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St. Christopher's Inn Canal

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Hostelz.com's Review
St. Christopher's Inn - Paris is easily one of the best hostels in Paris, and there are plenty to choose from.

The Location

To get to the hostel from CDG take the RER B in whatever direction it goes (the airport is the end of the line, so the train only goes in one direction) and get off at Gare du Nord. Keep your ticket to get out of the turnstiles. From there take the metro line 5 (orange) in the direction of Bobigny/ Pablo Picasso and get off at Laumière (you can use the same ticket you used for the RER). Follow the signs for exit #1 and when you get out at street level keep walking in the direction you're facing down Avenue Jean Jaurès. Turn left onto Rue de Crimée (look for the sign saying "Bassin de la Villette") and follow that until you cross over a little bridge and the hostel is right there on the left at 159, rue de Crimée.

The hostel is located toward the fringes of the city in the 19th arrondisement on Le Bassin de la Villette, right on the water. It's not too hard to get to considering Paris's excellent public transportation system. It's located pretty close to a few different metro lines and stations and there's a night bus that stops not too far away. There isn't much to see in the neighborhood itself, but the quality of the inside of the hostel more than makes up for that. The area surrounding the hostel isn't the nicest but it's also far from the worst, so exercise caution at night.

Rooms and Bathrooms

When you check into the hostel, be prepared to speak English -- not many of the staff are actually French or speak fluent French. The hostel uses electronic key card access for all the room doors and for the main door if you arrive after a certain time at night. The rooms themselves are very nice, clean, spacious, and modern -- this hostel is fairly new. The size of the rooms varies but in the dorms each bunk bed is in a separate compartment with a private light, outlet, and curtain to shut out the outside world. There are also under-the-bed, pull-out lockers, for which you must provide your own lock. The way the latch works, a tiny lock wouldn't fit and a padlock is difficult to close. The room also has a table and a few chairs, a sink, a mirror, and some hooks for hanging things to dry.

The bathrooms for the dorms are down the hall and there are separate facilities for men and women. The bathroom has three stalls, four showers, and four sinks. The bathrooms are clean by hostel standards but are by no means spotless. The showers are push button "in order to save money." In each separate shower stall is a compartment for changing and keeping clothes and towels with a bench and some hooks and then a compartment with the actual shower separated by a curtain.

Common Spaces

This hostel has several common rooms including a Belushi's bar/restaurant that is attended by locals and has some outdoor seating. In the basement there is another common room where guests can chill and drink and chat or whatever -- no outsiders allowed. Lastly, there is a café where people can get drinks, buy used books, or use the internet (for a price). The thing to note about the computers is that they can be used only for the internet and not for transferring pictures/Skype. Breakfast is included in the price of the bed and includes a baguette with jam or nutella and coffee, tea, hot chocolate, orange juice -- it is pretty standard. In terms of atmosphere the hostel is pretty social but it seems as if not many guests venture out on their own to bars or clubs but rather stay in house at the bar.

Summary

This hostel is the one to stay in within the actual city limits of Paris. Although it's not in the city center it's conveniently located by public transport. The staff all speak English so if you're looking to practice your language skills on someone who has to listen, this isn't the place -- they won't understand you. The elevator makes getting to the top floors with your pack a breeze especially considering this is Paris and you can fit in the elevator with your baggage at the same time. The bar closes sometime around 2 a.m. and on certain nights you might find live music or karaoke. If you're lucky and you're not packing a laptop for the free Wi-Fi, the staff might be nice and give you fifteen free minutes of internet use.

