Final Hotel Selection In Paris

Old Jul 19th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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Final Hotel Selection In Paris

First of all I want to thank all of you for your help, input and encouragement. I am glad that I have had the time to research hotels in Paris, not so much to find the perfect hotel (no such thing) but I feel like I have been able to familiarize myself with some of the areas of Paris. I have also meet some great people on this forum.

My sister got back to my with some of her research also and we have a list of the final hotels to pick from. They are all in the 5th and 6th, all have offered rooms with AC and twin beds since we are women traveling together. Because we are going the last week of August, I have had the luxury of not having to rush to make a reservation and also have received some good discounts. I know everyone has their personal preferences but I am going to make a comment about the hotels and would just appreciate honest feedback. I do not want to spend any more than I am spending here since I am paying for myself and my two daughters and would prefer to spend money on some nice dinners. We will not really be spending much time in our rooms, however if anyone has feedback about problems with smoke smell that would be great. All of us have an aversion to smoky smelling rooms, however not too many non-smoking rooms in Paris. I am also set on hotels with AC in case it's hot in August or to help with street noise. I do appreciate hotels with character and of course those that make you feel really welcome. I think all of these are on good streets, if not let me know.

Le Regent - Standard room twin beds 112E
Verneuil - Standard room twin beds 123E
(I know these hotels are good, have good location and this is a good rate, just wonder if small rooms are really that bad)

Bonaparte - Rooms with twin beds AC 119E includes breakfast (don't care about that)
With this hotel there is the cat issue, great for me and my girls not so good for my sister. Good location, possibly bigger rooms.

Hotel Parc St. Severin - Twin beds 110E
A little worried this is in a too touristy area but I know it is well liked.

Hotel Des Grands Hommes Standard room twin 126E
The Pantheon area seemed a little far from the Seine but I guess it isn't. I know this is a good price for this hotel. Don't know if rooms would be bigger than Le Regent or Verneuil. They are also offering the same rate at Hotel Du Pantheon.

Thanks so much. I will definitely be giving a trip report when I get home.


p.s. Ira, what kind of dog do they have at the Bonaparte. I have 2 dogs, 3 cats, love them all but am probably a dog person first, then a cat person.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 05:52 PM
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The Pantheon is just about 1 km (just over 1/2 mile) walk to Notre Dame. So that (to me) is nothing for a walk.

When we stayed by the Arenes, we walked past the Pantheon to Notre Dame, stopping at shops, etc. It was very easy.

I use www.mappy.com all the time to figure out how far of a walk something might be.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 06:31 PM
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I have no personal experience with the hotels you've mentioned, but really, the Hotel des Grandes Hommes is quite convenient to the Seine, for reasonably energetic people. The Hotel du Pantheon has a lot of character and has come highly recommended to my by friends, but I've never stayed there. I suspect you'd be fine in either and that you and your family will enjoy that location. If you do decide to stay there, you might enjoy having breakfast at the cafe on rue Soufflot just across the street from Crepes-a-go-go. You'll have a lovely view straight down to the Eiffel Tower.

Have a wonderful stay in Paris!

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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 06:57 PM
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I had a standard double at the Verneuil. Yes, a standard double room there is very small. The bright side is that there is actually room in one corner by the window for a desk and a chair. The TV is on the wall. And another good thing is the marble bathroom is a full bathroom (deep tub with adjustable wall shower, bidet, nice sink, and very clean, fairly new faucets).
I really like the Verneuil but the standard rooms get claustrophobic after a couple of nights. Yet it's good for the rate as the location is excellent and the hotel itself is the same also.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 07:29 PM
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I would say the Parc St Severin, but only as that's the only one from your list I've stayed at. True it's in a touristy area, but the street it is on was rather quiet. You have to walk down a small pedestrian side street in either direction to find all the crowds. Very nice having a metro & RER stop both a block away. The room I had there was very nicely decorated, very clean with an almost too cold AC. Very large bathroom with a tub, which I appreciated after walking all day. I would have no hesitation about staying there again.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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I, personally, find that you are way over-obsessing. If it were me, I'd pick the one in the most favorable neighborhood/location, where there are many bus routes/stops nearby, along with charming, moderately priced, cafes and dining opportunities nearby, and in every direction. We quickly learned that you miss all that glorious scenery taking the metro, the bus stops are far more conveniently located and are fabulous for conserving energy (needed once at your destination), and there are nearly no pickpocket concerns when taking the buses.

To further obsess, though, you may want to check reviews for all those places at TripAdvisor.com where you'll find much honest feedback, along with details regarding all of your concerns.

You mention twin beds over and over again. Are you booking two rooms? I cannot imagine three women and one bathroom.

Note also that AC varies enormously from one hotel to the next. In some, there are no individual room controls. Often, the coolest setting, if there is one, merely takes the edge off, if that. Some have ingenious restrictions, such as that your room key must be inserted for the AC to work, meaning that you cannot leave it on while you are out so as to return to a comfortably cooled room, not that you achieve that even while there.

In the smaller hotels, where nearly all rooms have a unique configuration, much depends upon the room to which you are assigned.

Rooms in the more moderately priced establishments tend to be so "compact" that your bags will fill any available aisle space and you'll be stepping over them, not to mention each other.

With a rate range of 112-126 euros with AC, I'd definitely choose based upon location.

As for "smoke smell" rooms, any efficient housekeeping staff can (and does) obliterate the slightest vestige of "smoke smell" with products available these days.

All in all, you are expecting a LOT for that price range. So, again, pick the best location. In Paris, the "neighborhood" is far more important that the room.

Since you have all that time and no apparent sense of urgency, though you do not indicate that you have actually checked availability for the good discounts you claim to have received, you also might want to go to www.pagesjaunes.fr where you can input the address of each hotel and actually roam the streets in all directions.

Another thought - you do not need to figure on spending money on some nice dinners...worth every penny are the Routard Paris and Bistros of Paris by the Hamburgers. Also sensational is "Leeds Good Guide". A bit pricey for the download, though with the advantage of being able to highlight those place most appealing to you and print just those to bring along. And the cost will be more than offset by the sensational recommendations, most not found in any other restaurant/tour guide.

In our experience, you can enjoy an extraordinary meal, with charming service, in gorgeous surroundings, at low-moderate prices if you do your research.

After many trips, and wandering all about Paris, though, our preferred neighborhood for sleeping is the 7th, where cafes, moderately priced restaurants/hotels with AC are abound, along with convenient proximity to the metro (with escalators and no long hallways or stairways), L'Opentour, bus stops/routes, not to mention the Tour Eiffel. It's upscale and safe and quiet, but not without "night life".
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 08:00 PM
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I haven't stayed in any of the ones you've mentioned but I will say this:
The Hotel Parc St-Severin is the hotel I want to stay at should I ever have another honeymoon (well, after a 2 night stay at the Ritz, of course!).
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 08:51 PM
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Beatchick, would you be staying in the terrace room #70 at Parc St. Severin? The best room in the hotel but costs around 270 euro/night.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Yup, that's the one, Francophile, expensive but perfect for a honeymoon with that lovely terrace view on top. I've dreamed of staying there since 5 years before my 1st trip to Paris.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 10:35 PM
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Thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate the remarks about the Pantheon area, it was not one I had originally considered but the hotels there seem very nice are giving me 40% off of their normal rate. francophile,thanks for your comments on your recent stay at Verneuil.

Djk books, you probably have not read some of my other posts. And yes I have already admitted that I am probably over obsessing but have learned alot about the neighborhoods and about the advice on this forum.
To answer some of your statements. First off, my whole line of questioning started because I had a hotel room booked in the 7th but after reading comments here, I decided it was a very quiet area especially because I am traveling with my daughters (21 and 17) and my sister (they wanted some nightlife). I cancelled my room in the 7th and began to look at hotels in the 5th and 6th. I am trying to stay on a budget because I am a single Mom taking my daughters to Europe. However, I did want to stay in a decent hotel and have been fortunate that hotels at the end of August are offering nice discounts.

Yes, I am booking two rooms with twin beds in each room, I had looked at a few quad rooms but decided we needed two bathrooms. The hotels that I picked were after alot of research. I have read all the reviews on tripadvisor and have been successful in the past choosing hotels using feedback from tripadvisor. All the hotels I picked got favorable reviews on tripadvisor and on this forum. I also know that each one is in a good neighborhood, just a slightly different one. I did look at pagesjaunes.fr, didn't feel it was all that helpful in giving me the flavor of the street. As far as the rates I gave, I have confirming e-mails with rates and availability for all of the hotels. I have not made any reservations yet because as was discussed on this forum, I don't feel it is right to tie up rooms while I decide.

I know that AC can vary from hotel to hotel but I am not so obsessive that I am going to e-mail every hotel and ask them the configuration of their AC (although I guess I could do that in my spare time lol). We intend to walk alot and probably take the off-on bus so I agree with your take on the metro. Will use it if needed. I was leaning towards the Regent or Verneuil because of location but had been told by many people on this forum that their rooms are very small. Don't expect to spend much time in the room, so probably having a bigger bathroom is better since women are sharing it. When I saw that Des Grands Hommes was offering 40% off their rate, I figured I would consider it. Hard to decide if a smaller room in a little bit better hotel is better than a bigger room in a lesser hotel. I always want to make sure that the hotel has a welcoming feeling but I think all of my selections have stated that the staff was good.

I am sure I would be happy in all the areas. I appreciate everyones comments. I know that people on this forum are familiar with the streets and areas around the hotels. Some people here have also stayed in more than one of these hotels and can give me their impression of one or the other. Thanks again everyone.
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 03:50 AM
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Paula, we stayed at the Verneuil in May. My husband and I had a standard double, small but pleasant, as francophile described. Our adult daughters had a twin on the top floor that was not air-conditioned.
We took our printed confirmation specifically stating rooms with AC to the front desk requesting a room change. The reception just said there were no other rooms available and they were sorry but did supply a fan.
It was not that hot in May that this was an issue. I don't know how many twin bedded rooms they have but, hot air rises and that top floor room could get very uncomfortable in hot weather.
Other than that incident, we had a very pleasant stay there.
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 04:50 AM
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We have stayed at Le Regent. It is a lovely hotel in a wonderful area. The rooms are quite small but not an issue if you don't plan to spend lots of time in your room. I highly recommend Le Regent - we are staying for 2 days in September. At this point my advice, for what it is worth, is to book a hotel. Do it today. It is getting late. You will feel so great once that step is taken and you can focus on more important things like what you will do when you are not in your hotel!
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 07:33 AM
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Hi Paula,

That's a very good rate at Hotel Des Grands Hommes.

We passed by it on our last trip. The location is OK. It is about 1 km S of the Seine.

However, the nearest metro is about 1/2km.

Mrs Dumas has a very, very, very little pointy nosed doggie. I think it is smaller than Napoleon the cat.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 07:18 PM
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Finally made a decision on my hotel. I think everyone was right when talking about location. Although the Hotel Des Grands Hommes gave me a good price I decided I wanted to be a little closer to Saint Germain Blvd. I appreciated Judy's input on the Verneuil and decided not to change it with the AC. I also decided not to chance it with the cat at the Bonaparte. (Thank you Ira for sending the pictures, I will go by and check out the hotel while we are there). And if I could afford room #70 at the Parc St Severin that would be my choice.

So I decided to go with the Le Regent, small rooms and all. However, I also a great quote from Saint Germain des Pres. Then the Regent didn't have two standard rooms with twin beds so I booked the room at Saint Germain and am on the waiting list for twin beds at Le Regent. I think I will be happy with either hotel. By the way, one of the hotels said that their large bed was a queen bed size 1m40. Is this the same size as our queen bed? We don't mind sharing a bed if it is a true queen bed.

