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Need advice re: hotels near Gare de l'Est in Paris

Need advice re: hotels near Gare de l'Est in Paris

Mar 23rd, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Need advice re: hotels near Gare de l'Est in Paris

My trip to UK and France to visit and travel with DD is fast approaching and all hotels are booked except Paris beginning April 12 (Easter) for 3 nights. DD and I are arriving Gare du Nord about midnight and departing 3 days later early am from Gare de l'Est.
I have been trying Priceline for the "Opera Quarter E - Les Halles" area but missed my chance for a 4* at $137 US and with the falling dollar will probably need to go to $160 (plus fees). I would probably win Novetel Paris Les Halles (and not the best room there).
I am also looking at hotels in the area near the train stations. Both Hotel Magenta (a 2* and several blocks south of Gare de l'Est) and Hotel Villa St-Martin (a 3* and right by Gare de l'Est) seem to rate pretty well on TripAdvisor and are available for about 100 EU a night.
Anyone familiar with these hotels and how is the area around them? If we stay close to the Gare du Nord, is it safe to walk in that area at midnight or should we plan on a taxi? We have been to Paris several times, but not familiar with this area.
Much thanks for any advice. I have spent too much time on this already and need to make up my mind.
susan4 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 10:30 AM
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I don't feel comfortable in the area of the Gare du Nord at night, so no, I wouldn't be walking around there at midnight. Most areas around train stations can be fairly suspect. Nor would I stay in the Les Halles area, as Chatelet métro is kind of ooky at night. I realize I'mmaking it sound as though Paris is dangerous, but I'm not. It's just that the three areas you mention are three I'd never stay in when there are so many other choices.

I wouldn't limit yourself to staying near one of these stations. Paris is a pretty compact place and you can get to or from either one of those stations on the métro in a short time.

I wouldn't use Priceline for Paris, either.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 10:46 AM
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The Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est areas have risen immensely in general opinions in recent years. Both stations have been redone, and Gare de l'Est is a quite elegant shopping mall now. Gare du Nord is less elegant albeit nice, but as the busiest train station in Europe, it doesn't have much time for elegance.

The Les Halles area is quite interesting, too. There are no security problems, but the area can be noisy at night. Of course the Novotel will have no noise problems.

Personally, I would choose the Gare du Nord area, because it has the biggest selection of interesting restaurants (both traditional French like Terminus Nord or the ethnic delights of the Faubourg Saint Denis), and it is also close to the Canal Saint Martin, which is irresistable on a balmy evening.

It must be mentioned that neither of these areas is popular with American visitors but extremely popular with European tourists. I think it is a value-for-money issue. Americans seem to want to stay in a perfect postcard location, whereas Europeans are happy to stay 10 minutes away by metro to save 30-50% on hotels.
kerouac is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Hi, we've stayed twice near Gare de l'Est in the past year, due to either coming in late to Gare du Nord on Eurostar or catching an early TGV out of Gare de l'Est.

First visit we stayed at the Ibis Paris Gare de l'Est 10ème
6, Rue St Laurent. It was about 15 mins walk from Gare du Nord. This was around 11pm and while the area is not very nice, we didn't feel particularly unsafe. We just knew in advance where we were headed and walked quickly. I wouldn't have felt comfortable on my own.

The Ibis was OK, a bit overpriced I felt.

Second time we stayed at http://www.hotelfrancais.com/ near Gare de l'Est. Very small room, cheaper than the Ibis, friendler staff. Overall preferable to the Ibis.

I wouldn't choose to stay near either of these stations unless you had an early train to catch or had come in late, like we had. There are much nicer areas of Paris.

We walked past the Villa St Martin when we stayed at the Ibis, it's about another 5 mins walk further on, towards the Canal St Martin. It's not a really great area but not horrible either. All right for one night.

KayF is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 11:42 AM
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I often stay in this area and I quite like it because you get a nice hotel for not much. However I am a bloke, and quite a big one at that. I'm not sure how I would feel if I was a doris or older.

