“ 1250 Sherbrooke est / Montréal / H2L 1M1 / Tel : (514)522-3910 / Fax : (514) 844-7356. „
The first stop on our trip to Canada took us to Montreal. We had been planning to stay with friends but when that fell through the week before we went we had to find somewhere else pretty quickly. We wanted somewhere cheap, being students on a tight budget, but also wanted somewhere with private rooms as the thought of sharing a bedroom with strangers just doesn't appeal to me. So after looking in the guide book we ended up booking a room here.
LOCATION AND GETTING THERE:
The Gite du Parc LaFontaine is lovated at 1250 Rue Sherbrook East in Montreal. We arrived at Montreal airport late in the evening. The Gite did tell us to take the suttle from the airport, get off at the first stop, which is the bus station, and then take their shuttle from there. The shuttle from the airport cost $13 (about £6.50) each. This was fine but everyone then told us that because it was late and it was a Sunday it was unlikely that the Gite's shuttle would be running. We therefore took a taxi from the bus station which cost a further $10 (even though it wsa quite a short distance). Had we known all this we would have taken a taxi straight from the airport which you can catch for around $35, definately worth it if there are more than two of you.
The Gite is not downtown and you do need to use the public transport system to get around but this was easy enough. The nearest metro station was Sherbrook which was about 5 minutes walk away. From there the main areas of downtown and old Montreal were only a few stops away. We found the Gite's location very accessible.
The Gire is a hostel and therefore has dorm rooms as well as private rooms. The dorms sleep around six people in bunks. There are double and single private rooms.
Double: from $70 per night per room
Single: from $55 per night per room
Dorm bed: $25 per night
The prices include all linen, towels, water and breakfast. Although they take your credit card details when you book you cannot actually pay by card (this seems a bit stupid to me) so make sure you have enough cash. You have to pay for at least for the room when you arrive. If you are arriving late make sure you let them know as the office closes at around 11pm I think.
LAYOUT AND AMMENITIES:
The accommodation is laid out over 3 floors with the entrance located up a flight of stairs to the first floor. On this level there is a small office where you collect your keys and pay for the room. There is a lounge area with a TV, sofas and internet access ($1 for 15 minutes). Next to the lounge there is a kitchen where you can cook between 5pm and 8pm, with a fridge, hob and oven. Although we didn't use these facilities they all looked clean and well kept. The reception floor was open from 8am - 11pm, but you can come and go at any time as you are given a key to the front door as well as your room. There was also lots of information available in the reception area. Plenty of leaflets and posters. We found the staff friendly and helpful. They answered all our questions and were always welcomming in the mornings.
The bedrooms are then upstairs and downstairs and we were downstairs. On our floor there was a toilet and a separate shower. The toilet was clean. I thought that the shower smelt but could see no reason for this as it looked clean and they even changed the shower curtain daily, I assume to avoid mould. The shower room was literally just that but there was a towel rail and plenty of hot water so it was fine. There was also a laundry on our floor which cost $1, but you had to buy detergent as well. We didn't use this as Montreal was our first stop but if you had been travelling then its nice to know its there. There was also an outside shower (with a door!) which I didn't get to try as it was always busy.
The room was basic but we weren't expecting the Ritz! The first thing that hit us was the colour which was VERY bright lime green. It wasn't exaclty restful! The bed was a double and looked like an old hospital bed but I found the mattress and pillow relatively comfortable. There was a sink in the room with a cabinet with a mirror over it (which was also lime green - see a pattern here??). On one side of the bed was a bedside table and on the other there was a chair. There was also a closet and a chest of drawers. There was a fan in the room which was a blessing as it was very warm when we were there. The windows had bug screens on them and these seemed effective and we saw no creepies in the room. Despite the colour of the walls we slept very well. The rooms were clean and perfectly adequate for our needs.
The free breakfast was very basic but was all you can eat so it suited us. It was a help yourself layout, let up on the terrace outside. To drink there was tea, coffee and water, with polystyrene cups. For food there was a selection of breads and a toster. I thought the selection of bread was good for a hostel and it included bagels, croissants, white, brown and fuit bread. There was jam, marmalade and peanut butter for the toast, as well as butter. There were also orange segments to make sure of that all important dose of vitamin C! Although the breakfast was simple we found it tasty and perfectly adequate.
I thought that the hostel was fairly good value. The location was easily accessible for all the major tourist sights. The rooms were clean and for a hostel were comfprtable. The staff were friendly and the breakfasts were tasty. It was very basic and if you're used to your home comforts then this probably isn't the place for you. If you're looking for somewhere that is just a place to sleep then I would definatley recommend the Gite.