Wicked Hostels - Calgary
1505 Macleod Trail Southeast, Calgary, Canada
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Wicked Hostels - Calgary Reviews
Talk about scraping the barrel! Aug 07, 2015
Those of you who know me know of my love for hostels. To an extent where I've learnt to level set expectations and grow my tolerance levels when comfort, peace or crowd doesn't always align. So even I'm surprised I'm writing a scathing review... but having spent a night here, I can say they deserve it.
Let's get the good out of the way shall we?
The location - amazing. About half a dozen blocks away from Calgary downtown and conveniently located right across the Calgary Stampede stadium, this hostel is not only easy to find but very accessible. There's a bus and metro station right across, grocery and malls a few blocks away.
Safety - Very safe. Infact, a bit too safe. They don't use electronic keys but it's all old fashioned, including tacky tape with the room # on the keychain!
So what didn't work? - well, just about everything else!
For starters, I'm never a fan of hostels where guests are employed as floor managers. Most of them are probably in their early 20s, have just about finished high school and have travelled to Canada to travel, mingle and learn about the world. And so, when we arrived to checkin at the front desk, we had to endure long waits because the "manager" fancied someone ahead of us in the queue, and was busy giving him advice on how to score girls at a Calgary pub, after which she stepped into the lounge with a "friend" leaving us hanging around for 10 more minutes (which, after a long drive in the sun wasn't a very pleasant experience). The worst part was that she was vocal about how hard it was being a manager and having to "do the beds everytime someone leaves" - yes, in front of the potential guests!
The bedrooms - too tiny, power outlets are hard to reach and use as the bunker bed frames cover them. Ventilation is about just ok so the nights were hot. But thankfully, the rooms were clean.
The bathroom - and where do we start? The sinks were clogged with no one to fix, only 1 toilet with 3 showers and constantly crowded. What was annoying was supposedly witty posters encouraging guests to clear toilet clogs themselves. Sure...because I'm paying 40 CAD a night to clean someone else's toilet in another country!
Now, coming to the main area:
The kitchen - dark, dark, dark. Feels like an apartment kitchen (small and enough room for a handful of folks), and appliances aren't very intuitive to use. There's a huge crowd, very few power outlets and a small fridge. During peak dinner times, it's a nightmare. We saw a guy using part of the induction stove (that wasn't hot) to place his cutting board!
The dining and living areas - again, it IS a hostel so it comes with the expectation that things will be congested and noisy. But this hostel was unbelievably so. The dining table (size of a family dining) has a dozen chairs and doubles up as the cards table, the computer surfing table and, well... surprise surprise...the dinner table. There was a gang of 4 noisy boys that day who took over the table with a game of Bridge so a poor old French couple had to sit by the corner, with their hot spaghetti plates on their laps as there was no room on the table.
Wait...shouldn't we have just asked the on-site managers to help? After all, there were 2 of them after all! We could, BUT... one was out on a long, long "smoke" break chatting up a girl, whilst the other was busy talking to her country men about her future travels.
There are several other ridiculous things about this hostel too. for example, one needs to give one's Govt issued ID or 20$ as a deposit to get the room's keys. I mean, seriously?! Who "charges" for keys?!
In a nutshell, save for the location and overall safety, there's nothing remotely appealing about this hostel. For starters - HIRE PROPER MANAGERS! And get rid of those archaic rules! NEVER AGAIN!
Part of the Canada (Alberta - Wapta Glacier Hike) travel blog
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