You mention Chatelet. Be aware that the Rue St Denis is a pretty sordid red light district (ie there are women actually plying their trade in the street). There are also many sex shops in the street with window displays that leave little to the imagination.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 02:07 PM
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I just returned from 4 nights at Villa Saint Martin, and it shocked me when Kayf mentioned it was so so area
We walked past the Villa St Martin when we stayed at the Ibis, it's about another 5 mins walk further on, towards the Canal St Martin. It's not a really great area but not horrible either. All right for one night.

I have to differ, it was perfect, the rooms were great the breakfast was amazing and don't hesitate it was wonderful.

we were a group of 4 woman traveling together.
pjsparlor536 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 03:03 PM
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If you don't mind simple, the Hotel Sejour Beaubourg is available for 3 nights at $116 a night and is in a much "nicer area" at least night, near the Center Pompidou in the northwest corner of the Marais. They have completely re-done the hotel and have 2 levels of rooms, ones at $116 have there own w/c-they do also have ones for $102 a night with just a washbasin but no private bath. The description on EuroCheapo and the photo are accurate in my opinion.

Here is a link: http://tiny.cc/5C77x

The downside is no elevator or TV, but they have free wireless and also double-paned windows. And the location is great at the price. The gare areas are okay and some areas are even really chic right now around the canals but this location is definitely more central and there are direct buses to both of the gares or it is not an expensive taxi ride-only a bit over 2 KM. And you will able to walk to Rue Montorgeuil market, the Marais etc.

I would not stay in the immediate Les Halles area-I had to live there 2 months right next door to the Novotel in short term corporate housing and there was always someone sleeping in the doorstep in the morning that I literally had to step over! It wasn't dangerous-just annoying. And the immediate Les Halles area at night is just kind of seedy-lots of MacDonalds and KFCs and young guys hassling the tourists. Not my first choice.
jpie is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 07:33 PM
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Thank you for all the good advice. I will stop trying for Priceline. Did not know that the area around the Novotel was not very nice. The Villa Saint Martin is now booked up, but I can still get the Hotel Magenta. We will be there for 3 nights, but are arriving Gare du Nord late Sunday (we will take a taxi)and leaving from Gare de l'Est early Wednesday morning.
We will avoid Rue St. Denis and Les Halles area. Also, someone on TripAdvisor mentioned avoiding the Republic area, even during the day.
Thanks again!
susan4 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2009, 04:15 AM
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My god, what is wrong with these people? Are they expecting Paris to look like scenes from Gigi?
kerouac is online now  
Mar 24th, 2009, 01:18 PM
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Hi Susan-I didn't mean to be TOO harsh on that area. Lots of the neighborhood area around there is great near the church where it leads up into rue Montorgeuil, etc. And the Novotel is nice just the immediate setting isn't as nice as some of other areas of Paris.

You have to admit kerouac, that while not all of Paris looks like Gigi, much of the Les Halles area can kind of look like a line up of some of the worst of American fast food joints....
jpie is online now  
Apr 7th, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Here is a thread that can help you out regarding hotels in Paris:


let me know if it helped you
QuentinL is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 11:08 AM
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When we used hotels in Paris, our primary criterion was value, i.e., the most accommodation for the least money. I came up with a formula for lodging that seems to work in every city we've ever been in: there is central, clean, and cheap. Choose two.

It turns out that in a place like Paris, it's easy to sacrifice central in the interest of getting clean and cheap. With the excellent public transport, it's possible to stay on the other side of town and reach any train station in a few minutes - especially if you choose a hotel near an RER station.

Gare du Nord is easily accessible on the B and D lines, and Gare de l'Est can be reached from there on foot, bus, or Métro in a short time. We once stayed in the VIIème and caught a very early train from Gare de Lyon with time to spare. (Métro Ligne 8 to RER A.)
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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Campanille Louis Blanc across from Gare de L'est. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
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