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!

Welcome to Ottawa Backpackers Inn!

There’s a first time for everything and today is our first time posting on the new OBI website! We only just launched the new website and we’re really excited about it – gone is the old website which looked vaguely reminiscent of an ad for an old folks home and in comes this new, super-strength website.

An what can you expect from this blog? A lot of randomness with a few useful bits of information thrown in there for good measure. We’ll have info about the hostel including activity nights and staff profiles, we’ll have info about events on in Ottawa and we’ll also have tips and recommendations from guests about how to make the most of your stay in Ottawa. Sounds good? Of course it does!

So let’s get started on this glorious path of enlightenment. First stop is a bit more information about the hostel.

7. Joke of the dayThe hostel was started in 2000 by hostel stalwart Martin Jones. Born into a family of hostel owners his destiny was already decided by the time that he popped his little head into the world. The hostel has always been a relaxed place for travelers to meet each other and go and explore the city together. Staffed by groups of young travelers, there’s always a mix of different nationalities and backgrounds. And always at least one person with a bad joke.

Recently, we’ve made a couple of changes at the hostel to make your experience even better. The check-in experience has been revolutionised – we give each guest a hammock to set up on the porch when they first get here. OK maybe we’re joking but do like to make check-in a little different. You’ll find out how when you get here ;) We’ve also introduced regular activity nights. These include movie nights where you vote from a choice of three movies and then get to eat the free popcorn which we make fresh. Or there are cake nights
- dependent on the staff member making it you may get a handmade
maple syrup cake or a cake bought from the Metro over the road. We like to keep everyone on their toes!

And that’s it for now. Wanna know more?? The just ask!!