Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to be whisked away to Paris with Generator Hostel for the launch of their new rooftop bar, Khayma. I’d been dying to go back to Paris this year so I was super excited to go for a flying visit, even though it was only 24 hours! And who wouldn’t want to spend an evening on a rooftop in Paris watching the sunset over the city?! The location was amazing, with incredible views that looked out over the rooftops of Montmartre and a stunning view of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. I was smitten as soon as I walked in!
A lot of people don’t think about staying in hostels when they’re travelling, but ever since a love affair with hostelling during my teenage round-the-world travels before Uni, I’ve always given them a look-in whenever I’m planning a city break. For some, the word ‘hostel’ probably brings up images of grimy dorm rooms, communal showers and horrible food but that really isn’t the case, especially when it comes to a hostel like Generator! Generator Hostels are a hostel chain with a difference. Each of their 14 properties across Europe (and soon to be America) is a totally different, design-led, boutique location. The focus is all about the experience, and the offerings in each hostel reflect that mentality. For the Paris hostel, Khayma is the next step in that experience-led stay, incorporating an exclusive-feeling venue and unique experience into what you get from a stay at the hostel. I’m planning some more posts about hostels as I realised on my trip that they aren’t given the credit they deserve – let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Generator Hostel Paris
So, onto my experience at Generator Hostel Paris and the Khayma launch party. We arrived late afternoon to a gloriously sunny day in Paris – it was 20 degrees and the first proper sunshine I’d seen all year! I checked in to a beautiful private double room (yes, that’s right, hostels don’t just have dorms!) and immediately fell in love with the amazing view from my top floor window out over Montmartre. In the afternoon sunlight it was a pretty magical sight. The room was super spacious, with lots of lovely seating, a nice big bed and a hanging rail for my Paris capsule wardrobe, plus shower and toilet. I was really impressed with the size of the room and how stylish it was! It just goes to show that staying in the right hostel can be just the same as staying in a budget hotel, but (as you’ll see in a minute) with way more to do and way more fun!
Khayma Rooftop Bar
I only had time for a quick change and then it was up to the roof for the Khayma launch party. It’s a beautiful space with a tropical beach-bar feel, full of green foliage, natural light and those amazing Paris views. We got up there just as the sun was setting, the perfect moment to admire the amazing view out over Sacré-Cœur! I took soooo many sunset pictures it was ridiculous, it just kept getting better with each moment that passed and the sky grew redder and redder as the sun fell further down to the horizon. I couldn’t resist getting a bit snap happy! We were first in line to try the signature Khayma cocktails – I went for the Persian Rose, a yummy blend of gin, rosewater and cherry liquer. I’m a sucker for anything rose flavoured (not just because of my name, I promise!) and this pink-hued cocktail didn’t disappoint! Of course I couldn’t resist taking even more photos of the view with my colourful cocktail in front of it…
I spent the rest of the evening sipping drinks on the rooftop, soaking up the vibes of the Parisian press crowd and munching on the yummy persian food whipped up by Chef Luke Thomas, an insanely talented 23 year old chef from the UK who owns his own restaurant in Dubai and works in partnership with Generator hostels to make sure they have the most delish menus on offer in all of their hostel locations! As usual, I was the one eating all of the canapés, but with food like this on offer, could you really blame me?! And the best part is that the fab drinks and food wasn’t just for the launch party, all of this is on offer for Generator hostel guests any night of the week! So you can head up to enjoy the cocktails, views and tasty treats any evening of your stay. I was amazed at how exclusive the bar felt, you’d be more likely to guess it was the rooftop of a trendy (and expensive) hotel rather than part of a hostel! Generator are opening new venues like this in a number of their European hostels and I guess it’s the next step in boutique hostel-ing. When there are unique (and guest-exclusive) nightlife options like Khayma as part of your stay it really adds a new edge to the hostel scene and makes them more of a destination. Now do you believe me when I say that staying at a hostel isn’t what you’d think?! When the evening got later, we headed inside to explore the mezzanine bar of the hostel and the in-house basement club! That’s one great thing about hostel life, and Generator in particular – it’s all about socialising, so the design of the hostels themselves is all geared up towards that experience. If you were a backpacker or solo traveller you’d barely have to leave your room to meet new people and find ways to spend your evening.
The next day, I had a few hours of exploring before my Eurostar back to London. Generator was the perfect base to head easily into the centre of Paris and have a wander through the fashion spots of Paris along Rue St Honore and the Champs Elysee. I just had the time to browse the shop windows of Gucci, Chanel and Saint Laurent, buy my favourite macarons at Laduree and take a quick stroll down the Seine to grab a view of the Eiffel Tower and Arch de Triomphe before heading home. It was short but sweet, and had me dreaming of my next trip to Paris straight away! I was totally converted to both the Eurostar (I can’t believe it only takes two hours – hello day trips to Paris during the Summer!) and of course to Generator hostel, so it’s safe to say I’ll definitely be back for another stay soon! It was the perfect way to stay in Paris and get a feel for the vibe of the city, and of course getting to experience the amazing Khayma rooftop bar was the cherry on top of a lovely trip! Big thanks to Generator Hostels for inviting me along to the launch and I can’t wait to (hopefully) try out some of their other European destinations on my travels later in the year!
Find out more
Find out more about Generator Hostel, check out prices or book your stay in their 14 different European destinations click here. To read more about the Paris hostel, head here. Private rooms (like mine) start from £70 per night and shared dorms from £20. Spoiler alert – they’re also launching in Madrid and Miami later in the year so watch this space!
A big thank you to Generator Hostel for hosting me on this trip!