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“More a home rather than a hostel”
Review of Barefoot Hostel

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Barefoot Hostel
Reviewed 17 August 2013

We stayed here after a very tiring and jetlagged experience in Toronto. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. The hostel is cleaned daily, the downstairs area is awesome for having a few beers and outside is perfect for a lazy afternoon before heading out to town. The manager is above and beyond accommodating. If you find yourself in Ottawa you better find yourself the Barefoot Hostel as I can guarantee you'll have a good time.

Room Tip: All rooms are good
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Lachlan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 - 36 of 83 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2013

Seeing as I was a total pain in the butt..
I had booked a 3-day stay three months in advance but had to cancel as I had to break my planned week-long trip into two separate trips. The cancellation was handled very quickly. I rebooked for one night, not realizing check-in ended at 11, and only realized this the day of my stay (my bus arrived in Ottawa at midnight). The man at the front desk (you check in next door at the Swiss Hotel) agreed to stay an extra hour and a half just to check me in. This just blew me away, what customer service. He was very pleasant once I made it there, too.. I wouldn't be!

The hostel itself is clean and modern. It really is like you're staying in someone's renovated home. The common room downstairs is bright, has a flat screen TV and comfortable couches. The room I stayed in was small, but functional. I was the only one in the room that night, so I can't speak of how crowded it might be with a full room. The beds were amazing, too - and the duvets! I can't wait to stay in the winter so I can actually use them.

I will stay again for sure and highly recommend to anyone who needs to crash in the Capital.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Lindsey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

I stayed at this hostel in the summer of 2013 for two nights. Overall, it was the cleanest hostel I've even been to. Everything look very well maintained and the host was very friendly. Bedsheets and towels looked like they were frequently washed as well. Lockers are available for each guest, but you have to bring your own padlock. The beds themselves are a bit small, but were otherwise comfortable. Each bed has its own night lamp as well, which was very considerate.

The washroom on the 2nd floor in particular is a highlight. It's massive with a large shower, and the host has provided a hair dryer, travel-sized bottles of shampoo & soap, as well as towels (which seemed to be replaced often).

On the main floor, there are two additional washrooms (1 additional shower) with a large open-concept lounge area. Huge television with host-provided DVDs and a dining table right next to it. The host was nice enough to leave a bunch of brochures, maps, and even pizza delivery numbers in that area as well.

It should be noted as well that the host is actually located in the adjacent building (Swiss Hotel), so you'll have to go next door to check in or out. It's only 20 or so paces away, so it's not a big deal.

My experience at the Barefoot was excellent, and I don't see myself staying anywhere else when visiting Ottawa in the future.

Room Tip: There are lockers available, although they are only large enough to fit a backpack. Be sure to bring...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank alanhfung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2013

This is hostel you want to come home to. It's a cosy little place - so neat andf clean, it's like a private home with a brilliant housekeeper. There are rules to observe but the hostel does not get to be so spick and span if the rules are not there. Shoes are out for one - something the owner reminds you of the minute you check in. I think it's brilliant idea and the name fits. The location is ideal for walking around and could be reached quite easily by bus once you get your bearings. Because the hostel is small, there isn't the institutionalised feeling one gets in bigger ones. This place is a keeper!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank ICDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2013

If you get lost on the way to the Chateau Laurier you will be proud to end up at the Barefoot!

Ok it may not be a 5-star hotel accommodation but there is every amenity you could possible wish for in this space and price point that will keep you rocking in the heart of the city.

First off it is CLEAN! Clean like take your shoes off at the door clean.. that means nobody is tracking in goop that you later have to walk all over and just being there, right away, you'll notice this isn't like the last hostel you stayed in. This was my biggest impression right upon arrival, and really the most important to consider when you're up for a stay away from home. I met the cleaning staff, saw them at their magic, they are committed and serious about keeping this place pristine for everyone.. major points for effort and just caring about guests!

Second the beds are great and you have real European-style bedding which will give you the sleep that you've been missing, or cradle you after a bumping night out in the market.. you can raelly feel comfortable in the (bunk) beds and not feel lacking any space or comforts that you would typically get in a hostel. I've stayed in over fifty hostels all around the world and this was by far the best bed.. felt like being right at home.

The bathroom was huge and was serious luxury on a shoestring. There was a huge glass semi-enclosed shower, shampoo and bodywash in little hotel sizes just in case you forget something necessary at home, decent space to get ready in and definitely not what you'd except in a hostel.. this bathroom is even bigger than you'd expect in a suite room. It's for one so you have to take turns, but, seriously comfortable for getting fresh and ready to start your day.

Livingroom downstairs, really nice, there are DVDs downstairs and a big tv to chill around when making a little dinner on the side, but let's be honest you're within reaching distance to all the best restaurants Ottawa has to offer, so at least when I was there, cooking wasn't the first thing on my mind. There is a full kitchen (minus a stove) for your creature comforts though. We grabbed breakfast at the Richtree open-concept style restaurant at the Rideau Centre (which is literally within a 5 minute walk away) and would highly suggest that, there's no hostel breakfast (which, in my experience, is a good thing!) and so we ventured out to find a decent locale and we weren't disappointed. There are also a bunch of breakfast places around to fill you up, you're right by the Byward Market after all.

