Driftwood Inn BanffDriftwood Inn BanffDriftwood Inn BanffDriftwood Inn BanffDriftwood Inn BanffDriftwood Inn BanffDriftwood Inn Banff

Older downtown Banff inn with access to Ptarmigan Inn's health club in need of updates

Pros
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout, free parking, free Roam Bus passes, and free local calls
  • Ideal location close to shops and restaurants, according to guests
  • Many guests said the hotel offered great value and appreciated its cheaper rates
  • Guests were pleased to have the use of the Ptarmigan Inn's health club
  • Front desk staff friendly and helpful, according to guests
  • Many guests said that the rooms were clean and spacious and the bathrooms were small but adequate
Cons
  • No elevator in this hotel
  • Many guests said they were disturbed by noise inside and outside of the hotel
  • Lack of air conditioning and mini-fridges troublesome to some guests
  • Some guests complained about inadequate housekeeping and dirty carpets
  • Old TVs and furniture, dated decor, and inadequate lighting, according to some guests
  • A few guests said renovations needed to exterior and interior
  • Guests gave mixed reviews about the comfort of the beds
jump to full editor's analysis (below)
Freebies
Free Wi-fi
Free Parking
Rates & Availability
Editor's Analysis
Updated Oct 19, 2014
Overview
The Driftwood Inn is best suited to the budget-conscious traveller who wants to stay close to the downtown core and would enjoy value-added benefits: free travel to downtown or nearby attractions on the Roam Bus, coupons for Banff restaurants (and other services), and the free use of Ptarmigan Inn's health club.

This non-smoking and pet-friendly hotel offers 32 non-air-conditioned rooms. Standard room amenities include free Wi-Fi, free parking, free local calls, cable TV, Mountain Luxury beds with down duvets and real feather mattress pads, a coffee/tea maker and bathroom amenities. Pets are welcomed with a bed, bowls and treats upon arrival, and guests are allowed a maximum of 2 pets (up to 50 pounds each) for a surcharge of $25 per pet, per night.

The Driftwood Inn is located next to the Ptarmigan Inn and shares the front desk, staff and health club facilities at this sister hotel. Health club facilities include two hot tubs, a sauna, a steam room and exercise machines. The Ptarmigan Inn also has an on-site restaurant called The Meatball Pizza & Pasta, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and also offers room service to guests of the Driftwood Inn. 

The hotel offers a number of freebies including free passes to the Roam Bus, which runs daily between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and stops at shops and restaurants in downtown Banff, the Tunnel Mountain area, Banff Upper Hot Springs, the Banff Gondola, and the Banff Springs Hotel. The Best of Banff Discount Booklet is also available to guests of the Driftwood Inn and offers discounts on Banff restaurants, bike rentals and other services available in Banff.

The Driftwood Inn is located in the heart of Banff about a 5-minute walk to the shops, pubs and restaurants of the downtown core. The ski shuttle to the area's major ski resorts can be accessed at the Ptarmigan Inn about a 1-minute walk from the hotel (confirmed with 2012-2013 schedule). The Banff Park Museum is about a 9-minute walk from the hotel and Banff Upper Hot Springs is about 8 minutes away by car. (All travel time estimates: Google Maps)

Confirmed with a front desk agent on September 25, 2012: the hotel is non-smoking, Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, and the Best of Banff Discount Booklet offers coupons for restaurants in Banff, bike rentals, and other service providers.
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The Good
The Driftwood Inn received mixed reviews regarding its amenities and service on recent online reviews analyzed for this overview, however their guests were unanimous in praising its location for its proximity to the town centre's shops and restaurants.

Guests thought the hotel offered excellent value when compared to other budget hotels in Banff. 

Several guests were pleased that they had the free use of the Ptarmigan Inn's health club facilities, which they considered to be an added bonus.

Although the staff at the front desk received mixed reviews, many guests thought they were friendly and helpful.

Also, many reviewers said the rooms were clean and spacious and the bathrooms were small but adequate.
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The Bad
Although most guests considered this hotel to deliver excellent value in a great location, there were also many complaints along several common themes in the reviews analyzed.

Many guests were disturbed by noise within the hotel from rowdy partiers, barking pets, and talking neighbours, as well as from noise outside the hotel from partying guests on the outside walkway between the hotels.

The lack of air conditioning in the hotel was disappointing to some guests. Some also complained about the rooms' lack of mini-fridges, inadequate lighting, old furniture and TVs, dirty carpets and dated decor. Some reviewers said that there had been inadequate or no housekeeping during their stay.

A few guests mentioned that the exterior of the building, the hallways and interior walls were old and shabby and were in need of renovation.

The comfort of the beds received mixed reviews some thinking they were super comfy and some calling them lumpy. One guest explained it this way: "The bed appeared at first to be lumpy, but once we spent some time on it, we realized it appeared to be a fairly new mattress that was comfortable with a soft cushion feel, yet firm, and the pillows appeared to be new as well."

