Avoid this hostel at all costs. Cancel now if you have already booked since you may not even have a place to stay when you get there. Of the 20 or so hostels I have stayed at, this is by far the worst experience I have had, all because of serious issues with management that left dozens of people without a place to stay during the weekend of the Osheaga Festival. Reading other reviews, it appears that the over-booking and complete disregard for reservations-made was not an isolated issue for this weekend but is a frequent and unresolved problem.
After being lectured about our late arrival at 11pm (after my travel mate's repeated calls to notify the staff of such late arrival), we were informed that, despite booking 3 months in advance and confirming our reservation and arrival time 4 days prior, due to overbooking (by what we later heard was over 100 people for the 40 bed hostel), we may not have beds for the night. Jonathan, the aloof owner who later introduced himself to us as "the one all the bad reviews are about" and assured us he doesn't care about said reviews, found space for us in the "overflow room" which is literally the first room through the front door, meaning anyone entering the hostel passes through this room at all hours to get into the hostel. We were later informed that he would still need to wait to find out if we would get beds the second night.
Our small "overflow room" housed 10 people in 6 beds on our second night and 7-8 people the others, with one bed blocking the path through which people needed to walk to get into the hostel (the office is down the hall, then down stairs to the basement). It was difficult each morning to see groups of travelers entering the hostel with reservations (and having to direct them to the office while we tried to sleep), only to be sent back out minutes later with no place to stay. With no lockers, we were forced to leave our things in this open room during the day and hope for the best. We stayed in this room for a total of 4 nights.
Over the course of our stay we witnessed and endured Jonathan crying (consoled by a traveler that he later kicked out as part of a group), sleeping on the floor in the doorway of his office, frequent immature and inappropriate comments about other travelers in the hostel, both whining and boasting about turning travelers away and more. Literally every interaction with Jonathan left me enraged, confused and dumbfounded that such a self-unaware buffoon could even exist, let alone be in a position to dictate which patrons deserve a bed for the night. He was far too interested in hanging out with my group (and since our room had no privacy we couldn't get away) and we stayed on his good side, but only to have a place to sleep.
To confirm earlier reviews, yes, there is only 1 shower and 2 toilets for most of the hostel (access to the 1 other shower/bathroom was extremely limited). The staff was pleasant (except for the nightwatchman who doesn't smile or talk) and it looked like they didn't want to be there any more than we did. There was a dog. The wi-fi was inconsistent. The place was clean enough, the location is great and if the management was not so ferociously inept, it would be a great hostel. But Jonathan is beyond help and that's the God-honest truth.
After all we endured, Jonathan refused to offer any sort of discount and other groups reported being charged the most expensive rate of their reservations for each night for all the nights they stayed (despite how the price each night can differ by a few dollars when you book). We paid more than we felt was fair. Expect to waste time, money and sanity at Goodlife Discovery Hostel. If you get a bed to sleep in, that is.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This is the perfect base for your discovery or experience of Montreal, be it for a Families trip, Backpacking stop, solo travel or Groups. All are welcomed, even mobility reduced individuals, In fact, we have a access ramp and an specially designed bathroom for accommodating this needs. We are eager to please our guests and you can expect the very best of our award winning management and staff. ... more less