I think my love for this place has just about been summed up in the preceding, so there really isn't more to say except this place is a wonderful place to crash in style when staying in Ottawa, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and are sure that our next visit to the capital will be accommodated at the Barefoot!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank germanygurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2013

The word "REGRET" will never be mentioned once if you ever choose to book this hostel. Having stayed in hostels before, this is more like home! Excellent bed with thick duvets (great for the cold winter) and the shower is comparable to any 5 star-hotel. But overall, the price that you pay is wallet-friendly, leaving you more cash to spend in Ottawa on food or entertainment. Location wise, it's just a stone throw from Rideau Centre (mall to get all the things you need) & York Street where all the great food & pubs are located at.. and let's not forget how near it was to Byward market (must-see in Ottawa). Overall, 10/10!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank melvinbackpack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

I stayed at the Barfeoot Hostel in May 2012, and can absolutely recommend this place!
Take a look at their homepage (just google "barefoot hostel ottawa") and you will get a real impression of the place. There is nothing made up only for the pictures, it does indeed look like that.

As a woman travelling alone I was a bit concerned about booking a bed in a hostel which only offers mixed dormitories, and I ended up in a room with 3 men, but it was no problem at all, and I felt completely safe all the time!
Another guest, who had stayed there several times, told me that the owners try to put only males or only females in one dormitory if it is possible. But of course this does not always work out, but I think it's very nice that they do it when it's possible.

Location:
Perfect. There is a 24-hour-supermarket right across the street. A beer store and a drug store as well as pubs and bars are just around the corner. Parliament Hill, Byward market, the university and many other attractions are in close walking distance.

The hostel:
You check in at the swiss hotel besides the hostel, so there is no reception/staff in the hostel itself, but they are very close by.
The hostel is a small two storie building with a porch in the back where you can sit in the sun and enjoy your food and nice talks to the other guests.
It's called the barefoot hostel, because you're not allowed to wear shoes inside in order to keep the hostel clean, whcih is very effectiv and creates a feeling of being at home at once.
On the ground level there is a lot of space for the shoes of the guests. Then there is a big living room with a table and chairs, sofas in front of the huge flatscreen tv, two computers (use is free, wifi is free as well) and then leads into the small kitchen.
On the ground store is one toilette and one shower located. The shower and the toilette are in two small seperated rooms, which is very good, so there is always a toilette available, even when people shower.
The dormitories are located on the first floor. There are 4 dormitories with 4 beds. So there are never more than 16 people in the hostel.
There is also a bathroom on the first floor, with toilette and huge shower.

Kitchen:
As others have already said, there is no ovene/stove to cook. It didn't bother me at all, as there are lots of restaurants and fastfood chains close by at the byward market.

Bathroom:
The bathrooms were always clean with enough toilette paper.
The showers are stocked with small bottles of shampoo and shower gel. Very nice.

Room:
There are lockers in each room (bring a lock!) and a bookshelf and a reading light at every bed. A towel is also provided. The bunk beds are new and comfy.

The hostel is very clean, and has a very nice and cosy atmosphere, which makes it easy to get in touch with other guests.
After the first night the 3 men in my room checked-out, so I had the whole room to myself which was great. I have heard that in other hostels you sometimes have to change rooms, so that there are always the least possible number of rooms occupied. But I didn't have to move, even though there were free beds in other half occupied rooms.
There are signs with the hostel rules in the rooms. They suggest to use the shower downstairs when you leave early and to be quiet after 10.45. Interestingly, people seem to stick to these rules, so it was a nice place to enjoy a good night's sleep.

I arrived some hours before I could check-in. It was no problem to leave my stuff at the reception of the swiss hotel, and go out and explore the city. And the same thing I did when I left again. Very nice staff, very good service.

All in all this is an excellent place to stay and can only be recommended!

Room Tip: All rooms are the same.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Nina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barefoot Hostel

Address: 455 Cumberland Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7J8, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Ottawa
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 27 Speciality Lodging in Ottawa
Price Range: £26 - £55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Barefoot Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Barefoot Hostel in Downtown Ottawa is a small, independently-owned, women's-only 16-bed backpackers' haven. With a modern decor and white bedding only (duvet and duvet cover), our affordable hostel offers one of the best experiences for a visit to Ottawa on a budget with free internet computer use and free WiFi. We keep a backyard patio in the summer with a BBQ for our guests. We are within walking distance of all major tourist attractions, including the Byward Market, Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal, Rideau Centre, Shaw Centre. Our hostel is a popular landing spot for women traveling to Ottawa, whether they are solo travelers, young business professionals, undergrads, masters and PhD students, US Visa applicants. Larger groups can rent the whole house (16 beds) to enjoy complete privacy. Whether you are traveling for business or leisure, you can’t go wrong with how close we are to the heart of the city! ... more   less 
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