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.
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 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 we are lucky to have a Sobi bike hub right across the road from us! Sobi is the local bike-share program in Hamilton, and we are happy to provide guests with information for hiring the bikes. You can find out more about them here.
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 and bus schedules 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!