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Painted Turtle Guesthouse

121 Bastion St, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 3A2 Canada
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Prices above are provided by partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.
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Room & Suite (11)
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#3 of 26 in Nanaimo
If you are looking for the newest, freshest and funkiest accommodation in Nanaimo, then you've found it - the Painted Turtle Guesthouse.We opened July 2004, in a fully renovated and refurbished 1913 heritage building. Located in the heart of the waterfront/arts district downtown, we are among the trendy cafes & restaurants, pubs & clubs, art galleries, bakeries, street performers and local points of interest.The Guesthouse is extremely well appointed and has received the highest possible standard available as a BC Approved Accommodation. We are also an affiliated Hosteling International Property. All features have been designed with the active traveler in mind, but we have thrown in a few special features. The Great Room, in the heart of the building features a fully self-contained kitchen and spacious dining area, lounge with fireplace, games, books, magazines and computers. We provide free WIFI throughout the property. The bathrooms are all centrally located and private use. All linens and towels are provided free of charge and laundry services are available onsite. Breakfast options and essential store are located in the lobby for your convenience. We have 3 room types catering to every type of traveler. Classic -private room with queen sized bed, private Family rooms with queen sized beds and bunk beds, or dorm style accommodation. Lockers/charging stations are provided in all shared accommodation.Gateway to internationally acclaimed Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is the “Harbour City” and features a fabulous ocean-side location. Easily accessible by ferry from downtown Vancouver, and is a great base camp to venture to other Island destinations. Experience the Island’s natural beauty, attractions, and endless recreational and adventure pursuits! We look forward to meeting you and making you stay in Nanaimo memorable.
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Non-smoking hotel
Shared bathroom
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
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Room features
Bath / shower
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
Languages Spoken
Chinese, Polish
170Reviews0Q+A16Room tips
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Fiona Y wrote a review Jan. 2022
1 contribution
I arrived about 10 pm and there was a sign saying to phone the night staff and there was no doorbell. My phone was dead and nothing nearby was open so I knocked for twenty minutes before someone came down to check me in. Arriving in the room, I felt a blast of cold air and saw that the heater was completely turned off and the window was open. Even after putting the heater as high as it would go and getting into bed with my winter coat on, I was still shaking with cold two hours later. The hallways were entirely unheated and the bathrooms had a tiny amount of heat with no thermostat to adjust it (meaning i could not have a shower that i was looking forward to and that is included in the rent). Amenities in the room that i remembered from previous stays were reduced (ie one towel instead of two). And the price had gone up, unlike every other hotel that are currently offering lower rates.
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Date of stay: January 2022Trip type: Travelled
Fil_Traveler9 wrote a review Jul. 2021
Imperia, Italy192 contributions77 helpful votes
This hostel is great because is in a good location. The best thing about the hostel is the very kind service. Rooms are a little bit hot (summer) but there is a very good fan in the room. Building a little bit old but cheap and still nice.
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Date of stay: July 2021Trip type: Travelled
2 Helpful votes
Madelyn R wrote a review Jul. 2021
1 contribution
The hostel is amazing, lovely staff, clean, everything you need. Super hospitable. Unfortunately the parking is totally unsafe. It is a public parkade across the road and my vehicle was broken into and a lot of items stolen. Please be aware especially travellers with many belongings in their vehicle, remove all valuables and good luck to you. An expensive one night stay for me to recover all things stolen ...
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Date of stay: June 2021
redstein wrote a review Jan. 2021
2 contributions
We have stayed here when visiting island for many years. We have noticed a huge change in cleanliness and staff. When checking in was told about pancake breakfast offered. We adjusted our plans to have breakfast before checking out. After waiting for 30 minutes my boyfriend asked front desk about breakfast and was greeted with a shrug . When asked front staff - german girl about bathroom needing paper was told by staff that it wasn't their job. Very disappointed in lack of customer service Do yourself a favor and go elsewhere!!!
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Date of stay: March 2020
Room Tip: private rooms don't have private bathrooms!
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K C wrote a review Sep. 2020
Quebec City, Canada5 contributions2 helpful votes
Incredibly bad place to stay at. Booked through hotels.com which mentioned a detached private bathroom, which is a horrendous lie. 3 or 4 shared disgusting and badly maintained bathrooms. When we checked in and found this as well as a disgusting used face mask in our room, we decided to leave and asked for a refund, which hotels.com was able to get for us. I have never ever seen something like this, in Covid-19 times... Such poor hygiene should be reprimanded and I think this place should be closed for lack of respect for public health guidelines...
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Travelled
Response from Rebecca Yu, Owner at Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Responded Sep. 23, 2020
We're sorry you were unhappy with your stay. I understand my housekeeping has not completed the cleaning. I take full responsibility for this and I am very sorry. In such regard, we are currently investigating the whole matter. Rest assured we have duly sought ways to improve our cleaning service in order to avoid such incidents from occurring again. Please contact us, we will offer discount for your next stay. Thanks for giving us feedback!
