Behind the scenes of GS: Sweet dreams!

The CERN Hostel is located in the heart of the Meyrin site and provides the Organization’s many users with a comfortable and peaceful place to stay. The services offered by the Hostel, which is managed by the GS-IS Group, have seen many changes over the years.


The first CERN Hostel (Building 38) was built in 1982 in response to an increasing demand for accommodation, which until then had been met by a handful of converted bedrooms in Building 5 and, since 1974, by 81 additional bedrooms made available to CERN through an agreement with the Foyer Schumann in Saint-Genis-Pouilly. Let’s not even mention the fact that the barracks now occupied by the CERN clubs used to be dormitories…

The Hostel was gradually extended, particularly in 1995 with the construction of Building 39, and then in 2007, when Building 41 was added, resulting in a total of 413 rooms (495 beds) today. In addition, a new agreement now gives users access to 151 low-cost rooms at the Foyer Schumann, and the CERN Hostel also manages 14 apartments in Meyrin and Grand-Saconnex, which are generally rented out for long stays.

The CERN Hostel's Reception team.

The CERN Hostel aims to offer its customers a high-quality service at reasonable rates.  “Since 2009, we have significantly improved the Hostel’s services,” says Véronique Sogno, Head of the Site Services Section (GS-IS-SIS). “Among other things, we have replaced the furniture and fittings in every room, renovated the bathrooms, refitted the communal kitchens, centralised the fire detection system... and we’ve actively encouraged the Foyer Schumann to review its level of service too.”

In response to continually increasing demand, the Hostel implemented a state-of-the-art hotel software system in 2009 to ensure optimal management of reservations: “Before we acquired this tool, we processed all reservations by phone, fax or e-mail. It was impossible for us to get an overview of the occupancy rate in real time,” recalls Bernard Goicoechea, CERN Hostel supervisor. “Now customers have access to a reservation system developed by the GS-AIS-EB team, which gives them immediate information on room availability.” “On the service side, we have extended the opening hours of the Reception to 1 a.m., seven days a week,” adds Véronique Sogno. “We offer a laundry service and three self-service launderettes. We’ve also added a breastfeeding area, in consultation with the CERN Medical Service.”

One of the comfortable rooms offered by the CERN Hostel.

With an average occupancy rate of more than 75% over the last six years, peaking at more than 95% during the summer when CERN welcomes many students (the average occupancy rate for a hotel in Geneva is around 60%), the CERN Hostel is doing great business. “From the receptionists and cleaners, to the head housekeeper and the maintenance and supplies managers... more than 50 people (on external contracts) work every day to maintain the high level of service offered by the CERN Hostel,” concludes Bernard Goicoechea.

For more information about the CERN Hostel or to make a reservation, go to

Please note that only people who are registered at CERN and who fulfil certain criteria may stay at the CERN Hostel. The criteria can be consulted here.

by Anaïs Schaeffer