Man alive, I don't quite know what to say about this place. We had booked a private 3-person room with private facilities, for 3 people, some weeks before this trip. It was priced (and I have this in writing) 33euros/person per night. Unfortunately shortly before our booking, one of our party had to cancel. We asked if we could switch to a 2 person private room if one was available - otherwise we would keep the 3-person room and just eat the price difference (still a good price for a room in Paris we thought). We were told that they were booked up and did not have a 2-person room to move us to. So, that was fine, we would keep the 3 person room. Sorted, right?
We arrived to discover they had taken it upon themselves to 'save us some money' by putting us in a 3 person private room the first night but only charge us for 2 people, and then move us the next night to a 4 person dorm room, 'but there is only one other girl staying with you and she is really nice, and it's cheaper for you this way.' Wait... what?? This was problematic for a couple reasons - first of all, it negates the fact that we had expressly asked for a PRIVATE room. As well, even the private 3-person room they stuck us in the first night did not have the private facilities we had booked. I understand we paid less, but...32 euros per person. Now again, they only charged us for 2 people, so overall we saved some money, but I don't understand how this shared facility room was only 1euro less per person than the private facility room.
Additionally, we expected we were going to have a 3 person room and had asked around to see if we could find another friend who wanted to join us. What would they have done if we'd shown up with 3 people after all? With the hostel packed full for the weekend, they wouldn't have had a room for us, or they would have had to kick someone else out. I don't understand how they can shuffle bookings around like this without at least notifying you ahead of time. If we had tried the same thing, they would have charged us for the difference.
When we discovered we didn't have private facilities, we went back down and asked about that and the receptionist looked at us like we were bonkers and said that a private facility room would have been more expensive at 39euros per person per night on weekends. Again, I have it in writing from this same woman that our private facility room (which they had given to someone else anyhow) was 33 euro a night. When I mentioned this she said no, but during the week it is a cheaper price, but still not the price I was quoted, or that was on the website when I booked. It seems like they just pull these prices out of thin air. The lady is annoyingly friendly about everything which sort of glosses over the wool pulling before you even realize it. She disarms you very easily, even when you have emails and things to show her to prove your point. Yargh! So, beware. If you book here, be prepared for things to change on you, or be prepared to really put up a fight.
By the time our second day rolled around, surprise, someone else had booked the dorm room, so we ended up with a full house. Yes, the roomates were nice, but it still wasn't what we expected. The walls are indeed paper thin so be warned - Paris is the city of love after all and you can certainly hear it when your neighbours are getting amourous.
The washroom situation is a bit peculiar... showers are only on every second floor (not on our floor, of course) and there are only 2 for the whole 2 floors. I get up at odd hours so didn't find this too big a deal. Then there is a single toilet stall on each shower floor, and I think 2 on the odd floors. No sink. There is a sink in the room... so you know those door handles are dirty. Not that that isn't something to be cautious of anywhere. Since the only sinks are in the rooms, if you are in late or up early, you must either disturb the room with your toothbrushing and facewashing, or manage to do those things kind of in the shower.
Despite the weird stuff, the hostel itself is very cute. It is in Montmartre, not too far from the train station (we came in on the Eurostar and walked to the hostel from there). There is a little grocery store across the street and lots of little nearby bakeries and cafes. Our best and cheapest baguettes and wine were from a little place just around the corner. The hostel's room decor is chic in pink stripes, wood floors and modern, if cheap furnishings. There were adorable little filigree balconies to sit on and watch the street traffic.The rooms were clean. The in-room furniture is not cozy but there is a lounge downstairs to hang out in if you are so inclined. There was only one electrical outlet in our dorm room, so be aware of sharing if you need to juice up any electronics. Room entry was with a keycard, and they provide lockers with keys in the dorm rooms, which was good because we had expected a private room so hadn't brought locks with us. The breakfast was wonderful as well - simple bread and coffee and juice, but very delicious. Location is close to metro and bus stops. So, a nice spot to stay as long as your booking goes smooth - either book the least picky option, or bring your fightin' words!!
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