Live your Life!

This week I had the pleasure of seeing our newest bar and hostel in action. I now have the challenge of blogging about my experience without it appearing a “sell”. Here goes….


St Christopher’s Inn and Belushi’s in Gare du Nord, Paris is our latest opening that just smashes the perception of a hostel, including my own, into the stratosphere.

I must admit that before I joined Beds and Bars I was one of those skeptical people who had never stayed in a hostel, primarily based on the stories of friends who had traveled. How foolish was I? I kick myself now for wondering just how much of the traveling experience I have missed out on because of that misconception.

I have spent the last 10 years living out of my HR suitcase, traveling the UK and most of the hotels that I have stayed in have been, at best, average. Some, just grim. You pay an extortionate amount for being in the heart of the City close to the travel network, pay extra for the pleasure of WIFI and the luxury of having breakfast, yes you guessed it, extra as well.

We operate differently. A Safe, Secure, and FUN stay with FREE WIFI, FREE Breakfast at GREAT value. Does it get any better?

In Gare du Nord, I saw groups of ladies on a girlie break, fellas on a mid-week jolly, couples on a getaway, business types (myself included) and so, so many full on backpackers. It made me realise that we have something for everyone.

The quality of our rooms rival expensive hotels. There are all sorts of beds to suit all sorts of people. From female only floors and private en-suite havens, to bargain 22-bed mixed dorms and unique international art rooms. All at great prices. My room was a private en-suite almost identical to the picture below at 39 euros per night… the heart of the Paris network.

Private double ensuite
Private double en-suite

For me, it’s not just about where I lay my head either. I want a great bar, with a buzzing atmosphere where I can choose to sit in a corner and work away on the laptop or mingle at the bar grabbing some food and a beer toe tapping to a band or watching the sport.

I observed a truly excited team delivering some of the best service I have experienced. Yes, they had a very busy time during the build and launch but every single one of them still had big smiles and bigger banter to share. The prospect that they are responsible for our biggest site in Europe doesn’t even phase them. They are having fun and it shows.

These pictures are from some of our guests from various websites; Facebook, Hostelworld, Twitter, Trip Advisor.

Getting the party started
Getting the party started
Cocktail anyone?
Cocktail anyone?
Time for lunch
Time for lunch
Separate Restaurant
Separate Restaurant area

The most important thing is that everyone was having FUN!

You only have one shot at this life and we spend the vast majority of it working. I’m truly blessed to work in Hospitality with a group of like minded people who understand the needs of every type of guest that may pass through our doors.

I’m sure Maslow won’t mind us updating his hierarchy of needs with this little gem that I saw on Twitter during the week. I’ve searched my timeline but cannot find the person who tweeted it. Thank you, whoever you are!


It wouldn’t have been right for me to have gone to Paris and not tried these slippery little suckers. Thankfully, I didn’t have a Pretty Woman moment and I actually enjoyed them. Who’d have thought it?

Slippery Little Suckers
Slippery Little Suckers

A crazy busy week but one that is summed up quite easily….

Live your Life and ENJOY IT!

If you want to know more about who we are, here goes…..

Beds and Bars is a collective of companies and brands and we’ve been building our fun little empire for a while now. We are made up of St Christopher’s Inns – the largest independent chain of hostels in Europe, Belushi’s Bars, the Winston Hotel and nightclub in Amsterdam, the Flying Pig Hostels – also in Amsterdam, the Bauhaus hotel, bar and hostel in Bruges and our 3 traditional pubs.

Our company started back in 1964 with one traditional English Pub. Since then things have changed a bit.

In 1994 the first Belushi’s bar opened in Covent Garden, London. Two years later the first St Christopher’s backpacker hostel opened up in Southwark. By 1999 Beds and Bars had 6 Backpacker bars and 350 beds in London. Over the years Beds and Bars expanded rapidly from a single site to a multi-unit, multinational organisation. Since 1999 we have spread throughout the UK and Europe to Newquay, Bath, Brighton, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Bruges, Prague, Barcelona and Berlin. Paris Canal was our first purpose built hostel and nightclub. The doors opened at the start of 2008. Prague opened in 2010, Barcelona in 2012 and our latest baby opened in Gare du Nord, Paris in July 2013.

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Family, Cats, Food Nerd, Gin Queen, People. Not HR.

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