What is a "private
Private home accommodations (PHA) are guest rooms for rent to
overnight visitors in a private home. The guest rooms may be a
part of the host's living quarters - an upstairs spare bedroom
- or may be a completely self-contained unit, anything from just
a basic bedroom, to a cozy bed/sitting room to a one, two or three
bedroom apartment complete with kitchen. In Jasper, PHAs must
be operated by a home-owner living in the home, and are not permitted
in rental properties. Several homes offer breakfast, however,
most do not.
What is the difference between "home accommodation" and "Bed
Some home accommodations are Bed & Breakfasts, however, most
do not offer breakfast unless otherwise noted.
Bed and Breakfasts are required to meet stringent provincial
food regulations, and to pass inspection by the Public Health
Inspector. They must display a valid Alberta "Food Establishment
Permit" prominently. Breakfast must be included in the room rate
rather than as an additional charge.
Many home accommodations offer a kitchen, or a fridge and a
microwave for their guests to prepare their own meals; Jasper
also has many fine restaurants.
The practice of offering overnight accommodation to visitors
with no breakfast arose from years of regulations that did not
permit breakfast service. The regulations have changed, and breakfast
is now permitted subject to meeting Alberta Health standards;
however, private home accommodation continues to be popular with
many visitors. Both types of accommodation are available in Jasper.
Who are PHA hosts?
Private home accommodations are operated by the person(s) who
own the home and live in it. Many hosts in Jasper are families.
If the host is temporarily absent - for instance, away on vacation
- they are required to have someone living in the home to attend
to guest needs in their absence.
Where, in the host's home, are the guest rooms?
Guest accommodations may be upstairs bedrooms, just down the
hall from the host's, or they may be on the main floor of a home,
perhaps with their own entrance from outside. PHAs are sometimes
in the lower level or basement of a home. However, lest you imagine
dingy, damp, dark cellars, be assured that government inspections
and licensing require that strict National Building Code regulations
be adhered to, no matter what part of the house the rooms are
located in. To protect your health and safety, these regulations
address topics such as the size of the bedrooms and of the required
windows, the number of occupants and bathroom facilities required,
and fire safety standards - the availability of exits, and smoke
detector and fire extinguisher location.
Many homes have "daylight" or above ground basements, with lots
of windows, sunlight streaming in, and mountain views. With Jasper's
dry climate, dampness is usually not a problem, even in basement
If location of the accommodation is important to you, or whether
there is a view from your room, be sure to ask your host for a
What is an "ensuite" bathroom?
This term comes from the French term "en suite", which means,
literally, "in the room". An ensuite bathroom is connected directly
to the guest room, that is, you do not have to leave the guest
room to access the bathroom. A "private" bathroom may or may not
be "ensuite" - sometimes, while the bathroom is for the exclusive
use of one guest room, it may be down the hall from the room itself.
What is a "shared" bath?
A bathroom may be shared between two or three guest rooms, or
with the hosts. Sometimes more than one shared bathroom is available.
Alberta Health regulations require at least one bathroom for every
Just a note about homes with a "shared" bath - when a bathroom is
shared between two or three guest rooms, if you book all of the rooms that share a
bathroom, the bathroom is essentially "private" to your party.
Why do some hosts want a deposit?
Some hosts will ask for a deposit to confirm a reservation;
often it's the amount of the first night's charge. A deposit protects
both the visitor and the host. With a confirmed reservation, the
visitor is assured a place to stay, and the hosts, having already
rented the accommodation, will not be turning away other potential
guests only to have the room sit empty. The host should inform
the guest of their cancellation policy when requesting the deposit,
and again when confirming the reservation in writing.
What about payment by credit card?
Hosts are only permitted to request your credit card number if
they have a merchant account with that credit card company. One
of the terms agreed to when establishing a merchant account is
that the host must accept the credit card as final payment from
the guest, if that is how the guest chooses to pay. Be aware
that if you book with someone who asks for a credit card number
to guarantee or confirm the reservation but who will not accept
payment by credit card, they probably do not have a merchant
account and are probably not able to process credit card
Requesting your credit card number to confirm a reservation
without being authorized to do so is not only a fraudulent
practice, but also against our association's standards. Please
send any concerns here.
