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In the Montmarte district of Paris you can climb to the top of Sacre-Coeur Cathedral for a spectacular view over the city. The Eiffel Tower looks like a tiny toy amongst the rest of the cityscape. Buildings extend all around you as far as the eye can see.
At the ground level this historic area of Montmarte is one of the last genuine areas of Paris. Fires, reconstruction and redesign over the last few hundred years has turned Paris into something unlike its original self. Wide, expansive avenues and practical shape made it easier to squash a rebellion should mobs start to form.
The area of Montmarte rejects most of Paris’s current form. Streets twist and turn and homes look unlike the military styled apartment complexes found everywhere else. Famous artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec spent many years in this neighborhood perfecting their skill. Thus, it should come as no surprise that I recommend staying in this area.
Indeed, it has an overall quieter atmosphere than most other parts of Paris.
Lê Village Hostel is a budget friendly place to stay without compromising on your quality of accommodation. The hostel is located in the heart of Montemarte and only a short five minute walk from the Sacre-Coeur Cathedral. Cafes, restaurants, and tourist attractions are plentiful in the surrounding area. A quality grocery store can even be found practically right across the street. The streets are lively at night but the noise typically fades around the time you would want to go to bed.
Reception and the Common Area
Everyone has to buzz into the lobby whether you are a resident or not. The receptionist has a camera to enable them to see who they are allowing to come into the lobby. When we arrived our receptionist warmly greeted us. In some hostels they check you in rather quickly and let you go on your way.
Some people would prefer this but the receptionist, João, likes to play by a different attitude. He threw us all the information we would need to know about our stay. He then asked us what we had in mind and when we gave him our rough outline he sat us down at a table with a handy map of Paris.
At this point he filled in all the unknown details for us and offered many suggestions on other things to do or the best times to visit particular museums or a more efficient way to go about visiting the places we had in mind. João was great and did everything in such a kind and professional manner.
Later we came to learn he was in route to finishing his PhD and was equipped with knowing how to fluently speak French, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebru, and English. My point in mentioning these details is to let you know that Lê Village’s staff is top notch.
The common area is synonymous with the reception area as they are both located in the same place. Multiple tables and chairs make for a cozy cafe-like spot to hang out and read, do work or watch TV on the flat screen the have mounted on the wall. The kitchen is right through the common area and has four electric burners, plates, cook/dish-wear, utensils, and good cutlery tools.
In the morning breakfast is served from the kitchen and consists of chocolate croissants, butter (normal) croissants, yogurt, orange juice, various types of coffees, and a special item of the day. During my stay the special menu additions were bowls of assorted chopped fruits and granola.
Our room was a private double twin bed with private shower. The room might be considered by most posh western standards to be small as there was only a walking space between the beds, widows and bathroom. However, unless you intend to spend your time in Paris inside your room, this shouldn’t bother you.
The views from the window are nice and overlook a few of the Montmarte streets down below. The room is air conditioned and because of it’s size AC is able to rapidly cool down the room. The bathroom is also very compact and the shower is a very snug fit for one and slightly more for two people.
Should you be traveling with your significant other, be warned that should you shower together it will be a very intimate experience.
The hostel proves you with towels for the private room and the all important wifi does reach the room and the Internet is very good. Last but not least the beds are extremely comfortable if you like them soft and plush.
I cannot speak for dorm rooms of the hostel because I was not in them. However, in conversation with fellow hostelers I discovered that they either found them to be comfortable or not. Some people didn’t mind the beds in the bunked rooms and some others did mind the mattresses.
The hostel had a mix of residents that decided to stay. From a large family group to friends in their fifties to young travels trying to see the world. This dynamic created a stable environment that meant the hostel wasn’t rowdy and noisy but still friendly and interactive.
I truly believe that some hostels create and influence their environment rather than being created solely by the people staying in them. Hotels generally attract older less social people whereas this hostel attracted some older social travelers in addition to the young lively traveler eager to meet others.
Reception was young and interactive with jokes and so were most people at the hostel. I was more than satisfied with this aspect of the hostel and I do miss the friends I made during my stay.
Next door to the hostel is a bar. The bar closes relatively early at night so don’t worry about potential noise being made at night. The hostel provides you with the incentive of visiting this bar with free drink cards upon checking into the hostel.
Pub crawls also meet at this location which is convenient enough for anyone that has had to trek across town and back for pub crawl meetings. Again, the area of Montmarte has a great restaurant and bar scene so the benefit to staying in the area cannot be overlooked.
The hostel is set in a building hundreds of years old so you must appreciate the narrow, uneven staircases and warped floors. If not, you are being unrealistic. I highly recommend staying at this hostel. The atmosphere was great and the quality of the facilities were great in my opinion. I hope you enjoy your stay as much as I did should you decide to stay at Lê Village Montmarte in Paris.
**Thank you to Le Village Montmarte Hostel for sponsoring my accommodation. All opinions shared with you are my own and devoid of any bias**