Two minor points to make about this place before dealing with its family policy. The first good point is that, with the exception of one particularly poker-faced unsmiling female member of staff, the people who run the place are pretty friendly and helpful. The second matter is that the cleaners start early so you may be making breakfast in the kitchen while the cleaners brusquely rub the place down. However, the main problem I had here and with other Swiss Backpackers hostels was with the chains' alleged 'family policy.' On its website this year, Swiss Backpackers clearly states that families will receive a 50% discount on the price of a third night if they stay three consecutive nights. I am a single father and was travelling with my son, we had a private room booked and I anticipated that I would receive this discount. In fact, because I was counting pennies, I'd even emailed the Swiss Backpackers secretary before I left to confirm that this was the case. Yet on arriving at City Hostel, Geneva, when I asked the woman who was processing our arrival if there was any discount, I was given the firm answer 'no, there is no discount' (yes, it was poker-faced woman). When I later got the website up on my phone and showed it to another (much nicer) receptionist I was told that the policy only applied if I had a Swisspass. No, I didn't. Where was that mentioned on the website? The manager was then called, the website was scrutinised and he declared that the problem was that the idea of 'family' was bigger than mine (ie father and son). Even so, he would give the discount. Nice receptionist woman said she had been previously unaware that the discount applied without a Swisspass. For myself, I still don't know why a Swisspass was relevant to anything. A few days later we were at another Swiss Backpackers hostel for three nights. Were they aware, I said, of the family discount policy? Nice woman on reception said, no, but not to worry, she believed me - and also gave us additional 10% discounts each night because of my son's young age. In all, I got discounts of around 100 Swiss Francs back from the hostel chain - although I felt I had had to fight for it. Clearly, I'm not complaining about getting the money back. The moral of the story is that the interpretation of, and even knowledge of, Swiss Backpackers '3rd night' policy seems to vary from one hostel to another. Single travellers need not be interested in any of this - but this is a possible problem that families, who may be staying in more pricey private rooms, should be aware of.
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- Also Known As:
- City Hostel Geneva Hotel Geneva