What is a "cancellation policy"?
It is the terms under which a host will refund your deposit
if you cancel a confirmed reservation. Each host has their own
policy. Some deposits may not be refundable within a specific
period of time, or a cancellation charge may apply. Be sure to
ask your host when you make a reservation.
What methods of payment are acceptable at home accommodations
While some hosts can accept credit cards, many do not. Ask your
host. Cash and traveller's cheques are always welcome; you should
ask your host's policy if you wish to pay by personal cheque or
in American funds. Regardless of how you pay, your host is required
to provide you with a receipt.
Are prices in Canadian or American dollars?
Prices quotes in our association listings are all in Canadian
dollars. American funds are readily changed at banks and currency
exchanges; many businesses will accept U.S. money as well, although
their exchange rates may not be as favourable as bank rates. You
should ask your host whether they accept U.S. currency if that
is how you wish to pay.
Do accommodations charge the 4% Alberta
Tourism Levy or the federal GST (Goods & Services Tax) of 5%?
Accommodations offering three rooms or less are not required
to charge the provincial Tourism Levy. Most private home
accommodations are under the income threshold that requires them
to collect GST.
Canadian law requires that businesses charging GST must
include the amount of the tax and their GST registration number
on your receipt.
Private home accommodations and Bed and Breakfasts in Jasper are
REQUIRED to issue a receipt for any and all payment received.
Do Private Home Accommodations have air conditioning?
Usually not. Very few homes in Jasper are equipped with air
conditioning, simply because it is not needed. Summer nights in
Jasper are not "shirt-sleeve" weather - be sure to bring a warm
sweater or light jacket. Even in the hottest part of the summer,
Jasper's evenings and nights are cool - usually between 45 and
60F, or about 7 to 15 degrees Celsius. Even when a home heats
up during the day, a little ventilation once the day cools down
ensures bedrooms are comfortable for sleeping.
Do I need to make an advance reservation?
Jasper is a beautiful resort town in spectacular surroundings,
and tourism is the largest industry. July and August are the busiest
months, and sometimes - especially holiday weekends - the entire
town sells out completely - home accommodations, hotels, motels,
youth hostels, and campgrounds. It is an hour's drive, in any
direction, to the next town. So, it is advisable to plan ahead,
especially in peak season.
If I come to Jasper without an advance reservation, where can
I find out about vacancies?
From May through September, a Daily Vacancy List is posted at the Parks
Canada Visitor Information Centre. Home-owners who wish to advertise a vacancy
do so by adding their name to the list. Two courtesy phones are provided by
Jasper Tourism and Commerce to assist visitors.
From October to May, the vacancy list is posted weekly or bi-weekly.
An online vacancy list reporting vacancies for the next seven nights is available by
clicking on this link!
If you would rather have someone else find accommodations for you, there are
also several reservation agencies in Jasper. Many of these can also make
bookings for you for sightseeing excursions and activities.
Are children welcome at private home accommodations?
Ask your host what their policy is regarding children. Most
home accommodations and Bed and Breakfasts welcome guests of all
ages, although some may be recommended for older children only, especially
if gourmet breakfast service is offered, or if the décor includes
antiques or breakable objects.
The accommodation that I am interested in is advertised for
a maximum of four people. Can I bring a foamie and sleeping bag
for a fifth person?
Home accommodations are subject to strict occupancy limits to
protect the guests' health and safety. The availability of bathroom
facilities and fire exits, the size of rooms and the beds available
are all factors that determine the capacity of guest rooms. Additionally,
hosts are licensed for, and hold liability insurance for, a maximum
number of guests. There are homes available to accommodate up
to eight guests.
Can my pet stay with me?
If you are travelling with an animal, check with the host before
booking to ensure that your pet is welcome. Some hosts are allergic
to animals and cannot have any in their homes, or they may have
pets of their own who may not always welcome strange animals into
"their" territory; some accommodations cater to travellers with
allergies and do not permit any animals in their rooms.
