Joined: 29 Jan 2005 Posts: 342 Location: Chicago and other places
Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:49 am Post subject: Looking for the BEST location for a hotel in Paris
If all goes well with Sally getting her Green Card, I'd like to take her to Paris for 2 weeks in October. That's a safe month for me to be gone from my landscape business as Autumn is looooong in Chicago and it takes 6 weeks or more for the trees to lose their leaves.
This is what I'm trying to achieve: a hotel that makes me WANT to never never leave it, that is in the CENTER of everything!
If someone wanted to come to Chicago for 2 weeks, never rent a car and never go to the suburbs, I'd have 20 hotels that I could recommend. They would always be within 3 blocks of Lake Michigan and it's amazing beaches and bike paths; shopping and dining is excessive to the extreme, and Navy Pier, the Art Institute, and the Museum Campus of Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium are a 15 minute bus ride away.
Maybe it's the fact that Chicago can only grow North and South (because of the Lake) that the best of urban living is within a casual 10 minute stroll. Is Paris the same way, or am I doomed to be taking buses to see 1/2 to 3/4's of the city??? I am NOT interested in walking an hour to see something (Lazy American, HERE) but if that's what I have to do, I'll pout about it and get "over it".
I was working in Europe for a landscape magazine the months of April/May/June of 2002 and we lived in Inverness, Scotland; Amsterdam; London; and Paris for several weeks, several times. The editor of the magazine who was in charge of the trip was/is an"old school snob" about Europe and basically only let us writers, photographers and landscapers see the things SHE was interested in seeing. I wore out shoes at the Louvre; I saw Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle no less than 6 times (at various parts of the day for her to photograph ) and was dragged to dull museum after dull museum during OUR free time. Because it was a working "vacation" related to horticulture, we wasted endless hours taking trains to Versailless and Giverny, where we had the horrid misfortune of being there on the BIGGEST CROWD DAY IN HISTORY!!! They actually closed Giverney because it couldn't hold any more people!
What I wanted to see and do but we were never let out of her 'covey' of minions was: The Eiffel Tower (to just spend hours gazing at it); the river Seine with boat rides, the Champs-Elysees and the hundreds and hundreds of tiny shops and bistros that litter Paris. I wanted to spend half a day at ONE sidewalk cafe, to wake up late, go to bed early in a wonderful room, and be able to walk out my hotel door and NOT have to trek 8 blocks for a cafe.
The places we were booked into were from the Dark Ages. NONE had elevators, and after the 4th floor of carrying up cameras, tripods and luggage for yet the 3rd time in a week, can get tiring quickly!. Rooms were uber cramped, bathrooms felt like those in mobile homes where you could pee in the toilet and take a shower simultaneously. The last thing I want, upon returning to Paris, is to be 1/2 a mile from the nearest ANYTHING!I want to roll out the door and into the Center of Everything!!!
Is this "do-able" in Paris or is the age of the city working against it where I will be forced to take "trains/planes/and automobiles" to find a decent bookstore or cafe?
Two hotels that look promising to me are the Hilton Paris, with it's balconies overlooking the Eiffel Tower and the Renaissance Paris Vendome. However, when you look at where they claim they are located, you still have to schlepp your butt great distances to hook up with the Seine and the Champs-Elysees.
Looking at maps does me no good, as it's foreign to me and confusing. My friends who have gone to Paris since me are more interested in the stuff in the outlying regious and rent a car, so they're no help.
So, please help me! My first time in Paris wetted my appetite and I want to come back glutted and sated in the beauty of it's people and surroundings without wearing out two pairs of Mephistos! _________________ Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
Best location in Paris... I'll leave it the Parisians to suggest hotels. But as a non Parisian who lived in Paris 5 years, I thing best location is a very subjective matter. For me best location is around St Germain de Pres, not far from the Buci Market. I lived there for five years. That's my territory. But then, the Marais is a very central location for everything. And then there are the afficionados of the Champs Elisees , etc. ( Maybe the best is to come to paris a lot an try all the arrondissements- each one is typical and differrent)
What I mean, living in the Marais or around the Halles, makes it possible to visit most of the heart of Paris by walking. But though compact, Paris is a big city and bus/metro is convenient, quick and relatively cheap. Unlike London, the metro station are close to one another, busses cross paris from north/slouth and east/west.
