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Caulaincourt Boutique Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
Caulaincourt Square Hostel’s dorms are among the cheapest places to stay in Paris. The hostel seems to be proud of its past as a bohemian hotel that also used to offer live-in studios for home-seeking painters. The façade of the building looks quaint and almost impeccable, freshly painted, with potted plants decorating the entrance. Inside, the corridors’ walls are covered with patterned, red-wine-coloured wallpapers; the stairs are wooden and old; and there are some interesting paper lamps.

The Location

The building is located about five minutes downhill from the centre of the Montmartre district, and a few minutes away from the Lamarck-Caulaincourt metro station (Line 12). It is in a tiny square off the busy Rue Caulaincourt, which means one can expect a relatively quiet night’s sleep. There is a small supermarket across the road, a pastry shop, and a café/pub round the corner.

Rooms and Bedrooms

The building has seven floors -- some below the reception area, the others above. The dorms downstairs do have proper windows because the building is on a hillside, and their lower position means the water pressure in showers will probably be more decent. You can choose between mixed-sex and female-only dorms. The dorms are crowded, in Parisian fashion. Where there used to be double bedrooms, now there are six-bed dorms -- hardly enough space to put your belongings, and no lockers and no ladders on the bunk beds to get to the upper bed. The beds are squeaky and not very stable, which means you can feel your companion turning from side to side during the night.

Some dorms have their own ensuite, pocket-size toilets and showers. Don’t use the dorm toilet if you are embarrassed about your dormmates overhearing certain bodily sounds. Showering experience depends on the time of the day -- the most enjoyable being during the "asocial" hours, because the more people shower at a time, the lower the water pressure is.

Common Spaces

Breakfast is served in a big canteen-style room that is locked during the rest of the day. Coffee and tea, some cereals, baguettes and croissants with jam are on offer. There is a small kitchen where you can cook meals in a microwave or on a two-stove electric cooker, and store food in a small fridge. There seems to be a serious competition for plates, cups, and cutlery among those using the kitchen, so make sure you grab yours early.

The communal area is almost nonexistent -- you can choose between some seats next to the reception or a table one floor down, next to the locked breakfast room. There are some computers with free internet. Wireless internet is available for those who have laptops. Despite the moderate size of the lounge and that some of the travelers constantly keep their noses buried in the computer screens, there is a nice, friendly vibe in the air.

Checking in can be painfully slow. It took us about half an hour to finally start checking in although there were only two people ahead of us in the queue. There is a lockout between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., so if you arrive during that time you will need to leave your luggage in the communal area and come back after 4 p.m. to check in. The building gets locked at 2 a.m. every night -- make sure you return before this. There is a returnable deposit required for the room key; expect to pay another fee for the bed linen and towel.

Summary

Despite the crowded, cramped feel and the location (which is not the most central), Caulaincourt Square Hostel is a possible place to stay. It's good for those who like some history and don’t mind finding previous guests’ hair in their blanket. Even if the prices are more on par with a more spacious dorm elsewhere, it is cheap for Paris.

by Agne Drumelyte
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
January 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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How is Caulaincourt Boutique Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
77%
77%
75%
85%
74%
78%
Hostels.com  
75%
71%
78%
81%
70%
78%
HostelBookers  
86%
82%
89%
83%
82%
88%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
79%
77%
81%
83%
75%
81%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Ok This facility was ok. Very poorly designed showers, could be improved. Admin Staff was not friendly but cleaning staff was helpful. Location was great.  , age 26, Australia. ()
4   Perfect location It is a perfect location with all the nice shops surrounded only 3 mins walking distant to metro station. The breakfast is nice and room is nice and clean.  , age 29, Singapore ()
4   Enjoyed our stay Great location, not hard to find and close to the metro station, Paris Nord and Sacre Coeur. Beds ok, just an undersheet (folded over the pillow, no pillowcase) and a blanket provided, but I think you can get more from reception for a fee, same for towels. No lockers in the room, but nice to have en suite toilet and shower. Really enjoyed breakfast, delicious hot chocolate. Internet was decent in the common areas.  , age 24, New Zealand ()
4   Good hostel for the price We stayed at this hostel for four nights and initially made a reservation for 6 in a Mixed Bed Dorm. They were kind enough to put us in a private room with our own shower for the same price. PROS -- location, free breakfast, free wifi+computers to use, decent prices. CONS -- wifi only in the lobby, could be a lot cleaner, thin walls. It was not the best hostel I have stayed at, but it was definitely not the worse.  , age 22, USA ()
4   Lots of Character Cool place, awesome location 5 min from Sacre Ceour with lots of shops and restaurants. Great breakfast (best part!). Not the cleanest, and no lockers or areas to keep possessions other than on the bed. Was very cool building.  ()
4   Good but ... This is a very well run hostel. Great accommodations that are clean and kept up well. It is extremely easy to get to from the Metro station, which is nice -- despite the pretty steep climb you must make to get to the front door. I would suggest specifically asking for a room closer to the front desk for access to the Wi-Fi signal, otherwise you'll never get it in your room. Also, be prepared with earplugs to sleep bc the walls are pretty thin and music is heard from the bar downstairs. All this is, of course, pretty standard in "hostel living" however, just be prepared.  , age 34, USA ()
4   I enjoyed it Only a few of the staff know English. If they tell you to go to flinch for a cheap meal, don't go. Breakfast consists of croissants, small baguettes, and cereal, with some condiments. Noise was not a problem when I went. The common area is in the bar, which I didn't really like. The kitchen is well enough stocked and there is a grocery store. Really close by. They've got six free computers open almost all the time.  , USA ()
2   Crowded and noisy While the hostel is really nicely done up, I didn't find it the best place to stay. If you are staying here, DO NOT STAY ON THE MAIN FLOOR. It was incredibly noisy with people walking past and clunking down the hallways. I can only hope that the upper floors do not have this problem. The kitchen is the size of a closet, very poorly equipped, and was exceptionally messy on the night that I was there. There is a "no alcohol in the hostel" policy, which was not enforced. There is wifi, but only in the lobby, and not nearly enough seating for the size of the hostel. The environment was that of teenagers in a house without their parents, so if you want a slightly more subdued setting, I would not recommend this hostel. All this being said, after much debate, I was refunded a majority of my money -- because I could not stay there past the first night.  , Canada ()
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