We were due for a “roof” last night after a few nights of camping in just about freezing conditions. So, we headed north towards the city of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. We had recently seen an online advertisement for summer accommodations at the Grenfell Campus, which is part of the Memorial University of Newfoundland. In the summer the campus offers their student housing to travelers at reasonable rates. We weren’t sure if this would be a good fit for us as a family but we decided to give it a try.
We loved that the accommodations included Wi-Fi, free parking, and on site laundry services. Trying to keep to our budget we opted for accommodations in the residence dorm rooms versus the nicer chalet style apartments. Having stayed in our share of dormitories us older Fives were very impressed by our two connected rooms that had their own private bathroom and full size refrigerator. Five of Hearts on the other hand was not a fan of the decor and immediately proclaimed that we should have gotten a hotel room like the one in Saint John. Five Ball scanned the room and looked at us with utter disgust when he realized that the rooms didn’t have television sets (he had planned on watching PBS kids).
The twin beds in the rooms were definitely on the small side but we are more comfortable using our own sleeping pads and sleeping bags so it wasn’t a big deal. Plus the large common kitchen just down the hall provided us a great space to prepare our meals. The best part of all was the laundry room which only charged $1 to wash or dry. A real bargain compared to some campground rates. We also loved having two separate rooms so that the kids could go to sleep while we caught up on work. However, one downside was the fact that we had to lug all of our stuff from the not-so-near parking lot up two flights of stairs. You really start to appreciate room-side parking and elevators when you try to maneuver three kids and all your luggage across a road and through the building.
Overall it was an interesting experience which saved us around $30 in lodging. The check-in process and the parking were a hassle but the super hot showers and cheap laundry were a plus. In the end the summer accommodations at Grenfell would be great for large families or groups traveling together as you can stay in the chalet style apartments and really save a bundle. We would also recommend the residence dorm rooms for travelers without children. It is like staying in a hostel where you have your own private bedroom and bathroom. However, for families with young kids the drawbacks of staying in the dorms probably aren’t worth the amount that you save over more family friendly accommodations.