Reviews From Guests
Here’s what Quentin wrote
“Bricin and his family was very welcoming and friendly! We loved our stay at their church! It's a lovely and surprising spot! I definitely recommend!”
Here’s what Sarah wrote
“Staying at this hostel was amazing. It’s clean, well run, organized and very welcoming. You have everything you need available. We had bonfires every night it didn’t rain, and there’s a store just down the road. The hosts are so welcoming, easy going and relaxed...it’s like staying with old friends that you just haven’t met yet. Very highly recommended!!”
Here’s what Gaurang wrote
Bricin and Patricia were absolutely fabulous hosts. They were so warm and welcoming. We stayed with them on a cold and rainy night, and Bricin had a nice warm fire up and running in no time. Their two kids and their cat YumYum were also so friendly! The experience of staying in a converted church was also very interesting. Bricin and Patricia's knowledge of the area is tremendous, and Bricin was able to drop pins of "insider-hidden-gem" locations for me on Google maps. These were very accurate and I had next to no trouble in finding them. We stayed in the private room and all the bedding and towels were very clean. Patricia was also very quick to respond to emails and was able to confirm our reservation within a day of me inquiring. Their kitchen has everything you need to cook, and Patricia was very gracious in offering us coffee the next morning. I would recommend staying here 100% and would love to be back.
Here’s what Courtney wrote
“Loved our stay! We just booked another night for August to do more hiking! Great location and close to all amenities. Very clean and great communication. Thank you for a great weekend!!”
Here’s what Chelsea wrote
“This hostel is one of a kind, both the environment and the people you'll find in it. I highly recommend it as a place to stay on a trip to Cape Breton Island. You will not be disappointed!”
Here’s what Jonah wrote
“Without a doubt the coolest hostel experience I’ve had. Bricin is amazing when it comes to local tips and he can recommend some amazing trails that you won’t find on any other map”
Here’s what Yannick wrote
“This is the place to stay in Cape Breton Highlands! It's a church so perfectly renovated that it looked brand new from the inside! Bricin and his family are very welcoming, friendly, plus you will really get the traditional hostel atmosphere! Bricin and his wife gave me lots of tips about the places to visit around. The Hostel is perfectly located from many trails and nice spots like meat cove 15-20 mins drive and white point the same for example! don't hesitate !”
Here’s what Johnathan wrote
“Bricin's hostel is an amazing gem in Cape North. Very close to the local stores and restaurant. Perfect if you're doing a cycling tour of the Cabot Trail. Plenty of good tips and great stories in this location. This was our favorite stop on our tour!”
Here’s what Joe wrote
“Bricin and Patricia are great hosts who make sure you have the best stay possible”
Here’s what Abhisekh Patra wrote
Love the warm stay... would recommend this highly if you love some adventure stay....:)
Here’s what Paula wrote
“This place is great, and the hosts even greater! Don't hesitate to book with them, you won't be disappointed :)”
Here’s what Brendan wrote
Stayed here while Cycling the Cabot trail. The owners were very nice, and the stay here was very good. The beds are comfortable and the prices are very good if you are traveling in small groups or if you are traveling alone. There is a grocery store fairly close and a restaurant just next door, so plenty of options to restock your supplies. This is a great place to stop if you are doing the trail and want to take a jaunt out to Meat Cove.
Here’s what Karston wrote
“Superb hospitality all around, plus great hiking and travelling recommendations”
Here’s what Wuyang wrote
“Bricin and Patricia's hostel is amazing! Beautiful interior, nice layout that presents a really warming stay in the mountain. He is also very helpful in giving traveling tips in Cape Breton. Many places he suggested is much better than the park's guide. Lovely stay, would definitely come again”
Here’s what Victor wrote
“The only word to describe it is AWESOME! If you want a calm night or a cool camp fire with some really awesome stories this is the place. Bricin is a very nice dude that will share with you awesome tips on places to go or some world class twisties for motorcycles.”
Here’s what Emilia wrote
“This place was absolutely amazing. I felt at home, welcomed, taken care of, i will be going back again for sure and i hope you chose this beautiful place and get to experience their amazing hospitality.”
Here’s what Jeremy wrote
“My only regret is to not had more time to spend at Bricin's place than one night. His family and church (!) is an oasis of coolness in the middle of the woods. I'd recommand anybody (who's nice) to stop there!”
Here’s what Ami wrote
“Such great hospitality! Bricin and Patricia were great.”
Here’s what Sarah wrote
“Patricia and Bricin are kick ass hosts/hostel owners!! They are genuine people - super welcoming, friendly and helpful. They would check in with me often to see how I was doing and just to chat! Bricin mapped out some sweet hikes and spots to check out in the Cape Breton highlands, which I wouldn't have known about otherwise. And had a campfire going in the back each night :) if you're looking for a place to stay in Cape North, I recommend Highlands hostel!”
Here’s what Marie wrote
“Great place. Lots of friendly guest. The hosts were very welcoming and friendly, and helped us cook local lobster! Recommend staying here if you have the chance!”
Here’s what Cally wrote
“Bricin and Patricia along with their beautiful children welcomed us with open arms. They are such kind hearted hosts that want you to have the best experience. Their converted church is beautiful, clean and spacious with a fun energy. Bricin took us to the local beach for sunset and it was breathtaking- a local hidden treasure. Thank you for everything!”
Here’s what Jenna wrote
“If you're exploring CBHNP this spot is a must. There are exceptional beaches around and top quality hiking, the hostel is perfect, and the route to get there would have itself been a reason to go.”
Here’s what Alison wrote
“The only thing that could have been better is if I had an extra 2 or 3 days to stay here! Beautiful place, comfortable, and welcoming. The surrounding area is gorgeous to explore. Highly recommend!”
Here’s what Maria wrote
“Bricin and. Patricia were incredible hosts!! They have an awesome space! I would definitely recomend staying here if you find yourself on the Cabot trail! Bricin even took my phone and pinned cool places to go and how to get there and where to park! They were beyond awesome :)”
Here’s what Cori wrote
“What a awesome place! A lovely family which bought a church and made a nice house out of it. It’s an open loft with six beds. Quiet in the night though. Perfect equipped kitchen and bathroom”
Here’s what Rachel wrote
“I loved my stay here! The whole family are so friendly and really interesting people! Their hostel is unique and homey, and super comfortable! And loads of local tips on amazing sights to see! Whether you need a break from the city or are just passing through, make sure to stay here!”