Anyway, thanks, again. I already feel comfortable with what we are going to do and see in both London and Paris and there is great advice on this forum. Thanks to those who gave restaurant advice. I am sure I will be checking more things out before we leave on our trip in about 3 weeks.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 07:26 PM
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1m40 is about 55 inches , slightly smaller than an American queen size.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 08:10 PM
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I think you'll be satisfied with that. It's a good location and you got a good rate.

Re the beds --no, 1.4m (or 140 centimeters) is not equal to a US queen-sized bed. It's a US double-size bed. It's about 55 inches wide. A US queen-size bed would be 160 centimeters (or 1m60 in those terms), and a king-size bed would be 180 centimeters. I don't know why a hotel would call that a queen-size bed as it's the normal French double-size bed (which is usually called a "grand lit" in the French hotels I've stayed at).

FYI here is a Paris hotel's rating list that gives very good and accurate descriptions with sizes of the various bed sizes, the Hotel Britannique:
<<Rates 2004
Single bedroom
Single bed (120 or 150 cm) 130 €

Standard double bedroom
A regular double bed (150 cm) 157€

Superior double bedroom
2 twin beds (2 x 90 cm)
or a large king size bed (180 cm)180€

Junior Suite
A Queen size bed (160 cm)
& a double hideway bed (140 cm)

Extra child bed (80cm) 25 €>>


I do think you may be worrying too much about very short distances if you think the Pantheon is too far from the Seine. I think it is closer than 1 km by a bit -- my maps say about 700m. But, I think you may find the Regent more in the thick of things.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 10:15 PM
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Christina and Jody, Thanks for the info.
Christina that list is very helpful with the bed size. Also, I think I decided that the Regent or the St. Germain des pres were more in the thick of things. I know it isn't that much of a walk from the Pantheon, just thought I might like the atmosphere around the other hotels.

By the way Christina, I know you have lots of experience in Paris. I think I saw that you studied music there. What did you study? I was a music major a million years ago in college and my older daughter is a singer studying music now.
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Old Jul 28th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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Just returned from Paris and stayed at Hotel du Pantheon. Found it very comfortable. Right by the Pantheon. If you decide on this hotel request 5-6 floor rooms. We are two women traveling together (business partners) and it was perfect for us the the rooms are absolutely darling.It's very close to the Seine, St. Germaine, Notre Dame and there are a few Metro stops within walking distance. The reception staff were very helpful. Shopping is close. Next time I think we will stay in St.Germain
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 08:29 AM
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bonjour Paula, just saw your question. I'm in Paris right now and I was thinking a hotel with AC was probably silly this year as it was rather cool and rainy up until near the end of July, but it has gotten rather warm/hot now, and AC is nice at night.

As for the music, I studied piano -- master classes at the Schola Cantorum on rue St Jacques. It's too bad but the Music Museum is closed for the rest of the summer for some work. I hadn't been in a few years and wanted to go so am disappointed. They have a good bookstore, also. I know some good music stores if you want, for sheet music. Well, if you do, you can find them in a search as I listed them a few times on year -- probably put "sheet music" in the search box for France or something. Librairie Musicale is one of my favorites.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 10:38 PM
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bk2ca - Thanks for the info on the Hotel du Pantheon. It seems like a nice hotel but I did finally decided to stay in Saint Germain. I have rooms at St. Germain des Pres and am also waiting to hear from Regent Hotel whether they can give me two rooms with twin beds. Either place will be great.

Christina-I am jealous that you are in Paris now but we will be there in 24 days. Can't wait. Where are you staying in Paris? Hopefully you will give a trip report and I will be anxious to read it. Thanks for the information about the music stores. I also play piano, although not on your level. I am always looking for different music. I did a search on this forum as you suggested and found the names of the stores. If we get a chance, we'll go by. Don't know much about vocal French music, but my daughter is always on the lookout for something different to sing.
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