We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Different but good”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
HI Ottawa Jail Hostel
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
80 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Different but good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2011

An old jail that turned to be a hostel. The rooms were designed to keep the prison cell style. I wouldn't recommend for people easily impressed...

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank repinel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

442 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    92
    165
    105
    34
    46
See reviews for
21
98
156
12
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2011

I didn't pay to stay in a cell but the shared dorm rooms in the front part of the jail (the mansion) where very good. Clean, lots of space, reading lights on the beds. My complaint on the rooms would be that there are no lockers, not even a small one for your valuables. The kitchen, laundry and common areas are all great. The bathroom on level 9 however is a huge let down. I know we are going for the old jail experience but the hot water hammers so badly you can't turn it on to more than a trickle and the broken window panes have been replaced with clear glass (Maybe it's just me but I don't want everyone outside to be able to see in while I'm in the bathroom). All in all though this was a good place to stay, in a good location.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nicola W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
103 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2011

A very nice old building jail at the super neat Capital of Canada...i crashed few nites in to the cell dorm,bit cold at night so i couldn't find another extra blanket.
i was hiding all the time my expensive bottle of tequila, the staff confiscated the beer of my friends...i tried the pub Crew in downtown the guide was really cool and funny!
Receptionists need to smile a little bit more and don't sell everything when you check in.
the ghost never wake me up during nite.
cheers

Room Tip: private rooms are more comfy than the dormitory
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank betour11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2011

Ok it's got "character", but with that comes the smell, noise and cramped conditions you would expect to find at a prison. There's bars above the door, so light filters in and there's nothing you can do about it. That isn't great but fair enough they can use the "character" excuse to justify it.

I was most disappointed by the standards in the hostel. Some of the staff were on the rude side, and they charge for an extra night if you want to use the facilities before check in (1pm). There isn't a dry space in the showers to keep your clothes and get changed and the bathrooms weren't particularly clean, and the standard I'd expect in a hostel. There were only 2 dull lights in the cell, so never really light enough to read a book on the bottom bunks. Speaking of beds, my god they were unbelievable. I've never slept on something so uncomfortable ever, even camping without a mat was better. The mattress was ridiculously soft and lumpy. I actually had a sore back the next day because it was that bad. There's a sign in the room saying you can borrow extra blankets from reception if you're cold, but with no air conditioning in the rooms, I imagine it gets rather stuffy when fully occupied, especially in the middle of summer.

Each day they change the combination code needed to access everything beyond reception at the hostel. Probably intended to increase security, but every time I asked for the code it was a different person and they never bothered to ask who I was or check that I was staying there, which totally defeats the point of having the space locked.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank themeparkaddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Ottawa hotels

Waterloo, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2011

Slept in a twin cell. Quite a bit of traffic noise out the windows in the morning. Perfectly clean, no bed bugs. Similar experience to a university residence. Confiscated our alcohol when it wasn't open and we didn't intend to drink it there. Cramped, but for a cell that's what I expected. Front desk was a little rude during check-in and suggested a place for breakfast nearby that was very poor quality and expensive. Supreme location, and great value.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ceing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sparky_turtle
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2011

The good: Location is great; staff are helpful; price is good for one person; pretty clean

The not so good: showers are smaller than a breadbox; 8 people crammed into a room can prevent sleep as people are constantly coming in and out of the room; it really is haunted (nothing crazy malicious, but spooky); no coffee maker in the building (I don't drink it, but for those in my party that do this was a big black mark on their experience.)

The novelty of staying in a former prison is all well and good, but if you are looking for a solid nights sleep look elsewhere. Also, the price really isn't that cheap if you have two or more people. It might be more economical to stay at an inexpensive hotel like the Best Western and only have to share a bathroom with only one or two other folks.
The kitchen is decently sized and if you are planning on cooking your own meals it might make financial sense to stay here. But be warned that there was no coffee available so some folks in my group were a bit put out.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sparky_turtle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2011

I stayed only one night there with my friend. Its not traveling season so there were few people. Only the two of us stayed in the 6-person dorm.
The place seemed very organized and safe. They changed the safe code everyday. And they give out a key to every customer when you check in.
They have a nice kitchen and a bar next to it.
Shower was at the same level when we stayed there. The sprinkler was like drizzling rain but its quite hot. Generally you can have a comfortable shower there.
Its a little cold in the dorm room but you can always ask for one more blanket. Actually when i slept in two blankets i woke up in the middle of the night because i felt too hot.!!!!
The only downside i felt is the noise from the hallway. Because it used to be a jail room, you can basically hear everything everywhere. People in the hallway can hear you and you can hear every cough or laughter in the same level. When i stayed there i could hear guys talking in the guy dorm area which was located on the other side of the same level.
I heard from some of the reviews on TripAdvisor that there were bedbugs. We didnt find any. Perhaps because its winter.
Anyway, i will definitely recommend this place for its safety and good location.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LisaCai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Ottawa hotels
Byward Market Area
Novotel Ottawa
Novotel Ottawa
#27 of 67 in Ottawa
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,349 reviews
Byward Market Area
The Westin Ottawa
The Westin Ottawa
#6 of 67 in Ottawa
4.5 of 5 bubbles 2,002 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Byward Market Area
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market
ByWard Blue Inn
#15 of 67 in Ottawa
4.0 of 5 bubbles 675 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to HI Ottawa Jail Hostel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about HI Ottawa Jail Hostel

Property: HI Ottawa Jail Hostel
Address: 75 Nicholas St, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B9, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Ottawa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 21 Speciality Lodging in Ottawa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — HI Ottawa Jail Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in downtown Ottawa, the HI-Ottawa Hostel is within easy walking distance of Parliament Hill, the Byward Market and all the major downtown attractions. We offer a relaxing, friendly atmosphere, heaps of on-site parking, free wi-fi, linen and towels. A great place to hang! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, HostelWorld, Odigeo and Traveltool, S.L.U. so you can book your HI Ottawa Jail Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hi Ottawa Jail Hotel Ottawa

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing