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HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse

121 Bastion St, Nanaimo, V9R 3A2, Canada

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Overall Rating 84%

From 5 Reviews

Hostel rating (5)

Rating category Satisfaction percentage
Staff 86%
Cleanliness 82%
Location 92%
Security 82%
Service 80%
Comfort 84%
Green rating 80%

Basecamp Vancouver Island! Hop on a ferry or floatplane then stay 2, 3 or 5 nights in Nanaimo to experience the best of Vancouver Island.

10 or more people?

Nanaimo Hostel

Hostel Nanaimo

Hostelling International

Welcome to our hostel

HI-Nanaimo Painted Turtle Guesthouse is a fully renovated 1913 heritage building. Located in the heart of the waterfront/arts district in downtown Nanaimo, it sits amongst trendy cafes & restaurants, pubs & clubs, art galleries, bakeries, street performers and local points of interest. The Guesthouse is well appointed and has achieved the highest standard available under the Hostelling International group.

All features have been designed with the active traveller in mind, and we have thrown in a few special features: private bathrooms, FREE internet (terminals and wireless), free luggage storage and a living area that includes kitchen and dining facilities, a cosy fireplace and free games.

The Painted Turtle is so close to everything that within 5 minutes you can walk to the Port Theatre, Harbour Lynx and BC ferry terminals, the 4km Harbourside Walkway, the Old City Quarter shopping district, outdoor and indoor recreation facilities, and other key tourist attractions.


Prices are members' prices

  • Available
  • Limited
  • Unavailable

Dorms - Per guest per night


Private - Per room per night


  • Available
  • Limited
  • Unavailable

Important info

  • Government-issued photo ID is required to check in.
  • Children under the age of must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Unaccompanied children under the age of 18 can be accommodated only with a letter from a parent or legal guardian providing permission for the child's unsupervised stay.
  • Children under the age of 5 are unable to be accommodated in shared dormitories
  • Children under the age of 5 stay free.
  • Membership can be purchased on arrival at hostel.
  • Rates quoted assume guests are members of Hostelling International or a National Youth Hostel Association.
  • Pets are not permitted in the hostel.
  • Additional tax is payable at check-in.
  • Prices and product availability is as accurate as possible but may be subject to change during checkout



Leisure & Fitness

  • Common room
  • Disco
  • TV room


  • Not suitable for wheelchair users

Food & Drink

  • Licenced Bar/Pub
  • Self-catering kitchen

Facilities - Internet Access

  • Computers - Charges Apply
  • Wifi - Free
  • Internet Cafe Nearby - At or next to the hostel

Facilities - In-Hostel Services

  • Basic Shop
  • Car parking nearby - At or next to the hostel
  • Booking Centre for HI hostels worldwide
  • Conference Facilities
  • Cycle Rental
  • Cycle Storage
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Library / Book Swap
  • Lockers Available - In Room
  • Luggage Room - Available during hostel reception times
  • Sports Equipment Storage
  • Travel / Tour Desk
Opening times

Opening times

Open all year

From 07:00 to 22:00
From 08:00 to 21:00
Open 24 hours

Get in touch

Get in touch

Tel. (250) 753-4432

Fax. (250) 753-4434

Main attractions

Main attractions

  • Port of Nanaimo Harbourfront (Less than 500 m)
  • Vancouver Island Conference Centre & Museum (Less than 500 m)
  • Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park (1 to 2km)

See the full list of attractions



The fridge was a bit too small for all the guest's foods, maybe a second ohne would solve storage problems. Besides that, really nice and clean common room. Our room was nice but a bit noisy (air condotion or something like that outside in front of the window)


Avatar for Kim


Mon 18 Jul 2016

Hello, Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. We do often have it a problem with a lack of room in the fridge. Depending on the amount of people in the guesthouse, it can fill up pretty fast. We will look into getting another fridge. But it is more the matter of where we would have room to put it. Again, thank you for your review and for staying with us at the Painted Turtle Guesthouse. We hope to one day host your stay in Nanaimo again. Cheers!

Manager avatar

Sabrina Sawchuck,

Wed 20 Jul 2016

Location plenty of car broken window theirs got away tent,backpack,food...parked in best place next to wharf paid $11 a nite.. Super Small security lockers...Victoria has big ones.....


