There is a variety of accommodation including hotels such as the Fairmont Newfoundland Hotel (formerly known as Hotel Newfoundland), The Delta Hotel, The Battery, Holiday Inn, Hotel St. John's, Journey's End, Airport Plaza Hotel (formerly known as The Airport Inn) and more; motels including The Kenmount Motel, and that place where Lukey's Boat plays sometimes (which I will add in later); inns such as The Captain's Quarters, Victoria Station (was 290) and others; accommodation in Memorial University dorms outside of the main academic year; and lots of bed and breakfast places and also listings for room and board in the newspaper. I don't know if there is a youth hostel yet but think not, and don't know if the Y offers any accommodation here. When I find out (and whenever I say this feel free to e-mail me and let me know) I'll edit this.
Olaf offers this strong endorsement of B&Bs: "Beware of overpriced motels (they appear desperate to make 12 months worth of income out of four months of tourist season). Compensating for the motels is a growing bed-and-breakfast industry; some are quite good. In St. John's, I recommend the Prescott Inn Hotel, a B&B at 17-19 Military Road across from St. Thomas Church (the old garrison church). It's reasonable for St. John's ($45 single, $55 double when last I stayed there) and clean, and the people are nice. The furnishings are antique but comfortable. Call (709) 753-6036. The Fort William can also be recommended (similar prices and decor; call 726-3161 or fax 726- 4525). There are others, but these are the only ones with which I have any experience. They're quite close to the Newfoundland Hotel, near the many downtown pubs, restaurants and shops and minutes (walking) from the harbour."
Gerald Winsor contributed the following: "Barbour's Bed & Breakfast,Lumsden,NF A0G 3E0,For reservations or inquiries, phone 1-709-530 2107. Near the beautiful & scenic Lumsden beach and straight shore and also near the heritage Barbour House."
Len Clarke operates a B&B in Downtown St. John's, A Gower Street House (754-0047) I would guess this is one of those postcard picturesque colourful old wooden row houses a few minutes walk from the harbour, shopping and nightlife, but haven't sampled it myself (comments are welcome from anyone who has).
Winterholme is a heritage building B&B, not far from the lake.
Beachy Cove B&B and Cafe is located in Beachy Cove, near Portugal Cove, across from the ferry to Bell Island. They are at (709) 895-2920 or 895-3536 (that may be the cafe number) or toll free 1-877-995-2920. The cafe food is good.
Alcove Suites on Gower St.: clean, comfortable and in a great location (contributed by Maree Cox).
Also see some comments on camping sites in the Things to do section.
When you park a rental vehicle (or any vehicle) in the downtown area, don't leave anything in the car since that might tempt thieves to smash a window.