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Ideas for Area to Stay in Paris for Special Occasion

Ideas for Area to Stay in Paris for Special Occasion

Oct 19th, 2010, 03:40 AM
  #1  
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Ideas for Area to Stay in Paris for Special Occasion

I am planning a special trip to Paris in a few months to celebrate my husband's 60th birthday. We were only in Paris one time before, about 10 years ago, and had only negative experiences, some were our own fault but others were not. That said, we would like to "correct" this bad experience and try visiting again in the hope that we can enjoy this stay more.

I have been told that the Marais area would be the most suitable for us in which to find a hotel. Looking to see whether other Fodorites feel like this is a good suggestion for us.

We love going to museums, walking around a city to get "its feel", people-watch, sit in a park, eat good food and drink good wine, and generally explore and "get lost" wandering the streets.

Would appreciate any insight, suggestions, hotel ideas, etc.

Thanks in advance !!
Flame123 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 05:04 AM
  #2  
 
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YOu might get more replies if you provide a budget and what kind of hotel you prefer. ( I am not trying to be snarky)
Do you want a large full service hotel ? A small intimate palce?
Do you have points to use for any hotel chain?
In that area, you may prefer to look into apartments. There are plently of knowledgable posters who could guide you on that.
We used points at the Marriott/Renaissance hotel in the 1st.Vendome.
It was a small boutique hotel with loads of charm. It was tucked away from the tourist foot traffic. It was a short walk to the Tuilleries where we sat and people watched every day. Also waliking distance to the major museums.
Just a thought....

Also, what were the negatives - we could help steer you away from them?!
annesherrod is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 05:14 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Annesherrod.
I am looking for something in the "charming, boutique-type place" but that does have staff that are knowledgeable and willing and able to help with suggestions and ideas. I do not have points to spend at any of the large major hotels but would also not choose any of those as I prefer the smaller, intimate, more family-run type places. I cannot look into apartments for several reasons (one of which is the deposit that needs to be paid up front), so that is not an option.

The negatives had to do with people not wanting or not able to help us in a language other than French, it had to do with feeling like we were taken for a ride at restaurants because it was obvious we were tourists, and things like that. But this is not the reason for my thread. I just first of all want to get opionions from people more knowledgeable in this area of where to stay - the other questions will come later. Thanks again.
Flame123 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 05:30 AM
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Budget? There are some nice hotels on the Islands and the Left Bank that would also fit.

I think we can help with some of the "french" experience. At a minimum, you will need to learn just a few words...Bonjour, Bonsoir, Merci, Au revoir, s'il vous plait,etc.. Always say hello on way, goodbye on way out.

There are certain cultural differences. For example, in a restaurant, you will (almost always) not be brought the bill. The waiter is NOT ignoring you. The table is yours, when you want to leave, you signal for the bill. And there is more...we'll help you.

How long are you goin for?
Michel_Paris is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 05:38 AM
  #5  
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Michel - oh thank you. What a nice response, I look forward to your help.

We are planning on about 5-6 nights in Paris. I do know the basic few words in French - apparently they did not do much in the way of help for us 10 years ago. I am confident and positive that it will be fine this time (and with all your help of course!).

As for budget since this is a special occasion, I am not scrimping and I would say about 200 Euros per night? Maybe a bit more if the place was worth it. Looking forward to getting your suggestions, and thanks again.
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Oct 19th, 2010, 06:35 AM
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200 Euros can get you into a number of **** hotels, but won't work for any of the Luxe hotels, big or small. Take a look at Hotel Cambon, privately owned.
oakglen is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 08:28 AM
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I am reading this thread with great interest. My husband and I would like to go to Paris in the third week of November. We have not booked anything yet. We definitely plan to rent an apartment. I cannot decide which area would be best for us. All seem to have such benefits! I would describe our style as the same:

"We love going to museums, walking around a city to get "its feel", people-watch, sit in a park, eat good food and drink good wine, and generally explore and "get lost" wandering the streets."

Flame, have you considered the 1st or the 8th? Those were on our list of possible areas.
carmella88 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 08:34 AM
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I agree with M_P, and I'd add that in my experience Parisians continue to become more accommodating of non-French speakers as time passes, both in their willingness and ability to speak English. Call it globalization, I guess. Just remember to ask, in French, if they speak English: "S'il vous plait, parlez-vous anglais?" (roughly "See voo play, parlay-voo anglay?", with apologies if you already know that! )

Definitely say "bonjour Madame/Monsieur" when you enter an establishment, and they will say it back. Many years ago I was taught that French only go into a shop when they're interested in purchasing something there, as opposed to the general browsing we do here; that's why prices are posted on items in the shop window. That attitude has changed a bit, but it's good to keep in mind nonetheless, as it will inform your interaction with the shopkeeper.

