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“Worst hostel of 3 months Europe”

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Villa Thalassa (Relais Internationale de la Jeunesse)
Reviewed August 4, 2013

This place was suggested by lonely Planet as a back Packers paradise... it was the opposite for us. We were given beds in the unlocked shed away from the beautiful Villa, greeted by teenager's that we're the managers. 51 children were also staying there on what seemed to be a summer camp. Most bad behaved children I have witnessed in my life. We paid to have the amazing dinner (according to the reviews) we were charged €12 for uncooked pizza and a Magnum. Which made 3 guests ill. We ended up having endless arguments with the ' management' in French asking for the money back for dinner. Until an adult arrived on site and apologized for their behavior and offered us free lunch, which we declined as we couldn't stand to be on the premises with the rudest staff I have ever encountered. Amenities were dirty and of very low standard.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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3  Thank nzbackpackr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2 - 8 of 28 reviews

Reviewed April 10, 2013

Admittedly, my arrival in Cap d'Ail was not quite what I'd expected. After a minor train accident the evening I was meant to arrive, I instead arrived the next day, and was flustered and worried that my reservation had been given up, as I hadn't been able to reach the "Villa". My concern was unwarranted, as it appears reservations are completely useless anyway, since they don't keep track of them. A completely disinterested young man took my money and I was directed to my room. It was fairly bare bones- a large dorm style room- as were the bathrooms. They weren't cleaned frequently and there was little privacy anywhere.

Breakfast is good, the views are lovely and it's right on the sea walk, a path which takes you into Monaco if you wish or to the Plage Mala, which is a stunning beach. There are other beaches in walking distance as well.

What is the worst is this daily lock-out. The entire place is shut from 10-5. I made a few attempts to come back mid-afternoon to nap after being in the sun all day, but was aggressively directed away. I learned my lesson, and arrived at 5 again, only to find it still wasn't opened. After sitting for 40 minutes, wanting to send off a quick message to my family before I headed into Nice, I noticed the door from the outside into the kitchen was open, so I walked through the kitchen and up the stairs to my room. An older man who also worked there saw that I'd gotten in, and berated me in front of the other guests in French to never enter the kitchen. NEVER! I tried to explain to him in my mediocre French that I'd waited for 40 minutes, but he was having none of it.

I left the next morning, a day before I'd planned to. I will never return, and I discourage all from visiting. There are much better places to stay in Monaco, Nice or any of a wide range of towns along the Cote d'Azur. I wanted a charming, quiet experience in a small French town, and was totally disappointed.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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5  Thank cbryant6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2012

Pro’s – Location, accessible, breakfast, view,
Con’s – Wifi connection, showers, plugs, lockers
Also - no soya milk (but that’s to be expected…), mosquitos (not a problem of the hostel just the area)
Lock-out is something to think about if you’re on a low budget and don’t like being outside in the mid-day sun.

I stayed in the upstairs dorm separate from the main building. It was 12 bed, upstairs for 20 euros a night.
Dorm rooms are closed from 10 till 5, but if you think carefully what to take with you it’s fine. You can use the dining room during lock-out (which has a small fridge/freezer and a microwave) and the showers, toilets and sinks (to fill water bottles etc.)
Dorm room separate from the main house looks like an old electricity building but it's okay inside. All lockers broken and so old it uses a 1 franc coin, however there are draws under your bed and the lockers are big enough to take big suitcases in if they have padlocks - remember dorms are locked 10 till 5 so its safe-ish. Lockers downstairs in the main building work with 50 cent coins.
Only one plug in my room, two by the sinks outside.
Breakfast included in price - juice, coffee, fruit tea, hot chocolate, madeira cake, brioche, french bread, cereal (golden nuggets, corn flakes, coco puffs) milk (con. no soya option) jam, butter, various yoghurts.
Your sheets are included in the price, but depending on the time of year you probably won't need the second one to put over you. If you somehow get cold there are blankets in the draws under your beds or on top of the lockers in the room.
Showers - had to hold down the push button as they didn't stay on very long... Not the comfiest shower but it did the job (con. anyone can see into the shower from the balcony next to one of the dorms...)
Toilets - were fine, I think there were 3 next to the showers and then there was a long sink with mirrors and plugs.
Nice staff, patient with my poor French, the majority spoke a little English and I think they all spoke both French and Italian.
Shops are close. We did the amazing walk to Monaco along the coast, easy route to follow and makes lovely pictures but if you're not a walker there are buses and trains available.
Back entrance to the beach, front entrance to the street near the station (very near).
There was a bulletin board with bus timetables, the wifi password etc.
Wifi, low if you're not upstairs on the terrace area, can be used in the outside seating area however on my blackberry torch it didn't work, but on peoples ipads it did.
The view is very nice and just outside is a great plant walk in both directions if you're into that but it’s nice scenery anyway! And you get to some great beaches, out the back of the hostel if you go left and follow the coast you'll eventually get to Monaco and Monte Carlo.
Mala beach is close, it's meant to be super nice but it's small and mainly private expensive beaches. However they have boats and boards to rent and the view is lush... I'll put a picture on and there are two ways to walk there from the hostel, it's a quickish walk - I'll put the video I took up if I can.
The villas around the hostel have CCTV and most 24hr security men in their own sections of the house so that made me feel safe. Gates are open 24hrs. Cap d'ail is obviously a rich area, the woman in villa next to my dorm had a McLaren AND a Porshe. Her security guys were nice and waved at us each morning… I’m definitely off topic now!
Basically the view made up for the couple of cons so it was worth 20 euros a night and I'd be glad to go back again.

Room Tip: Try come as a group and book in advance so you can be in the main building. If you're in the se...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank G-Mercedes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2009

Stayed 8 years ago and loved it so I was looking forward to staying again. After four attempts to make a reservation via telephone (internationally) and being told to call back, I gave up. They were rude and unhelpful and I sought accomadation elsewhere.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank juanita_sugarbomb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2008

We recently stayed at the Villa Thalassa in cap D ail. On first impressions the hostel is in an excellent location with sign posting right from Cap D Ail station to the hostel itself and it has beautiful views of the coast.

We were in a room sharing with 8 other people and we soon found out that there is a real mosquito problem if you have the lights on too late and leave the windows open. As well as that the floor we were on seemed to be full of group bookings who made an incredible amount of noise banging doors at all times. To add to that there is a lock out policy between 10 and 5pm and some people were given keys and others were not.

We were treated rather abruptly when we sat on the general tables eating our dinner because we hadnt paid for their dinner and were told to move. The shower facilities were not great in the mens area and you couldnt adjust the water temperature. As a woman i didnt want to use the mixed bathrooms especially when guys were wandering in and out messing around it made it very intimidating for me and when asking them to be quiet they were just louder in the evening.

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3  Thank Londongirl0_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2017
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Stayed: May 2017
Thank France L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2017
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Room Tip: Les logements au bout du jardin sont plus indépendants de la vie du Relais…
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  • Stayed: February 2017, traveled with friends
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Thank TontonChris06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Thalassa (Relais Internationale de la Jeunesse)

Address: Avenue Gramaglia, 06310 Cap d'Ail, France
Location: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Cap d'Ail
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Cap d'Ail
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Villa Thalassa (Relais Internationale De La Jeunesse) France/French Riviera - Cote D'Azur

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