Spotlight: St. Christopher’s Inns, Paris
St. Christopher’s Inns, Paris, is a snazzy hostel loaded up with conveniences.
Where: 159 rue de Crimee, Paris (nearest Metro station is Crimee, also close to Laumiere)
Cost: I paid 27 euro per night for an 8 bed dorm (Paris is not cheap!)
Perks: Free breakfast every day from 7:30 – 10:30 (this means Busabouters won’t miss a chance to eat
before the 8AM bus leaves). There is also an onsite bar and cafe, Belushi’s, running regular food specials – everyday between 12 and 3 you can choose from the daily special, either a starter and a main or a main and a dessert all for 10 euro. You also get a 10% discount on all food and drink if you are staying at the hostel.
My favourite features: Free wireless! That, and the fact that you can buy almost anything at reception – I got a converter from the US to Europe, and a big sturdy padlock. I used my shiny new padlock to lock up valuables in one of the steel cages underneath the beds in the room. But my very favourite thing had to be the privacy curtains on each bed in the spacious dorm room, something I was grateful for when my five male Aussie roommates returned at two AM and subsequently packed up at five. Each bed also has its own click light and power point, a huge bonus. Add this to the hostel location, smack on the canal, perfect for having a drink on the balcony.
But nobody’s perfect: No kitchen for self-catering backpackers, but there is a MonoPrix grocery store just up the road, and the bar will loan you some utensils if you want to take some food down to the 24-hour lounge.
Don’t take my word for it: I talked to James, the barman, who recommended a local restaurant called La Bastringue (no word on what that might mean), about 100 metres away along the canal. Take a friend (or a stranger) and for 30 euro you can share the coq de boeuf, a ‘massive, amazing, thick steak’, plus salad and veg. James also says to check in at reception to see what is going on – the hostel hosts everything from comedy nights to live music, and the festivities tend to pick up later in the evening. If you’re ready for a relaxing break, borrow a Petanque set from the front desk and join the locals next to the canal. Ask James behind the bar for a challenge – his words, not mine. Sorry, no pics of James as my camera battery was charging, but ask for the barman from Hull and show him what you’ve got.