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Universities are the new hotels in Halifax in the summer

Universities are the new hotels in Halifax in the summer
Universities are the new hotels in Halifax in the summer

If you’re traveling to Nova Scotia this summer and need a place to stay, consider making one of the local university residences your home base. Most have been open since May, while school isn’t in full swing, and offer a variety of rooms available to book through August 11. Across Halifax, each university has its own policies regarding fees, minimum stays, and cancellation fees, but they’ll all cost you less than an Airbnb or hotel.

Downsides can include shared toilets, no kitchen space and no air conditioning. However, most have free parking, fans and gym access, and are centrally located, so they are worth considering.

This isn’t a new program. Halifax universities have been offering it for nearly a decade, university summer camp officials told The Coast. But it’s still a hit with the general public.

In the south of Halifax there are several university hotels to choose from. On the corner of Oxford Street and Spring Garden Road, the University of King’s College (UKing’s) has single and double rooms available which can be booked here.

Single rooms cost $115 per night including taxes, and double rooms cost $170 per night including taxes.

Amenities include on-site laundry facilities, towels and linens, free Wi-Fi, kettles and fans for the rooms, 24/7 security, and access to their gym, library, and chapel. Limited parking is available on the small campus for $15/day plus tax, but many nearby side streets have free parking.

The UKing’s quad is very private and there is a great bookshop in the basement of the main college building. Their bookings have no minimum stay, but Doing have a 72-hour cancellation policy.

Down Spring Garden Road at Dalhousie University (DAL), rooms are available in three different residence buildings and can be booked here . They range from $64.54/night plus tax for a single room, to $358.80/night plus tax for a four-bedroom suite in their newest building, LeMarchant Place (the only building with A/C).

Weekly rates are also available, starting at $60.79/night plus tax for single occupancy. Seniors, alumni and students can also book at significantly lower rates.

Amenities include on-site laundry facilities, towels and linens, free WiFi, free parking, free access to the DalPlex Athletics Facility, shared kitchens, fans, air conditioning in LeMarchant Place, 24/7 security, and private bathrooms in some suites.

Dal requires guests to book a minimum of two nights and has a 24-hour cancellation policy. Dal has an art gallery and multiple libraries on campus and is located on several major bus routes.

Further south, on the corner of Inglis Street and Tower Road, Saint Mary’s University (SMU) has rooms available for booking. Rates are $70/night including tax for a single room and $130/night including tax for a double room.

Amenities include on-site laundry facilities, towels and linens, free Wi-Fi, free parking, free access to the Homburg Fitness Centre, shared toilets, fans and 24/7 security. There is a shared lounge area with a microwave, but no shared kitchen area.

Bookings at SMU have a minimum stay of two nights and a cancellation period of 72 hours.

The campus features an art gallery and library, is located on major bus routes, and is within walking distance of Point Pleasant Park.

If you want to stay a little off the peninsula along the Bedford Highway, Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) has rooms available to book here. Rates range from $76.90/night including taxes for a single room, $88.73/night including taxes for a double room, and $100.55/night including taxes for a two-bedroom or double suite with a private bathroom. Student, alumni, and group rates are also available.

Amenities include on-site laundry facilities, towels and linens, free Wi-Fi, free parking, free gym access, shared restrooms on all floors, private restrooms in suites, fans, and 24/7 security. There is no minimum stay, but there is a 24-hour cancellation policy. There is a library, bookstore, and art gallery on campus. MSVU is located on a major bus route into the city, but is also secluded from the city center and offers views of the Bedford Basin.

Lauren Phillips, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Coast