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Best "2-star" hotels in Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Dresden

Best "2-star" hotels in Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Dresden

Mar 12th, 2014, 10:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 37
Best "2-star" hotels in Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Dresden

Traveling to various cities in Europe with my 22-year old daughter. While I can afford better lodgings than a hostel, I have to watch the budget...so I'm thinking "2-star" lodgings. Would love any seasoned traveler's advice on finding hotels that are:

1) located in the city center near most major attractions (we are relying solely on walking and public trans)
2) a private bathroom is a must
3) safe area
4) clean, simple, quiet, low-key
5) breakfast included would be a plus

Not necessary to have elevators, fancy lobbies, tiny soaps, or anything that would rack up the price. Just clean, simple, safe and functional and near the main sights.

Thanks so much!
gobarbgo is offline  
Mar 12th, 2014, 11:30 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Instead of concentrating on stars, why not concentrate on price you are willing to spend per night then hit up kayak, booking.com, and the like? Then after you have assembled a list of properties, come and ask about them.
sparkchaser is offline  
Mar 12th, 2014, 11:45 PM
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I would agree with sparkchaser and booking.com is a great website ,they usually have all the properties on a map ,you can hover over the location and get a rough Idea of prices before you click on it.
I travel to Prague several times a year and never stay in the city center.Prague has some great hotel away from the center but close to Metro or tram stops, find one you like close to a transport stop and you can get into the main tourist areas quickly and cheaply.
I usually stay in the Dejvicka area (Prague 6),you can walk to the castle from there but 10 minutes on a tram or 5 in the metro gets you to the heart of the Old Town,day ticket cost 110kc
unclegus is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yes, booking.com is the place to start. Their own reviews are pretty reliable but once you have identified places you can double check what people think of them on trip advisor.

For Paris: Hotel Marignan (http://www.hotel-marignan.com/) - fabulous location, nice hotel. Prices are lower if you are willing to share a bathroom. I used to be put off by this but it's not at all the 'sketchy toilet down the hall' type of thing. You share with one other room and the toilet is right outside the door to your room. But they also have rooms with ensuite.

Also in Paris: Hotel St Pierre (http://www.saintpierre-hotel.com/en/index.php) and Hotel St Andres des Arts. The St Jacques is fabulous but prices have gone up in the last few years, it's at least three stars.

In Amsterdam Hotel Brouwer (http://www.hotelbrouwer.nl/) Book early, it always fills up. Loved that place.

I won't recommend the place in Prague I stayed, it was two stars but it was a dump.
isabel is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 04:32 AM
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Last Sept. we spent 3 nights at Hotel Cujas Pantheon near the Luxembourg Gardens (metro and RER B station with direct connections to CDG and Orly airports), and can highly recommend it.

Immaculately clean, non-smoking, A/C, great desk assistance (English spoken), and EXCELLENT LOCATION - we walked to the Seine and further. This is near the Sorbonne, and is really Latin Quarter (where we ate several times). Buses nearby. Breakfast is offered, but we ate ours at Brioche Doree or Pauls along the main street nearby. Room was very small but in perfect condition (we requested street view and did not find it noisy) - had good bedside reading lights - important to me.

This is a very fine 2-star. Their website has the best deals - read the TripAdvisor reviews for more info/photos.
blueridge is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 05:01 AM
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We normally stay 3 star plus but...

A few years back I received some free 2 star hotel vouchers from Eurail, and was recommended a place in the 15th arr of Paris. WOW! Ive been in 4 stars that werent as nice. The only negatives were tiny rooms, tiny beds and the front desk had to buzz you into the elevator. Other than that, it was great including the fine breakfast. If the 15th isnt too far out of the way, I will look it up the name of it for you when I get home
FrankS is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 05:33 AM
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I don't know how many stars it has, but when we were in Amsterdam we stayed at the Aalders, which seems to fit all your requirements. It is very near both the Rijksmuseum as well as the Van Gogh museum. It is located in a pretty residential neighborhood. It does not have a lot of frills, but does have a great breakfast and a friendly staff. You can catch the tram a few blocks away and go anywhere in the city on public transportation. I also recommend you also check out the IAmsterdam card for museum entries and public transportation.
tom18 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 05:44 AM
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Agree that you need to look at your budget in euros - versus what you can get for it in each city.

How important is location?

How important are amenities such as private bath? Elevator versus stairs? AC (if you are going in warm weather)?

I think you need to search based on budget - not number of *.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 06:06 AM
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In Europe stars are awarded by the individual governments according to whether a hotel has an elevator, a restaurant, meeting rooms, and so on. The star rating does not tell you anything about the hotel's charm, how well it's decorated, etc. That's why everyone's saying ignore the star rating, look for a hotel that fits your budget in a convenient location.

Location is worth something. If you're in a cheap hotel in the outskirts that's at least a half-hour bus ride into the center, where all the things you want to see are located, you will spend money on bus fares and also valuable vacation time traveling back and forth. Plus it's nice to be able to drop back to your room midday, drop purchases off, maybe rest for an hour or so, then go out again. When you look back on this trip, do you want to remember the fabulous sights you saw? Or the time you spent on buses, trams and subways.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 07:45 AM
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I don't know if these are above your budget but two places I've stayed might work. The Hotel Fita in Amsterdam and the Maximilian in Prague were clean, well located hotels that didn't have a lot of extra frills but had friendly staff and terrific breakfasts included in the price.
KTtravel is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 07:46 AM
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Forgot to mention, the two hotels above met all of your criteria.
KTtravel is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 07:58 AM
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I use www.hrs.com to find hotels and was able to find a budget hotel in Dresden and in Potsdam for July.