Here’s what Neil wrote
“Absolutely a gem in the woods. Amazing location, place to stay and most of all the hospitality. Amazing family that gave my stay a warm and perfect trip. Great hiking trips, local knowledge and stunning places to visit. Recommend HIGHLY. 10/10”
Here’s what Nicolas wrote
“Bricin and Patricia are enthusiastic hosts and we had a beautiful and very authentic stay ! We definitely recommend sleeping in their church..”
Here’s what Kelly wrote
“Perfect location and perfect hosts! I would definitively stop again here for a next trip in Cape Breton Island. Bricin, Patricia, their two kids and Yum Yum (the cat) are a fantastic family and great hosts. Very helpful in every thing, sharing their best spots to experience the real Cape North outdoors... Come and establish your camp here to hike or ski around.”
Here’s what Ben wrote
“The best place I've ever stayed at, and definitely the best place to make base camp if driving and hiking the Cabot Trail! Bricin and Patricia are two of the kindest, most helpful, and overall best people I've met. And the church is a super awesome destination in itself on the trail! Lots to do literally right outside the door, and a great place to hang out inside if you're beat from the trails or the weather turns. I'll make this place a base-camp for a summer trip to CBI!”
Here's what Cross Country Nova Scotia wrote
"Hey There Bricin, Patricia & Kids #HighlandsHostel. Thank-you for the fantastic accommodations and personality. Your place is as clean and tidy (or tidier) than my Grandmother's home. What a lovely family, that's chosen Cape North over many places traveled the world over.
Loved your tale of generosity on your first Christmas in Cape North. Back when Bricin was 15 years old, his Mother asked him to dress up as Santa... to lift the spirits of some folks who were finding their way within a care home, where she was working.
The 2017 Christmas was Bricin's first Christmas in Cape North. He put on his Santa Suit and visited a home for mentally challenged adults just up the street. Bricin filled his sack with wrapped apples. "Why apples", I said? "Because it's all I had to give", He said.
Keep an eye folks, this guy has the laugh and heart of Santa. For all of you parents out there wondering how to teach your kids the value of "doing the right thing", give them the opportunity to do the right thing. Sure worked for this guy at Christmas.
Job well done to Bricin's Mother. Hope to see you again soon Bricin & Family. Highlands Hostel"
Here’s what Kate wrote
“Really unique renovation of an old church and great location for a midpoint stay along the Cabot Trail!”
Here’s what Nathan wrote
“The Highland hostel is a great place for those who want to explore Cape Breton. It's near many incredible places to visit (hikes and sights) and has terrific hosts. Bryce and Patricia are super nice and keep the church really cozy and friendly.”
Here’s what Aidan wrote
“Bricin and Patricia were great! They were super helpful in mapping out an entire days worth of hikes, sites, look-offs and restaurants to see. His enthusiasm for Cape Breton was unbeatable! And the hostel itself had everything you could need! The bell tower has a great 360 degree view and they were very accommodating for any of our needs, even when the power was out for the whole region. Would certainly stay there again!”
Here’s what Dominic wrote
Awesome place! I will definitely stay there again. Like the bunks and the fact, that you stay in a former church. Checkout the tower;) The owner family is so charming and nice. thanks for everything!
Here’s what Brendan wrote
“‘‘Twas everything they promised and more.”
Here's what Jade wrote
"Very well placed to discover the Cabot Trail. Patricia was very friendly, welcoming and flexible. The house is amazing, it was the first time I slept in an (old) church :) "
Here’s what Lijun wrote
Here’s what Tineke wrote
“Great place to stay! We felt very welcome and with the other guests we had a good time! Because of the storm no electricity for a few hours but right away cosy oil lamps everywhere. What a romantic evening!”
Here’s what Patrick wrote
“A neat spot. Check out the view from the clock tower!”
Here’s what Barbara wrote
“This hostel offers the expected communal ambiance of a hostel in a unique building with great location. The private room was well set up, kitchen accessible and well organized. great place to stay!”
Here’s what En Ying wrote
“Wonderful cosy hostel, hosted by a charming family. The hostel was clean, comfortable, and our hosts gave us recommendations for hiking and food that make our trip all the better! The effort they made to make the guests feel at home (including chatting to us and making up a fire to chat around at night) and genuine interest in hearing about us and sharing their stories stood out. Would highly recommend.”
Here’s what Jonathan wrote
"Super friendly. Great accommodation - clear recommendation! "
Here’s what Faraz wrote
“Bricin is an awesome host. We had a huge bonfire and his suggestions on where to go for the best views were awesome, Highly recommend staying here if you are doing the Cabot trail. I’ll be back for sure.”
Here’s what 다영 wrote
“It was so shame that I booked this place only for one night. The place itself was freaking awesome with the fire place and spacy yard. It was dark enough to see the stars at night. Also The hosts gave me so much tips to go around and they were really welcoming too. The bonfire was amazing in the evening. I would definitely come back Cape Breton to stay and hang out here.”
Here’s what Sally wrote
“Highlands Hostel completely restored my faith in hostels! The family atmosphere is key to a great hostel experience and Bricin and Patricia do it up right! Very helpful hosts in all respects and generous with sharing local knowledge of trails, restaurants and events. All fellow hostelers were respectful and interesting and that helps too. Thank you!”
Here’s what Brenna wrote
“This hostel was amazing. Super cool how it's an 100 year old church converted into something extraordinary. The owners Patricia and Bricin are very sweet and welcoming. If you need to know anything about the area, Bricin is the guy to ask and will give you awesome directions. If you're travelling alone or with one pal i recommend the bell tower. You're in your own nook and you have a beautiful window to look out of. It is in close proximity to the bathroom but you can just hang up a sheet for a bit of privacy!( not to mention the there's a cool view at the top too!) It's super clean. and cozy too! they also give you ear plugs if your sensitive to noise which i thought was a nice touch.”
Here’s what Renée wrote
“Such a special and welcoming home. — So much character and heart! Patricia and Bricin (and Peter, and Cash and Billie and YumYum) are super hosts. Go here!”
