6 hour wait to check in at Paris hotel

Apr 26th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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6 hour wait to check in at Paris hotel

We are leaving for Paris on May 1 and will arrive at 7:30 a.m. May 2nd. Our problem is hotel chek-in is 6 hours after our arrival time. We will be very tired after an 8 hour flight. What do you recommend we do?
Doro_3_Bey is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 04:26 PM
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Well by the time you actually get off the plane, get through passport control, customs, etc it will be at least 8:30, probably 9:00. Then you have to get into central Paris and depending on your mode of transportation that can add another hour. Drop your bags at the hotel and ask them what time your room will be ready - often they are ready by late morning even if they have an "official" check-in of 1 or 2pm. By then you'll be hungry so go for a walk and explore the area around your hotel and get something to eat. That should just about use up your time.

Once you do get into your room it's not a good idea to take a very long nap (if any at all). Is this your first trip to Europe? Many people, myself included, believe that if you can stay awake until after dinner you'll get a better night's sleep and not be jet lagged the next day. Outdoor activites are best for that first day - hopefully no problem on May 1st.
isabel is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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"Official" check-in time is often irrelevant IF the type room you have reserved is ready no matter what time you arrive.

If it isn't, ask the hotel to store your luggage for you (this is rarely a problem) and that's probably the most you can do. All these other "strategies" may or may not be necessary and you aren't going to know for certain until you actually get to the hotel.

So, I suggest you be prepared to wait/do something else in the meantime ("Plan B" in other words) and NOT worry about it until, and IF, you have to.

Have a great trip.
Apr 26th, 2004, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We always store our luggage, then take a walk around the neighborhood looking for the best nearby cafes and restaurants. Then, we go to the nearest metro station for our Carte Orange tickets and a museum pass. If there's time left, we have a leisurely coffee in a cafe and just watch the passing parade.

More often than not, though, we've been given our room key before official check-in time. And the front desk where we stay has been very accurate when they tell us what time to return.

I agree with staying up until after dinner. A good night's sleep that first night gets you on local time much faster.
djkbooks is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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I don't think we've ever had a problem anywhere in Europe when we've arrived "early." We almost always travel in May, and have been given a room immediately upon arrival! Still, I wouldn't hesitate to ask them to watch my bags until a room is available. Even the tiniest hotels seem to have luggage rooms.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 06:16 PM
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Thank you all for your responses which were very helpful. Yes, it is our first trip to Paris. Someone mentioned getting a carte Orange pass?? What is it for? Thanks.
Doro_3_Bey is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 06:16 PM
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It depends on the hotel as to how soon you will be allowed in. But if you arrive at CDG airport at 7:30, you will not be to your hotel until after 10 AM.
It could be as late as 11.
Getting through passport control, baggage claim, and customs could easily take over an hour.
At the hour of the morning getting into the center of Paris can take another hour or more. So if you are at your hotel before 10:30, you will have done well.

I do think it wise to get out in the sunlight. Go somewhere on your list of attractions and start seeing Paris.
Being out in the light revises the body's internal clock. And that night you hopefully will sleep well.

Don't worry about French eating hours. If the restaurant or bistro is open, it will serve food.

bob_brown is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 06:28 PM
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My first response is to check back with your airlinne and see if you can stop over one night. Mys econd respinse is that you wil be in one of the most spectacular cities in the world in one of the worst airports in the world for about four hours (less time for check out, check in and leeway for delays), so bring something to entertain the kids.

Alternatively, don't try to get into Paris. Pick up a taxi and have driver give you a tour round the area. I can give you some idea if this sounds interesting.
mdocherty is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 06:28 PM
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Do what DJKbooks--Donna does. Use it for "housekeeping"--buying musee carte and Carte Orange/carnet-- and light sightseeing/lunch etc. Have an early dinner, go to bed, and you will be good to go the next day on Paris time.
Gretchen is online now  
Apr 26th, 2004, 07:55 PM
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Book your hotel room for the previous night as well, and it will be waiting for you whatever time you get to it.

