I love Whistler, and I was fortunate to call it home for a while after graduating from university. There’s a local saying that you “come for the winter but stay for the summer,” and that couldn’t be more true. My original eight-month plan of living there turned into almost three years. The skiing, hut trips, and apres bars are incredible in the winter, and the lakes, hiking, biking, and camping are equally impressive in the summer.
But one thing that isn’t quite enjoyable is finding affordable accommodation. Whether you’re looking to visit for a few days to weeks or are thinking of moving to Whistler but haven’t locked in long-term housing, hostels can help you get by. In this entry of Budget Travel Plans, we’re looking at the best six hostels in and around the Whistler area.
Note: Whistler accommodation often has pricing fluctuations and is very seasonal. If you want a shot at the best dates and rates, booking far in advance is your best bet.
Pangea Pod Hotel
|Address:||4333 Sunrise Alley, Whistler, BC V8E 1M7|
|Hostel World rating:||9.1|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$72/night|
|Private room starting price:||N/A|
Arguably the hostel with the best location on this list, stay at the Pangea Pod Hotel if you want the full Whistler Village experience. It’s directly in the main village and less than 250 metres from the lifts. You do pay a premium for shared accommodation compared to others on this list, but sleeping in a pod is also a really cool experience and more private than you may think. The showers, common areas, staff, and WiFi are all top-notch. Note that they do not have a kitchen available to guests for cooking.
Local’s Insider Tip: You’re right in the heart of the main village at Pangea, so you have many options. Crystal Lounge is one of the best apres among locals. It’s always packed in the winter, and they serve jugs of beer and cheap wings and have daily specials. There are also plenty of outdoor patios with heaters and fires, including the Dubh Linn Gate, Longhorn’s, and Tapley’s.
|Address:||1035 Legacy Way, Whistler, BC V8E 0J6|
|Hostel World rating:||8.9|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$53/night|
|Private room starting price:||$136/night|
You’ll find HI Whistler down in Cheakamus Crossing. The accommodation, amenities, and staff are great, but it’s a little out of the way from any of the ski lifts and gondolas. HI is a terrific option, though, if you have a car. They offer a Work for Stay program where you can work at the hostel and get paid in exchange for a place to stay. The Work for Stay program is a huge bonus, considering how difficult it is to find accommodation in Whistler.
Local’s Insider Tip: Head to the other side of Sea to Sky Highway to Function Junction. It’s one of Whistler’s coolest areas with an authentic local feel – with breweries, cafes, restaurants, and more. If you like craft beer, head to Coast Mountain Brewing and Whistler Brewing Company. Then swing Purebread for pastries, cakes, and treats.
Whistler Fireside Lodge
|Address:||2117 Nordic Dr, Whistler, BC V8E 0A6|
|Hostel World rating:||9.6|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$48/night|
|Private room starting price:||$120/night|
Whistler Fireside Lodge is a family-oriented hostel in the quiet Whistler neighbourhood of Nordic. They can accommodate up to 50 guests across 12 rooms; six dorms and six private rooms. There’s coin-operated laundry on-site, free parking, a sauna, two barbeques and a well-equipped kitchen. It’s within walking distance of Creekside Village, but it wouldn’t hurt to have access to a car.
Local’s Insider Tip: Head to Creekside for drinks, food, and even a workout. Locals will flood to Dusty’s for drinks, Creekbread for pizza, and Whistler Creek Athletic Club to throw some iron.
Whistler Lodge Hostel
|Address:||2124 Nordic Dr, Whistler, BC V8E 0A6|
|Hostel World rating:||9.6|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$55/night|
|Private room starting price:||$110/night|
You’ll find Whistler Lodge Hostel across the street and a little up the road from Whistler Fireside Lodge. The wooden interior is gorgeous, and they have both a ski store and even a waxing area. A pool table, coin laundry, and industrial-sized kitchen are also all on-site.
Local’s Insider Tip: Similar to Whistler Fireside Lodge, heading to Creekside is a great option for apres when staying at Whistler Lodge Hostel. Roland’s and Dusty’s are classics. If you feel like heading to the main village with your family, try the Old Spaghetti Factory or Sushi Village.
|Address:||38005 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0C3|
|Hostel World rating:||10.0|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$99/night|
|Private room starting price:||$150/night|
If you can’t find accommodation in Whistler, another great option is to stay in Squamish. Squamish is about 50km south of Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway.
Crash Hotel is a great place to stay. Crash Hotel to Whistler Creekside is about a 40-minute drive door-to-door. Still, it can be significantly longer if you drive in the winter with snowy conditions and traffic. The rooms are immaculate and modern, and the facility has really cool art and paintings. Crash has a barcade attached to it where you can drink beer and play arcade games like Mario Kart, basketball, and more.
Local’s Insider Tip: Head to Howe Sound Brewing, only a 5-minute walk from Crash Hotel. They serve great food, have fantastic craft beer, and have a fun interior and patio with a great view of Stawamus Chief (or simply the Chief to the locals).
Squamish Adventure Inn
|Address:||38220 BC-99, Squamish, BC V8B 0A5|
|Hostel World rating:||9.3|
|Shared dorm starting price:||$45/night|
|Private room starting price:||$112/night|
Squamish Adventure Inn is directly off the Sea to Sky Highway when heading north from the lower mainland. Being so close to the highway makes it a great option if you plan or ripping it up to Whistler to ski or bike. That said, it’s a little secluded from the rest of Squamish since it’s between the east side of the highway and the water.
Squamish Adventure Inn has both dorms and private rooms, a sizeable kitchen, a lounge, and laundry on-site.
Local’s Insider Tip: Zephyr Café is just over a 1km walk from Squamish Adventure Inn. They’re a staple among Squamish locals and serve delicious vegan, raw, and gluten-free dishes.
Looking for more affordable accommodations in Canada? Check out the list below:
- 18 Best Hotels in Downtown Calgary
- 13 Best Hotels in Downtown St. John’s
- 3 Best Hostels in Jasper National Park
And if you’re looking to head across the world to a ski resort in Niseko, Japan, read our article on the 6 Best Niseko Hotels near Niseko United Resort.
Scott has lived, travelled, and worked in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. He’s a big foodie and loves running and skiing, and these interests have been the main drivers behind most of his trips and moves. Outside of writing and travelling, he works as a growth marketer helping small businesses and startups.