Archive for January, 2012

TORONTO’S UNUSUAL WNTER

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Canada regularly ends up either on top or very near the top of the U.N.”s list of “Livable Nations” year after year.

Toronto too, is considered to be a clean, tolerant, friendly, sophisticated, multi-cultural and, above all, safe city. In fact, mathmatically, Toronto (North America’s 5th largest metropolis) is 35 times safer than it’s closest American rival cities Chicago, Houston and San Francisco.

We ARE  little reticent to publish this blog entry. We are a little afraid it will jinx things.

It’s quite obvious that living in Toronto we have a lot to be grateful for; but our weather can be challenging, to say the least. Our summers can be so hot and humid that, you can’t even breathe. Our winters can be so cold that, you don’t dare to breathe.

This winter has been remarkable (so far) it is already almost the end of January and there is no snow and the forecast for today (January 25th) calls for +2C and the forecast for the 27th calls for +4C! This is traditionally the coldest month of the year!

To date, we have had only one brief dusting of snowfall that didn’t last as temperatures rose. Our streets are bare of snow as we write this.

Our bitterly cold days (-10C or more) have been relatively few and far between. To our newcomers and visitors, if you had to experience a Toronto winter, you really picked the right one!

It has been an exceptionally mild winter (thus far). But we Canadians know the tricks Old Man Winter can play. There is still February to come and we will not be lulled into thinking that winter won’t yet come at us with a vengance.

Our previous post, “Toronto’s Unusual Weather”

 

 

 

HOSTEL REVIEWS

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

If you have ever booked your stay in a hostel online, chances are you did it through a major Internet Hostel Booking site such as Hostelworld.com or Hostelbookers.com. There are a lot of companies in the hostel booking game; but these two are the “big boys” on the block.

These booking companies maintain an enormous data base of virtually every hostel in the world. Infoprmation on just about any hostel can be gleaned from this single source and youcan check outlocation,  facilties, services and ratings. In many cases, a hostel’s ratings is the determining factor in a decision to make a booking. But quite often the ratings can be misleading.

It might seem a little odd that we would mention that, because the ratings for our hostel (Canadiana Backpacker’s Inn) are consistantly high. (Approval rating currently 87% on Hostelworld; 89% on Hostelbookers).

These ratings are very important for hostel business. A hostel with a consistantly poor rating will almost certainly soon close down.

So what can be misleading about our consistantly high rating? We strive to please our guests and maintain our rating. In fact, only a rating of 100% is beneficial to us.

But we think we deserve to be higher. Please look at the example of the ratings below then hear me out.

This comment was left on Hosteworld.com by a Swiss guest: “It is exactly the kind of service you want in a hostel. Clean rooms, a nice kitchen and a lot of young travelers. “ , her rating: 80%.

A rating of 80% sounds good, but the reality is that it actually hurts us. It brings our overall average down. In fact, it is 7% less than our average rating.

On very rare occasions in the past, we have been reluctantly obliged to ask a guest to leave our hostel for offenses like and disorderly conduct; theft; aggression towards other guests or similar offenses. If they booked through a booking site, you can imagine what their “ratings” for us look like.

The bottom line is that any rating below our current average is damaging to us. So, if you liked us, please keep that in mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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