In the range of price of the hotels you mentioned, there should be no problem to find a good hotel . Isle St. Louis has some boutique hotels, and definitely, in my opinion, somewhere around the Les halles- Marais, should be the ideal location. Walking distance to the Seine, Marais, Left Side, Louvrem les Champs, and even Montmartre if you want to exercise.
The Tour Eiffel is a little out of the way, but not really.
I would like to suggest something else : if you stay two weeks, maybe an appartment could be an option. I use the Citadines-not so fancy as the Hilton, but equipped with a kitchen and that's a good thing when you stay for a lond period in a city. There are several ones very well placed: the Citadines St. Germain ( Fancy and quite expensive), citadines Louvres and Vendome Opera, Citadines Les Halles ( less fancy but a stunning location). Their site: www. citadines.com. Look for special offers, they can be great!The one room appartments are great, though a studio is sufficient and big enough for two people.
Here is the place to compliment you on your very elaborate recipes , detailed explenations and encyclopaedic knowledge .
And because you mention her so often and I feel as I have missed this information ( probably I joined the forum later), who is Sally?
P.S. I saw only now your post on 3days etc, including the impressing list of room facilities- of the Hilton Paris deal. If it includes the airfare- it's a gift, but even if840$ is only the room price ( 120S per two?) it's still so cheap, that location is no more so important. It's not central, but it's Hilton and cheap. My post did not take in account yours, and though I stand by my suggestion, I wouldn't miss such an offer.
Paris is only 12km by 9km. It is quite small really. Most of Paris is very flat. The only hilly area is Montmartre. Nothing is far from you in Paris.
There are some really nice areas where you can stay and they are picturesque and close to major things.... but we find they don't have good food options. the cafes are only open during the day, or there is not a lot of variety, or the cafes are all the chain/franchise ones. Some areas are very family orientated, some are more arty, some are very touristique.
You really need to decide what sort of neighbourhood you want. And remember that small is Parisienne. You will not get a large hotel room like you do elsewhere (ie America or Australia). Not without a huge price tag and a huge hike to anywhere affordable. The room is not really important though, so long as it is comfortable and clean. You will be sitting in cafes and soaking in the atmosphere, so you will just want somewhere to rest your weary head at the end of the day.
Simona was absolutely correct in saying that the buses and metro are so convenient. If you buy a carte orange for each of you, you will have unlimited travel within Paris while you are there. It is good for buses and metro and can also be used on the furnicular and the Montmartrabus. The transport services are so good that I quite enjoy taking them.
I live in Montmartre and find it really great for all the things you mention. We have great cafes and restos, a food market a few times a week and a very nice relaxed atmosphere. It is close enough to walk to the Sacre Ceour and sit on the steps in the sunshine, but far away from the tourists. It is accessible by 2 train lines and heaps of buses. I catch the buses quite frequently as it is a great way to sightsee as you go along. You can get a bus from here direct to Trocadero (via the Arch de Triomphe), and I love to get off at the end and wander along near the river looking across to the Tour Eiffel. Buses also go from here to the Champs Eleysee, the River where the tour boats are, heaps of other nice places.
Just up the road is the area of Parc Monceau and Ternes. Ternes has a really nice food market every day and there is a german food shop that does wonderful sausage on a roll with onion and sauerkraut and mustard and .......... I am hungry just thinking about it.
Most times when friends from other arrondissements come to our apartment they say how great the area is for food and atmosphere.
There are quite a few really cute hotels in the area as well. I can write down names if you want and post them for you.
By the Way, how did the high tea go for Sally? Did you have a great time? Must go and check out that forum and see if you posted pics...