by tkiefs
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
July 2009

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Location/Contact
How is St. Christopher's Inn Canal rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
82%
82%
84%
75%
86%
87%
Hostels.com  
83%
83%
82%
77%
83%
88%
HostelBookers  
81%
77%
88%
80%
83%
84%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
82%
81%
85%
77%
84%
86%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Great bar but not great hostel If you are looking a hostel with live music, very good food and enjoy the night, this is your place. However, if you want to rest after walking around the city there're better hostels because there's noise in the aisles and the environment is so warm because the windows are always closed. Also, there're a lot of cameras in the aisles and the bathrooms don't work well.  , age 26, Spain ()
5  Everything is excellent.  , age 26, turkish ()
4   Second time back there, no complaints -- cheap for Paris too! You get more than what you pay for here. Compared to other hostels, St Christophers is cheap, there is free wifi, the rooms and bathrooms are pretty clean, there are curtains on the beds, and a free breakfast in the morning. I was just stopping through this time, so didn't check out the bar area properly, but it was pretty full of relaxed, happy people, drinking, and just hanging out.  , age 22, New Zealand ()
1   Horrible atmosphere, huge, CCTV everywhere. Nothing like a hostel. Cannot recommend! The horrible atmosphere is the biggest thing that strikes you. CCTV cameras EVERYWHERE and vast, empty corridors. But no possible reason for the CCTV, because in any case the inn is divided into locked security zones which no-one can move through without the keycard. And -- I'm not joking -- each card is coded for access to your specific zone, so you can't visit someone on another floor. Even the lift scans your card and blocks you if you choose the "wrong" floor!! (The inn is part of a huge building shared with Holiday Inn Express on the other side. The luggage rooms are not locked, however, and accessible to anyone walking in from the street!) So the place feels pretty intimidating and isolated and it really is more like a high-security prison than somewhere for young people to stay. The style of the bunks makes you feel quite isolated from the others in the dorm as well and there are heavy metal cages for your things instead of drawers, to complete the effect. The washrooms aren't the most convenient, as showers are in individual cubicles, and potentially a long walk away. And obviously you can't use a washroom/toilet on a different floor when it's too busy, due to the nonsensical security measures. The location was actually really nice, next to a canal (though not very convenient for most of Paris), and staff seemed ok. Price is higher than other Paris hostels. Not much choice of breakfast and there didn't seem to be many extra facilities. St Christopher's seems to be part of a hospitality chain based in the UK. I don't know if their other properties are anything like this. The ethos of the place seems completely at odds with the likely guests of a hostel, and it can't really be described as a hostel at all. I now know from experience that there are several fantastic alternatives in Paris, with a lively, friendly atmosphere and happy evenings spent in the reception with the staff and the other people staying. But wherever you choose, it seems to be a good idea to book a couple of weeks in advance before it's booked up.  , United Kingdom ()
5   AWESOME I am glad I stayed here for 2 nights out of my stay in Paris because the other hostel was so bad. This hostel is amazing! The only downfall is that it's so far from the center of the city and all the attractions! But it is an awesome hostel with a bar and dance floor attached so you don't ever have to leave.  , USA ()
5   Great! This hostel was clean and new and has nice big rooms with tables in them so you can actually socialize with your roomates as opposed to most hostels. Having a bar/restaurant downstairs is pretty awesome too - nothing but cuties streaming in and out of the place too!! Definitely the best hostel we stayed at during our trip of europe. no wifi in rooms, but not a big deal.  , Canada ()
3   Very new It is a new facility and well thought out with the curtains for each bunk and reading light. The guests were not very considerate. I stayed on the all female floor and some girl brought a guy to the room and talked with all the lights on until about 4 a.m. (glad it wasn't anything more). Breakfast was good and the reception was helpful, even if they were not very friendly.  , USA ()
2   Won't stay again. Pros, Beds have individual curtains and a reading lamp. The metal drawers under the beds are noisy but spacious -- make sure you bring a big padlock, otherwise it won't fit. Free breakfast was honest -- baguettes, jam, nutella, orange juice, and Président beurre, the best butter in the whole world. It's kinda close to the metro station (not that close though) and I really didn't feel unsecure walking around the neighbourhood. Internet at the cafe is not so expensive. Cons, disgusting bathrooms; lots of uneducated teenagers (there was a girl in my room who came late at night completely drunk, made a lot of noise, woke everybody up and threw up on her bed for the grand finale); but what made me mad was the totally unhelpful staff -- I arrived at 8 o'clock in the morning and was told that check in time was 2 p.m., so I left my backpack at the storage room. when I came back at 2, the room was so full of luggage you couldn't see the floor beneath it. I asked for a staff guy for help and the only thing he did was say "I cant't do anything, you'll have to step on the luggage until you reach your backpack at the end of the room." Oh yeah, thank you very much.  , Brasil ()
St. Christopher's Inn Canal Reviews from the Web

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