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A bright and cheery four-floored veteran that packs its hostel-loving travelers into rooms of all shapes and sizes. Boosted by its truly friendly atmosphere, this a good option if you like rubbing shoulders with fellow travelers and being within walking distance of the city’s highlights. (…) A great place to mix with fellow backpackers, this hostel has an array of self-guided tour flyers available (….)While you’re at the hostel, check out the mural on the exterior wall – complete with ‘residents’ peeking from its painted windows.
Ocean Island is more than a hostel, it’s an experience–an experience akin to being kidnapped by 100 of your closest friends… The large exuberantly friendly place has about 150 beds and spacious common areas. Amenities include organized hiking trips, parties… a licensed cafe, internet access, bike rentals and 24-hour staffing.
If you’re looking for plain ol’ fun, staying at this super-colourful [inn] near downtown is a good start… friendly, attitude-free staff.
All sorts of travelers make their way to this inexpensive, centrally located hostel (an alternative to the Hostelling International network), from families with children to on-the-go seniors and young adults with global wanderlust. The big, comfy lounge/common area always has all kinds of stuff going on, including live music and open-mic evenings. You can buy cheap meals and snacks, use the kitchen, or kick back with a beer or glass of wine. In addition to the dorm rooms there are 60 private rooms, in various configurations, including some with their own bathrooms. The staff here goes out of its way to help guests make the most of their time in Victoria and on Vancouver Island.
The backpacker grapevine is full of praise for this fun and friendly downtown hostel. Impeccably managed by a thought-of-everything owner, the historic warren of a building boasts 60 private rooms (three of which have private baths), several 6-bed dorms, secured entry, heaps of travel information, a shared kitchen, and, best of all, an evening snack and beer lounge hopping with planned events—twister tournament anyone? You can even borrow a guitar for open-mike night. Ask for a 3rd- or 4th-floor room if you want an early night. Seniors and families mix well with the clean-cut young crowd, but ask too about the Ocean Island Suites ($), self-contained accommodations in nearby James Bay.
This colorful hostel boasts a better lounge than many clubs, a fantastic staff, and accommodations comparable to many hotels. Undoubtedly one of the finest urban hostels in Canada. The Victoria Guide on their website is a great and in depth guide to some of the more out of the way places in the city.
The restored 1893 Heritage building has a wide variety of dorms and rooms (singles and doubles with and without bathroom)
The Rough Guide
…the lodging is clean, modern, and welcoming throughout. There’s also plenty of room to relax.
This place has it all! First, the building has loads of character. When you walk up to it on the street you have a sense right away that you’re going to have fun as soon as you walk through the front door. And it’s true. The inside of the building is welcoming and has lots of character, too. It was clearly converted from some other purpose in the past and retrofitted to be a hostel. You can see that even though the space isn’t always used well, it is probably used as well as it could have been given its previous architecture.
The rooms are attractive, individually designed, and fairly priced. There is absolutely no institutionalization here whatsoever. You can live cheaply or lavishly here. Even if you go upscale at Ocean Island, you’ll still pay less than you would somewhere else. The rooms, hallways, reception area, cafe, and other areas are painted various colours that catch your attention right away. They have fun murals and interesting artwork on the walls. In other words, I found it visually appealing.
Then comes the staff: relaxed, somewhat funky, but professional nevertheless -an interesting and unusual blend.
Next are the other guests. Just glancing at them gave me the sense that I’d like to hang out with them. They looked lively, engaged in their travels, and at home at Ocean Island. The name catches the spirit of the place, too. Ocean Island is an island or a refuge in the heart of the city.
The Budget Travellers Guide
The best of all though is the staff. Sincerely friendly and always willing to help, they will make your stay a truly enjoyable experience.
…. They keep everything very clean and nice. And one of the keys is that you may work for your stay. That means that everyday you can see some of the patrons working under the supervision of a member of the staff doing the housekeeping. In all four floors there are vending machines and public phones. Safety is taken care of via an extra door that guards the access to the rooms and which is closed at all times. There is a huge kitchen quite well equipped behind the Café Lounge. It helps a lot in cutting costs, specially because there are plenty of cheap supermarkets not far away (the best being The Market @ Yates in my opinion). The hotel is very well situated in downtown, within walking distance of the main focal points of the city.[…]
Given the not-so-cheap hotel rates current in the city, I won’t doubt in recommend this place to anybody that prefers to spend their money in more enjoyable things.
Staff was very nice, helpful and recommended great places to eat and fun things to do. The price was very affordable and they even have the option to work for your accommodation which is cool, especially for students like us. Location was central, we walked everywhere and had no problems getting back. Lots of great places to eat in the immediate area and was right next to a Tim Horton’s. We liked the live entertainment at night, the whole hostel had great vibes.
Ocean Island is top-notch: professional, clean, friendly. They had open mic live music, good scene, great security, great location, very professional and helpful. If only there were an Ocean Island in all major Canadian cities!