Here’s what David wrote
“Bricin and co. will offer you the best tips about what to see around. They live right in the middle of the Cape Breton's highlands and know things only locals ever heard about. Don't miss it! :)”
Here’s what Babu wrote
“Nice place and homely reception. Very good”
Here’s what Jasmine wrote
“LITERALLY THE BEST HOSTEL I HAVE EVER STAYED IN!!! I've been quite a few places in this wild world and i can confidently say that my stay at Highlands Hostel made my trip around Canada one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. i was travelling solo and stayed five nights here and sort of arrived not knowing what i was going to get up to. No worries though, as Bricin filled my maps with little pins of the best hidden spots around the island and cool mountains to explore. The hostel is such a fun place to meet other people and hear some great stories. Bricin usually has a fire going most nights and if you're lucky he might even get the f-bomb going for a midnight beach run :D You can't beat the warm and inviting hospitality of this place and Bricin and Patricia! Thank you so much for such a great stay! I'm hoping I'll be back someday!!!!”
Here's what Audrey wrote
I am giving a 5 star review because Bricin and Patricia are very welcoming and were very helpful to me, providing me a place to stay at this time of year (long weekend in October) where everything is overbooked! The former church is super charming and I really felt at home for the few hours I stayed. The view from the former bell tower is worth ''the climb''. They really want you to enjoy the hostel and the region as well. It's also a good location to stay while travelling the Cap-Breton Park.
Here’s what Brittani wrote
“Great value! Very friendly hosts. Perfect location. Can’t beat this price :)”
Here’s what Sydney wrote
“bricin and his family are incredibly sweet and welcoming. the home itself is soooo neat. the space is cozy and the beds are very comfortable. everything you need! we loved our stay here, and they really make you feel at home. thanks for a great visit Bricin & Patricia!”
Here's what Eric wrote
This hostel is located in the middle of Cape north. It's basically church turned into house so host family live on 1st floor and all the bunk bed and private room is on 2nd floor. Host family was so kind and try to make us like home.
Here’s what Sydney wrote
“Bricin and Patricia (and their sweet kids&cat) are amazing hosts. The building is super unique and SO cozy. You feel instantly at home. Such a unique space too, and the beds were very comfortable. We would highly recommend staying here! We loved it! 😀”
Here’s what Lisa wrote
“Bricin, Patricia and her father were wonderful hosts, so warm, sincere and welcoming!!! Their home is really quite amazing, very comfortable, cool and great history and you still can find your own quiet spot if needed! Met some lovely people and enjoyed great evening fire!!! Can't say enough about their hospitality and amazing local suggestions! Thank you!”
Here’s what Lucy wrote
“This was my first time staying at a hostel and I am so impressed with this experience! Bricin and Patricia are amazing hosts. Amazing tips on what to do locally and a passion for Cape Breton make this an ideal place for travellers. The amenities such as being able to cook and store food was a great bonus. Definitely recommend!”
Here’s what Mandy wrote
“The hospitality and inclusiveness of this hostel and especially the hosts, outshone expectations. Definitely recommend for your Cabot Trail adventure.”
Here’s what Michelle wrote
“Bricin and Patricia are operating a cool AF, unique spot for a great price. Amazing vibe. Beds were comfy, place was very clean. Met lots of great people and the host family was lovely. You will not regret staying here.”
Here’s what Tony wrote
“Spent an 2 nights at Bricin and Patricia's awesome hostel. The place is a converted wooden church - super clean and cosy. The hosts were fantastic, very welcoming and full of great tips you only get by talking to a local. Would 100% recommend”
Here’s what Lucie wrote
“Really good location and good recommendation from Bricin to visit the area”
Here’s what David wrote
“Perfect perfect perfect. Amazing host family. Cool building.”
Here’s what Lauren wrote
“Stay here for a dose of fun and hospitality in the middle of Cape Breton's splendor. Bricin and his family are full of hospitality, stories, and much knowledge/local tips of the area. I appreciated the one-of-a-kind stop during my bicycle tour of the province, and will make a point to be back.”
Here’s what Calvin wrote
“Had a great stay here, I would highly recommend. Hosts were helpful with local tips, friendly, and passionate about what they do. Accommodations were great- very cool repurposed church with nice touches all around”
Here’s what Kathleen wrote
“Had a fantastic stay at highlands hostel. A very welcoming stay with a great atmosphere!”
Here’s what Ana-Maria wrote
“This place was such a fun place to stay! Lots to explore inside and out. I would recommend staying here if you like people because there are plenty. Bricin gave us lots of tips on places to explore in the area and the hospitality overall was amazing!”
Here's what Monika wrote
What a fantastic and unique experience! Lovely hosts with great recommendations!
Here’s what Remie wrote
“De old church looks beautiful and it is so much bigger inside then it looks from the outside. The beds are comfortable and they are very welcoming.”
Here’s what Brian wrote
“This is one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in and they’ve really made a great culture there in the short time they’ve been open. You’ll get absolutely the best insider info on local travel spots in a hostel that feels like instant home! The renovated church is super funky, the hosts kind, campfire plentiful, and there’s even a gentle cat. Highest recommendation and thanks!”
Here’s what Manon wrote
“The Highlands Hostel is a perfect place to stay if you are travelling on the Cabot trail. In the middle of the loop, the hostel (an old church) was ideal for us. We spent a very nice time with Patricia and her family.”
Here's what Olivia wrote
I only stayed one night but it was an amazing experience! The family that runs it is incredibly friendly and will tell you all about the hidden local gems to go visit. I would 100% go back! Also on a boring but important note, the loft dorm and bathroom was very clean. Also, there is an adorable and friendly cat there.
Here’s what Jessica wrote
“WONDERFUL folks that have created a fantastic hostel on the very top of Cape Breton. Don't miss spot if you are a budget traveller and like adventure you have come to the right spot. These guys will send you in the right direction for all and they keep the hostel clean and tidy and welcoming. Often there is a fire going at night so you can catch some local stories and share your own! I will be back! xoxo”
Here’s what Barbara wrote
“one of the best Hostels i Stayed at! it's a home away from home! hammocks, Good Vibes, recommendations for the perfect Spots to See the real Cape Breton, and Not to Forget the campfire! Bring time, You Don't want to leave :-)”
Here’s what Trent wrote
“Bricin is probably the coolest dude in the world. He's got amazing tips on cool spots to check out in the area. His family is awesome, and his place is super comfy. You're definitely going to wanna stay at his place.”