For Dresden, am staying at the Intercity Hotel for 59 € per night and get a day ticket for the public transportation with my room, and free wifi. Since July can sometimes be really sticky, I went ahead and found a place with A/C. Breakfast isn't included, but that isn't a problem.
Mainhattengirl is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 09:01 AM
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Try Cloister Inn in Prague and Rho Hotel in Amsterdam. Both are close to major attractions clean safe rooms.

John is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 10:58 AM
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thanks to all of you for your great advice!!! . I love this forum & how wonderfully generous everyone is with their time & help. I'll go through the posts & come back with any follow up questions. thanks again.
gobarbgo is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 11:51 AM
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I will be in Dresden next month. I have booked the Park Inn (Radisson) which is in the new town but not ideally located - but it is right on a tram line to get you anywhere...and fairly cheap. You'll find it on booking.com where I did. I also like that I can cancel up until 6PM on day of check-in if I find something better or change my plans.
Andrew is online now  
Mar 13th, 2014, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
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I too use Booking.com filtered by price--low to high. I'll look for the cheaper properties with the highest customer ratings. And I've never been dissatisfied using this method.

We're leaving for Prague in another 10 days, and we found our apartment on Booking.com for $66.75 per night directly across the street from the Great Hall (bazaar.)

I think you'll find Paris and Amsterdam to be relatively expensive cities for rooms. We usually stay out in the suburbs of Amsterdam Zuid--and ride the tram 15 minutes into town.

Good luck on finding great places for a great price.
Bamaman is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 10:42 PM
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Bamaman,where is your apartment I have never heard of this great hall (bazaar) unless its the Great Hall within the castle area
unclegus is offline  
Mar 15th, 2014, 06:11 AM
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I have always been satisfied with hotels.com. Have used in Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany and Netherlands which I realize are not just the areas you are looking for but my options have always been many, good and fit to my specs.

In Amsterdam specifically I like to use B&Bs. They are easy to find in the city center and are a very good value. I particularly like Maes and/or Heren B&B, same owners, just a couple doors apart. Very good value, really nice space, super location (10 minute walk from train station), wonderful neighborhood, close to museums,, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, transportation and the best - outstanding hosts, staff and breakfasts, much better (personal) than most mid-range hotels. Our last three stays have been there and I highly recommend.
lukehead is offline  
Mar 15th, 2014, 08:10 AM
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Here are the places we stayed in Paris (I did not include the appt.)
Hôtel des Grandes Écoles is located on Ste-Geneviève hill in what is considered the heart of the Latin Quarter. The location is truly fantastic for the essentially Parisian pursuits of people-watching and culinary explorations – there are literally dozens of international-variety restaurants within a few hundred meters from the hotel, – but is somewhat on the fringes of the must-see sightseeing circuit. Panthéon is nearby and both Jardin du Luxembourg and Ile de la Cité are not very far, but many other sites are not within easy walking distance. The métro station, Cardinal Lemoine, is less than five minutes away, though.

The hotel building sits in a pleasant garden well back from a quiet street. The garden is ideal for having breakfast on a nice sunny morning – or you can choose to have it in a dining room. Breakfast is adequately Parisian and costs €8 per person (we opted for getting our morning meals at a local boulangerie).

Many of the guests also used the garden as the hybrid picnic area/dining room for an afternoon light meal, often with wine.

The rooms are slightly more spacious that what we’ve seen in other hotels in Paris, but also a bit dated as far as decor and utilities are concerned. In May 2008, our two rooms on the upper floor, #323 and #328, were very quiet and homely. #328 was slightly larger, with a sitting area, a bidet in the bathroom, and appeared brighter on the account of facing the sunny side.

We have not stayed at Hôtel St Christophe, but our parents were very happy with the accommodations there during their stay in May 2008. By the look of it, the hotel is quite modern. The nearest métro station, Place Monge, is around the corner, and Cardinal Lemoine is a couple of blocks away.

In November 2008, we stayed at Hôtel Prince Albert, on Rue Saint Hyacinthe, two blocks away from Métro Tuileries. Geographically, this location is probably as central as they come in terms of exploring the city. The little street, nonetheless, is very quiet. Our room (#236) was of reasonable size and could even accommodate a slightly bigger bed than the barely double one. The carpet, the furniture, the utilities all look like they require some updating, but everything is very clean and functional. Including a bidet, which is a rarity at two-star establishments. The elevator is tiny, but the staircase is comparatively wide. Unexceptional, but normal by Parisian standards, breakfast at €7 per person. Multi-level underground parking, Marché-St-Honoré, is one block away (€25 a day).

Hôtel de Lille ♥ is located very conveniently for many attractions – directly across the river from the Louvre, a couple of blocks away from Musée d’Orsay, and about equidistantly from both Champs-Elysées and Ile de la Cité. The rooms are very small, but clean. The breakfast is adequate. In April of 2002, the room that we had looked out on the quiet Rue de Lille. We considered staying at the hotel again on our return visits, and didn’t only because we always go for a stay in a different area when in Paris.

I hope it helps!
Have a wonderful trip!
Matroskin is offline  
Mar 15th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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Lucky you, sounds like a great trip. In Prague we stayed at the Hotel Unitas and highly recommend it. http://www.unitas.cz/index.php The location was very convenient with the street car, metro and a big Tesco store with grocery nearby. We walked everywhere except to the castle when we used the street car. We had a large room with a large bathroom with combo tub/shower. There was a small fridge too. Staff were helpful and breakfast was excellent. There were a number of good restaurants a block or two away but the street the hotel is on didn't have any, just a pub and a police station as I recall. The Hotel Unitas used to be a convent and a jail and is very quiet.
Scootoir is offline  

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