Review: Aurora Bayside Inn Yellowknife

When looking for places to stay during my visit to Yellowknife back in May, what I could mostly find were average-looking hotels at fairly expensive prices. The one option that stood out was Aurora Bayside Inn.

While lacking the services typically provided by hotels, the inn was not only considerably cheaper than the other options but also situated directly on Great Slave Lake’s shore. As such, I decided to book it for three nights at 119.85 CAD per night. Continue reading to see what my stay at Aurora Bayside Inn was like.

Aurora Bayside Inn
Aurora Bayside Inn Yellowknife.

Getting to Aurora Bayside Inn

The Aurora Bayside Inn is located in Yellowknife’s Old Town, just a few minutes walk away from one of the city’s landmarks – the Bush Pilot’s Monument. It is also just a short walk away from Latham Island and just over 20 minutes of walking away from the city center.

Right in front of the inn, there is a bus stop – McDonald Drive at Causeway – served by Yellowknife Tranist’s route C. That said, due to the sparse bus schedule, you will generally be better off walking, driving, or taking a cab.

In my case, I walked to the city center and took cabs to/from the airport. The cab rides between the inn and the airport cost just over 20 CAD and took just over 10 minutes each.

Aurora Bayside Inn
There is a bus stop right in front of the Aurora Bayside Inn.


Depending on the season, I believe it might be possible to check in at Fishy People – a restaurant located in the same building as the Aurora Bayside Inn. During my visit, though, the restaurant was closed and the keys to my room were placed in a key box next to my room’s door.

The instructions about how to pick up the key were provided through an app accessible through a link I got from the inn in a message on where I booked the stay. The app also provided instructions on how to connect to the inn’s wi-fi and, later on, check-out instructions.

Aurora Bayside Inn Rooms
The room entrance was on the other side of the building.

Guest Room

My room was in the main building and could be accessed directly from a patio located behind the building. While I am not sure how many rooms in total there are in the Aurora Bayside Inn, there appeared to be at least one more room in the main building and there was also a standalone cabin in the patio.

Aurora Bayside Inn Cabin

The room itself was equipped with furniture that has seen better days. That said, the room was more than large enough and the furniture did its job – in fact, the bed was surprisingly comfortable. On the bed were two small and two large towels – those were not replaced during the stay.

In addition to a closet and some other storage, there were also a TV, a table with two chairs, and a sofa chair with an ottoman in the room.

Aurora Bayside Inn Room
Aurora Bayside Inn Room

Next to the table was a counter with a small refrigerator, a microwave oven, plates and other kitchenware, and some tea and coffee.

Aurora Bayside Inn Kitchen
Kitchen corner.
Aurora Bayside Inn Tea

The bathroom was clean and equipped with a sink, a toilet, and a shower. There was no bathtub. Basic amenities – i.e. hand soap, body soap, and shampoo – were provided and so was a hairdryer.

One thing worth mentioning here is that for part of the year and soon year-round, water has to be trucked to properties in Yellowknife’s Old Town meaning the water supply is not unlimited. While generally, this should not be a problem, for some reason we happened to run out of water on one of the nights I stayed at the inn.

The very nice owner, Joe, explained the situation to me and offered me a few bottles of water so that I could at least brush my teeth until the tanks would be refilled the next morning. Later during my stay I also run into him in the patio and had a chance to hear his unique story of how he ended up in Yellowknife.

Aurora Bayside Inn Bathroom
Aurora Bayside Inn Shower
Aurora Bayside Inn Amenities

Lastly, in front of the room was a wood deck which – just like the patio which I will talk about in the next section – offered great views of the Great Slave Lake.

Aurora Bayside Inn Deck
Deck in front of the room.

Patio and Dock

Off the wood deck was a nice patio with a few picnic tables.

Aurora Bayside Inn Yard
Aurora Bayside Inn Yard

What was even nicer, though, was the hotel’s dock floating right on the Great Slave Lake. There were a couple of chairs there which provided an excellent place to relax or get some work done. I also had breakfast in one of the chairs during sunset – I highly recommend you do the same!

From the dock, great views of the Great Slave Lake and Air Tindi’s float plane base could be had. While there were no float planes yet during my visit, in the summer, the dock offers great views of float planes coming in and out of the base too.

Aurora Bayside Inn Lake
Aurora Bayside Inn Dock
Seating on the dock.
Aurora Bayside Inn Lake
Great Slave Lake.
Aurora Bayside Inn Lake
Air Tindi float base.


As mentioned earlier, there is an on-premise restaurant – Fishy People – where, among other things, fish caught in the Great Slave Lake are served. An extension of that is The Garden which is located on the patio behind the inn.

Unfortunately, as both of those were closed during my stay, I wasn’t able to try them out. I heard good words about Fishy People from a couple of people I interacted with in Yellowknife, though, so definitely check it out if it’s open during your stay!

Aurora Bayside Inn
Fishy People.
Aurora Bayside Inn The Garden
The Garden.

A number of other restaurants are located within walking distance of the Aurora Bayside Inn. During my time in Yellowknife, I had a chance to try two of those.

I had excellent fish and chips made out of fish caught in the Great Slave Lake at Bullock’s Bistro, a small restaurant about a five-minute walk away from the inn. The portion was unbelievably large. I also had a tasty and filling bison short rib sandwich at NWT Brewing Company, a brewery/restaurant with outdoor seating a ten-minute walk away from the inn.

NWT Brewing Co.
Bison short rib sandwich at NWT Brewing Co.
Bullock's Bistro Yellowknife
Fish and chips at Bullock’s Bistro.

Aurora Bayside Inn Summary

I was tempted to book one of the regular hotels, but I am glad I went with the Aurora Bayside Inn in the end. Not only was the stay cheaper than it would have been at a regular hotel but it was also much more enjoyable thanks to the inn’s location directly on the Great Slave Lake.

While it would have been great if we didn’t run out of water on one of the nights, the issue was resolved promptly and the owner handled the situation nicely.

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