Here’s what Dan wrote
“A little oasis in the middle of the gorgeous and sweeping Canadian forestland. I slept tremendously well, the shower was great, the hosts were helpful, and the people there were friendly and fun. Will definitely return! ”
Here’s what Kevin wrote
“Patricia and Bricin were exceptional hosts. The location is amazing, and the old converted church is a very nice building. There is a lot to see and do on the property, let alone the surrounding area. Also, at the rate listed there isn't a better choice for the hostel type accommodations. Would highly recommend to anyone.”
Here’s what Erin wrote
“Bricin was super welcoming and helped me find some beautiful sites. Hostel was clean, easy to find, and well decorated. ”
Here’s what Vanessa wrote
“Highlands Hostel is one of the most unique places we have ever stayed - love the bell tower! Bricin and Patricia are great, friendly hosts. We particularly loved the evening campfire. A great experience!”
Here is what Emily wrote
I had planned three nights at Highlands Hostel ("the Church"), and ended up staying for ten nights!! Bricin, Patricia, Peter, and the kids are a kind and welcoming family, creating an amazing experience in a beautiful place. This is a well-functioning hostel in all the traditional senses-- clean and spacious, a useful and stocked kitchen, comfortable beds and linens, common spaces, and lots of suggestions for things to do in the area. But Highlands Hostel goes beyond the standard experience-- it is located in a truly spectacular part of Nova Scotia, near amazing hikes and beaches. Bricin and Patricia suggested really fabulous local spots that I might have missed otherwise, and the sense of camaraderie at the hostel was much warmer than at a lot of places. I had a great time, but it is not a "party" scene-- I definitely slept well!! But there was a great vibe and lots of music and interesting conversation, especially around the campfire! I met some very down-to-earth, interesting, and kind travellers and locals. More than anything, I am really grateful for the hospitality of Bricin, Patricia, and their family. I hope to return in winter!! This is the place to stay in Cape Breton!
Here’s what Christina wrote
“Go for it! You'll love it! I had an amazing time,the hostel is unique. Bricin and Patricia are great hosts,they do know so much about which is best to do and they are so kind and friendly,you just have to feel at home and want to stay longer. The hostel was very clean,too. I loved staying there and would always go again! ”
Here’s what Ines wrote
“Such an amazing space - perfect to meet fellow people on the trail, and an extremely relaxed atmosphere considering how open the entire space is ! Very well equipped kitchen and nearby local supplies . A must for any traveler who enjoys a good hostel.”
Here’s what Arnauld wrote
“Absolutely a brilliant place to spend a couple of days while you are traveling on the trail. Great People Serious with Open Hearts - creative.. honest! ”
Here’s what Janelle wrote
“Good value, close to many activities and friendly hosts! ”
Here’s what Bob wrote
“Accurate description quaint home style place with VERY hospitable owners”
Here’s what Emma wrote
“This is a must-stay-at place. It is a beautiful and welcoming space that offers travellers the opportunity to have a home base while exploring the Cabot Trail. Patricia and Bricin are amazing hosts who provide excellent recommendations for hikes and local exploring that is off the main tourist route. Would stay here again and will be recommending to any one I know travelling the Cabot Trail! ”
Here’s what Terri wrote
“Google Maps may lead you astray, so keep your eyes out for the old church and trailer covered in decals! The hostel is very unique - it is a renovated church and the co-ed dorm is an open space on the 2nd floor. There are 1.5 bathrooms, and there was never an issue with waiting. During the day, it is a quieter spot because most people are out exploring the trail. At night, the place is very social - there is a patio to hang out on and usually a bonfire. The hostel is located within walking distance of a restaurant and grocery store with a small take-out kitchen. Bricin and Patricia are very sweet, friendly, and helpful. They are very accommodating to requests and your needs. i would definitely stay here again!”
Here's what Julie wrote
"A beautiful place in northern Cape Breton! The hosts are anxious to see that we have what we need and what we need to visit in the area! Open air space for the beds (6 on one side and 2 on the other), in addition to 2 small closed rooms. Comfortable mattress. Air conditioning. The host makes fires at night, super nice! "
Here’s what Jacob wrote
“Friendly hosts and an amazing place to stay”
Here’s what Joe wrote
“Great stay along the Cabot Trail. Quiet cozy place. Very comforting place after long day's drive. Lots of games to play. Bonfire. See sky full of stars on a clear night. Relaxing and nice people. Bathrooms, hot water , plumbing all excellent. The place works well.”
Here’s what Gabriel wrote
“Awesome place and awesome dude! Bricin was super friendly upon arrival even though I came in super late. Only downside was I couldn't stay longer! ”
Here’s what Jimi wrote
“One of the most fun experiences I've had during my 8 years of using Airbnb! Bricin & Patricia are the embodiment of what Airbnb is all about. Their listing does not do justice as it does not display the experience of the warmth and love that they have for their home and guests. When you step into their home, you will be immersed into an experience that you may have not experienced anywhere else in the world. The renovated church which is now a hostel is beautifully well constructed and decorated. You are minutes away from the beautiful trails and beaches that Cape Breton has in store. Thank you again for such a memorable experience and I will be back again! Much love!”
Here’s what Bryce wrote
“My stay was there was great. Bricin and Patricia didn’t just invite me into their home, they invited me into their family and genuinely cared my stay in the highlands was everything I wanted and did everything to make it that. ”
Here's what Tasha wrote
We stayed at Patricia and Bricin's hostel for three nights in July. We booked the private room for our family of three, plus my mother-in-law. Their place was a great landing spot for our day trips. One day we did a long hike, and my MIL stayed at the hostel. Bricin took her for a short road trip that ended up being several hours watching the lobster boats (they picked up a fresh lobster for my dinner!). If you like to chat with people, this is the place for you! And if you are quieter, there are nice spots for you too. We attended a farmer's market that weekend, which was a good source of local baked goods. The provided linens were clean, as were our room and the bathrooms. The private did not have a window (apparently it is coming), but we actually enjoyed the darkness a lot and slept really well. They are building 6 bunk beds in the lower level, and we already have plans to go back with friends and their kids. It was a great place to stay and it is only going to get better!
