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“You're Making a Huge Mistake” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Goodlife Discovery Hostel

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Goodlife Discovery Hostel
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850 Sherbrooke Street East | Corner of Saint- Christophe Street, Montreal, Quebec H2L1K5, Canada (Olympic Park & Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (HoMa))   |  
Hotel amenities
New York, United States
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“You're Making a Huge Mistake”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Choose another hostel.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    1 of 5 stars
  • Value
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    1.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

On my travels I have stayed in a lot of hostel and this is the worst by far!

My experience with this place really is terrible and I do not wish it on anyone. Please take my advice and stay clear. Let me walk you through my experience, firstly I booked my groups hostel through Hostel.com which was great, I paid the allotted deposit and received confirmation that we would need to settle the remaining balance upon arrival. However two days later the full amount had been with drawn from my account including the deposit for a second time. When trying to contact someone at the hostel I got my first experience of Jonathan, who was not helpful what so ever, in fact very rude and had little knowledge regarding billing etc. After a long conversation he eventually answered my question stating I would be reimbursed the second deposit after our stay.

The second bad experience we had was upon arrival, we had booked our room and stated a 10pm arrival time. On arrival after a 7 hour drive, we were disgusted to find our room had been given to someone else as my half of the party had arrived at 10:10pm! The other half had arrived earlier and had said we were 30 minutes behind them and would be there shortly. After 1:30 hours of been kept in the dark with little explanation we eventually got into our room, (Following copying our ID etc). We were only in Montreal for two nights so we really wanted to drop our bags and get out to make the most of our time. I feel from experience at other hostels 15-30 minutes to check in is acceptable however over an hour is a joke! Jonathan was very rude through out this time, saying he was to busy and that it was our fault for being late etc.

During our stay each of the rooms were full as there were a couple of events happening that weekend however to enter the property you have to walk through a bed room. during our stay not only were the two double beds occupied by three people in each they had also put two blow up mattresses on the floor making it nearly impossible to get in and out of the building without standing on someone.

Upon departure I had both Jonathan and his brother walk our dorm to ensure it was clean and they both agreed it was fine and stated I would be credited for my deposit in the next two weeks. Two weeks passed and still no credit to my account I gave them a third week and to my disgust they had with drawn another $300 from my account, luckily my bank has credited my account but trying to speak to someone regarding billing is a joke, I was given an email address to contact someone who never got back to me. I was given no explanation for what the additional charge was for nor did I receive an invoice.

This really is a shady place, please do not stay here.

Room Tip: Do not Stay Here!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

Completely agree with the previous review, I have no idea how this place got dubbed "Best place to stay in Montreal" - maybe they've got it confused with another hostel. If you care about your hygiene and safety, please don't stay here. I don't even know how to begin to describe the sketchiness of this place. Or maybe the owner photocopying people's IDs on his dirty kitchen counter is a good start. I've stayed in expensive hotels and cheap hostels, not one of them ever asked to photocopy my ID. Too bad I can't give this review zero stars.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

The owner John seems to be a nice guy, but I don't think he knows how to manage a hostel. It looks like the whole hostel is run only by himself alone (and two people coming in only for cleaning once in a while), and this is probably one of the reasons why this whole thing is not working.

Ok, I will go one by one over all the things that are less than optimal. I also wrote parts of this review on hostelbookers, so don't get confused or assume I simply copied and pasted someone else's review. First of all, the hostel is advertised to have secure lockers (which is really not much to ask for, almost any hostel in the world now has secure lockers in the rooms for their guests to store laptops and other valuable stuff in it). But in fact, it does not. In addition, you don't get a key to your room, it stays open all the time (which is especially sketchy given that there are no lockers), you only get a tiny key for the front door. More precisely, what the owner understands by secure lockers is that you can give him your stuff and he locks it in his own room. This is very inconvenient because you can only access it when he is around.

Well, but often this is not the case. I have met people who waited outside the hostel for almost an hour because the owner was gone. When he finally came back it took about 3 hours for them to actually manage the check in, so this took until about 11:00 pm! A rather annoying waste of time if you consider that the Jazz Festival was happening in Montreal and they have missed lots of nice concerts or just other opportunities to enjoy Montreal's great nightlife.

Of course, I don't expect the owner to be at the hostel 24/7, but a simple solution to this problem is that he should hire staff that takes care about those things like bookings or other organizational stuff. Almost every night people were in long discussions with him about what happened to their bookings, and he told them that he either never received them or hostelbookers messed them up (which might either be true or simply an excuse that he is just unable to cope with all the work only by himself).

The hostel is also not very clean, tons of empty beer bottles and pizza boxes, and hair in the shower/toilets, although I actually saw a guy (which was not the owner, so as I said, he has a few people hired, but only for cleaning) cleaning my room. The guy had a good sense of humour, I guess, instead of actually taking the dirt out of the room, he simply swept it under the beds :-D

One of the most annoying things is that there is only one, in numbers 1, shower for the entire hostel! So, do not try to grab a shower if you are in a hurry and your bus leaves soon, it won't work, you'll have to wait a long time in line. It might also be useful to bring your own toilet paper, it took 2 days before new paper was placed at the toilets.

Don't get me wrong, the hostel has great potential, there is a nice large balcony to sit outside and enjoy Montreal summer, but as it is by now, everything is completely disorganized. Unless there is a sign 'Under New Management' or they/he hired much more staff, do not stay there.

