whistler hostels ultimate guide cover image

Find the Best Whistler Hostel for You

Whistler is crazy expensive, so staying at a hostel is a wise choice, especially since they are all fantastic.

But they’re all fantastic in different ways. The hostel that’s most fantastic for you depends on what you’re looking for.

To help you find the best Whistler hostel for you, this guide gives you the pros and cons of each and a handy side-by-side comparison table.

And if you still have any questions, let us know in the comments. I used to co-own one of these hostels (see if you can guess which one), so I know A LOT about them.

Good to Know

Before deciding on which is the best Whistler hostel for you, take note of this general info:

  • Book early. People always say this, but for Whistler we really mean it because the hostels here regularly sell out.
  • Buses are convenient. They run regularly from 5am to 3am, cost $2.50 each way, and are equipped for your gear, so don’t be too concerned about location. You can find fares and schedules here.
  • There are no party hostels. Socializing and sharing beers with fellow guests is encouraged, but drunken rowdiness is guaranteed to get you booted from every hostel in Whistler.
  • WiFi is free at every hostel

Map

Side-by-Side Comparison

Prices are approximate and do not include taxes.

 Alpine Lodge HostelFireside LodgeHI WhistlerPangea PodSouthside LodgeSquamish Adventure InnWhistler Lodge
# of Beds325818088247742
$ Dorm Bed Low/High$40 / $50$31.50 / $31.50$33 / $38$80 / $140$35 / $39$33 / $33$36 / $40
$ Private Room (2 people)n/a80-150n/an/an/a$60 / $80$160 / $200
$ Private w/ Bath (2 people)n/an/a$84 / $134n/a$100 / $150$85 / $95n/a
Breakfast IncludedCoffee, juice, hardboiled egg, toastNoNoNo$6 hog n' eggs before 9am at dinerCoffeeNo
Booking.com Rating8.9not listed8.19.27.88.49.2
HostelWorld Ratingnot listed9.58.69.27.99.1not listed
Distance to Mountain5 km (Village)1.5 km
(Creekside)
5 km
(Creekside)
240 m (Village)350 m
(Creekside)
54 km
(Creekside)
1.5 km
(Creekside)
To Whistler Village5 km3.1 km8.5 km0 km4.1 km58 km3.1 km
Nearest Bars & Restaurants4 km
to Village
1.5 km
to Creekside
1.3 km
to Whistler Brewing,
5 km to Creekside
0 m100 m
to Creekside
500 m
to Downtown Squamish
1.5 km
to Creekside Village

The Hostels

Here’s info on each of the Whistler hostels and why you should (and should not) stay at each.

whistler lodge hostel is a good cheap whistler accommodation option
whistler lodge hostel exterior in winter
Photos from Whistler Lodge Hostel

Whistler Lodge Hostel

reservations@whistlerlodgehostel.com
604-932-6604

About

Previously owned (and under-managed) by the University of British Columbia, in 2015 a local couple rescued this historical chalet from demolition and put major work into fixing it up. Now, while the skeleton keeps its rustic tradition, the guts are pretty much brand new, and the place is run very professionally.

Why Stay There?

  • Great atmosphere: The Whistler Lodge Hostel is the most popular of the Whistler hostels and past guests frequently leave reviews praising the welcoming environment. So if you’re a solo traveler looking to meet others, this is a great bet.
  • Comfy beds: Many reviewers comment on the comfortable beds and linens.
  • Helpful & friendly staff: Many reviewers make a point to thank the exceptionally friendly and helpful staff.
  • Chalet life: Nestled in the trees, with a beautiful lounge area, and a hot tub and sauna (Nov-Apr only), the Whistler Lodge Hostel is an affordable way to experience Whistler chalet life.

Why Not Stay There? 

  • No doors: Dorm “rooms” aren’t actually rooms. The unusual layout is like a hallway with inlets of 2-4 bunks to either side and no doors separating these inlets from the hallway. This can make it difficult to change in private, and means noise travels more.
  • It’s a hike: It’s a 6-10 minute uphill walk from the bus stop to the hostel. You’ll be doing this walk a lot.
  • Inconvenient lockers: Lockers for your bag are inconveniently on a separate floor from your bed.
  • No private rooms: There is one private room and it’s overpriced. If you’re looking for a budget private room with shared bath, check out the HI-Whistler, Fireside Lodge, or Squamish Adventure Inn.

Tip

  • Ask for a top bunk. You’ll be able to sit up on the top bunk, but not the bottom bunk, which has quite restricted headroom.
HI Whistler hostel kitchen
HI Whistler hostel exterior
Photos from HI-Whistler

Hostelling International Whistler

whistler@hihostels.ca
778-328-2220

About

The HI Whistler is by far the biggest hostel in Whistler. It was first used as an athletes’ residence for the 2010 Winter Olympics, then opened as a hostel after the games. This Hostelling International-owned property was built specifically to be a hostel, so it meets every conceivable need for a budget traveler or backpacker.