Here’s what Chris wrote
“It was a pleasure staying at the hostel. As a family of five we were able to book the private room which accommodates four, as described. Bricin was able to provide an extra cot for nominal fee. We arrived late after a long day of sight seeing, which was no issue. The shared spaces, washroom, family room etc. were interesting and comfortable for a hostel. Better than expected. Bricin, Patricia and kids were very pleasant. We only stayed one night but could have easily stayed longer. ”
Here’s what Joshua wrote
“Bricin and his family were excellent hosts. Highland hostel has a great vibe and some of the spots Bricin recommended we visit were highlights of our trip. ”
Here’s what Dylan wrote
“Good vibes and fun times. Made us feel very welcome and went the extra mile for my girlfriend's birthday! Couldn't have asked for better hosts! Great halfway point if you're driving the Cabot Trail.”
Here’s what Cristian wrote
“A very cool place in a wonderful place with fantastic hosts”
Here’s what Friedemann wrote
“It‘s such a nice place that I highly recommend!! Many beautiful spots are close and Bricin will give you great tips where you should go!! You should ask for his advice. If I ever have the opportunity to come back to Cape Breton, I’ll go to that hostel again!”
Here’s what Jessica wrote
“Great place, friendly hosts. Perfect location to explore the North!”
Here’s what Katelyn wrote
“Such a neat place to stay! Great location, in the middle of our journey on the Cabot trail. ”
Here’s what Francis Cote-Tremblay wrote:
You need to go there. Beaches hikes and authentic people
Here’s what Percy wrote
“This was easily the best experience at an Airbnb that I've ever had! The Church itself is in a great location just outside of Highlands National Park, so many amazing spots. And if you're in need of help finding these spots or things to see our do... Bricin (the most Charismatic person you will ever meet) has a deep appreciation for Cape Breton and is more than happy to share his knowledge of the area to make sure you walk away having the best time possible. Really, Bricin and Patricia are both welcoming hosts that will make you feeling like you're staying with old friends rather than a typical hostel. The inside of the church is a beautiful open concept design, but still retains a very cozy feeling. I had some of the most comfortable sleeps I've had away from home. Earplugs are provided for guests, but I found it to be pretty quiet in the evening. If you do feel inclined to chat and connect with other travellers late into the evening, there's usually a fire pit out back that Bricin has going all night. I was originally only planning to stay one evening but, enjoyed it so much I ended up staying another night. The second night, they even brought in a local fiddle player for some live entertainment. Cape Breton ended up being the highlight of my Atlantic Canada visit. This was large in part to Bricin, Patricia, their family, and community at the Highlands Hostel. ”
Here’s what Alfie wrote
“Very unique place up at Cape Breton Highlands! Fantastic social atmosphere while I was there - everyone’s super friendly and we hangout by the campfire at night. The building and interiors are really nice - has a very warm cottage vibe and well kept. Hosts were really friendly and welcoming. ”
Here’s what Tatjana wrote
“Bricin's place was amazing. The family that ran the airbnb was so kind and welcoming. The place was clean and had everything that you could need. The night we stayed, everyone started playing music instruments, singing, and laughing (until around 10 so that everyone could also enjoy a good night's sleep). If we go back to Cape Breton, we are staying here again!”
Here’s what Nina wrote
“Patricia and Bricin have created a unique hostel in this converted church. Thanks to their hard work, it is not only unique, but also very comfortable (with air conditioning), spotlessly clean and supplied with lovely linens. The church is a shared, convivial environment (our room was private though) since they are basically welcoming you into their home. It is also a perfect location for exploring the North end of the island and we used it as a base for sea kayaking, river swimming, hiking as far north as meat cove - all within easy range. We'd love to return some time in the future. ”
Here’s what Elizabeth wrote
“Highly recommend if you need a place to stay in Cape North!”
Here’s what Ashley wrote
“A true gem along the Cabot Trail. Unique, hospitable, and the kind of place you want to stay in for a good while. Amazing they are open year round. We hope to stop again soon, and that they've expanded next time we are there! ”
Here’s what Rodney wrote
“Bricins Church... is the name I have coined for this place. Its a beautiful church perched atop a mountain in Cape Breton's Cabot Trail with panoramic views. Inside its a hostel with bunk beds but they also have a private room for a family with kids. Patricia his wife, will make you comfortable and give you anything you need even if its unusual request. Bricin is an encyclopedia of Cape Breton island, give him your phone and he will drop pins on your map to spectacular places that your friends who have visited before will be jealous with envy. We had a amazing evening around the bonfire connecting with fellow travellers, sharing stories, experiences, and hearing Bricins speed skateboarding escapades that brought him to Cape Breton Island. All with beautiful Scottish highland music in the background to complete a memorable evening. I highly recommend this place for a wonderful stay on the Cabot Trail. Bricin and Patricia .. thanks for your hospitality. Rodney and Rucha ”
Here's what Marco Tunnele wrote
Best place ever to stay on Cabot Trail.
GREATEST HOST YOU'LL FIND! if you're lucky enough to stay in this hospitable hostel you meet a welcoming amazing family that will be quick to make you feel welcome and give the best suggestions on how to make the most of you're stay. At night you'll meet other travellers who are always very nice and talkative. more often than not there will be live music by either your fellow traveler or some locals. (Ask Bricin about his band) bricin and Patricia have cr3ated something quite special!
Here’s what Lei wrote
“We had a great stay! Convenient location, a grocery store nearby. Lovely families n friends. Love the night life in the hostel. ”
Here’s what Chris wrote
“Highlands Hostel is a magical place at the top of the Cabot Trail. Both nights I stayed, travellers gather with Bricin around the campfire, chatted, chilled, and enjoyed the beautiful location. If you want a unique, somewhat social home base from which to explore Cape Breton Highlands National Park and other area beaches and hikes, Highlands Hostel is perfect.”
Here’s what Katelyn wrote
“Beautiful place! Perfect stop in the middle of our Cabot trail adventures. ”
Here's what Anna wrote:
"Very nice family always ready for a campfire evening. Very nice converted church with everything you need. "
Here’s what Shuze wrote
“We had great time here!”