Several reviewers said they would not return to the Driftwood Inn, but almost as many said they would stay again.
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Show Sources
Sources
TripAdvisor.com ranked this hotel #30 out of 32 properties in Banff with an average guest rating of 3 out of 5 from 72 reviews.

Booking.com guest ratings averaged 6.6 out of 10 from 74 reviews.

Priceline.com ranked this hotel #22 out of 36 Banff properties with an average guest rating of 6.7 out of 10 from 16 reviews.

Confirmed with a front desk agent on September 25, 2012: the hotel is non-smoking, Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, and the Best of Banff Discount Booklet offers coupons for restaurants in Banff, bike rentals, and other service providers.
Editor's Analysis by Scott B.
Analyzed by Scott B.
With a keen interest in the flow of information and an eye for communication optimization, Scott is always looking for ways to finish this sentence...
Guest Reviews
6.5
Fair

Rated 6.5/10 based on 304 reviews

Ranked #37 out of 42 hotels in Banff


3 out of 10 | Aaron stayed December 01, 2013

"Cheap & noisy"

"I have stayed here before but because i booked so far in advance (1 month) they put me in the first room on that floor which was right beside the stair well and party room. All night people were up and down the stairs (they had metal spindles so all we could hear was the footsteps and chiming of metal spindles)."

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7 out of 10 | Catherine stayed August 26, 2013

"Fair"

"Availability of the room is 30 mins late. No fridge, good location, no a/c there's electric fan though. Room was so warm when we came in bec. heater was on on a 28 degrees weather. Clean. Beds smaller than expected. Lack of communication to guests where to find front desk. We had to ask housekeeper and pointed us to the next bldg."

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6 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed July 09, 2012

"a value stay"

"Hotel was clean and staff courteous and friendly. Concerned over ability to locate the hotel."

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1 out of 10 | Larry stayed July 07, 2012

"Never had such a horrible bed in my life"

"The bed in this suite was built in 1940 and has been used every day. My back will be sore for weeks. Unbelieveable!! Will never return to that hotel"

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10 out of 10 | Julie b stayed May 25, 2012

"Have vacationed in Canada for three weeks. This Inn was immaculately clean, the Innkeeper knowledgable and friendly, the Housekeeping staff excellent and very friendly and helpful. I enjoyed everything about it."

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5 out of 10 | Ryan stayed February 26, 2012

"My stay at driftwood"

"Thank God I had read a few reviews and knew that the sign in desk was actually next door in the sister hotel. The best way to sum it up was that it was nothing special and it did kind of put me off at first, but it was clean and I had no problems with it. There is nothing wrong with it, just nothing special. I would stay here and recomend it if your not too concerned about all the bells and whistles and just looking for a place to stay."

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9 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed October 13, 2011

"The overall stay was good."

"The overall stay was good. The internet connection wasn't very good though."

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5 out of 10 | Lauri stayed July 16, 2011

"Not to return......"

"Room turned outt to be "okay" after we called down to the desk to get it cleaned. Garbages were not emptied, bedspreads were just pulled up over the slept in bed, floor unvacuumed. But they were there cleaning immediately after bringing it to their attention...."

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7 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed June 27, 2011

"The location was excellent. For banff, it was well priced. It was quiet and the room had the two beds in seperate rooms which was a nice bonus."

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8 out of 10 | Debra stayed July 26, 2010

"Our road trip out west, its definitely god's country."

"I really liked the location off the Hotel, it was in walking distance of everything in the main part of town. Very close to nature, an Elk came right by our window in the morning. All the restaurants and shops were very close by. A very nice place to stay on our trip out west."

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8 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed July 04, 2010

"It is a very good experience for our family except the room temperture is a little bit cold."

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2 out of 10 | Raymond stayed September 09, 2009

"I was very surpised to discover only when we got there that we coldn't find the way to get in... Very strange!!! So we went to next door to the Ptarmigan Hotel; only to dicover that the two are connected...That is very strange.... I have benn travelling the world for the past 30 years and... never such a thing...!What a surprise to get on arrival in Banff; Canada!!!"

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4 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed September 01, 2006

"This is the low-cost sister of the Ptarmigan Inn. You check in at the Ptarmigan and then just walk across the parking lot to the Driftwood. The room was basic but fine (loved the comforter), and the Ptarmigan's staff very pleasant and helpful. Someone responded within about 1 minute when I called down at 6:30 a.m. to tell them my hairdryer didn't work; they brought me a functioning one. The only problem is noise. People out in the hall (or even downstairs) sound like they're in your room. I was awakened several times during the night by people coming and going. They don't even have to be wild and noisy to wake you up--there are just simply no sound barriers in this hotel."

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7 out of 10 | Carl stayed February 22, 2004

"The Matress on the Beds need to be replaced, they seemed very Old."

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Location
  • Banff Centre (1.2 km)
  • Peyto Lake (87.6 km)
Map Marker Driftwood Inn Banff
337 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB