Critique our hotel choice for Paris?

Old Jul 7th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Critique our hotel choice for Paris?

This is our first time to Paris, for only (barely) three days, at the end of July/beginning of August. (It's a side trip from Italy.) We chose Hotel Regyn's in Montmartre:

Anybody have any experience with this hotel, and can you recommend any good bistros-cafes in the area?

Many thanks in advance - this is my first foray into the Fodor's forums and I've been glued here all day, I'm hooked!! Y'all rule!! ;-)
sheridan is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2007, 05:01 PM
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Montmarte is fun, but the food is usually second rate, touristy and not inexpensive. I lived in Paris for years and never wanted to bother with the Moulin Rouge and then had a great time when we finally went, if you've got a night free.
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Old Jul 7th, 2007, 06:22 PM
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My only comment would be that you will need to rely fully on the metro and bus system to go most anywhere else...

There are lots of cafes around metro Abbesses, or go a bit south to enjoy the market street rue des Martyrs, or a bit north to enjoy the Lamarck/Caulaincourt area.
Travelnut is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2007, 06:33 PM
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for the first time in Paris Montmartre would not be my choice.
Old Jul 7th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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Ditto. First time in Paris you should base yourself in a far more central area. It's just too far from the main things I assume you'll want to see. Plus, parts of it are seedy and parts of it are just so godawful touristy (the place du Tertre, e.g.) it's a PITA to even try to walk through them.

I would change my hotel reservation to someplace in the 4th, 5th, or 6th arrondissement for a first trip to Paris.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 04:11 AM
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Seriously agree - not the place for a first timer on a 3 day side trip. In fact, after about 7 years of going to Paris two to three times a year, I've never had the desire to stay in Montmartre. There are some pockets that are beautiful and charming, but these are not for tourists but for residents.

Get in the 5th or 6th arrondisment for maximum benefit for such a short trip.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 04:39 AM
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Hi S,

The hotel looks lovely, but I didn't see the words "Air Conditioned" on the link you posted.

Your hotel is located near the Abesses Metro stop. Be aware that that is a very deep station. If the elevator is not working, you have a very long hike up.

The Montmartrobus goes from Pigalle to Jules Joffrin, with stops at Abesses and Sacre Coeur. This might be a better way for you to access the hotel.


ira is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2007, 05:38 AM
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As you have appeared to have made your hotel reservation, take heart sheridan and don't be too discouraged by the posts you read. Although not most first timers choice, you will have a wonderful time. We are staying in the 18e in September by choice. Here are notes "borrowed" from many sources:

18e Arrondissement. Rising above the city on the highest hill in Paris is Montmartre, known for its colorful bohemian past -- and the recent Amélie movie. Many head for the icy-white Basilique du Sacré-Coeur or the easel-packed place du Tertre, but the authentic charm of the "Butte" is most easily found just wandering the cobblestone alleys, steep stairways, and hidden parks. It's not just for tourists; hip Parisians come for the funky boutiques and lively nightlife found at the foot of Montmartre towards the racy Pigalle district (home to the Musée de l'Érotisme and the Moulin Rouge).
Resign yourself to walking steep streets and metroing to other sites.
Bistros and cafes? I would respectfully disagree with tamarack that "the food is usually second rate, touristy and not inexpensive".
There are plenty of great places it is just that most don't readily know them.
Paris’s 18th arrondissement - the best of the outer circle
The 18th arrondissement of Paris lies on the right bank of the Seine, in the outer circle of districts. This would appear to rule it out as one of the more desirable areas, but this is not actually the case due to the fact that the 18th is home to some of Paris’s best loved sights.

Paris's best loved sights
Here you can find not only the Bohemian café society of Montmartre, with its inherent colourful crowd of artists and intellectuals, but also the vast and ever fascinating flea markets which continue to command huge amounts of interest today as ever. The 18th arrondissement also has the famous dance venue of the Moulin Rouge, whose can-can dancers provide one of the most enduring images of Parisian life, and also the beautiful wedding cake structure of the Sacré Coeur which sits atop the hill and makes a most arresting sight.

Possibly the best flea markets in the world…
The 18th arrondissement is famous for its vast areas of flea markets, and if your idea of heaven is a balmy Parisian morning spent browsing for treasures in this rarefied atmosphere, then you couldn’t find a better place than this. The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen Port de Clignancourt has over 2,000 stalls, stretches for over sixteen kilometres, and offers everything from fine antiques to bric-a-brac and vintage fashion.

Bilingual Burlesque at the Moulin Rouge
The Moulin Rouge is such a famous institution that it would seem almost criminal to spend time in the 18th arrondissement and not take in a show! Be prepared to spend some money, however, as the shows are not cheap. Popular with tourists and with Americans in particular, the shows are bilingual and quite spectacular.