Here’s what Amanda wrote
“This old converted church was a neat place to stay and the hosts where very welcoming.”
Here’s what Kerry wrote
“Our stay was brief but comfortable. We loved the unique experience of staying in a former church. The narrow ladder to the lookout area is a nice feature. We hope to stay longer next time.”
Here’s what Mélanie wrote
“Bricin and Patricia are sooo nice ! They live in the hostel with their two lovely kids (which never disturbed us by the way) and their cat! Even though the hostel is quite a new thing they handle it perfectly! You can cook outside on the bbq, enjoy a really cool campfire and if your lucky you’ll get some awesome popcorn cooked right on the campfire! The hostel is really close to many beautiful beaches and even some trail if you prefer to go hiking! The views are spectacular! We had so much fun! I recommend the hostel and I want to go back for sure! ”
Here’s what Rick wrote
“Worth stopping half way around the Cabot , you will have a good time , ”
Here’s what Danielle wrote
“Great hostel right on the Cabot trail, beaches and hiking trails nearby, food market and restaurant next door, outdoor fire pit... and the people I met were so kind and friendly! Bricin, Patricia and the kids were amazing! Thanks again for being wonderful hosts!”
Here’s what Morgane wrote
“This place is really amazing ! An old church beautifully renovated. They also gave me tips to go see the whales. Great place ”
Here’s what Melanie wrote
“Patricia and Bricin were extremely welcoming! They made you feel like a friend rather than a guest. The hostel was spotless and everything was labeled so all needs/amenities were easily accessible. Although, the shared room is in an open loft, it was very quiet and the bed was very comfortable. They provide ear plugs on every pillow. The location was perfect because it fell almost right in the middle of all the hiking trails, beaches, etc.- you can go any distance and find many things to keep you busy within an hour. Patricia and Bricin offered suggestions on where to go and things to see- including some local, unknown spots, like the swimming hole. I can’t praise their hospitality enough and highly recommend staying with them! ”
Here’s what Alexandre wrote
“Great people, helped us with organizing some late hour snacks. Place is cool and clean. ”
Here’s what Jakob wrote
“I had a very unique stay at the highlandshostel. Its a very nice place to stay a while and enjoy the north of cape breton, very close to the national park aswell. The family is very friendly I enjoyed good company and chats! The inside looks really nice and there is much more planned! Im excited for the next time.”
One of the best hostels I've ever been, clean, cosy, very nice owners, absolutely nothing to complain!!! Thank you for everything
Here’s what Selina wrote
“I booked 5 of the 6 loft bunks for my group of friends and it was by far one of the best hostel experiences we’ve ever had. It was nicely located in the middle of the Cabot Trail and such a fun experience to stay inside an old church. They did a great job converting it - the space was clean, comfortable, fun, and had everything you needed. Bricin is a great host and you can tell he loves what he does. He even made us the freshest lobsters and snow crabs for a great price. You cannot get better value than this! ”
“Such a unique space, and amazingly friendly hosts. Beds were clean and comfortable, and the common areas were large and spacious. Had the freshest lobsters of my whole trip in Bricin's kitchen. Would not hesitate to come back or recommend to my friends. ”
Here’s what Dan wrote
“I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Highlands Hostel. Patricia was an incredible host, very welcoming and hospitable. This hostel is like home, very unique, but incredibly cozy and cool. Not only its location is very convenient to what Cabot Trail and Cape North have to offer, but it creates a fascinating meeting point for interesting travellers and guests. I would without a doubt stay there again and can recommend Patricia and Bricin's home as a must stay place on your trip around Cabot Trail. ”
Hi Patricia, thank you for being a wonderful host! Unfortunately, I had a flight to catch and could not stay longer. The place is amazing and so were people I met there. Had a great ride with Marketa and Magnus. Hope to see you again.
Here’s what Danika wrote
“Really cool converted church. Lovely family. Staying there was really great. ”
Here’s what Ann wrote
“The hostel is a very special place. It is in an old church. You can climb all the way up to the bell tower! Inside, there is a living room, a shared bunk beds gallery upstairs, and a separate room for a family to stay. The bathroom upstairs is shared, but we had no problems with privacy at all. Besides, the floor and the doors are painted with flowers and other ornaments. Really cool! Patricia is actually in the process of making a second bathroom so future guests will have an even more private use. We used the family's kitchen, which is completely stuffed with everything one might need. The house is right on Cabot Trail, very easily accessible, and the grocery store is 2 houses away. We had a quiet, relaxing and pleasant time!”
Here’s what Inga wrote
“Nice hostel in the middle of beautiful nature and sceneries. The old church is charming and the people welcoming.”
Here’s what Natalie wrote
“Only one night, but a perfect stay there. Beautiful Hostel and friendly hosts. I highly recommend this place to everyone who travel along the Cabot Trail.”
Here’s what Mylène wrote
I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful stay. You have a really neat space and I really enjoyed hearing about your efforts to turn the church into a hostel while preserving the church as best as possible.
This hostel is just super great. The idea that a church is transformed into a hostel is superb. The entire vibe is great. You meet a lot of people who came to hike all around Cape Breton Highlands. The location is perfect because any direction you go you get to hiking trails. The beds are comfy. The owner are just awesome, so much fun. If you ask for it they get fresh lobster they cook at night for a certain price. They have kitchen with fridge you can use. There is a convenient store and a restaurant just like 5 mins walk away. The loft is a good place to socialize after a long hike. This hostel... Just go for it!
Here’s what Cemile Nurdan wrote
“Great budget accommodation in Cape Breton. Hostel style. Very clean shared bathroom. We stayed in a private room without windows, ac present. Comfortable beds. Guests have access to the kitchen and living room. The building is a previous church remodeled as a house. Walls appear to be thin but we didn't have issues with noise; other guests were quiet. Host kindly provides ear plugs if you need. Towels and bedding also provided. Patricia was very kind and friendly and had suggestions for our trip. Recommended for budget travellers.”
Here’s what Sally wrote
“Had a FABULOUS stay here at the Highlands Hostel. We were warmly greeted by our hosts Bricin and Patricia and given lots of helpful tips during our three day stay. There is soooooo much to see on the Cabot Trail and this is the perfect location to explore both the east and the west sides. I gladly give my highest recommendations to the Cape North Highlands Hostel.”