And do not fall for the really amazing description of the hostel at the hostelbookers website, almost every reason or sentence that is listed there is a round lie, eg:

''In fact, we are closer to the Jazz Festival or the Just for Laugh Festival than other competitors.''
Complete nonsense! Well, the location of the hostel is great and quite close to downtown, but there are plenty of other hostels around in the very same area. For instance, the Montreal Central is even closer to Jazz Festival by one block since it is located at Rue Saint-Hubert.

"Not only are central but in starting June 12th, we are running specials and the rates you get are low seasons rates even if we are in high season, so the value you get out of your stay is probably unbeatable, if not really excellent, especially when we compare the local rates from the hostels and hotels around here"
Prices are on the same level as for other hostels, in fact the 4 bed dorm is even more expensive than in most other hostels. If you consider the value you get for the money, the prices are a rip off.

"We are eager to please our guests and you can expect the very best of our award winning and industry trained management and staff."
In hindsight when I reed this, I have to burst into laughs :-D


If you want a decent stay in Montreal I would suggest the Montreal Central hostel (all above named criticism would not apply to them), where I stayed before, but I had to switch since I decided to stay longer in Montreal and the hostel was unfortunately already booked out.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

NEVER GO THERE!! I REPEAT NEVER GO THERE! Aside from the owner's attempt to be friendly, and the fact that the location isn't horrible, there is nothing that even resembled decent at this hostel. I am a student who has quite a hefty student loan to pay back, but after walking through the doors, I considered dropping a substantial amount of money just to find another place to stay in.

My two friends and I arrived 'late' (though after a thorough search on the internet, there was nothing that any of us could find that indicated a last check-in time) so when we checked in, we were informed that we may not get a room and "we may have to sleep on the floor or the couch". We were also greeted by two German Shepherds; wet and muddy floors; empty beer bottles; pizza boxes; and a very hot room, as there was no air conditioning - despite what any of the hostel booking websites claimed.

We were also told that there was parking -- not really the case. We were told that we could park on the road, but should be prepared that someone may break into our car.

Also worth noting that the address isn't the address that is displayed on all of the website. Its 850 Sherbrook East.

I would never go to that place again. Even if someone paid me to. I was also only in the hostel for approximately 10 minutes. I left to go find another place, so I imagine I would have learned a lot more about the horridness that defines this hostel had I stayed longer. I legitimately considered spending the night in my car before staying there.

I cannot believe that this place passes as livable by any means. I sympathize for anyone who has to walk through those doors.

Room Tip: Just dont go.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean A, Manager at Goodlife Discovery Hostel, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
We are sorry but the review system of tripadvisor requires you to have stayed with us in order to rate and comment. According to your won words, you arrived late and things didn't work out and you got billed for a no show., therefore, why are you using this medium to voice your concerns when it is the least effective medium for creating results.

We know that occasionally, we know things can go wrong during a trip, if you needed to modify or cancel a booking or if you needed to get answers to questions that cannot be answered by the staff on-site, send our back-office support team a message.

You can reach them via
Telephone, +1 (240) 724-1137
on the web at http://www.goodlifediscoveryhostel.zendesk.com,
facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theGoodlifeDiscoveryhostel,
twitter using @discoverMontrea
Instant Messaging on http://www.goodlifediscoveryhostel.zendesk.com, even via e-mail at backoffice.support@goodlifediscoveryhostel.zendesk.com.

One key advantage to sending your requests and questions online or filing your ticket online is your ability to track the resolution process from beginning to end, provide instant feedback to the person that has greater authority and experience dealing with your kind of issues and type of problem. The best is the ability to follow the escalation of your ticket until it’s resolved. Most problems get resolved with 7-14 days. Thank-you for your understanding and cooperation.

They will be happy to help you get satisfaction.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

Me and my friends had one of the worst experiences two weekends ago at such place (can we call that 'hostel'?):
- The hostel was NOT at the address where it was supposed to be, but 6 blocks from there. When we asked why it happened, the man simply said 'I moved'.
- We were 4, and had booked a 4-bed room, but were assigned to a 6-bed one (that's the least bad of everything).
- There are 2 toilets for the whole hostel. I repeat, TWO TOILETS for around 40 people.
- There is ONE SHOWER, again, ONE SINGLE SHOWER to share with all other people.
- The reception of the hostel IS THE KITCHEN: when the man needed to use his laptop, he placed it on the stove.
- The owner/receptionist/secretary/clean-maid was the ONLY person to organize everthing. We needed to talk to somebody at 9am, and he woke up at 10.30am in a very bad mood, since the previous night some 'thoughtless idiots' (as textually said) arrived at 4am to check in.
- He owned a dog, which was wandering around the aisle the whole time (at least, it wouldn't get into the rooms).

I think it's not necessary to explain my opinion further.
PS. Bedsheets were sort-of clean, but THE shower and the TWO toilets were not.
Avoid!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trondheim, Norway
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

If you are looking for a cheap, affordable and welcoming place to stay in Montreal then you should definitely stay at Goodlife Discovery Hostel. I stayed with 3 of my friends and we had a very nice experience. The manager greeted us very generously, even though we came many hours later than anticipated.

The location of the hostel is very central and so you can even park your car there and just explore Montreal by foot. The rooms are quite spacious and the beds are comfortable, especially considering the very low price.

We enjoyed ourselves very much and hope to return to Goodlife Discovery Hostel next time we're in Montreal!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Goodlife Discovery Hostel

Address: 850 Sherbrooke Street East | Corner of Saint- Christophe Street, Montreal, Quebec H2L1K5, Canada
Location: Canada > Quebec > Montreal > Olympic Park & Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (HoMa)
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #66 of 80 Specialty Lodging in Montreal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
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 

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