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  • Erin Norberry

Why Is Accommodation in Nelson Difficult to Find?

In October 2020, journalist Bill Metcalfe wrote two important articles on Nelson Star. These articles discussed the shortage in accommodation that Nelson, BC has faced in the past few years. The decline in accommodation has impacted the small town’s tourism, with more and more travelers experiencing difficulties in finding vacation rentals. Metcalfe proffers that while it is a well-known fact that the vacancy rate in Nelson has plummeted to zero, the town has yet to establish a sound explanation for it.

The articles present a few theories to explain how accommodation in Nelson has become difficult to find:

1. Downtown area is off-limits to short-term rentals

Nelson downtown is a prime location for both travelers and business owners. The area is favorable to travelers as it is a convenient jump-off location to most of the town’s famous tourist destinations. However, the city does not give a license to operate short-term rentals in the downtown area.

2. Strict regulations for short-term rentals.

Nelson, BC imposes strict regulations for short-term rentals, where possibly the biggest challenge of it all is that the renter must reside in the same building as the rental. Other regulations include a limit on the number of units per block, a maximum number of guests allowed, and a provision for parking.

3. Steep price of accommodation license

Rental owners are also restricted by the steep cost of an accommodation license. In the downtown area, the license to operate a one-to-six-bedroom tourist accommodation is already priced at $160.

What does this mean for travelers like you?

Even if accommodation in Nelson has gotten difficult to find, it doesn’t mean that you should stay away from this charming town and miss out on its unique offerings. That would be a huge shame! This only means that you should consider traditional types of accommodation such as hotels and motels, hostels, and bed and breakfast inns. Sure, short-term rentals and such kinds of accommodation are often priced cheaper, but you’ll be surprised to discover amazing deals on Nelson hotels, too, especially if you look hard enough.

Booking your accommodation at hotels also results in great benefits; here are a few:

1. Better security

Security means more than just finding a place with decent security staff or one that is located in a safe area. It means sleeping soundly at night without the risk of being driven away because your accommodation is not licensed to operate or non-compliant to the city’s regulations on safety, health, and hygiene. Bear in mind that security must always be your top priority whenever choosing an accommodation, especially if you’re traveling to a foreign place.

2. Support for Nelson’s economy

Hotels with a license to operate pay their taxes to the local government. These taxes fund the town’s services so that it remains a clean, safe, and happy place for both its residents and guests.

3. Loyalty rewards program

Take advantage of the loyalty rewards program offered by different hotels in Nelson, BC. Use your rewards points to get discounts, freebies, and even free accommodation. Prestige Inn and Prestige Lakeside Resorts of the Prestige Hotels & Resorts family are two accommodations in Nelson, BC that offer an excellent rewards program. The Prestige Rewards Card can be used not only at their hotels but also at local businesses such as the Capitol Theatre, ROAM Shop, and Nelson Whitewater Rafting Co.

Nelson, BC Hotels That We Love

To help you in your quest of finding the perfect hotel in Nelson, BC, here are accommodations that rank high on our list. These hotels embody three qualities for which the town is known: charming, brimming with character, and warmly hospitable.

1. Hume Hotel & Spa 422 Vernon Street, Nelson, BC

Hume Hotel & Spa is an important part of Nelson’s architectural landscape and history. Since it opened in 1898, Hume Hotel was already a symbol of opulence. As The Tribune described it, “Between Winnipeg on the East, and Vancouver on the west, no such building exists.” It has undergone several phases of renovation, but it is still as resplendent as it was on its first day, back when the town still had unpaved and minimally passable roads.

You’ll love Hume Hotel & Spa because it perfectly marries ‘heritage charm’ with modern amenities, luxury with hospitality. Lounge in your plush hotel robe as you enjoy your complimentary hot breakfast, freshly prepared by Hume’s wonderful staff.

2. The Adventure Hotel

616 Vernon Street, Nelson, BC

The Adventure Hotel opened in 1914, back when Nelson was most known for its flourishing mining industry. It operated as an upscale accommodation, aptly named ‘New Grand Hotel’. With the decline of the mining industry and the rise of adventure tourism, the hotel made it a point to keep up with the times. It changed its name to The Adventure Hotel in 2019 and rebranded itself as a functional, stylish, and affordable accommodation.

You’ll love The Adventure Hotel because it has the necessary amenities to make your stay comfortable, but, more so, because the establishment also welcomes pets, which is a huge convenience if you love going on vacation with your furry best friend/s. It is also worth noting that its on-site coffee shop, Empire Coffee, is one of the best in all of Nelson. Empire uses only premium coffee beans, upper 1% in the world to be specific, in all of its coffee creations, which they serve alongside fresh pastries, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.

3. Prestige Lakeside Resort & Convention Centre

701 Lakeside Drive, Nelson, BC

Prestige Lakeside Resort is all about giving its patrons the best of both worlds, with mesmerizing views of the Kootenay Lake and the Selkirk mountain range, all while being a stone’s throw away from Nelson’s downtown area. It offers an assortment of activities such as kayaking, bicycle rides, and board games.

You’ll love Prestige Lakeside Resort because it is a wholesome accommodation for traveling families. Whether you’re yearning for a quiet holiday or roaring for an adventure-packed trip, Prestige is an excellent accommodation choice. The resort features a delightful rewards program where you can use the membership card for discounts and freebies at numerous Nelson businesses.

Final Thoughts

Nelson’s ever-changing tourism and hospitality landscape yields both advantageous and disadvantageous results for its guests, residents, and businesses. What never changes, however, is the town’s unwavering ability to keep up with the times, as proven by both Hume Hotel and The Adventure Hotel. Whatever changes may arise in the following years, you can be assured that you’ll always have a safe, cozy, and welcoming home in Nelson, BC.

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