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HI Ottawa Jail Hostel

7.7 | Good
MAP

Ottawa hostel near university with free Wi-Fi, and free breakfast but mixed reviews

Pros
  • Free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, free parking
  • The staff were found to be friendly and accommodating
  • Several lodgers were pleased with their clean and unique rooms
  • Numerous guests praised the hotel's central location and proximity to public transit
Cons
  • Some guests complained of noise transfer during their stay
  • No air conditioning and spotty Wi-Fi were reported by a few lodgers
Freebies
Free Wi-Fi
Free Breakfast
Free Parking
Editor's Analysis
Updated Nov 5, 2014
Overview
Located in a former jailhouse about a 4-minute walk from the University of Ottawa along Highway 95, HI Ottawa Jail Hostel is geared towards travellers who require a hostel with free Wi-Fi, a free breakfast and easy highway access.

This smoke-free hostel provides mixed or female-only dormitories, shared and private rooms, each with a shared or private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi and linens are included in all rooms and private rooms with a kitchenette and a desk are also available. The hostel is not wheelchair accessible. Pets are not permitted.

Hostel amenities include a common kitchen, a common lounge, computer kiosks, guest laundry, storage lockers, a backyard, a library, free parking and on-site dining at Home of Mugshots, which serves gourmet grilled cheeses Wednesdays through Saturdays between 6 pm and midnight. 

Laurier Metro Station is about a 4-minute walk from the hostel, while Ottawa's city centre is an 8-minute drive away. Parliament Hill is roughly a 2-minute drive away and Ottawa International Airport (YOW) is a 15-minute drive away. (All distances and travel time estimates: Google Maps)

Verified with a front desk agent: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, no pets, not wheelchair accessible. (Call Date: March 9, 2014)

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The Good
The majority of the reviews sourced for this analysis were positive, with praise going to the hostel's location, staff and rooms.

Many reviewers praised the hostel's location, describing it as central and close to nightlife, attractions, Byward Market, shopping, restaurants, public transit and museums. One patron noted, "The location is amazing. It is only 2 blocks from the Byward Market which has every possible food choice you could want as well as tons of shops and venders. The hop on hop off bus can be caught there too. It is also a short walk to Sparks Street, which is also a hop on hop off bus stop, and the restaurants there which is right by the parliament buildings".

The hostel's staff were the source of several compliments by guests, who characterized them as friendly, accommodating and helpful with suggestions. One guest remarked, "The people working at this hostel were unbelievably kind, friendly and accommodating. I could go into detail explaining how they helped me on more than one occasion, but, I'll just leave it at this".

Several lodgers were satisfied with their accommodations at the hostel. They described their rooms as clean, spacious, unique and comfortable. A few travellers had complaints about their lodgings, however (see below).
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The Bad
While the majority of reviews consulted for this analysis were positive, there were some common complaints about noise transfer and the lodgings.

Some guests complained of noise disturbances during their stay. They reported noise from the downstairs bar, as well as street noise and noise in the hallways due to the rooms having barred doors and the hostel being very echoey in general.

Although several lodgers were satisfied with their clean and unique lodgings, a few reviewers had complaints about their accommodations. They reported no air conditioning, small-sized rooms, spotty Wi-Fi and cleaning issues in the bathrooms.
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Show Sources
Sources
TripAdvisor.com guest reviews ranked the hotel #4 of 14 specialty lodging in Ottawa with an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 from 152 reviews.

Booking.com guest reviews rated the hotel 7.3 out of 10 from 144 reviews.

The author called the hotel on March 9, 2014 to verify some information.
Editor's Analysis by Erin H.
Analyzed by Erin H.
Erin loves to travel, and considers it her personal mission to help fellow travellers get the inside scoop, both good and bad, on Canadian Hotels.
Guest Reviews
7.7
Good
#
34 / out of 63
hotels in Ottawa

Rated 7.7/10 based on 487 reviews

Ranked #34 out of 63 hotels in Ottawa

487
Map Marker HI Ottawa Jail Hostel
75 Nicholas Street, Ottawa, ON