Avatar for Vernon


Fri 15 Jul 2016

Hello, Again, we are so terribly sorry that this happened to you. It is so hard to know what will and will not happen every day. It makes us extremely sad to know that this happened to you, because you were such an amazing guest. We hope that this doesn't impact your views of Nanaimo forever and that you enjoyed the rest of your travels. Cheers

Manager avatar

Sabrina Sawchuck,

Sun 17 Jul 2016

Es war ein angenehmer Aufenthalt im Painted Turtle Guesthouse. Die Küche lud nicht sehr zum Kochen ein, es war aufgrund anderer Gäste die nicht putzten und fehlender Konsequenz der Leiter des Guesthouses eine riesen Schweinerei. Sonst war es sauber und empfehlenswert.


Avatar for Andrea


Sat 02 Jul 2016

Thank you for taking the time to write us a review! Quite often we find it difficult to keep up with dishes when there are so many people in the hostel. We hope that with this review, we can make the great room more welcoming for future guests. Thank you. :)

Manager avatar

Sabrina Sawchuck,

Mon 04 Jul 2016

This is a great hostel. Freshly decorated, very nicely too, and the double bed was the most comfortable we have had in a hostel after 6 months of travel.


Avatar for Kevin


Mon 02 May 2016


Around the hostel

Around the hostel

Nearby attractions

  • Beach (500m - 1km)
  • Cinema (More than 10km)
  • City Centre (At or next to the hostel)
  • Cycle trails (Less than 500m)
  • Golf course (3 to 5km)
  • Gym (1 to 2km)
  • Hiking / Walking trails (Less than 500m)
  • Local market (Less than 500m)
  • Mountainous Area (2 to 3km)
  • Museums / Art Galleries (Less than 500 m)
  • National / State Park (500m - 1km)
  • Nightlife (At or next to the hostel)
  • Parks / Green Area (Less than 500m)
  • Restaurants (At or next to the hostel)
  • River / Harbour / Lake (At or next to the hostel)
  • Shopping area / Mall (Less than 500m)
  • Ski area (More than 10km)
  • Swimming pool (1 to 2km)
  • Supermarket / Food store (Less than 500m)
  • Theatre (Less than 500m)
  • Water park (Less than 500m)
  • Wooded Area (1 to 2km)
Getting to us

Getting to us

Fly directly into Nanaimo Airport with Air Canada West Jet or Kenmore Air. Take a taxi ($50) or shuttle service ($26) 18km to city.
Take Greyhound bus from Vancouver ($30) Victoria ($25) or Port Hardy ($75) to Nanaimo. Take Bus #2 to City Centre or #25 Ferry Shuttle. Both buses stop at the bus exchange. Walk down the hill for 5 minutes and we are located on the right hand side of the street.
Nanaimo is directly linked to the British Columbia mainland by two major BC Ferry routes for vehicle traffic (starting at $45). Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay (Close to downtown) or Tsawwassen - Duke Point (13km from City Centre)
AC Taxi - 250-753-1231 OR Yellow Cab - 250-751-1111
The Painted Turtle Guesthouse is located in the Arts District downtown -the corner of Commercial and Bastion St (121 Bastion St). From Hwy 19/#1 (TransCanada) take exit to Hwy 19A and follow to city centre (approx. 5km). Parking is available on Commercial St. Two hours free on Mon-Sat from 8am-5pm. Free after 5pm and all day Sunday. Paid parking is available across the street at the Bastion street parkade for $0.50/hour; or $6 for 24 hours.
Passenger trains do not currently operate on Vancouver Island.
Sports & activities

Sports & activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Dance
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Life Saving
  • Motorsports
  • Mountain Biking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Scuba / Snorkelling
  • Skateboarding
  • Ski / Snowboarding
  • Swimming
  • Team-Building
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Walking / Hiking
  • Whale Watching

Sustainability initiatives


  • Low carbon activities
  • Public transportation is promoted
  • Environmental cleaning


  • Energy saving lights
  • Insulation and ventilation systems
  • Double-glazing windows


  • Working with local community
  • Educational programs


  • Recycling areas
  • Composting
  • Fairtrade food served
  • Organic food served
  • Local and seasonal food


  • Water savers in showers

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HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse