Does Hotel Bonaparte Answer Email?

Old Jan 7th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Does Hotel Bonaparte Answer Email?

I recall several weeks ago someone posted the website for Ira's favorite -- Hotel Bonaparte in Paris:
http://www.hotelbonaparte.fr
I tried sending them an email from the website a few days ago and have had no answer.

I also remember that Ira had tried emailing them at that time and the last I knew had never gotten a response.

So ... has anyone ever heard back from an email to HB, or should I just give up and try the fax or telephone route?
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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I sent them an email too and got no reply. It seems like you'll just have to contact them as usual either by fax or phone. I guess their email has a problem?
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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It's not necessarily a problem--quite a few small French hotels and restaurants just don't like to use e-mail.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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If that's true, then why do they offer email as an option?
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Agree w/ Underhill. Go with the tried and true method used by many here in the past with them. Simply call them.

I have no idea why a computerphobe felt the need to open a website. Getting an email address was a mistake for them, IMHO.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 07:35 PM
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Those folks did just start a website and aren't used to email and probably don't like it. I think it is too bad they put an email address on a website if they won't answer it, it just gives a bad impression to many people, probably.

Some people who aren't used to computers just don't like it, mainly folks who don't use them at home and are older so they've never worked with them, I guess. You'd think they'd have someone working at the hotel who would deal with that, though, most hotels bring on new staff for routine things.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 07:37 PM
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The French are decades behind when it comes to things like the Internet and e-mail, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of them don't check their e-mail more than once a year, if they check it that often. They are only just now getting the hang of fax machines. It's pretty sad.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 08:08 PM
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To me it's easier to reply to an email than to reply to a faxed request. But I suppose if they're so stuck in the past that they can't see it that way, then they may as well delete that email address from their website. It's not fair to prospective guests who are awaiting a reply that will never happen.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 08:19 PM
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I'm an email person all the way, and for me if a hotel won't respond to my email, I will try a couple of times, I'll just go on to the next hotel. I don't like the idea of having to spend money for a fax, because I don't have a fax and need to go somewhere to send one.

Email doesn't cost anyone any $ and it's so much faster. I have to say that when I was planning my trip to Paris last year, hotels did respond very quickly to my emails. I did everything through email. I guess I am so email oriented that if a hotel is so behind the times with the internet, it makes me wonder how else their hotel will be behind.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 08:23 PM
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The french are so behind the times. They should do it the American way and just out-source email work to India.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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degas,

funny!!! very funny!! heaven forbid! I found there were enough email responses that it was no problem. I even got a response from a small hotel in Bayeux. I think it probably has a lot to do with how much they have already. If they are almost always booked without email, it will never become their priority.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 09:08 PM
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I think the owners just don't like dealing with email. They took forever just to get a website.

Yes, even the most obscure French hotels have email addresses and they reply promptly.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 05:20 AM
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Well, I sent them a fax and got a very prompt response -- within an hour or two. The funny thing is, for being so computer-phobic, their reservation form boasts that the hotel offers wi-fi in its rooms!
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 05:38 AM
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I'm afarid that establishments such as this need to heed the "warning" from Lyb...more and more folks expect e-mail responses and when they don;t get them they move on to other businesses.

I rather disagree that the French are "far behind" when it comes to internet use...there are thousands of French internet sites...the only people "far behind" in this case may end up being the folks at the Bonaparte.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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I don't even bother with hotels that don't have websites or don't answer e-mails. I once received a reply from Hotel de Roubaix in Paris, about 2.5 months after I'd sent the e-mail. By that time, of course, I already made reservations for another hotel.
I don't want to use my fax at work to send or receive faxes and can't be bothered with going out to the post office or someplace else for sending a fax to Paris.
With so many good hotels in Paris, why insisting on one that doesn't bother answering e-mails?
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 08:29 AM
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Hi guys,

Mme Dumas is now in semi-retirement, with Napoleon the cat, in the South of France.

Her son has taken over running the hotel.

It was he who instituted the web site.

The website was created by someone for the hotel.

I just visited it (ww.hotelbonaparte.fr)
It's not working.

It is highly likely that the email function on the website has never worked.

Those of us who know and like the hotel don't mind if it doesn't have a website.

For those of you who don't have fax machines: you can send/receive faxes with your computer very cheaply.

Google <email to computer> for the service providers.

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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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Ira, thanks for the "inside information" on the hotel. But I'm not sure what you mean by the website "isn't working." Ir does come up for me at www.hotelbonaparte.fr.

However, just to see what would happen, I did a google search on <hotel bonaparte paris> and didn't see it in the first several pages of search results. So I doubt many people would find their way to the web site, except through a reference like this.

It is possible that whoever set up the web site for them just got them an email address as part of the deal, but the hotel staff never wanted to bother with it.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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I guess I just like "instant gratification" and am too impatient for things like e-mail responses, so I always call my prospective hotels, then if they can accomodate me with a room, I immediately fax them my information, and always get a fax (or e-mail) back confirming. This works great for me, and I don't have to WAIT to find out if they have room! Also, I've learned to use l0-l0-987 for the calls (3 cents a minute, plus 38 cents for the connection) so cost is negligible. Now, with AA&T, it's a different story!
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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Another reason I like email is the time difference. I live in CA, so there is 8 - 9 hours difference with Europe. I can send an email, go to bed and the next morning when I wake up, the hotels have usually responded. If I had to plan on waking up early on staying up very late just so I can call at european business hours, it would drive me crazy!
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 12:29 AM
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To AnthonyGA, Lyb,Degas, and others :

Before issuing the usual comments on how backwards the French are, should do things the American way, etc,I think posters should consider that sending e-mails is maybe not the normal way of making hotel reservations in France, outside the chain properties.

On hospitality chain websites, like elsewhere, you can of course make on line reservations, and leave your credit card number as a guarantee.

Not so with many family-owned hotels, which, I imagine, rightly or wrongly, do not consider an e-mail reservation as a serious one, with a higher risk of no show.

Therefore, I am not surprised a traditional, independently-owned place like the Bonaparte, constantly advertised on this forum, located in a very popular area of Paris, probably bombarded by tons of e-mails from around the world, does not handle reservations that way.

You can't both pick a place for its traditional charm and location in an old Paris neighbourhood and expect things to work exactly like at Paris, Las Vegas.
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