Feel free to ignore any of this. It is your holiday and you and Sally need to pick what is right for you, and what you want to do is most important. Enjoy! _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Joined: 29 Jan 2005 Posts: 342 Location: Chicago and other places
Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:27 pm Post subject:
simona: Sally is my partner, who is Scottish and has a work VISA. We're working on obtaining her Green Card so she can travel outside the U.S. We met on the Internet, on a Writer's Forum and have been together for 3 years.
Debbie: I think my landscape season crushed me right around the time of Sally's High Tea Party so I was remiss in not posting an update. Thanks for reminding me, as I must write the complete ending. Bottom line: The tea party was SO successful, that the next day, Sally's boss came to her and said, 'Was it your idea for Alice's Tea Party? Did you pay for it yourself?" When Sally said "yes" to both questions, her boss cut a check to her to reimburse 100% of all of Sally's expenses for the tea! Now that's appreciation!
Now, back to Paris:
simona: I love the idea of renting an apartment! It had never occured to me! Having a kitdhen in Paris would be so nice, as after the first week, I'm going to be bored going out for each meal and would like to come home to prepare a meal.
Unlike lots of tourists, I spend a fairly good amount of time in the room I rent. At my age, I feel I've earned the right to a Jacuzzi, Hot Tub or Swimming Pool at the end of the day. I also like the pampering aspect of a nice hotel. I think both hotels that I looked at had mini-kitchens in their rooms, but I absolutely WILL check out the apartment links!
And thanks, simona, for the sweet note about my posts.
Debbie: It looks like there is NO central location for Paris. Bummer. I guess I'm spoiled by the logistics of 150 year old Chicago and it's condensed lay-out.
Your post was so informative about the areas; what it looks like I need to do is buy a Paris map from Barnes and Noble and put it next to the computer when I read your suggestions. Right now, they are just names with no association. I've heard heaps and heaps about Montmartre, but never knew what or where it was; thanks to you, I now know.
Thank you BOTH for taking the time to answer and if you have any other tidbits to add, I'll appreciate it! And keep your fingers crossed for Sally's Green Card! _________________ Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
Joined: 01 Oct 2004 Posts: 256 Location: Richmond, VA, usa
Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:59 pm Post subject:
DQ.....I am envious of ur trip....Oct should be lovely...from my extensive research before my trip last yr (late Oct) and from looking for an apt for my daughter recently I have some web addresses to send along....we dealt with lodgis.com and had a great experience, also parisinsites.com, yourplaceinparis.com, ilparisapartments.com (some nice pics here) , vrbo.com/vacation-rentals.....for general info & hotels...parisvoice.com, maps of restaurants in each area..paris.planresto.fr , and to read reviews of what people think about different hotels...tripadvisor.com (pretty helpful).....My favorite books are by Allistair Sawday....Special Places to Stay Paris....etc....and English publication....nice pics....of course, in an apt, u won't have the hot tub and fancy pools......but u would have a bigger space....there are areas in the 16th that have a view of the Eiffel Tower, or the 7th.....the Latin Quarter (5th) is student oriented), and the 6th (St Germain) is lovely...can be touristy...but not so much in Oct.....the right bank is more $$$$, the Marais is very in now and where the gay population gravitates...really depends on what ur looking for...i can't help with fancy hotels as I've never done that, prefer to spend $$ on food (snort) Sorry to ramble on, but it's my favorite subject!!!! _________________ Make me half the person my dog thinks I am.
DQ--I can only reiterate what has been said. I love St-Germain as a fairly central location. But I'm just going to encourage you and Sally to get very sensible walking shoes and WALK!!!! Paris is supremely walkable and being on foot leads you down streets and alleys you won't find otherwise. And heavens knows there are enough cafes etc anywhere int he ciity to stop at and have a break. Dick and I will typically walk 8-10 hours a day in Paris, but we are somewhat exceptions there i suppose. We'll take the very convenient and quick metros when time is an element or if the location is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out, like St. Denis.
