The 3 Ducks hostel, located near the busy Rue de Commerce in central Paris, is a budget oriented establishment. Checking in at this hostel is done at a noisy bar serving as the establishment’s entrance, and this is par for the course here. The atmosphere is generally one of youth, energy, partying and, to some extent, seediness.
Service at the 3 Ducks is mediocre. All staff that I encountered spoke very good English and did not seem to mind doing so. They were, however, not the friendliest or most helpful staff that I have encountered in a youth hostel. When I first arrived, I went to the bartender/receptionist for help because someone was sleeping in the bed that I had been assigned and there were items on all of the other beds. He came into the room, seeming quite annoyed, and then took a towel off of one of the beds and said, “this bed is free,” acting as though I should have known it in the first place. My other encounters with the staff were similarly less than satisfactory.
The rooms, which range from ten bed dormitories to singles, are generally clean, though rather stark and suffering from a stale odor. No sheets are provided, though they can be rented for a 3.50 euro fee from the front desk. Guests are also given the option of using their own sheets or sleeping bags. The showers are perhaps the worst part of this hostel, as they smell completely foul, are located in the middle of the room with a minimum of privacy, and must be operated by pressing a button every five seconds or so. Thankfully the water is dispensed at a comfortable temperature, but the user is given no choice as to what that temperature is. No attempt is made by the staff to keep noise levels down in the late hours, so if you have any desire to sleep before 2 o’clock, it is highly recommended to bring earplugs.
The location of the 3 Ducks is perhaps not as central as possible, with most of the primary attractions in Paris being somewhat out of walking distance, but still not terrible. The Eiffel Tower is a ten minute walk away and there are many shops and restaurants in the local vicinity. Although this is not the nicest part of Paris, at no time during my stay did I feel at all unsafe or uncomfortable in this area.
The Three Ducks is certainly not a luxury establishment, one is given the barest minimum in terms of service and room quality. It is, however, at approximately twenty-three euros per night in a six bed dormitory, one of the cheapest places to stay in central Paris and serviceable for those looking for nothing more than a bed to sleep in.