Here’s what Sally wrote
“You will not regret staying at the Highlands Hostel. We arrived late, but were warmly greeted by our hosts. The beds are very comfortable and the hosts thoughtfully provide earplugs for each guest during their stay. As described, the house is a converted church and is a beautiful warm space. As for Patricia and Bricin, you may come as guests, but you will leave feeling more like family! I gladly give my highest recommendations to the Cape North Highlands Hostel.”
Here’s what Jude wrote
“We stayed at Bricin's place for one night during our tour of Cape Breton. His repurposed church was situated exactly halfway around the trail which was really convenient, and close to the whale watching in Bay St Lawrence and Meat Cove. There is a lovely little general store just down the road serving the BEST breakfast sandwiches we've ever had! Bricin and his wife Patricia were very hospitable and kind, and they stayed up with us and the other guests telling stories over the campfire. Their kids were also home for the summer, which was nice. My only note is that the private bedroom has no window (which was okay for sleeping). Overall a great half-way point on the Cabot Trail!”
Here’s what Candice wrote
“Clean, comfortable and welcoming. Bricin and Patricia are both excellent hosts and do their best to ensure that you enjoy your time. I enjoyed a couple of fires and great lobster on the beach. It was quiet at night and my bed was very comfortable. The space was Sparkling clean and it had everything I needed. I would recommend this place to anyone and I can’t wait to go back ! ”
Here’s what Izzy wrote
“Bricin and his family were absolutely incredible hosts. Wonderful and hospitable family. One of the warmest and most unique stays I've had in an beautiful old church converted into a hostel. Will 100% come back here again and recommend friends to visit. Super central on the Cabot trail. Thank you all so much! Wish we should stay longer!”
Here's what Dany wrote
"Great welcome !!! Bricin and Patricia are very welcoming, they also gave me lots of places to visit in the area! My only regret is not being able to stay 2-3 nights !!! "
Here’s what Michele wrote
“There aren't a lot of places to stay in Cape North and this is an interesting spot - a 100-year-old church turned into a hostel - the place wasn't full so it wasn't too noisy - be aware that there isn't any signage yet - good value”
First and foremost, greatest hostel on the planet. The owner, Bricin “Striker” Lyons is a warm-hearted bro who welcomed us with open arms. He’s got amazing hospitality and told us of the best spots to check out around the area. The 100 year old church is very cozy and has a stunning view from the bell tower. It’s currently being renovated to increase capacity so it can only get more amazing. Even if you’re just passing through I highly recommend stopping by and checking it out. 11/10 would stay again. 11/10 would recommend to absolutely anyone. Striker, if you’re reading this I love you buddy and I’ll never forget you!
Here’s what Liesbeth wrote
“I would definitely recommend staying at this hostel, really cool what they've done with this place. Cozy, very clean and nice atmosphere. ”
Here’s what Iona wrote
“Bricin, Patricia and their gorgeous children are wonderful hosts. The hostel is incredible, a beautiful converted church, and Bricin regularly has campfires where guests can learn to cook lobster and get to know eachother. Thanks so much!”
Here’s what Remy wrote
"A great welcome from Bricin and Patricia. We feel at home right at the door. Great hosts to discover without hesitation. "
Here’s what Andrew wrote
“Booked this place before I purchased plane tickets. Location and price is unbeatable- there are restaurants and groceries a few steps away. Bricin and his wife were amazing hosts, never a dull moment. I always looked forward to returning back to the hostel after a long day of hiking to continue the fun. Bricin will keep you entertained and also runs delicious lobster boils. The most unique and positive hostel experience. ”
My wife and I stayed at the Highlands Hostel on our trip around the Cabot Trail. We loved the place so much we made a point to stay an extra night. As soon as we walked in we felt so welcomed and at home. The hostel is in a small old church building that has been carefully and lovingly renovated. You can still go in the bell tower which gives you a great 360 view of the surroundings. If you chose to stay here, the hosts will ensure you have a time you’ll never forget. During our time, Bricin took us and a few other guests in his old RV to the nearby beach and we had a lobster cookout on the beach. It’s these special moments, and their desire to give their guests that make this place so unforgettable. If we get so lucky to travel Cape Breton again, we would go out of our way to stay at this hostel again. I can’t emphasize anymore how enjoyable of an experience this was, and how lucky I feel to have been able to experience it for even a short amount of time! Thanks so much for the hospitality!
Awesome people! Awesome place! Stay here now!
Had such a great stay at this hostel! The place is cosy, warm and clean and the hosting family make you feel at home right away. And, we got to eat Fresh Lobster! Which was soooo good. Also it is located in a beautiful area with all the hiking trails just around the corner. Highly recommended!!
Sara De Boer
"I've had some great experiences with airbnb and hostels, but this has definitely been the best. I highly recommend anyone touring Cabot trail to stay here. Absolutely amazing experience. Had a lobster cookout over the campfire and got to meet some other travellers from around Canada. Our hosts were the friendliest people and the beds were clean and comfy. 100% would come back again:)"
Here’s what Doug wrote
“Bricin and Patricia were both outstanding and did everything to make sure that I had a great experience. It was a pleasure staying at this hostel.”
Great hospitality and value. Awesome find after two days in the cold when cycling the trail. Huge wood burning stove, warm, cosy, clean and comfortable beds. Thanks a lot guys.
Here’s what Dominique wrote
“The location is amazing, close to stores and gas stations but also surrounded by incredible views and awesome hikes. If you like being outside and having camp fires, this is the place to be. I couldn’t say anything negative about our stay. The hosts were an absolute delight and the hostel is definitely one to see.”
Here’s what David wrote
“Very hospitable and sweet hosts! Great spot to rest and catch the highland spots.”
Here’s what Marina wrote
“The Highlands Hostel is such a nice place to stay! It's a great experience to sleep in a church. Patricia and her family are so friendly and helpful. They recommended hiking trails to us, which aren't far away. We enjoyed their hospitality a lot and highly recommend the hostel. Thank you for everything!”
