2 Paris Hotels: Millesime and de Lutece

Jun 7th, 2003, 10:56 AM
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2 Paris Hotels: Millesime and de Lutece

Just returned from a trip in which we spent 6 days in Paris staying at the Millesime and 3 at the Hotel de Lutece. Since neither were quite what I expected, here's my report:

Hotel Millesime (6th, between San Germain and the Seine): At 190 euros/night for a superior room, this was the most expensive hotel on our itinerary. From the raves on this site I had high expectations -- maybe too high.

When we first entered our room, I must confess to disappointment. It was a comfortable-sized room with large French doors opening onto the Rue Jacob, but some of the appointments seemed a bit shabby. For example, the tv sat on a wobbly black wooden cart that looked like a flea market find. And the back of the bathroom door had peeling paint -- not what I'd expect at that price.

Location was fantastic for proximity to Metro and major attractions, not to mention Laduree almost directly across the street. But the area is terribly chi-chi, filled with antique, interior designer, and extremely high-end shops -- not really of shopping interest for me. Rue de Buci was just a few blocks away and lively at all hours day and night.

Staff was very kind, helpful, good English.

Hotel de Lutece (Ile St. Louis): My concern here was fitting ourselves and our luggage into the tiny room I anticipated, but in fact it was quite comfortable. (I later learned it was one of the largest rooms in the hotel -- #441.) For 150 euros, we had a nicely appointed room, sparkling bathroom (bath but no shower except handheld in #441), and friendly helpful staff. Note: this room does have a slight problem with the closet door and the room door trying to occupy the same space at the same time.

Fabulous location! The island was like a little oasis in the midst of Paris (with Berthillon across the street). 5 minutes walk to Notre Dame, and 5 in the other direction to the Marais. On warm evenings people gather on the quais at river-level to have picnics, drink wine, make music, and rendezvous with lovers.

Loved staying here and would do so again.
Marilyn is offline  
Jun 20th, 2003, 11:24 PM
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Marilyn, I just noticed your post and thanks for the observations about these hotels.

I had read about Millesime & de Lutece as they're really popular. Didn't realize Millesime was like that.

I guess after we read and hear such positive comments about certain hotels our expectations are really high and sometimes we get let down. I know this happened to my family and I when we stayed at Hotel d'Angleterre just closeby to the Millesime Hotel.

We booked a deluxe room with sofa bed since it was three of us. We actually had room # 47 which is the room right above the courtyard and is shown in pictures of the hotel. We'd expected a luxurious and spacious room. However, we were pretty disappointed as the room, while a good size was not overly spacious, and the worse thing was the musty smell, peeling paint on the wall, and the mold around the tub and someone did a lousy job trying to cover it up. The bathtub faucet was wobbly also.

Breakfast was terrible-not the price-but the items you get for 9.15 euro/pp: miniscule croissants and hard baguette. My husband thought a scrambled egg for 3 euro would be nice but it was terrible-more like a soft-boiled egg that was broken into pieces. Not only that it appeared that the maid is doing double duty as a lady wearing a maid's uniform served us our breakfast. We had to place our breakfast order with the front desk person and he forgot about us because he had to check out some guests. So breakfast was not only bad but it took us almost an hour from start to finish.
Yes, we should have gone to a cafe like Paul to eat had we known better.

Anyway, I understand d'Angleterre is actually offering breakfast free now. In fact, a deluxe room now costs 235 euro for 2 people and an extra 45 euro for a third person. Very expensive.
francophile03 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2003, 11:26 PM
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In addition, that same type of deluxe room cost 248 euro last year.
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Jun 20th, 2003, 11:47 PM
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Glad you read it, francophile03! I forgot I even posted it, as there was no response. (Not that I necessarily expected any, but thought it would be good info "for the record" to turn up in a search or whatever.)

Since you mentioned breakfast, I will add that the €10 breakfast at the de Lutece was well worth the price:
large, delicious croissants, baguettes, butter, pots of jam, excellent cafe au lait with separate pots of coffee and hot milk. We never had the Millesime breakfast due to the oh-so-convenient proximity of Laduree. I have now had the PERFECT palmier and can die happy.

By the way, most of the photos on hotel websites have been shot with a wide angle lens which makes the room look a LOT larger than it actually is. After you've been to the hotel, it's quite instructive to revisit the website and check out the photos again.
Marilyn is offline  
Jun 21st, 2003, 12:06 AM
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Hi Marilyn, you're up late too! You know, nowadays it appears that breakfast whether it's continental breakfast or buffet breakfast they are all expensive. And 9-10 euro is average nowadays I think. Well, at least the breakfast items at the Lutece was fresh-unlike d'Angleterre's.

I notice that some of the upscale hotels charge more than 20 euro for breakfast-I guess if you stay at those places you can afford it.

In regards to the room photos on the hotels' websites, of course, they not only use a wide lens but they usually show their best room(s). So it can be disappointing when you actually see the room unless you don't try to expect too much.
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Jun 21st, 2003, 08:34 AM
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Marilyn and Francophile, it was interesting to read your impressions of two hotels I have seen rave reviews of here. Just another reason why it's almost as hard to rely on personal recommendation as those from guidebooks because personal travel styles differ so much.

I do think most hotels in the 6th have gone out of sight in pricing simply because of the location, so you can't even rely on price as an indicator. I swear in the 80s we used to stay at Crystal Hotel on St. Benoit for $25/night (back when it was 10 francs to the $), and now its prices are right up there with the best of them.

And now it looks as if the Relais Bosquet in the 7th has done the same thing. I hate finding a hotel that I really like, usually spending slightly more than I'm happy with, only to find it pricing itself right out of my budget.

And then there are those breakfasts--there's enough of my Depression-era parents in me to balk at spending $12-15 for bread and coffee. (For months after a Paris trip, every time we would go out for breakfast and spend $5 for unlimited coffee, eggs, hash browns, toast, my DH would say: That's 30 francs--now 5 euro!) In fact, yesterday I did just that, a $4.97 bill, with tip about 5 euro.
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Jun 21st, 2003, 08:48 AM
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LVSue, it is unbelievable that you were able to stay at the Crystal Hotel for only $25! Gee, I checked with them recently and they quoted a triple room for 250 euro prior to July 13th and 200 euro afterwards!

Hotel de l'Abbaye is another one that's listed in guidebooks as being moderate-I think that will be changed to very expensive soon. A room would cost us over 300 euro there-breakfast is included but really that is still expensive.

That's why we are considering other areas besides the 6th. Even the 5th is becoming unaffordable-the Abbatial quoted us 190 euro for their 6th floor room-breakfast is an additional 8 euro/pp.

But we shall research some more! ;-)

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Jun 21st, 2003, 08:59 AM
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Another thing: I thought that July was the beginning of the "low season" in Paris. In fact, quite a few of the hotels I have contacted mentioned that July is one of their busiest months and they aren't able to give discounts. Maybe July is slowly becoming part of the "high season".
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Jun 21st, 2003, 09:32 AM
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Francophile, last year I stayed in both the Relais Bosquet and the Clement. I was going to recommend the Clement?its rooms are still the same price (123 superior, I think). It wasn't as "perfect" as the RB, but its location can't be beat.

I've seen your post re slow e-mails and lost reservations; only one person as far as I can tell has had his reservations lost there (marty), but he posts it every time Clement comes up. I had no problem. That said, I did book through digital.france.com and I have never had a problem with them.

Unfortunately, digital.france has changed their website and you have to register (I think--I did), but I would urge you to check the 372! customer comments. Very few are bad.

Here's the trip report if you'd like to read it.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...=2&tid=1371813
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Jun 21st, 2003, 11:00 AM
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francophile, I do tend to stay up late, but since I'm on the left coast it's 3 hrs earlier here than the time on the post.

We were quite taken with the Marais as an area to stay next time. Great little shops, lots of restaurants and cafes, and the place was hopping at 11:00pm on a Wednesday night. But I am pretty sure we will rent an apartment next trip. Seems like a lot better value for the money, plus you have a place to take advantage of all that fabulous food in the markets! And you can avoid the ridiculous cost of a hotel breakfast.

LVSue, don't even get me STARTED on what hotel prices were like when I traveled as a college student. But the dollar was much stronger then as well. I went to Europe one summer in the '70's for 3 months with exactly $1000.

You make a good point about "personal travel style". "Loved it" or "hated it" doesn't really give us very useful info. I tried to be more specific in my post about what I liked and what was disappointing, in the hopes that it would be more helpful.
Marilyn is offline  
Jun 21st, 2003, 06:06 PM
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Marilyn, I too am on the left coast.

