Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hostel?

A backpackers’ hostel is a form of short-term accommodation for tourists and travellers. Some of our accommodations and all of our facilities are shared – which helps keep our prices low, and creates a welcoming, home-like feeling. Hostels are quite different to a regular hotel or bed and breakfast, and each hostel is unique.

What does it cost to stay at the hostel?

We have two types of rooms: our private rooms and our dormitories. You will always get the best price if you book directly with us. Enter the promo code CHESTNUT on our Book Now page if you want to book online.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

We are taking many steps to make sure that your stay will be as safe as possible at this time. Most importantly, we must receive confirmation from all guests that they are fully vaccinated. We reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone who is not fully vaccinated. To avoid confusion and disappointment on arrival, please get in touch with us in advance of your stay! We will also require that all guests wear a mask in all common areas, except while eating and drinking. We will provide masks if you do not have your own.

Is the area walkable?

Yes! Downtown Hamilton is very easy to navigate on foot. Not only that, but you can visit GPSmyCity and discover lots of great walks in our area.

Is it easy to get around by public transport?

Hamilton’s public transport service is Hamilton Street Rail (commonly referred to as the HSR) – and you can find their website and all their routes here. To catch a bus or train to another city (such as Toronto or Niagara Falls), see Triplinx or the GO Transit website. 

Is it safe to park my car here?

As safe as you would be in any city! Mary Street is a quiet street where accidents are unlikely, and we have not had any incidences of theft or vandalism. If you are careful to obey road laws (ie, don’t park blocking a hydrant, etc) you will avoid getting a ticket – but we recommend you don’t park on Cannon Street as it is a busy through street with several “no parking” periods throughout the day and night.

Do you have any maps?

We have lots of maps and we are very enthusiastic about them! We will help you get to wherever you need to go. For even more maps and brochures, you can visit Tourism Hamilton.

What security measures are there in the building?

Our front door, back doors and the back gate stay locked at all times. Only guests who have checked in have access to the building. At check in, all guests must provide valid photo ID, so we know everyone who is in the building at any given time. Private rooms are lockable, as is the women’s dormitory, and guests in the mixed dormitory have access to lockers for their valuables.

Can I bring my pet?

Unfortunately not. While licensed service animals are welcome, you cannot bring your pet.

What about bed bugs?

Bedbugs are everywhere in North America at present and everyone is scared of them – including us. We take many steps to ensure that we are protected from pests, and that our guests are assured of a safe, bug-free stay. All of our mattresses are fitted with bedbug proof covers, and we use bowls of diatomaceous earth powder to ensure that, if a bug is ever to arrive in someone’s luggage, that bug doesn’t set up home in our house. We do thorough inspections whenever a guest leaves as part of our cleaning process. Contrary to stereotypes, hostels are no more likely to have bedbugs or other pests than any standard hotel.

Can I hire a bike from you?

Unfortunately not, but Hamilton is really lucky to have a great bike share program, and we are happy to provide guests with information for hiring the bikes. You can find out more about them here. If you are arriving by bicycle, we have a bike shelter where you can lock up your bicycle.

How far are you from McMaster University?

We are about 5 kilometres away from Mac and you can get there easily by bus, bike, or car. You can even walk there if you have the time! We have maps if you need them.

Can I check in late? Or early?

You can check in late if you let you let us know in advance. We are on site at all hours, but if you’re going to be later than 10pm, please call or email to let us know to wait up for you. If you arrive early, the room may not have been vacated by the previous guest, and you will have to wait for them to check out, and for us to prepare your room.

Can I check out late? Or early?

You can leave as early as you like! Just leave your key (if applicable) at the front desk and you can be on your way at your convenience. For a late check out, however, it depends on the arrival time of our next-day guest. If they have confirmed with us that they won’t be arriving until late in the day, then you can stay later – if they’re arriving earlier, then you will need to vacate your room by 12 noon. However, you will need to confirm this with us in advance! If you do not check out before 12 noon and you have not arranged a late check out, you will be charged for another night’s stay.

Do you provide breakfast?

No, we don’t prepare any food for our guests. We have a full kitchen with anything you need to prepare your own food, and we are only a block away from the nearest supermarket.

What do I need to bring with me?

We provide all the bedding and towels, so you only need to bring yourself and your luggage! On check in, we do require one piece of photo identification.

Can I extend my stay?

You can, within reason. We provide short-term accommodation, to a maximum length of 2 weeks (14 days). You can extend for a little while, if we have availability, but you can’t keep extending your stay indefinitely!

What do I do if I have an issue or complaint?

We live on site and are always ready and willing to assist with any difficulties you might be having. There is a bell at the front desk  – ring it if you can’t find staff, and we will come and help you out!

We Pay The Rent

The Pring House has stood here since 1885, but it stands on land thats been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, which was an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Furthermore, this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Purchase, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

We feel that it is important that we pay the rent – that is, that we contribute financially to the wellbeing of the Indigenous peoples who still call this land home. To that end, we pay 1% of our monthly gross income to Indigenous organizations. To find out more, please visit https://payyourrent.ca