The Sacré Coeur
This lovely church is a stunning sight, decked in white as it is and sitting on top of the hill on which Montmartre is built. Consecrated in 1919, and designed by a massive team of architects, the basilica offers a view of Paris second only to that obtained at the top of the Eiffel Tower. The Sacré Coeur is open daily for visitors, but there is an admission fee to pay.

The Place du Tertre
The Place du Tertre is the place to go if you are an art lover, or if you simply love the creative buzz that surrounds the artistic crowd. Here many artists bring their wares to see and be seen, and often settle down here to paint .You could have your portrait painted “while you wait!” You never know, the artist might become famous one day!

Wining and dining
Are there any good restaurants in the 18th arondissement? Come on this is Paris! Of course there are some great restaurants, in fact, you can eat in almost any style and for any price here, but highly recommended for atmosphere are the café bars favoured by the arty set. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the food in this truly unique part of Paris.

The Kube
And if drinking is your thing and you want to be part of the cool crowd, why not try the Kube? Possessing an extensive drinks list and an array of extraordinary features, the Kube is best known for its Ice Kube Bar which serves chilled vodka in ice glasses in sub-zero temperatures. Found not far from Montmartre, this bar/club will not fail to amaze even the most adventurous of you.

The eighteenth is a diverse range of cultures, from the red light district of Pigalle, the artists of Montmartre, to the famous flea markets of Clignancourt.
Pigalle is home to the distinctly rouge industries and is famous for the Moulin Rouge and the bars welcoming tourists, and Parisians alike, until the small hours.
The Butte Montmatre and the place de Tertre are tourist favourites due to Sacré Coeur’s magnificent views and the artistic atmosphere all around. Surprisingly, even with in very close proximity, the small streets winding down the hill are calm and seem to feel a world away.
Abbesses offers a trendier pocket with a slightly more Parisian feel to its bars and restaurants.
North of Montmartre, the 18th becomes more residential with a rich mix of ethnic and young Parisians, until you reach the outer limits and the Porte de Clignancourt – the doorway to the biggest flea market in Paris.

Here is my list of cafes and such:

A great Bistro:

Au Bon Coin
Open from monday to saturday.
Diner si served every night from monday to thursday
untill 9.30 PM

49 rue des Cloys, 75018 Paris
tél : 01 46 06 91 36
Métro : Jules Joffrin
– Bus 95 et 31

La Casserole , a small restaurant tucked into a smaller street in the 18th arrondisement

La Fourmi
74, rue des Martyrs
Paris 75018 France
+33 1 4264 7035
Open Hours8a-2a M-Th, 8a-4a F-Sa, 10a-2a Su

La Mere Catherine
6, Place du Tertre
Paris 75018 France
+33 1 4606 3269

Le Sancerre
35, rue des Abbesses
Paris 75018 France
+33 1 4558 0820

La Famille
41 rue des Trois-Frère
Paris France
+33 1 4252 1112

Mascotte (La)52, rue des Abbesses
Paris, France
01 46 06 28 15

Café Burq6, rue Burq
Paris, France
01 42 52 81 27

Moulin de la Galette (Le)83, rue Lepic
Paris, France
01 46 06 84 77

Best bread in Paris Winner for 2007
Arnaud Delmontel, whose shop is located at 57, rue Damrémont in Montmartre.

This is my abbreviated list. If you want the unabridged version feel free to email me at:
robertjames7022 at

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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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Oh and I forgot:
Leons de Bruxelles – there is one at Place Pigale and another at Place Clichy (both at the border of the 9th and the 18th)
If you like mussels in an inexpensive, family, cafe, chain, style place.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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The Léon at place Pigalle is closed for renovation until further notice.

To get back to the original question, that particular hotel is the one that has always appealed to me the most for its location and the choice of restaurants and cafés surrounding it. However, since I live in the 18th already, I never stay in hotels in Paris and very rarely go out in my own neighborhood, so I can't comment on the quality of the hotel itself.

Le Vrai Paris is one of the better cafés on rue des Abbesses.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Wow!! Thank you all for your wonderful commentary! It is truly appreciated.

For those who feel the area is less than desirable, it was matter of trading location for price. We certainly did wrestle with that, but unfortunately money was an object. I keep seeing, though, that the Metro is easy to use and we're not planning on killing ourselves doing a lot of sightseeing this trip anyway.

robjame, thank you so much for all that information, especially on eateries! I am certainly going to print that and take it along.

kerouac, thanks for that vote of confidence for the hotel. I did a lot of surfing and it just had a good "vibe," I guess. Plus, we got a bit of a summertime discount so that certainly didn't hurt. ;-)

Thank you all again for taking the time to write! ;-)
sheridan is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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There are good-value, non-touristy places to eat near Montmartre. I remember a Tunisian place near the Anvers metro station that looked like a hole in the wall (I can't recall any further details - this was in 2004).

If you have seen the movie Amelie, then you'll recognize the area of your hotel.
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