LVSue, I may inquire at Relais Bosquet also. The hotel looks and sounds excellent. I like the Muguet but the owner does not promise any tower view rooms. I will check the varied posts about Hotel Clement. Maybe that incident with the person's lost reservation was a one-time thing-I know someone else who reported Clos Medicis lost her reservation so it can happen. Hopefully not too much. But how do you know if the hotel is overbooking rooms?

I do like Digitalfrance.com because the comments are from actual guest and they are not screened so both good and bad comments appear.
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Jun 21st, 2003, 06:09 PM
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Yes, Marilyn, you were very specific. My problem is that I'm not sure I notice things that might turn off other people. For example, at Le Clement, there were no shower curtains and no mini-bar.
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Jun 21st, 2003, 06:17 PM
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LVSue, when you say "no shower curtains" is that absolutely nothing to block the water? Many hotels have shower shields. We can't do without a shield or a curtain. We had none a few years ago when we stayed at Hotel Tilsitt Etoile and water went all over the bathroom. It was fortunate that the toilet had its own separate compartment or that would be all wet too.
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Jun 21st, 2003, 07:46 PM
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I'm pretty sure there was no shower shield either.
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Jun 21st, 2003, 08:24 PM
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Hi, Marilyn, If I could intrude here
The Lutece was my first Paris hotel! We stayed on the top floor in the front. It is long enough ago that I forget the number, but I won't forget how pleasant the room and the people that ran the hotel were! They brought breakfast to our room at that time, instead of the breakfast room, since it was so small.
I have very fond memories of that hotel.
Since then we have stayed at the Dabube, charming , and the D'Angleterre.
Unfortunately, or Fortunately, we stayed there when it was still quite nice, no mold or musty for us! I am sad to read that things have changed there.
I just recently read (in Travel & Leisure Magazine) that the Angleterre was one of a few Paris hotels that were lowering their prices in order to tempt Americans to come back to Paris.
Maybe things have been freshened up a bit~
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Jun 22nd, 2003, 12:34 AM
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Hi Scarlett, how nice to hear about your fond memories of the de Lutece! What a great place to stay your first time in Paris. Our room was in the front also, but not on the top floor.

The woman at the desk daytimes, I think her name is Natalie, said she had been there for 12 years and basically planned to stay forever. She was just great -- so friendly and helpful. All the staff was like that as well. The woman who served us breakfast just couldn't do enough for us.

LVSue, I know what you mean about noticing things, or rather, knowing what other people will care about. I don't care at all if there is a mini bar, but I gotta have a nightstand and a reading lamp by the bed. My husband hated that there was no real shower at the de Lutece (i.e., no way to fix the hand held onto the wall). You can only hope that whatever your observations are, they will help someone.
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Jun 22nd, 2003, 07:35 AM
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Scarlett, our room at the Angleterre had a slight maintenance problem (mold, peelig paint, etc.) but that's not to say that other rooms are not nice. There have been a couple of people who have reported here that their rooms were really nice-no mold or anything like that.
However, it appears that they are repeat guests so I am thinking that the hotel reserves the better rooms for these guests. But I may be wrong in this assumption.
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Jun 22nd, 2003, 08:07 AM
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franophile, what a shame if they reserved the best for repeat guests! I would think that to be terrible business management.
We have stayed at the Angleterre many times, various rooms, but it has now been a couple of years since we stayed there..weep weep...
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Jun 22nd, 2003, 08:57 AM
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Continuing the topic about Angleterre it was the first time we'd stayed in the 6th district and at a hotel that has huge write-ups done on it. The one thing I recall is that the Angleterre's staff is really staid, formal, etc. and I guess it's because their guests are the formal types (except for a very loud, active French couple staying above our room-I'd be surprised if the whole side of the hote did not hear them ;-)

After the Angleterre we went for a 2-day trip and came back to Paris, this time staying in the 5th at Abbatial St. Germain. It was a lot different in atmosphere-more casual, friendly, no formality at all. That hotel was really nice and much cheaper than Angleterre. Walls were a bit thin as I could hear an older American couple next door bickering-it was really humorous though-but not when you could hear when your neighbor took a shower or flushed the toilet. #39;(
But I'd still take being there right now than here and I suppose that's what makes Parisian hotels charming. =D>
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