Why Stay There?

  • Nature access: Unlike the other Whistler hostels it’s at the doorstep of multiple hiking and mountain biking trails.
  • Like a modern hotel: While it is without a doubt a hostel, many reviewers appreciate that it feels like a nice, modern hotel.
  • Spacious: The rooms and common areas are luxuriously spacious. 
  • Activities: The HI-Whistler organizes multiple daily group activities in and around the Whistler area, like group hikes and pub crawls. No other hostel in Whistler does so.
  • Cafe: Breakfast is not included, but many reviewers have good things to say about the cafe downstairs by the reception. They even sell alcoholic drinks (not for breakfast :)).

Why Not Stay There? 

  • Location: The hostel is located outside of town in Function Junction. Most shops and restaurants are 8 km away in the Village. The bus, however, runs regularly at all hours and the stop is conveniently right in front of the hostel, so many past guests report that the location issues are overstated.
  • Bad WiFi: The biggest complaint by reviewers. WiFi in the rooms especially is patchy and unreliable.
  • Hit and miss fellow guests: The HI-Whistler tends to accommodate more long-term guests and large groups, who are generally less friendly and disproportionately occupy the common areas—especially the kitchen. That said, it’s a big hostel and there’ll be plenty of smaller groups and solo travelers too.

Tip

  • Ask for a room facing the back (best views) and further from the stairwell because the walls are thin and sound from the stairwell can be a nuisance for light sleepers.
Fireside Lodge Whistler hostel lounge
Fireside Lodge Whistler hostel exterior
Photos from Fireside Lodge

Fireside Lodge

info@firesidelodge.org
604-932-4545

About

The Fireside Lodge isn’t a typical hostel. It’s a member-owned co-op. This means many people staying there aren’t travelers, but member-owners from the Vancouver area who come up regularly to ski. To support the finances of the operation and fill beds, the Fireside Lodge rents out extra beds to the public.

Why Stay There?

  • Quiet: The Fireside Lodge is super low-key. It is your best bet if you want to seize the day, get outside, then come back, make a meal and then rest up for the next day.
  • Value private rooms: You won’t find a better deal for private rooms in Whistler.
  • The kitchen: It’s huge, newly updated, and well equipped. Past guests rave about it.
  • Games room: The games room has pool, ping pong, foosball, and darts. Especially if you’re traveling with others, this is good fun.

Why Not Stay There?

  • Quiet: Don’t expect to have a typical, social hostel experience and meet many other travelers.
  • It’s a hike: It’s a 6-10 minute uphill walk from the bus stop to the hostel. You’ll be doing this walk a lot.
  • Thin walls: A few past guests mention that the walls are so thin you can hear conversations going on in adjacent rooms.
Alpine Lodge Whistler hostels lounge
Alpine Lodge Whistler hostels exterior
Photos from Alpine Lodge Hostel

Alpine Lodge Hostel

alpinelodgewhistler@gmail.com
604 932-5966

About

The Alpine Lodge Hostel is a Whistler institution. Its very knowledgable owner, Geoff, has been running it for over 25 years. Similar to the Fireside Lodge and Whistler Lodge hostels, it is a large chalet-style building with a beautiful common area that has a log cabin feel.

Why Stay There?

  • Social atmosphere: The beautiful main room, highlighted by its massive oak dining table, creates a friendly environment and eases interaction with other guests.
  • Knowledgable owner: Geoff knows Whistler better than anyone at any other hostel and is happy to share his wisdom.
  • Breakfast: The breakfast is very basic (an egg, some juice, and toast), but it’s definitely better than nothing, which is what the other Whistler hostels offer.

Why Not Stay There? 

  • Tiny kitchen: It’s the size of the kitchen in a small apartment.
  • Old-style dorms: The beds are solid and comfortable, but they aren’t as well equipped with individual plugs and lights as the more modern hostels are. Lockers are small too.
Whistler hostels Southside lodge kitchen
Southside Lodge hostel exterior
Photos from Southside Lodge Hostel

Southside Lodge Hostel

info@southsidelodge.com
604-932-3644

About

The Southside Lodge Hostel, in Whistler’s Creekside, is the only Whistler hostel located within easy walking distance of the ski hill. It’s also the smallest and has the most basic amenities of all Whistler hostels.

Why Stay There?

  • Location: It’s only a few hundred meters from Whistler Mountain’s Creekside Gondola, and across the highway from a supermarket, gas station, restaurants, and bars. It’s also right across the street from the Greyhound bus stop.
  • Intimate: There is no common area aside from the kitchen, where guests congregate. And since it is a small property, this makes it easy to get to know your fellow guests.
  • The Southside Diner: Conveniently downstairs, this is Whistler’s best diner. Southside Lodge guests get discounts.