Here’s what Pollie wrote
“It is pretty cool sleeping in this gorgeous renovated church. It is very close to the cross country ski trails and there are all the joys of the national park in their back yard. The beds and pillows were amazing. We slept in the upstairs room with a queen bed and a bunk bed. There was a fan in the room which kept the temperature perfect. There is no window in the room which keeps it nice and dark. There is a shared kitchen with tea and coffee available. The bathroom was shared with the loft but this did not present a problem. My son who is eleven really enjoyed the action with the owners young children. We were there during a snow storm in early April but still really enjoyed ourselves. Patricia and Bricin went out of their way to look out for us. We would definitely stay here again”
April 9th 2018
Wir hatten einen schönen Aufenthalt. Es wird ordentlich eingeheizt, das kleine Hostel wird familiär geführt und es was stets sauber. Eine süße weiße Katze lebt mit im Haushalt.
(We had a nice stay. It is heated properly, the small hostel is family run and it was always clean. A cute white cat lives with in the household.)
“Accueil très agréable, toujours disponible, bel emplacement dans le parc.”
"Very nice home, always available, beautiful location in the park."
“Tres bon accueil. Je recommande.”
"Very nice home. I recommend."
From Douvaine, France ·
Thank you very much for the nice time at your church! We really enjoyed it! Thanks for the great welcoming, the recommendations, the fiddle concert and for giving us the feeling to be part of your family. The bonfire was great!!! Thanks for the detailed map! The church is a unique place! It’s a once in a lifetime adventure!
From Attert, Belgium ·
Wow what a great addition to Cape Breton. Check this lovely & accommodating family out. Their making things better, and who can ask for more.
Thanks Evie glad you enjoyed yourself, hope to see you again
We had a wonderful time at The Highland Hostel. We spent a weekend there in February. The house (the church) was beautiful and our hosts were lovely. We were within walking distance Cape North Cross Country Skiing. The accommodations were great: clean, quiet, well equipped, reasonably priced and safe. We would definitely stay there again. Bricin, Patricia, Billy, Cash and Yum Yum, we will see you all again. It was so nice to meet you and get to know you. You have great energy and you have a great thing going on there. Remarkable! Cheers, Marie Alayne and Terrie
Thanks Marie, we miss you already, glad you enjoyed your stay, come back soon
Located in an exceptional place from which you can quickly reach the most amazing places in Cape Breton, is led by a beautiful family that makes you feel at home, a friendly and fun environment that definitely makes it the ideal place to enjoy a nice vacations
Thanks Oscar I hope you can visit us again from Mexico Cassius Billie and Bricin miss playing hide and seek with you
A beautiful and warm space to stay and experience the Cabot Trail, run by such a welcoming and wonderful family. Breath-taking hikes short drives all around the church, something for any range of ability or experience, and the sunrise from the top of the steeple is incredible. A must stop on your Cape Breton adventure, and to help support a beautiful family’s dream.
Thanks for your kind words Genevieve, see you next visit for some more hikes
The Highlands Hostel is a beautiful church in Cape North, Nova Scotia. It is located conveniently along the Cabot Trail giving you access to explore everything the national park has to offer! Inside the hostel there are two bathrooms (upstairs bathroom has the shower), washer/dryer, kitchen, a big common space, lots of beds and bunks (we had a crew of 11 visiting and there was a bed for each of us at the time) and the bell tower with a fantastic view. Peter, Bricin, Patricia and the kids are amazing hosts and they always have great stories to share. Thank you for having us there in August for the Coast to Coast tour, I look forward to coming back to visit!!
Thanks Gene, we thoroughly enjoyed all of your company and look forward to the next visit
A very spacious and beautiful building. host family is extremely generous and accommodating. It is kept very clean, has ample outlets, beds and washrooms for guests. its located in a very scenic valley, with great views of the local area from the historic church steeple. Within walking distance of two beaches, a local restaurant, a general store and a gas station. Price is very affordable and competitive. Highly recommend staying at this hostel for your Cabot trail adventures.
Thanks David. we look forward to you returning
The owners were amazing and more than welcoming. Plus only a two minute walk from the grocery store
Thanks Doug, we are glad you enjoyed your stay.
10/10 good spot, good people. definitely staying again next time in town
Hi Justin, next time we have a lobster feast, see yo next visit.
Bricin is an amazing host, the location is perfect and the building is beautiful, spacious and cozy. Gas station, groceries and a restaurant are all within walking distance which is insane for a place this secluded. There's a river down the road with a rock beach you can swim in, there's a private beach 5 minutes down the road. Also the sunrises and sunsets from the steeple of the church are INSANE! This place is a must visit in the highlands national park.
Thanks for all your help, see you next visit
The user didn't write a review, and has left just a rating.
Hi Josh, a man of few words thanks for the rating, hope to see you again soon
The highlands hostel is on its way to being one of the great hidden gems of Cape North, Nova Scotia. The Lyons family who have just recently purchased it are young, vibrant, and full of life, and Peter who is managing everything is the most humble and very gracious host. The hostel itself is quite quaint being a turn of the century church that has a lot of history and character. Whether it's a dorm room or private room, both offered are wonderfully crafted for long visits, or short stays. Your time here will not be forgotten easily for years to come. Also while visiting make sure to check out the Coast Longboarding Museum located in the basement of the hostel. Full of memorabilia and the history of Longboarding. I would recommend this hostel to any vacationers up in Cape Breton.
Thanks Aaron , it was a pleasure having you and the crew as our guests, we look forward to your return and we will have another lobster feast, come back soon.
Beautiful location, very clean and cozy accommodations with an amazing host taking care of our every need. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay, felt like weary travellers coming home after a long journey. Thank you for having us Peter!
thank you for the kind words, it was a pleasure having you and your crew here for the 4 days . Hopefully you will make it back for the inaugural East coast race. take care.
Thanks for signing the bell tower lol
This hostel is something else since its not only well run but the location is unique. Feels fresh and clean! Great host who knows the area well and is more than happy to help out. You will be more than pleased!
glad you were able to experience the mountains here in Cape Breton, we look forward to you returning
Very clean and quiet. Host was very kind and held a good conversation. He had arranged fiddlers to play on the first night which was a very interesting cultural experience. I would highly recommend this hostel to anyone looking for a unique experience on the Cabot Trail.
It was a pleasure to have your company for those days, glad you enjoyed it, and we look forward to seeing you again in the near future