Paris - 3* vs 4* Hotels (Please HELP)

Old Jan 6th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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Paris - 3* vs 4* Hotels (Please HELP)

Good morning,
I'm planning a trip to Germany and Paris in February. I've heard (in Germany) there is a huge difference between 3 star and 4 star hotels. I'm planning on using Priceline.com to bid on hotels in Munich and Paris. I've got Munich figured out... but not sure about Paris.

Can anyone recommend a "zone" in Paris that is centrally located and also safe. Should I bid 3* or 4*?

Thanks,
Spartacus_33
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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I don't know of any country where there is a guaranteed huge difference in 3* and 4* hotels across-the-board. There is a spectrum of quality and comfort for any star level of hotels in any country I've been in, but maybe Germany is different.

I'd find out from biddingfortravel which 3* and 4* hotels you might get in Paris in which neighborhood and base it on that. I don't think their zones in Paris are very good, but think you are pretty much guaranteed a large chain hotel if you bid 4* (like Meridien, maybe Novotel, whatever -- you can check, perhaps Sofitel). I think you get the Meridien Montparnasse or Sofitel Rive Gauche if you bid 4* in whatever area Montparnasse would fall. Those seem okay to me, I've never heard of any other areas in Paris for Priceline that end up being very good.

I think you get the Novotel in the 15th if you bid for whatever is called Eiffel Tower area, but that's not as nice a hotel (maybe 3*, but if not, should be).

I know someone who bid 2* Latin Qtr and got the Libertel near Censier metro where I have paid to stay, quite happily, so that is a good choice if you are willing to stay in a 2* hotel.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 09:48 AM
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In Paris the arrondisements spiral out by number from the center of the city. So I would suggest the 4th thru the 7th as good neighborhoods to stay in.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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Do the priceline zones correspond to the arrondissiments?
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Nope, they don't really. Many of the Paris priceline zones are quite large and you could get a hotel pretty far from the center of things. This is not a problem for some people, so it's a personal choice.

spartacus_33 - You can go to www.biddingfortravel.com and see what hotels people have gotten in each zone and for each star level, of course realizing that any other hotel could come up at any time. This will give you an idea of the quality level and locations of some of the hotels you might get.

For me, so far, the risks in Paris have not been enough for me to consider priceline there, though I've used it in London and various cities in the US. There are many low- to mid-range hotels in Paris that are perfectly nice, depending on the ammenities you require, so I've been happy going that route.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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The "Priceline" Zones are listed below:

Bastille - Bercy
Batignolles - Montmartre - Republique Champs Elysees - Opera Quarter West Eiffel Tower - Grenelle - Montparnasse La Defense - Neuilly
Opera Quarter East - Les Halles
St. Germain - Latin Quarter - Montparnasse

Having never been to Paris... any "Zone" suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Spartacus_33
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 11:44 AM
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I've been to Paris at least 3 times and have usually stayed in the 6th. I must say, though, as I walk around Paris I do see many nice hotels in many areas.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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I used PL to book hotel in Paris at the last minute Jan 2004. We were in Rome and not ready to head home yet so extended our stay and hopped a cheap Volare flight to Paris. 24 hours before we arrived, I won a bid on Priceline for 100USD per night and got the Novotel near the Eiffel tower. The hotel was very nice and clean and quiet and we enjoyed our stay. The "special" rate posted at the front desk when we checked in was 225 Euro per night so I was very happy with the price we paid.

I would choose a different area if I do return to Paris although we were able to find everything we needed for a short 2 night stay in easy walking distance.

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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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Hi Spartacus - I just returned on the 2nd after staying at the Le Meridien Montparnasse. It is a very good hotel... if you like the business-like hotels.. Some people dont like it because it is not very Parisian

It was very convenient, 5 minutes walk from the Montparnasse Bienvenue metro... And there are lovely cafes around the Rue Montparnasse and also a wonderful creperie (in a kiosk) near the ice skating rink, below the Montparnasse Tower (I think it is called Henri's).
Going through Priceline was not a bad option as the good hotels were booked out when I was looking.

I would personally opt to stay in the proper St. Germaine area the next time I go to Paris (I loved this area the best).. Latin Quarter pales in comparison. I think the Latin Quarter should be called the Greek Gyro Quarter... or the Cheap Souvenir Quarter .

