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HI - Nanaimo - Painted Turtle Guesthouse

121 Bastion St, Nanaimo, V9R 3A2, Canada

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Overall Rating 85%

From 5 Reviews

Hostel rating (5)

Rating category Satisfaction percentage
Staff 88%
Cleanliness 81%
Location 92%
Security 81%
Service 84%
Comfort 85%
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

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



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

Excellent location in the old town, harbour and Arts sector. Very informative, helpful and friendly staff. Got an excellent deal with the Seaplanes via the hostel. Room was comfortable, kitchen facilities excellent and guests very sociable. Well organised hostel. Museum, cafe's and harbour all within easy walking distance. Overall our favourite hostel during our stay in Canada.


Avatar for Jenny


Sun 20 Dec 2015

Nous avons retrouvé des déchets dans les tiroirs de la commode et celle-ci pourrait être changée (les tiroirs coulissent mal). Sinon, la chambre (S) était propre et accueillante. Les salles de bains étaient propres à notre arrivée, mais d'autres clients sont malheureusement peu respectueux du travail de conciergerie...


Avatar for Martin


Wed 09 Sep 2015

Pleasant Staff Friendly Greetings. Jan.


Avatar for jan


Thu 11 Jun 2015

One of the worst hostels we've ever been to. Washrooms are very dirty, soap and paper towels weren't replaced for days altough the staff "cleaned" daily. Kitchen was also a bit messy and the "clean up after yourself"-system isn't really working. The walls are so thin that you hear your neighbour snoring at night as if you would stay in the same bed.


Avatar for Marco


Sun 31 May 2015

We are sad to hear that you had a bad experience at our hostel! I am the new General Manager and am very adamant about making sure our guests are well accommodated. Each toilet paper holder holds 3 rolls of toilet paper, all you have to do is turn the dial, almost impossible to run out! All washrooms are cleaned and stocked daily. This is a heritage building that is over 100 years old. There are some things such as the thickness of the walls or insulation that we cannot control. I would personally like to offer you 2 free nights stay at our guesthouse! Please advise and we will make a future booking at no cost! Warm Regards, Zul Bardai General Manager

Manager avatar

Bruce & Angie,

Tue 02 Jun 2015


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