We find it works for us if we take about a two hour nap, then get up and stay active until midnight. Then, we're on Paris time for the rest of our trip. Trying to drag ourselves through the first day just doesn't work for us.
abram is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 09:22 PM
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The carte orange is a metro (subway) pass. Here's more info
Carte Orange & musuem passes
miscellaneous Paris tips
mclaurie is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 09:23 PM
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If it is your first trip to Paris, you will probably feel pretty excited and re-energized, for at least a couple of hours.

I'm with abram on this one...trying to stay up and feeling yucky the whole time just doesn't work for us.

As we are true foodaholics we delight in a wonderful lunch, which we finish up around 15:00. The aperatif, the food, the lovely wine...we're more than ready for a little nap- until about 19:30. Then we do a little atmosphere walking/sightseeing before a late dinner. We don't have trouble getting to bed again, but can wake up earlier than expected...we just use it as an opportunity to walk the streets of Paris before dawn. These walks along the Seine/Pont des Arts as Paris awakens are some of our fondest memories. The next day we fall into the normal schedule.
klondike is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 05:39 AM
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We emailed the hotel in advance to tell them what time we would probably be arriving and explaining that we would be very tired b/c of having travelled all night. We then requested to be able to have access to the room as soon as we arrived. (Needless to say, the request was made using a great deal of formal politeness.) They wrote back saying that we would be able to have the room as soon as we arrived. Our usual European routine is to get freshened up from the arduous flight, close the usually very heavy curtains--which makes the room very dark, turn on the a/c or fan so that there will be white noise to drown out any other ambient noise and so that the room is cool and conducive to sleep--and then we sleep from 2-4 hours. We get up, get ready to go out, take a walk, have espresso (a very important detail) and then we feel awake and alive enough to (mainly)go on to Euro-time.
socialworker is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 05:47 AM
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We also had a similar situation and emailed the hotel in advance (in Madrid). They said we can have our room as soon as it's cleaned up. We arrived at 8am, our room was ready. The only hitch was the room included breakfast but only the morning after. We were all hungry & tired and headed straight for the breakfast room which we had to pay for. If we weren't so pooped, it would have been wiser (and cheaper) to have breakfast elsewhere.
MFNYC is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 06:21 AM
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I have found that it is no fun to have afternoon check-in times after the overnight flights from the US (although my experience is with London, not Paris).

The hotels that we've used (associated with British Air Holidays) have not been cooperative about letting us in early and will not let us book "the night before" as one of the nights included in our trip.

This year we're flying Virgin Atlantic and booked a hotel separately. I booked the hotel for the night of the flight and the next night and told the hotel that I wouldn't actually be arriving until 9:00 or 10:00 AM the next day. Since I've paid for the room on my cc, it should work well. (Fingers crossed...hoping someone at the hotel actually read my instructions and that they don't cancel my room when I'm not there the first night...)

I am definitely in the "take a nap" crowd. Since we've usually been up for a lo-o-o-ong day the day before the flight, slept fitfully on the plane, and then gone through the interminable wait for luggage, customs, rental car, etc., we're tired when we finally arrive. We usually do lunch, then sit in a park and wait for our room. Check in and take a nap (max. 2 hours), get up and explore, have dinner, walk the city. Go to bed at a normal local time and get up in the morning. By that time we're always in sync with the local time and the rest of our stay is fine. The one time we skipped the nap was the hardest adjustment we've ever made.

Just my experiences - hope they're helpful.

leonberger is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 06:25 AM
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The "check in" time is simply the latest time the room might be available. If the previous occupants want to stay in the room till their "check out" time, then it will need to be cleaned before you can "check in". In practice, most people leave a hotel at breakfast time, so rooms are usually available in the morning. I've arrived at hotels in the morning and sometimes had to wait a few minutes for a room to be cleaned but, as other people have already said, even a cheap hotel will look after luggage while you go for a walk or a coffee.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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I agree that the hotels will almost universally relieve you of your luggage, so you don't have to schlepp it everywhere with you.

But I've never had the pleasure of a hotel letting me into a room earlier than the stated check-in time (in the UK, that is). As I said earlier, it's always been a BA Holidays hotel, booked through BA, so maybe those hotels are different and/or maybe the cheap-o travelers like me are treated differently, but I haven't had this experience.

I don't think it would hurt to have a "Plan B" in mind (as someone else suggested) so you'll have something close by to do while you wait.

leonberger is offline  
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