My husband and I are going to Paris for a few days in May to watch our son, a college student, compete in an international sports competition to take place near the Eiffel Tower. I haven’t been to Paris in years and I need a recommendation for a hotel or B&B.
We’re not looking for luxury. Don’t need a doorman, pool, gym, spa, or 3-star restaurant. Just a clean, quiet room with a croissant and a cup of coffee in the morning.
Centrally located would be nice, but we’re comfortable using the Metro and we don’t mind a location in the outlying districts. It’s just for Mr. Montdore and me - Montdore Junior is staying with the other athletes in university housing.
I used www.parisbandb.com
a few years back and had a great experience. Wound up staying in what was basically the spare room in a chic apartment on the Seine. Sweet old lady living there pointed us to all the good places to eat, shop, etc. instead of touristy sites.
Back in late 2005, we stayed at the Hotel Rivoli… 19 rue de Rivoli (I remember that because our cab driver did not speak a word of English, and we could only count to 20 in French, so we really lucked out there).
It was nice, clean, close to lost of things. We walked to the Louvre, and and Notre Dame Cathedral… there was a nice little shopping area close by, and easy walks to two Metro stations. There was nothing outstanding about the rooms, but we figured it was really only a place to sleep, if we had nothing better to do while in Paris than sit around our hotel room, something was seriously wrong.
I am pretty sure it had a breakfast option. It was directly connected to a cafe next door, and I think both were run by the same people. We did not have breakfast there though.
Best of all, every person we encountered working there spoke at least enough English for us to get by. Allegedly lots of Parisians do speak English well enough, but that was not really our discovery, outside of tourist-y areas.
Last time I was in Paris, I stayed at the Holiday Inn in the Bastille district. If you don’t mind your hotels American-flavored while you’re overseas, you may like it there. The rooms on the upper floors have a nice view of the Eiffel Tower (and contrary to the commercials, there aren’t that many places that do.)
It’s a short walk away from Gare de Leon. The rooms are small, but clean and adequate. It’s in a building which has some historic charms. (The elevator is adorable.)
The neighborhood was safe and there was an awesome Chinese resturant a couple of blocks away.
I usually stay at the Hôtel Ecole Centrale, which is right next to the metro station Arts et Métiers. It’s very small, but the people there are very nice and try to make you feel at home. It offers a small breakfast selection, nothing fancy, but it will get you started for the day. Also, there are a couple of small cafés around (with OK prices, which is important in Paris) where you can have lunch or dinner. And it’s just a short walk to the Centre Pompidou and Les Halles (and a bit longer walk brings you to Pont Neuf and Notre Dame).
I forgot to mention that the Bastille Holiday Inn offers a Continental breakfast. You pay for it in advance, as it’s added to your room charges. (Tell them if you decide you don’t want to take advantage of it.)
These can be expensive, 10 Euros or so per person ( for a croissant and a cup of coffee). I suggest going to a cafe for breakfast, especially if you think you might not be up during the limited hours the hotel serves the breakfast.
We really liked the Relais St. Germain, which was in the 6th arrondissement. It was within easy walking distance of all the famous cafes on the Boulevard St. Germain, as well as handy to the latin quarter and the Jardins des Luxembourg. We paid in the neighborhood of $175 a night, but the rooms were more like little suites with kitchenettes. Also, this was seven years ago that we stayed there, so I’m sure it’s more expensive now.