National Canadian Film Day!

We have something very exciting coming up!

We will be showing three great Canadian movies FOR FREE as part of National Canadian Film Day on the 20th of April!

We will be showing:

Made With Pride at 5pm
Revolution at 7pm
The Grand Seduction at 9pm

We can’t wait to see you there!

Springy Spring!

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This picture of a very pleased Don Gato says it all: Spring has sprung. Hurrah! You can always tell when winter has buggered off because the Australians start to come out of the cracks. If it’s warm enough for the kangaroos, it’s probably safe to go outside.

That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy the winter; we all had plenty of fun slipping over on the ice, breaking our limbs and having perpetually wet socks.* Only joking! The winter here is quite romantic really. Big fluffy snowflakes abound, and the polar bears are always around. But alas, it is now time to say goodbye to old Jack Frost and turn over a new leaf. That’s what makes life here in Ottawa so interesting: the stark difference in seasons really shakes up the pace of life. There was snow a month ago and now I’m sitting here in shorts with the window open at 9pm in evening. Vive la diffĂ©rence, eh?

Things to look forward to:

The Tulip Festival: The Dutch send us about a million guilt-tulips and we Instagram them.

The black bears come out of hibernation: Vegetation everywhere will be slightly pissed off.

Canada Day!!!!!: People do being drunk, Canada is mentioned, no one really knows why.

Isn’t that all very exciting? Thought so! Do come and participate.

Lots of love from OBI

*Wet socks really are the worst.

Ottawa in Winter

Ottawa is cold, there is no escaping that fact. But if you’re going to do cold then you might as well do it in style, which the city certainly does! All hail to Winterlude. What do you mean you’ve never heard of this before? All the cool people have….and we thought that you were cool too….

WinterludeWinterlude is all out winter madness. There is skating – not only on the Rideau Canal (which for those of you not in the know, is the world’s largest skating rink) but also at many free locations round the city. Another thing is the ice sculptures. Our advice is to stand next to as many as possible and take stupid pictures.

You’ve got loadsa other things going on too, all you need to do is check out the event schedule: http://www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1385062033147. Our favorites are building a snow fort (who doesn’t like building snow forts) and spirit tasting (yup that would be of the alcoholic variety!).

Weekends come alive during Winterlude so come visit us! You’ve got less than a week left!

Cheers,
OBI Staff :)

P.S. Did we mention that we have free skates at the hostel? All you need to do is check for your size, happy days!

Wanna know how to book cheaper?

Being a hostel, we are interested in hostel stuff. And our customers we suppose…. ;)

One thing that has become very topical in the hostel world is Hostelworld (pun intended). Do you use Hostelworld, Booking.com, Expedia or one of the many other online travel agents (OTAs) to book your hostel? Are you thinking about using one of these online travel agents to book this hostel? Well did you know that they actually charge a commission to the hostel for every booking? And that deposit which they take from you to give to the hostel isn’t actually given to the hostel, it goes in their back pocket. Interesting isn’t it?

But why should you care? Well first of all you want to be nice to the hostels which provide such great experiences to you, don’t you? What do you mean that sounds nice but actually I quite like being able to view information on all hostels in an area in one convenient place? And they have reviews too which are pretty handy. Aww shucks, you don’t care about us at all :(
Well have you ever thought about the fact that if you booked directly with the hostel then the price could actually be lower? Eh, how does that work? Many hostels increase prices slightly to cover this commission but if you booked direct then you could avoid this inflated rate. Additionally, it’s far easier to cancel your booking direct and you wouldn’t lose a deposit in this case. You’ll notice more hostels encouraging you to book direct.

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Booking direct is booking cheaper but it doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on anything else which Hostelworld, or any of the other online travel agents, offers. In most cases you’ll still receive a confirmation email from the hostel and often this contains far more handy info than the one sent out by an OTA. And if you’re scared about missing out on any of those lovely reviews, well why not check them on Hostelbookers (more experienced travellers tend to use this site therefore the reviews are more reliable) and then book with the hostel.

So next time you book do yourself a favor (and us!) and book direct!

Cheers,
OBI Staff

P.S. Did you know that Hostelworld actually owns Hostelbookers?? Yup, we’re full of interesting facts today!