Good Luck .. you will love Paris.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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There is certainly a major difference between three and four stars, as we discovered last week when we changed to a four, after a miserable start at a hotel that had misrepresented itself as a four but was a three.
 
Old Jan 6th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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I wouldn't dismiss any hotel based solely on not having enough stars, any more than I would assume that a 4 star must be a great and satisfying hotel.

Hotel stars are government ratings based on measurable criteria like elevators, restaurants, number of private bathrooms, a/c, size of lobbies, front desk staffing, etc. Stars are not awarded by the gov't for decor, cleanliness, location, pleasantness of staff, quality of food, quality of plumbing. Yes, the odds are better that more stars would mean a nicer hotel with more amenities, but the expectations of guests in 4-stars are also higher because they are paying more.

There are some givens that I want in a hotel no matter what I am paying: great location, cleanliness of course,an elevator, and a/c if I'm traveling in summer. If I can't afford those things, I go another time, or stay for fewer days. But that's me.

Beyond that, my budget and particular frame of mind for that trip, determine the hotel (and the stars) I choose.
I've been in 3-star hotels that I'd recommend any time, and 4-stars that I thought were dumps, or at least, very disappointing.
I'm about to stay in a 2-star in Paris--that will be a new experience for me and I hope I've chosen well.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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To pariswasfab--would you please provide some details? Your post could be helpful to others if you tell us more.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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I would need more than just details to confirm that the difference in one hotel being bad and another good was the fact that one was a three star and one was a four star. The difference in how good they were could very easily be just as great between two three star hotels. I think it is pure chance in this case that the three star was terrible and the four star was wonderful.
It is simply naive to think that the reason one hotel was great and another was bad was because one had an extra star.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 03:11 PM
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spartacus (loved that old film), If I had to pick one of those Priceline zones, it would be St. Germain-Latin Quarter-Montparnasse and hope I'd end up with a place in either St. Germain or Latin Quarter areas.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 04:41 AM
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We stayed at the Holiday inn Place D'italie in the 13th. the hotel was very nice and the room was clean but small, the bathroom was the biggest we had in Europe. We liked the local restaurants in the area and were right at the metro and bus stops. safe area and a big indoors shopping mall across the street. Sept '04 87.50 Euro per night included a good breakfast plus 5 Euro a day indoors parking
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 04:44 AM
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We stayed at the Holiday inn Place D'italie in the 13th. the hotel was very nice and the room was clean but small, the bathroom was the biggest we had in Europe. We liked the local restaurants in the area and were right at the metro and bus stops. safe area and a big indoors shopping mall across the street. Sept '04 87.50 Euro per night included a good breakfast plus 5 Euro a day indoors parking. Holiday inn calls this a 3 star hotel and it may be
however, I can't say, since it's the only hotel we have ever stayed at in Paris
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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For advising a first time visitor to Paris, I'd advise you follow Beachbum's post...those areas are terrific and central. From the "hub" you'll go out and about and see the town. You'll go back again sometime, don't worry...and next time try another area, and then another, and then another... <GRIN>
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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Good morning,

Thank you all for responding. Damn, I love this site!

I think I'll go with Beachbums suggestion and hope that I wind up in the St. Germain portion of that zone. If I land in the Latin Quarter... I guess I'll just deal with it.

Once again... thanks to all of you.

Spartacus_33

This is exactly the advice that I was hoping for.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 07:08 AM
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Sure, some details, first about the three, which misrepresented itself: no room service, small and out of date bathroom, inadequate attention at the desk, lack of follow-through in making reservations (part-time concierge), old fashion furnishings, tiny room, cranky elevator, threadbare carpets, stained ceilings, small, small room .... yes, I know from numerour stays in this city that Paris hotel rooms tend to be small. But a three is not usually that small.

Needless to say, five minutes after checking in, we checked out, went across the street to a four star, and had a blissful trip.

I can provide names, if necessary, but lets simply say both places were on Rue St. Honore, near the Place Vendome, not exactly a run-down area.

 
Old Jan 7th, 2005, 08:52 AM
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HI pariswasfab and spartacus. W/o the names of said hotels, we don't know which to avoid. However, not an issue for me, b/c we never stay in that part of town. Spartacus, we prefer the St. Germain area but the Latin Quarter is also fun--esp if it is a first trip to Paris!!-- and a very short walk to the St.Germain neighborhood.
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