Hope the green card comes through nice and easily! _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Like you, the hotel room is for me more than just a place to sleep, as you said, at our age comfort is very important. That's why I like the appartments, where I can take my coffe in the morning whenever I want ( and as much as i want), come back for a siesta knowing that the fridge has my favourite drinks and snacks, and Haim ( my dearest husband) his ice cream, chocolate cakes, cream cakes, chocolate bars, fruits ,at discretion. And a nice cup of tea ( reminiscence of the british mandate in Palestine) in the evening. Last winter we had a meeting with friends from California and NY in Paris, and we had the most wonderful meals in the appartments ( we were all of us at Citadines - Les Halles), fresh from the neighbouring Marche . These were the best dinners, with lots of wine and fine food . And normal breakfast with cheese, vegetables, fesh boiled eggs. And as you say, restaurants are tiring if you depend on them every day.
I'll be in Paris for three days at the end of June ( after berlin) and Ill post new discoveries.
Good luck with finding a hotel or apartment with what you want. Having been through the market recently I do not think you will find the comforts you want. At least not without a HUGE pricetag. We stayed in hotels quite alot on our trips here before moving to Paris, and have had to stay in hotels since (due to renovation works - Yuck). One thing which I found quite annoying was that the pictures on the websites did not match rooms when you actually got there. My idea of space, cleanliness and comfort was vastly different to what we received. We were also staying in high end places as my husbands company was paying, so it was even more disappointing.
Having said that, there was nothing wrong with the rooms, and they were comfortable and "hotel clean". I just had to tell myself that Paris is nothing like Australia. After seeing a few friends in their apartments and hotel rooms, and living in a tiny apartment now, I am used to it and think it normal. My home in Sydney is going to seem enormous after this!!!!!
If you have a picnic rug you can bask in the sun in one of the Parcs for hours. Lazing in a cafe for half the day is perfectly acceptable also. On tuesday afternoons (after my french lesson) I laze in a cafe for a few hours with a group of girlfriends. We usually only have one coffee/tea/choclate each, but can sit there enjoying the sun and talking for ages without getting the slightest push from the staff. It is quite common for us to all of a sudden realise it is 7pm and our partners will be home soon, and make a mad panicked dash for the buses and metro (lesson finishes at 3pm... ooops).
Whatever you choose and however you go, you will be in Paris with Sally - and really, that is the whole object of the exercise isn't it. The two of you sharing a trip to a place you really want to go to.
If you feel up to a lunch or dinner while here, drop me a PM and we can link up. I have copies of the english language adverts here as well, so if you want I can scan and email to give you an idea of the apartments for lease for short term (holiday lettings) and the hotels. It might help you make up your mind which way you want to go accomodation wise. _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Joined: 17 May 2005 Posts: 87 Location: Madison WI
Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 7:02 pm Post subject:
I heartily agree with the apartment rental plan. I have become so spoiled by doing that. You can cook, shop for food, have more room to stretch out, and best of all feel like a native with your own address!
Here are a few apartments I have stayed in.
Isabelle is very friendly and helpful and her apartments are here:
We stayed at the Louvre apartment and the location was great for access to all of the sights.
Also Gerard Cohen is very eager to please and the view is amazing from his apartment, if you don't mind the stairs. We would lie in bed at night and watch the light show the Bateau Mouches made on our ceiling at night!
http://www.goin2travel.com/cohenseine.htm _________________ "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!"
Joined: 28 Mar 2005 Posts: 31 Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:13 pm Post subject:
You've probably already been there and back, so am curious how it worked out. In any case, the Champs Elysee and Eiffel tower are in the 7th. There are a lot of business hotels in that area. Like most of the others, I confess that I prefer St Germain in the 6th. I can walk most everywhere, find a cafe and so on. But the metro does make it easy to get around and you rarely have to walk more than a few blocks to and from the station to get anywhere in the city. You also might consider the 1st as well if you are willing to pay a lot for a hotel. Many of the major tourist's sites are near that area.
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