Vancouver: Samesun Backpackers Lodge
Get There: 1018 Granville St – just a short walk from Granville Station, or check ’em out online.
Cost: Starting at $28 per night in an eight-bed dorm
Free Breaky: Yes
Free WiFi: Yes
Samesun’s Hostel Vancouver is fairly well renowned among backpackers, and for good reason: it’s seriously hard to fault.
Size does matter, and generally speaking, larger hostels get a pretty bad rap from me. I find that the bigger the hostel, the smaller the personality (not unlike male anatomy), and generating any sort of atmosphere can be a serious struggle when there’s 200 people checking in and out every week. As a single traveler, it’s often pretty daunting walking into huge hostels and trying to pinpoint who to try and tag along with as opposed to smaller hostels, where everyone naturally intertwines along the singular large table as a game of kings kicks off.
Samesun, however, makes it easy to meet people by running activities both day and night, which keeps the atmosphere constantly kicking. Every day there are free trips with the hostel to top touro spots such as Stanley Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Granville Island and a pretty sweet brewery, before heading back in time for whatever’s happening back at the Beaver Bar. The Beaver is well known throughout Canada, and you’re guaranteed to find a reason to endure your hangover here every night. I am personally a fan of Quiz Night, where you can win some sweet prizes such as free drinks or a trip to Whistler, but there’s always something different happening such as Open Mic Night or an Aussie favourite – AFL Fridays (just in case you had any doubts about Australians taking over Canada.) If you’re looking for something more relaxed, there’s a TV room upstairs with Netflix.
As far as the all-important food situation goes, breakfast is a super decent spread consisting of bagels, fruit, oats, muffins and bunch of other stuff which makes it easy to eat enough to last you until the hostel chucks on $4.95 dinner special, and you can always stuff a bagel and muffin into your pocket to help you through. Considering nights at the Beaver can get pretty wild, it’s a shame the breakfast finishes so early at 9.30am, but it’s well worth getting your ass out of bed for if you’re sick of repeatedly forcing down toast and jam at every other hostel.
The hostel also has a huge clean kitchen with all the useful stuff, so between the huge breakfast, bagels wrapped in napkins for lunch and a home-cooked dinner or the hostel’s cheap meal special of the night, your stay in Van can be pretty cheap on the food front (as long as you don’t get the munchies and buy everything in sight, grabbing a second dinner of mean poutine every night).
What little time you spend in your room should be pretty cushy. They are fairly spacious and each bed has its own power plug and light, which is a pretty simple thing to do, but something that is overlooked in way too many hostels. Thanks to the size of the building, the noise from the bar downstairs shouldn’t travel to your room, so when you do decide to tear yourself away from The Beaver you should be able to sleep pretty sweetly. Wifi works pretty well here; however, as it is a huge hostel, things can go pretty slowly when everyone’s trying to hop on at once.