Stayed here for a few nights before and after my boyfriend and I completed the West Coast Trail. Great location. Bar was good even in the middle of the week. We met a couple that had actually met at the hostel years ago, and were about to get married (d’aww). Very cheap storage for luggage, and they have laundry facilities which was VERY HELPFUL after we returned from the trail.
Situated just a block away from the heart of Victoria and in perfect walking distance from many pubs, this hostel not only presents the perfect setting for travellers but also has a very inviting front desk and staff team. The rooms are well divided and give you the chance to easily hang out and socialize with others guests. The ocean island cafe is situated inside the hostel itself so your never to far from your room if you feel the need to rest your head.
We stayed in a private double room, it was very clean, comfy bed, bathroom was clean, cool art. Staff were awesome, especially with directions!!
I went to Victoria for the Great Canadian Beer Festival and was looking for competitive rates. You can’t beat Backpackers for its affordability and value for what you get. I went with a single room with shared bathroom and stayed two nights for just over $100. I could have gone cheaper or more expensive, but this was right in the pocket for me.
I’ve stayed in hostels before so knew what to expect in terms of room size and bathroom waits. Both were acceptable and most importantly very clean. The staff were great and very accommodating both day and night.
Saturday night I ended up hanging out in the lounge which had excellent local beer on tap and a great crowd of travelers to talk to. Toss in the live band and it was an AWESOME night.
I will likely stay at this Inn every time I travel to Victoria from now on. Assuming my wife is with me next time I look forward to trying their larger suits.
Thanks Ocean Island!
I booked a private room with shared bathroom and was pleasantly surprised. The girl at check in was very nice, everything was clean and lots of literature for local sights and happenings. I never had to wait to use the bathroom and it was very clean. My room was simple with just a double bed, small table and storage–actually perfect for just sleeping and getting ready in the morning. As a solo woman traveler, safety is always my Number 1 concern (along with cleanliness). This property met (even exceeded) my standards on both of these items. This is a hostel–not a 5 star hotel–so you must not expect luxuries (which I didn’t) that you are not paying for. If you are looking for a clean, safe place to lay your head at night that also happens to be in a great location–this is the place! I thoroughly enjoyed this property and my first hostel experience. If I every find myself in the fortunate position of being back in Victoria, I would definitely stay here again.
My first hostel experience and the best one so far. Stayed 4 nights in a 6 female dorm. Room was large enough with plenty of hooks and a large bright/airy window. Fridge and sink inside room was a nice perk. Bunk beds metal and a bit loud + creaky. Top location to catch buses, walk a few blocks for groceries, stroll the city/harbour or enjoy a hockey game at the arena. Food/beverages available in house or tim’s coffee round the corner. Luggage storage on day of check out was free and fantastic. Friendly and helpful staff. If you like using your feet, grab the ‘walking tour’ city map. I lived by it!!
The prices are super affordable, and rooms are really homey and cute. I loved it! It’s downtown, surrounded by awesome thrift stores and a great breakfast place. The little restaurant in there is great as well, live music and great food!
I’m new to the hostel thing. I always found it weird to stay with other people in the same room. How wrong I was!
This was a decent place to stay for the $20/night they charge. Got a mixed dorm room with 2 other guys and 2 girls. The girls at the front are extremely helpful, will answer anything you need to know about Victoria. Awesome people! Rooms are very SMALL and the beds are not the comfiest – I would rate the beds about a 6/10. Towel service is $1 plus 7 bucks deposit. Lockers are decent size but you might not fit a really huge backpacking style bag in there. Bathrooms are very nice and nice hot showers with good water pressure. The cafe/lounge downstairs is open from 5PM until midnight and is truly the epicentre of the hostel. There you’ll meet all of your fellow travelers! Good beer specials, food is very cheap. Great people to hang out with, good stories and conversation. The bartenders are really cool and love to chat! One note: Pandora east of the hostel is crack-central/prostitutes etc. I walked from the 7-11 on Quadra Street and made the mistake of walking down Pandora Ave…..If you need late night munchies, stick to Douglas St. Overall a really great place, I would stay here again. For a hostel “first-timer” this was a treat!
The Ocean Island Inn is by far the best hostel I have ever stayed in, and I have travelled widely. I spent two weeks there whilst trying to find an apartment, and was impressed by their whole operation! The staff are incredibly friendly, fun and endlessly helpful; the rooms are clean, cosy and comfortable; the facilities are extremely broad and up to an excellent standard; overall, I don’t have a single complaint and cannot give praise enough.
I liked the location, it is great for getting to know the down town area. Also the staff are great, very kind and helpful with all your questions and needs. I liked that you have access to a full kitchen and internet 24/7. Front desk is 24/7. They have food to serve you hot and cold. Specials for every night, a bar to have drinks, beer on tap. Live music goes on and open mic is a lot of fun! It is a great place to get to know people from around the world. Victoria is the place to be in BC and the Ocean Island Inn is the place to be to get to know the area and the people who have explored it so far, any questions there are plenty of people to help you out! Wonderful place for great prices. Tons of different rooms for different people.