Europe Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Trip Report Take your time to see San Gimignano
  2. 2 Update on Bob the Navigator
  3. 3 Amsterdam - Germanyin mid April
  4. 4 Christmas in London (& Paris)
  5. 5 Stay in El Born, in Barcelona, and getting to the Languedoc, France
  6. 6 Car rental leaving Rome
  7. 7 Honeymoon Help! September 2016
  8. 8 Barcelona to San Sebastian
  9. 9 Trip Report Wroclaw & Krakow, Poland
  10. 10 Handicap Assistance at Charles de Gaulle - Our Experience
  11. 11 Visiting Turkey for Fun and Adventure, Oasis or Chaos
  12. 12 Greece in March?
  13. 13 Best company/Tour for one day Amalfi Coast from Rome
  14. 14 Help with final 6 days of Norway itinerary
  15. 15 Does Wroclaw, Krakow, Warsaw sound like a good 8-day Polish trip?
  16. 16 Holland/France/Spain
  17. 17 X-ray machines at train stations in Europe?
  18. 18 Trip Report Why Not Helsinki?
  19. 19 Paris for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve
  20. 20 Best boutique shops for kids within walking distance of Notre Dame?
  21. 21 Help Planning Spain Itinerary
  22. 22 Trip Report The dog cemetery of Asnières
  23. 23 Last min prep for Krakow - Questions
  24. 24 Any special about stockholm (13th or 14th to go Stockholm)?
  25. 25 Glasgow and Edinburgh
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report Belated Paris trip report, part 1 planning--in France, not Slovakia

Jump to last reply

This visit to Paris on our way to visit family in Genoa was the first time we'd been back in 14 years. Alas, the dollar is no longer 30% stronger than the euro, but Paris has lost none of its beauty and charm. (Background, we are in our mid fifties and sixties, speak just enough French so that people did not usually change languages for us.) Perhaps in part because we are an intercultural couple which people seem to find somewhat romantic, Parisians were once again almost universally warm and kind to us.
Our dates were determined in October both by my University's semester and by the fact that May 15 was the last day before air fares went up considerably. We were able to get a nonstop economy plus flight (well worth the extra money especially since we had emergency exit row extra extra room and just two seats together), which turned out to be even more comfortable than we had hoped, though not by any means like flying business. I slept about 6 hours, enough to make the next day quite bearable. We bought Paris museum pass at the airport when we arrived (no lines, very easy), then went on to our hotel, dropped off our luggage, and walked over to the 5th arrondissement for a steak and pommes frites lunch at the Brasserie Balthasar, which we remembered with pleasure from a previous visit. (Food excellent, they gave me a yellow rose on French mother's day as a reward for being a non ugly American--too long a story to tell). Food was still good, and also atmosphere.
The hotel decision (which my husband would describe as the hotel indecision) began right after making plane reservations. After reading guidebooks and TripAdvisor and talking to friends, we narrowed it down to 4 hotels (where we held reservations for the next four months while I went back and forth over the advantages/risks of each). In this research and general planning, I used Fodor's, Frommer's, Rough Guide, Rick Steves, Michelin, friends who live in the Marais and their father, a mentor of many years who has never failed to suggest at least one magical travel experience on every journey we have asked his advice for (his hotel choices are great but out of our budget range). I am known to friends as a guidebook geek and a hotel geek, but I happily support the travel industry with the conviction that even one excellent idea makes a guidebook worth its price.
So our final hotel choice was the Hotel Bonaparte in the sixth arrondissement, just
First the good: Fabulous location, 5 minute walk to the Luxumbourg Gardens, just next to Place St Sulpice,on a quiet street, with taxi stands, two metros and several buses right there and the Boulevard Saint Germain just a 5 minute walk away. We walked almost everywhere: 20 minutes to the Louvre, the Orsay, 25 to the Rodin museum and the Eiffel Tower, a longer but doable walk over to the Right Bank and up the Champs Élysées and over to musée Jacque-Mart André etc. Very reasonable price for a 3 star, about 180 euro (breakfast not included).
Our hotel room was large, attractively decorated in shades of grey, with a full bath and large window, more than enough space to put a week's supply of stuff out of the way. I also saw a much smaller room, freshly painted a soft taupe with large lovely bathroom. The staff graciously accommodated my request at the bed be double sheeted, as well as kindly offering themselves up as an ecole francaise, helping me improve my VERY intermediate French. Magdalena, the manager, was lovely. It's drawbacks are relatively unimportant to us: small elevator (we took the stairs), few amenities, breakfast just OK. I forgot--it was super clean,there are grocery stores nearby, and each room sports a refrigerator in which to store them. You can buy Evian at front desk, free wifi. Other hotels on our short list were more elegant (I went to look in person at 2 of them). For us, the combination of the location, the spaciousness of the room (top floor) and the kindness of the staff was unbeatable. This will be our new home in Paris.

Sorry for previous tag error

4 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.