Is smoking permitted?
Many private home accommodations and Bed and Breakfasts do not
permit smoking indoors in their homes, but may provide somewhere
for smokers to sit outdoors. (Please be considerate and use the
ash-tray provided instead of the host's flowerbeds!) Ask your
host before you light up, especially if no ash-trays are apparent.
Who regulates home accommodations
and Bed and Breakfasts?
In Jasper National Park and the townsite of Jasper, Parks Canada, an agency
of the Canadian government, is responsible for reviewing and inspecting all
private home accommodations. Business licensing and bylaw enforcement is done by
the Municipality of
Licensed homes in Jasper must display a standard sign on the exterior of
their house. Look for the small green and white square with the accommodation
icon, a bed underneath a roof. Licensed homes must also display a copy of their
business license in their guest room(s).
Where breakfast is offered, all hosts must also have and display a valid
Alberta "Food Establishment Permit", which signifies that they have been
inspected by the public health inspector to ensure they meet health and food
Where can I find an entire house to
rent in Jasper for my vacation?
It is not possible to rent a vacant house in Jasper by the night
or by the week.
Because Jasper is in a national park, all development is strictly
controlled. To ensure that the park remains as wilderness, the
boundaries of the town are fixed; the town cannot grow any larger.
Almost no land is available for further development, and housing
is already scarce for those who live and work in the town. Consequently,
all residential properties must be occupied by someone with a
"need to reside" in the park - or by someone who worked in the
park for at least five years before retirement.
I will be working in Jasper for the
summer. Do private home accommodations rent to summer residents
by the month?
In most cases, no. Home accommodation is intended as nightly
rental to visitors. Renting a private home accommodation would
generally not be economical as a monthly rental, especially in
Rental housing can be difficult to find in Jasper at any time
of the year - during the summer months, when thousands of summer
workers arrive, the vacancy rate gets even tighter. Job seekers
are encouraged to make arrangements prior to arriving in Jasper.
Many employers offer staff accommodation.
When is "high" season? When is "low" season?
High season is the summer. Low season is the winter. The exact dates
used to define high and low season, ski season, off-season, shoulder
or value season are set by the owners of each home accommodation or
B&B. Please enquire with the host.
The summer tourist season runs from approximately the Victoria Day
long weekend (mid-to-late May) to the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday
weekend in mid-October. Some homes define this entire period as "high
season"; others, only the months of July and August.
Ski season in Jasper generally runs from December through late April.
What is a "self-catered" breakfast?
A self-catered breakfast generally means that the host provides
breakfast foods for guests to serve themselves. This is often a
What is a "continental" breakfast?
A continental breakfast is usually a light breakfast that may include
bread or baked goods, coffee, tea, juice etc.
How big is Jasper?
Jasper - the town - has a permanent population of 4500. Physically,
the town is only about four kilometres (two miles) long from one end
to the other. The downtown area, where most of the shops and
restaurants are located, is located in the centre of the town.
Jasper - the park - is very large - 10,878 square kilometres (4,200
square miles). The town of Jasper is located approximately in the
centre of the park, with access to the town from the south, by
highway 93, the Icefield Parkway, or from the east and west by
highway 16, the Trans-Canada Yellowhead highway. Jasper National Park
is the largest and most northerly of the four Canadian Rockies
national parks, and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How are room rates quoted on this site? Are discounts offered?
The rates quoted in each listing are per room, based on double
occupancy (two guests sharing one bedroom). A "per extra person" rate
may be indicated if a room can accommodate more than two guests. Some
home-owners have rooms with different rates (for instance, if one
room is larger than another, or if one has a kitchenette), and they
may indicate a range of rates to show that their rooms are not all
the same price.
The rates quoted are the highest rates for double occupancy charged
by the home-owner charges in high season, and, if they are open all
year, low season. Some home-owners may offer discounted rates for
singles, families or seniors, or special rates for multi-night stays,
low season discounts, or for booking all the rooms of a multi-room