Reviews From Guests

Norbert J  - Wrote

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 travelers.”

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”

Colton Moon

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. ”

Grant Skinner

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!

Natalie Merrick

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:)"

~Jadyn Shand

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

Marco MarCoo

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 ·


Evie Moore

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

Marie MacIntyre

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

oscar romero

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

Genevieve McNeil

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

Gene Jr Nillas

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

david matyas

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

Doug Hill

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.

Justin barnes

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.

Gregor Macdonald

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.


Hi Gregor
Thanks for all your help, see you next visit

Josh Gaudon

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

Aaron Libby

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.

Vincent Gao

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!


Hi Vince
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

Isac Printz

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!


Thanks Isac
glad you were able to experience the mountains here in Cape Breton, we look forward to you returning

Josh Wutzke

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.


Hi Josh
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