In addition to the Marais, you might want to look at hotels on the Left Bank, rue du Bac area. It will cover a number of your interests, with the Jardin du Luxembourg and other parks nearby, and lots of old streets to wander around!
ggreen is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 08:55 AM
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I think the Marais is not a particularly good place to look because there aren't that many hotels in it, mainly. They are over-priced for what you get, also. So 200 euro in the Marais is not going to get you much.

I think St Germain sounds like more your style.

YOur experience 10 years ago seems odd to me as I do speak French fairly well, and it is difficult to get a lot of people in Paris to speak French, even when you want to. They always want to speak English. And my French isn't that bad. I'm talking about anyone related to customer service or the travel industry (hotels, etc) or restaurants in the most central arrondisements. I don't have that problem in the outer arrondisements. So maybe it depends where you were staying before. I don't let anyone take me for a ride in restaurants, not sure what that means. I go to places I want and order what I want from the menu (carte).
Christina is online now  
Oct 19th, 2010, 09:03 AM
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Christina, in recent years I've had the same experience as you (and my French isn't too bad either). When I've insisted that I'd like to speak French, I've been told they want to practice their English! But 10 and more years ago I used to get a very different reaction (and that was when my French was better than it is now)...
ggreen is offline  
Oct 19th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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200 euros isn't super luxe, but it will get you a good choice of hotels. Try these in the 5th and 6th arr:

www.hoteldefleurieparis.com
www.luxembourg-paris-hotel.com
www.parishotelcharme.com
www.hotellaperle.com
www.hoteldesgrandshommes.com
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Oct 19th, 2010, 10:12 AM
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One of my favorite places in Paris that fits within your price range is the Hotel Des Saints-Pères www.paris-hotel-saintes-peres.com Click English in the upper left corner if you don't read French. The location is excellent (Saint- Germain).

We recently stayed at The Hotel de L'Abbaye in Saint Germain and while the staff were excellent ( all spoke English) and helpful in providing any information required, the Classic Rooms seemed a bit small as did the baths. If I was to return I'd upgrade to a Deluxe which is likely out of your price range. All that said, the lcaotion is good, the staff one of the best and the lobby, sitting rooms ( complete with a wood-burning fireplace) and the beautiful conservatory and gardens make for a romantic setting.
historytraveler is online now  
Oct 19th, 2010, 10:22 AM
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Sorrry a typo as ususal. It should be www.paris-hotel-saints-peres.com

For Hotel de l'Abbaye www.hotelabbayeparis.com
historytraveler is online now  
Oct 19th, 2010, 12:09 PM
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The Marais may be a little edgy for your taste. You might look at any of the hotels on L'Isle Saint Louis, such as the Hotel Saint Louis. Charming island in the middle of the Seine, under the shadows of Notre Dame. And, if the Marais intrigues you, walk across a short bridge to the north.

Enjoy your stay. Paris can be fabulous.
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Oct 19th, 2010, 05:03 PM
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I second the Hotel des Saints-Peres. We have stayed there during many trips to Paris and always feel at home. The location is wonderful - very central. The staff is very helpful and welcoming.
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Oct 19th, 2010, 09:52 PM
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Thank you all for your replies and ideas.

cheryllj - have you stayed at any of all of the hotels you suggest?

hmmm - why do you think the Marais may be edgy for my taste? Can you give example? Have you stayed at the hotel you recommend on the island?
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Oct 20th, 2010, 12:28 AM
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The Marais on weekends reminds me of a perpetual mardi gras. One is treated to all sorts of special forms of dress, body art and behavior. The crowds are often young, loud and expressive. We've stayed at the Caron de Beaumarchais, a favored boutique hotel, in that quarter.

Also stayed at Hotel Saint Louis and Jeu de Paume on the island. The hotels are quite charming and the island is a quaint neighborhood, with beautiful architecture, in the middle of the Seine and quite close to many attractions.
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Oct 20th, 2010, 03:09 AM
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hmmm - actually the Caron de Beaumarchais is one of the hotels I was thinking about. I have already written to them and received an offer. Anything else specific you can tell me about the place and/or a specific room or room type to request? Would you recommend?
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Oct 20th, 2010, 05:57 AM
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I have a hotel thread, "Paris Hotels Left Bank Thread". The Right Bank thread is linked to it. Happy Travels!
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