Mega hostel opens its doors in Paris

A youth hostel with room for over 900 guests has opened in central Paris. The Local pays a visit to find out how it differs from other hostels in the French capital and whether you'd actually want to spend a night with 900 people.

Mega hostel opens its doors in Paris
Photo: The Generator Paris
The new Generator Paris in the 10th arrondissement of Paris was officially opened to the public on Sunday. 
Towering over the Place du Colonel Fabien, the eight-story building is choc-full of common areas including a bar, a restaurant, a Moroccan styled chill-out room, and a rooftop terrace with sunset views over Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur. 
As for the rooms – they come as cheaply as €25 in dorms of up to eight beds, and scale all the way to premium rooms for two with a private terrace priced at €98.
All rooms are brand new and spacious, featuring ensuite bathrooms and private storage space for guests' luggage.
And did we mention the view? From the fifth floor and upwards guests will be able to see an unspoiled few that includes the Sacre Coeur of Montmartre. 
Neil Smith, the hostel's general manager, says that the choice of the tenth arrondissement was a strategic one.
"This is an up-and-coming neighborhood, it's multi-cultural, and it's quite central," he tells The Local. 
But it's not the location that staff members pride themselves on. Rather, it's the fact that the 900-plus guests can enjoy a different kind of hostel experience to the more traditional options. 
"It's all about the common spaces, the ability for guests to meet people, the central location… we focused on design spaces conducive to meeting people, being able to linger, and to enjoy their time," he says.
Indeed, the team at Generator purposely didn't put any televisions in the rooms, well aware that the guests would prefer to spend their time enjoying the hostel's facilities than watching Game of Thrones reruns.
"Our hostel differs from traditional options which tend to be more individualist, places where you stay in your room then go out to explore. They don't have the same convivial aspect and the common spaces."
He says the target audience is anyone from solo travellers to groups – or in his own words, "anyone who appreciates the value of a good night's sleep in a central location".
He added that the recent terror attacks in Paris haven't had a noticeable affect on attracting tourists.
"We've had no cancellations so far, luckily. I think people appreciate that in this day and age, these kinds of events can happen anywhere, and they're not necessarily a refection of a city itself," he tells The Local. 
The Generator chain boasts a total of 6,000 beds across six countries. The new Paris hostel is the biggest so far.
Fun facts about the Generator Paris
The menu includes French dishes such as foie gras burgers, steak tartare, and Bourgogne snails.
The hostel used to be a parking lot and kept a part of its initial structure.
A wide range of materials was used to design and decorate the hostel, including metro tiles, RER trains’ fabric, and leather. 
Premium rooms offer an outdoor hammock as an addition for guests who prefer to swing in their sleep. 
The hostel in numbers
10th – The district where the hostel is located
916 – The number of beds available
4, 6, 8 and 10 – Number of occupants in the different shared-rooms
6 – The number of premium rooms
8 – Number of floors of the hostel
€28 – Price of cheapest room
€98 – Price of the most expensive room
7am to 2am – Times when meals are served
24/7 – Availability of the reception and security staff