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TL A wrote a review Jul. 2020
24 contributions3 helpful votes
Threatened and had to Flee!! When I spoke to staff member Auckshaw and said I needed $7.00 to park for last night, after they have cost me $60 in fines, he denied everything regarding parking and I told him he was a liar for misleading me to stay at the hostel, he yelled at me, shook his fist at me and came after me! He had to be held back and I had to flee as I no longer felt safe! I had booked for 8 days but left tonight in tears and scared for my well being! They refused to reimburse me for tonight and I am forced to sleep in my car! I had booked a private room, as the staff told me they were still allowing 2 people in a room during COVID-19! Upon arrival,there were signs saying masks must be worn in hallways, kitchen and common areas. The entire time I was there, only 2 out of 6 staff wore any masks! I was put on the fourth top floor which was very hard for me to climb all those stairs with my bad knee. The staff saw me struggling to carry all my stuff. On the only positive note,the cleaning lady, Lisa ensured my room was nice and clean. My major complaint and why I would never recommend staying here are the lies I was given about parking and how horrible I was mistreated. Before booking, I saw online the Bastion and Skinner Parkade was available. I called and the staff said parking for the hostel was available. Having lost my job and my place to live during COVID-19, my funds were put on my accommodations. Upon arriving, the switch occurred as the staff member Auckshaw told me he did not know if parking was available at the corner parkade on Bastion and Skinner. He told me I should go walk over ( I am the paying guest) and it was late at night. Being a single female, I was worried! He then changed his mind and told me the parkade was closed due to construction and told me because of the inconvenience I could park at the other Parkade 2 blocks away. It was also raining and dark. I was mislead by communication from The Painted Guesthouse Hostel on a continual basis! This lead me to receive three parking tickets totaling $90.00! One was reduced to a warning. The constant stress took its toll on me. I was not able to get a decent nights sleep either, due to the fighting, loud swearing and yelling underneath my window! The one bathroom leaked all over the floor and the other bathroom had a notice on it saying out of order. When I went to let them know about my three parking fines on my last day staying, the young girl said I could have parked underneath the nearest parkade as that part was still open. Auckshaw said right in front of her and I, "Oh I did not know that!" He has never apologized to me and has caused me great amount of distress and anxiety. If you are to operate a business that houses guests, you need to know what is available for parking! He lied to me several times and I warn others not to stay here at all! All they want is your money! They clearly do not care about their guests well-being or safety! I have filed a complaint.
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Date of stay: July 2020Trip type: Travelled
Response from , Owner at Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Responded Jul. 29, 2020
Dear guest, thank you for your reviews. Unfortunately, the public parking lot is doing construction. However, thanks for sharing your feedback. We’re sorry your experience didn’t match your expectations. It was an uncommon instance and we’ll do better.
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John Chaput wrote a review Feb. 2020
Ile-des-Chenes, Canada99 contributions31 helpful votes
Can you Nanaimo for a business trip. Booked in at the painted turtle because it seemed like a good place to get a local experience. One criteria is to have a private bathroom. Their website states room with private bathroom. By private they mean, no boast else can come in while you’re using it. I felt mislead and asked for a refund for my 3 nights x 2 rooms( me and a coworker). They only refunded 1 night x 2 rooms. I had to pay for 4 rooms that I didn’t use. Since I had to check into another hotel, company won’t pay so its 100% out of pocket!!
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Date of stay: February 2020
1 Helpful vote
Response from , Owner at Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Responded Jul. 29, 2020
Thank you for your review. I’m sorry to hear you had such a frustrating experience, but I really appreciate you bringing this issue to my attention.
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Troy K wrote a review Nov. 2019
Pemberton, Canada25 contributions17 helpful votes
Appreciate that it is not something the hostel can control, but heads up there are 3 nighclubs/bars very close by and the noise from the street makes it very hard to sleep. Granted we stayed a saturday night but it was incredibly loud. Hostel itself is very clean and comfortable and staff are friendly. And it is very reasonably priced.
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Date of stay: November 2019Trip type: Travelled
NorthofSeattle wrote a review Jul. 2019
Burlington, Washington10 contributions3 helpful votes
If you are flexible, Painted Turtle is a good place to stay. It can be quite noisy on the weekend (it's located above a pub/bar that plays live music) but on the flip side it's location is excellent. The communal area is great for folks and families who want to cook their meals. Wifi is good. It would be nice to have more than one key per family since the doors close at 10 pm. If you stay on the weekend of the Bathtub Race, be careful with parking on Commercial Street on the morning of the race; your car will be towed!
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Date of stay: July 2019
lrol wrote a review May 2019
1 contribution
I was impressed with the Painted Turtle, it was really clean, well organized, and it is well situated in the downtown core. The staff answered my questions and I felt safe. My only issue, on Friday and Saturday nights, since it is situated in the downtown core, many nightclubs and people on the streets, so bring your earplugs, or avoid the week-end if you really need a quiet place.
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Date of stay: May 2019
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled
Room Tip: Good parking
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US$75 - US$90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
CanadaBritish ColumbiaVancouver IslandNanaimo
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Frequently Asked Questions about Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Which popular attractions are close to Painted Turtle Guesthouse?
Nearby attractions include Harbourfront Walkway (0.2 km), Nanaimo Museum (0.2 km), and Breakout Nanaimo Escape Rooms (0.2 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Painted Turtle Guesthouse?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, meeting rooms, and laundry service.
Is parking available at Painted Turtle Guesthouse?
Yes, parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Painted Turtle Guesthouse?
Conveniently located restaurants include Asteras Greek Taverna, The Nest Bistro, and Gabriel's Gourmet Cafe.
Are any cleaning services offered at Painted Turtle Guesthouse?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Does Painted Turtle Guesthouse offer any business services?
Yes, guests have access to meeting rooms and a banquet room during their stay.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Painted Turtle Guesthouse?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including Chinese and Polish.
Are there any historical sites close to Painted Turtle Guesthouse?
Many travellers enjoy visiting The Bastion (0.1 km).