Why Not Stay There? 

  • Basic: As already mentioned, there is no common area, and in general the place is more basic and dated than other Whistler hostels.
  • Lacking amenities: Many past guests comment that they wish there were lockers for their skis and boards (instead of having to bring them into their rooms) and no place to dry their wet clothes.

Tip

  • For less noise, ask for rooms furthest from the kitchen
Pangea Pod Hotel exterior
Photos from Pangea Pod Hotel

Pangea Pod Hotel

info@pangeapod.com
+1-844-726-4319

About

Pangea Pod opened in 2018 as “Canada’s first boutique pod hotel.” Instead of rooms, guests stay in pods, which are essentially deluxe double-sized bunk beds / micro-rooms. Each pod has three walls, a curtain covering the fourth wall, and its own lights, fan, hangers, mirror, outlet, and locker.

Why Stay There?

  • Location: Pangea Pod’s has an ideal location right in the heart of Whistler’s Village.
  • Location: It’s worth repeating. At the end of the day, it’s why you’d pay way more to stay here than at any of the other Whistler hostels.
  • Unique experience: You can tell your friends you’re a “Pod Person” after staying here.
  • You get what you pay for: The beds are big and comfy, the design is high-end, the staff is well-trained, and everything is spic-and-span since you’re paying hotel prices for a hostel.

Why Not Stay There?

  • Price: Including tax, you’ll be paying over $100 a night for the cheapest pod.
  • Less social: Pangea markets itself towards the hotel market more than to hostel-goers and its social areas are open to the public.
  • Parking not included: It costs an extra $19 a night. Every other Whistler hostel has free parking.
  • No real discount for doubles: Solo travelers benefit from double-sized beds in each pod, but if you’re traveling as a couple you’ll be more cramped for minimal savings.
  • No kitchen: You can’t save money by cooking your own food.

Tip

  • Bring three locks if you’re coming to ski: one for your in-pod locker, one for the ski boot locker, and one for your skis.
Squamish adventure inn hostel patio
Squamish adventure inn hostel exterior
Photos from Squamish Adventure Inn

Squamish Adventure Inn

info@squamishhostel.com
604-892-9240

About

The Adventure Inn is a friendly, well-run hostel that opened in 2016. It’s in “Whistler’s Little Sister”, the outdoor adventure mecca of Squamish, which is 40 minutes away by shuttle (which the hostel runs daily), bus, or carshare.

Why Stay There?

  • Price: Squamish is significantly cheaper than Whistler. Here’s proof: Side-by-Side Squamish vs Whistler Travel Costs
  • Atmosphere: The Squamish Adventure Inn puts in a lot of effort to create a friendly community, with lots of volunteer staff organizing regular hostel activities like pizza night, movie nights, potlucks, hikes, and other outings.
  • Helpful & friendly staff: Many reviewers make a point to thank the exceptionally friendly and helpful staff.
  • Unique experiences: Squamish is less touristy than Whistler and offers unlimited off-the-beaten-path adventures, from sea to sky.
  • Whistler’s full: Often when there’s a big event in Whistler everything in town is sold out. Squamish is close enough to be a good backup plan.

Why Not Stay There? 

  • It’s not Whistler: It’s much farther from the mountain and town center, so if you’re dead-set on staying in Whistler and partying in the Village, this is not the best choice for you.
  • Highway noise: Half of the rooms are on the highway side of the building. Light-sleeping past guests have complained about the resulting noise.
  • Less chalet-like: The Adventure Inn’s small fireplace lounge is tiny in comparison to those of the Alpine Lodge, Whistler Lodge Hostel, and Fireside Lodge.
  • Stinky climbers: In the summer the hostel is full of climbers, and past guests have complained that their gear leaves a less-than-desirable odor in the dorm rooms. Other than that, climbers are nice though.
  • Unreliable WiFi: In the corner rooms it is spotty and in general it is not great for streaming movies, especially during peak periods.
  • Hot: In the (rare) hot days of summer, past guests report the rooms can get uncomfortably hot because there is no air conditioning.

Enjoy Whistler!

Whichever you decide is the best Whistler hostel for you, please help future travelers by sharing your experience in the comments.

And if none of the Whistler hostels here tickle your fancy, check our guide to finding other cheap accommodation options in Whistler.

Lastly, don’t miss our Vancouver guide if you’re heading that way afterward. It answers the questions everyone asks about our hometown before they visit.


Disclosure: Whenever possible, we use special links that earn us a cut if you pay for stuff we'd recommend anyway. It costs you nothing, so we’d be crazy not to.

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