwave to use, right across the street from the entrance to Wreck Beach (one of Canada's most unique beaches).
CONS: uncomfortable mattresses, UBC is far from central Vancouver: having/renting a car is ideal (parking is only $5/day), but public transit is very doable.
TIPS: when checking in make sure they give you a room with your gender's washroom on the same floor, single rooms, double rooms and apartments are available, make sure you go to Wreck Beach (you don't have to go nude).

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Live_Life_Big
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
177 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2011

Finding the place was difficult as there is ongoing construction around the campus. The lack of signage helping one find the place doesn't help either. The maps of the campus that they have are poorly designed.


This place is a converted university dorm for the summer months. Considering all the other hostels I have stayed in during my cross Canada trip, this one is a good rate for private rooms. It baffles me to see people complaining about the amenities when it is clearly stated that this is a hostel and not a hotel; if you want a hotel, this is not the place for you.


Generally in a hostel there is a kitchen to cook a meal. Unfortunately, this place is simply an old style college dorm with only one common area per floor with a shared fridge and one microwave. So, if you are in to microwave meals then you will enjoy yourself. Otherwise one can take a ten minute walk north east to the Student Union building which houses many different foods.


The university bus terminal is just east of the Student Union building. Here you can catch a bus downtown or where ever you want to go. Walking south east beyond the bus terminal to Western Pkwy and University Blvd, you will find a mixture of food joints as well as a Business Depot.


Parking is a bit of a bummer. There are limited parking spaces for the hostel. Currently it is $7.00 per day. If you are one of the unlucky ones who misses out on obtaining a parking spot than you will have to park further away at a greater cost.


All and all it isn’t a bad place to stay. Just be prepared to do a lot of walking.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CndTrvlr042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2011

First off, if you are here to attend something at the UBC or visit parks in the area over a few days, for the location, the price is very budget oriented.

That said, for me I made a hasty decision to stay here the last night of a 3 night stay in Vancouver. Mainly to save money but also see a different part of the city. Ended up "upgrading" to a studio suite at Gage (also on campus) for a few more amenities but if I had to do it again, would have just stayed downtown and taken a bus down here.

Things to know about this place:
- Walls are paper thin.
- Bathrooms alternate floors by gender, I made the request for a "men's floor" when I made the reservation weeks back but this was not available when I checked in.
- Internet is an additional 10 dollar charge "to turn the network on" in your room and a 10 dollar deposit for a ethernet cable (no wireless). There is free access in the common building but personally didn't like being nickeld and dimed on something that is essentially already "on" to begin with.
- Towels are 4 dollars (to buy only).
- There is next to nothing in terms of shops/bars that you can walk to. Obviously in the summer any campus will be relatively but dead but from my experiences, there is usually a close off-campus neighborhood that stays active year around. This college has no such place. There is a place called University Village that is just off campus but on a Saturday night, a McDonald's was the only place that was open as of 8pm.

As I said, if you have something you're attending on campus and are very budget oriented, you probably won't find a better rate here but personally if I had to do it again, would have just bucked up the extra cash to stay in my existing hotel downtown.

Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank cjlov22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BKK
Level 6 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2010

It started off poorly trying to find this place. The woman wouldn't give me the address and told me to make a few turns and stop at a store and call her again. Of course I don't have a mobile phone and had to borrow a phone at a bar. Got the worst directions. Found my way there by luck relatively easily, but it is could be very hard to find.

Check in. Contrary to what I was told on the phone, I am not allowed to park over night on the street and have to pay $7 plus tax (just under $8).

Room is sparse...no big deal. Turns out no heat and I was cold all night. Place turns out to be an echo chamber with people banging doors all night, not on purpose...doors are heavy and on springs. Also about 3am someone decides to use the microwave down the hall. Tired all day from so little sleep.

Bathroom doors close easily by themselves and bounce closed. Bathroom is shared by everyone on the floor and the floor above or below who is the assigned sex. Mens use floors 1, 3, 5, etc. Womens use 2,4,6, etc. What a pain.

In the morning I want to take a shower...no towel....walk to the front desk in another building...that will be $10.50+ tax.....I swear at this point I almost punched the girl in the face I was so mad. Since I was only staying one night I used my shirt and paper towels in the bathroom. My friend used the paper towels.

No breakfast included although you can buy it for $8.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Prime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Manager at Pacific Spirit Hostel at UBC, responded to this review, 9 August 2010
We apologize for the unclear verbal directions provided to you. For your reference, full directions and maps are available on our website.

Our Hostel offers secure, private single and twin rooms in a dormitory style setting with shared male and female washrooms on alternate floors. We strive to provide a restful and comfortable stay to all our guests and have staff available to address guest concerns. We are currently reviewing our towel policy. Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Germany
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2009

Stayed at the "hostel" in May 2009 and had a great time. Not a classical hostel and thus lacking the charme of one as well, but on the other hand propably the cheapest single room you can get in and around Vancouver. In my case it was the ideal starting spot to start my roundtrip through British Columbia (including vancouver island) and the Rockies, stayed 4 nights and used those to see plenty of vancouver (excellent public transport via Bus despite being there outside of regular college time) and relax and adjust at my own speed in regard to the Jetlag and everything.

The hostel consists of multiple houses with plenty of rooms but at least when i was there it was really fairly quiet. The room was fine, nothing fancy but a bed, a table, drawer and a wardrobe.
There was a common room as well as a laundry room.

Nothing to eat made by the hostel, but i was underway till the evening anyway and there were a couple stores nearby. There was a kitchen to use as well.

The area is really relaxing, it being a college campus and all. Really nice experience for me, unlike anything we have here in Germany. Plenty of parks and beach nearby to just go out and relax in good weather.

Free Internet at the nearby Student Union Building, where there´s also a small food court.

About 30-40 minutes into the city all in all (walk to the bus station and bus ride into the city) depending on where you´d get off. Personally i got off at Granville Island both days i went into the city, great place to start off the day with some nice breakfast and an "ocean-feeling" before getting into town.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Whomario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pacific Spirit Hostel at UBC

Property: Pacific Spirit Hostel at UBC
Address: 1935 Lower Mall | Place Vanier Residence, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1X1, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver > University Land Endowments
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 49 Speciality Lodging in Vancouver
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From May 15-August 15, Pacific Spirit Hostel is the perfect location for backpackers visiting Vancouver. Rooms are quiet and clean and, unlike other hostels, you only have one or two people to one of our private single or twin rooms. The hostel is on the beautiful UBC campus, with easy access to campus amenities, affordable food, pubs and entertainment and Vancouver's many attractions. It's a safe, secure environment surrounded by hiking and biking trails and Vancouver's most popular beaches. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pacific Spirit Hostel At Ubc Hotel Vancouver

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