I have successfully stayed in my first hostel and Montreal Central was the one to take my virginity. It’ll be hard not to fall in love with you, MC, with all your cute, friendly French Canadian desk attendants and awesome company. Below find a short review of Montreal Central, 1586 Rue St. Hubert.
Location: Could I have asked for a better location? Situated literally RIGHT next door to a bus station and the Metro stop of Berri-UQAM, we were sitting pretty (Side note: Montreal’s Metro trains have rubber tires!). The first order of business should be (if you haven’t already) to convert your US dollars to Canadian dollars. I was able to hop right next door to the bus station’s exchange window and do it in a second’s time. A few blocks in one direction led me to Rue St. Catherine, a street adorned with hot pink balls. Literally! And rainbow flags. We were in the gayborhood…Score! Who could complain? That’s where the best cafes were, some of the best nightlife and definitely where some of the best people watching went down. Did I mention I was in town for a fetish convention? There was no shortage of men skimping around in leather-n-lace and dominatrix-style heels. A few blocks’ walk in the other direction led us to the Latin Quarter (the part of town our hostel was “technically” part of). Hookah bars, ice cream parlors, blues clubs, 24-hour McDonald’s, Mexican restaurants…oh my! So much night life, such little time!
|Me, 8-person bunk, happy as a clam|
Amenities: My sister and I opted for the 8 person dorm, and I’m glad we did. Significantly cheaper than any single or double private room, the dorm is a great way to meet people. We had 4 sets of bunk beds, lockers to secure our personal items and one bathroom to share. We had a roommate Luca from France and Maxine from Belgium. We also had 4 friends in our room from Connecticut on vacation. We all became friends and went out together all weekend. It’s likely that you are staying in a hostel BECAUSE you want to travel and meet people. Why not go all out and opt for the dorm experience? Just bring earplugs because people will come and go, sometimes loaded with liquor, as they please. We also had a complimentary breakfast everyday, free coffee and tea throughout the day and an awesome common room to surf the internet, grab a drink, or just strike up conversation with fellow travelers.
Staff: The staff was comprised of the most flattering, cute French Canadian boys I’ve ever met. Genuinely nice and friendly, they fielded all of my perceived weird questions. One of them even directed us how to take the Metro to a private pool and gave us instructions on how to get in. We were given maps, directions, and most of all assurance. It can feel pretty daunting being in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. I was wrong in assuming Canada was not going to be that different from America. Montreal is radically different, as 60 percent of residents speak ONLY French. You can say getting around was difficult, but the staff at Montreal Central made it easy and fun!
|Shopping at Tam-Tams Courtesy: Bree Kozak|
Outings: I think the best part of Montreal Central were the planned trips they endorsed. For $20, my sister and I joined in on a pub crawl in the vibrant and crazy Mont Royal district. We visited four different pubs, including one that had $2 drinks of ANYTHING- your choice. We ended up at a place called Club Tokyo, paying outrageous prices for drinks, but gettin’ down to some of the best dance music out there. We returned home exhausted at 3 a.m. and paid for it dearly the next day. We also went to a recommended trip to Mount Royal Park. On the east side of the mountain, every Sunday in the summer, an event called the Tam-Tams take place. Essentially a days-long drum circle, any walk of life can be seen marching to the beat of their own drum. Marijuana and good times abound. I bought so many cool souvenirs, met tons of down to earth people, was able to witness live-action role players in the woods and danced to some of the best beats ever. Thanks Montreal Central!
Overall helpfulness: MC went above and beyond normal “customer service.” Staying there meant you were a friend. You could have sit and chatted with the front desk attendant all day if you wanted. They even provided REALLY cheap parking nearby for the duration of your stay. Not to mention, on check-in and check-out days, you can leave you luggage there while you are out sight-seeing. One of the best qualities about MC is the open door policy. From the moment you lay foot on the grounds, everyone is warm, helpful and open to you and your journey. The only drawback about Montreal Central is now I am going to be completely biased toward other hostels! I can’t wait to get started on staying at more.
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