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“There's still a hostel in Cape Breton!”

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Bear on the Lake Guesthouse
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 May 2017 via mobile

I was looking for a place to stay in Cape Breton but kept finding bed and breakfast everywhere but no hostels and I was looking for that type of vibe. Luckily there's a wonderful place right in front of the lake near Whycocomagh. It has an immaculate kitchen and super clean rooms! The owners are really nice and there are tons of board games and netflix to explore along with all the amazing nature nearby. There's a grocery store and a bar within 5 minutes as well as bikes and kayaks for exploration. I had the best time! Thanks Nancy!

Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank nomadicalchemy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (157)
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3 - 9 of 157 reviews

Reviewed 8 April 2017

Sold last year - not sure if running in 2017 as a hostel?????

Fabulous place and hope that the new owners will run it as a hostel still however have seen many Atlantic hostels sold over the years and turned into high priced B&Bs or inns so not sure??

  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank spazzygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bear10705, Owner at Bear on the Lake Guesthouse, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2017

I am the new owner of the Bear on the Lake and I am for sure running it as a hostel. Looking forward to my first season opening on May 1st. The only changes are hopefully positive ones as we have been busy with renos. We are already half booked up with lots of exciting new guests to meet... hope you can join us!!

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Reviewed 21 October 2016 via mobile

Stayed for a little over a week to catch some of the magic that is Celtic Colours and to experience Cape Breton.

The staff, Megan and Kathryn went out of their way to make sure everyone had a great stay and were always up for sharing adventures on their days off!

The hostel itself has a large communal space and a relaxed atmosphere where one quickly feels part of the family. Rooms etc. are kept impeccable.

Beautiful location and view of Whycocomagh Bay, but not a whole lot of amenities nearby. If you don't have a car, you become fairly dependent on other peoples' plans to get around.

Overall: Highly Recommended!

Stayed: October 2016, travelled solo
Thank AlecFrancis96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2016

This hostel is superb, the staff are extremely friendly and fun. It felt more like a family of different cultures and people coming together to hang out. The facilities are well maintained, good clean toilets and bedrooms.
Wifi was a little bit Wonky probably due to the freak storm that came on the night I was staying. Just a really good atmosphere and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to explore Cape Breton island!

  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Darren L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2016

We stayed in one of their Private Rooms. Our room was on the 2nd floor. We shared the bathroom, a lounge area & deck with wood chairs with a second room on the 2nd floor. Our room was very small. The room included a Queen Bed, small table, wall shelf, desk lamp and over head light. The view from the lounge area & deck looks down to the water below.

Facilities available to all guests include a large kitchen with pots, pans, dishes, silverware, etc.. A large refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, etc. are also available. There is also additional area with a large table and a lounge with books and board games. No Television. WIFI Is free, but can be hard to connect when too many people access it. WIFI is especially hard to connect at quiet time which begins at 11:00 PM. The sign identifying the location can easily be missed (It's Black & White). Also, be prepared for the rough road right after you leave the highway!

Our room was clean, and very small as we commented before. The bed was very comfortable. There were NO curtains on our window which was hard to understand! The bathroom was also clean with a nice shower. Overall we were satisfied with our stay. Realize that this is a "Hostel" not a motel. Facilities are consistent with what to expect at a "Hostel". This facility was clean, required a quiet time starting at 11:00 PM and expected everyone to clean-up after themselves.

  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Mindy and Roger A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2016

tl;dr if you're wondering why you should stop at a small hostel along the highway between two small towns just trust me and go there for a few days

A lot has been written already so I'll try to make it short. It's obviously on the way between the Newfoundland ferry and Halifax so it's ideal for a stopover. The place is one of the cleanest and nicest hostels I've seen in a year of travelling all across Canada. It's tiny by comparison and that's what makes the atmosphere, there's no anonymity, you'll end up talking to other people naturally. The staff is incredibly friendly, I was taken out on trips, I was fed, I made real friends. It's not a hostel, it's a home full of great people.

11/10 stellar experience, would spend time with the people I met again, anywhere in the world

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tobias P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2016 via mobile

This hostel is beautiful and the location could not be more idyllic. Rooms, bathrooms and communal spaces are all very clean and well maintained.
Only complaint about the hostel would be the seemingly rigid and inexplicably late check in time of 4pm. We turned up at 2pm at the same time as another couple and were told that we would have to wait for 2 hours or leave and come back...in spite of the fact that we could see our room was clean and empty and the girl working was doing nothing else of any importance. This was a small issue and not the end of the world at all, but something worth thinking about in relation to your arrival time.
Also be careful when nearing the hostel as it's stunning location above and across from the lake makes the driveway up to it pretty easy to miss!
Overall the stay was brilliant and I would definitely stay again and recommend to others!

Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank danigross88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bear10705, Front Office Manager at Bear on the Lake Guesthouse, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2016

Thank you Danielle for the review and for choosing our place and Cape Breton Island for your honeymoon! We are happy you thought our place was beautiful and clean and wanted to give context to your experience regarding our check-in times.
Our check-in is between 4 pm and 8 pm, 7 days a week and this allows for us to clean, buy supplies for our place, mow lawns, fix things, answer phones and emails and budget time for random projects to become completed before our guests arrive. On the day you arrived at 2 pm, we were undergoing our annual HI Inspection through the National office and they request that the place is unoccupied during the inspection. The inspector had flown in from Quebec and the woman you saw was involved in a very important process even though it didn't look important to you. In saying that, if you or another guest arrived earlier than our check-in, we would try and accommodate you as best as possible. I hope this gives you and other readers an idea of why the check-in time seemed inflexible on that day. Enjoy the rest of your trip and thank you for recommending us to others!

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Additional Information about Bear on the Lake Guesthouse

Address: 10705 Highway 105 | Aberdeen, Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia B0E 3M0, Canada
Region: Canada > Nova Scotia > Cape Breton Island > Whycocomagh
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Whycocomagh
Price Range: $70 - $90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bear on the Lake Guesthouse overlooks the beautiful Bras D'or Lakes of Cape Breton Island at the start of the Cabot Trail. We're centrally located and within an hour to all of Cape Breton's highlights such as the Cabot Trail, Highlands National Park, Louisbourg Historic Site Newfoundland Ferry and just down the road from world class hiking, whale watching, kayaking, sailing and museums. We have both dormitory-style and private accommodations and all guests are welcome to use our kitchen, campfire pit, free wi-fi, hammocks, board games and more! Watch the eagles overhead and the moose in the backyard! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bear On The Lake Guesthouse Whycocomagh, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

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