Paris and the French Riviera

Nov 18th, 2012, 08:31 AM
  #1  
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Paris and the French Riviera

Soo, we've booked a river cruise from Lyon to Arles and decided to take advantage of being in France, maybe the one and only time in our lives!
We are going to start our trip in Paris, stay for 3 days and then take the high speed train to ?? before our river cruise begins
We've heard we can easily "walk" Paris to see the sights and wonder if any of you have suggestions about where to stay. B&Bs work well for us or smaller, less costly, but still comfortable hotels.
We will be staying 1 night somewhere?? suggestions welcome in the countryside before boarding the ship- thinking of exploring Beaunne or other small towns not too far from Lyon
Finally, we will spend 3 nights on the French Riviera. We plan to rent a car and do a bit of exploring, would love some "sandy" beach time. We're flying home from Nice and thought a B&B or ?? not so far from Nice would work well.
We will disembark the ship in Arles and would love to take in a bit of Monaco before heading home.
Would love to hear suggestions on any or all of this itinerary
dorenet is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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First of all, B&Bs in Paris aren't large in number; best to find a small hotel. What is your budget for that in Euros?

What do you mean about staying 1 night somewhere? Before you board the ship in Lyon? With just one night, you should consider just staying in and exploring that interesting city. Lyon is known for its great food, and the large open-air market by the river is fascinating.

Since your cruise ends in Arles, why not spend a little time exploring that Roman city before heading to the Riviera? Then you can go by train to Nice and stay there for your 3 days. From Nice you can go by train or bus to Monaco (if you must) in about 30 minutes. Nice has much to offer, although like Paris you won't find many B&Bs on offer. I'd recommend a stay at the Mercure Promenade des Anglais, right down near the Mediterranean.
Underhill is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:36 AM
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I agree that Paris and Nice aren't known for B&Bs. And if you want useful advice, you should state a specific price range, in euros or dollars - everyone has different definitions of "budget."

I would also just go to Lyon. It's a marvelous city, and you can be there quickly from Paris.

The Riviera doesn't have sandy beaches. The vast majority are very rocky. Since you're going to end up in Arles anyway, explore it - it's a great city. Then drive out to the Camargue and around the Bouche-du-Rhône - FAR more interesting than Monaco, which is little more than an extremely expensive cement pile.

I wouldn't bother with Monaco
StCirq is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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Nice doesn't have sandy beaches. Consider going to either Villefranche or Montpellier.

http://www.beyond.fr/villages/villefranche.html

http://www.ot-montpellier.fr/en/ and go to Palavas les Flots.

An apartment that is reasonably price, good location and the owner is great to work with - we have stayed twice at larger apt that he owns:

http://www.vrbo.com/371220
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Nov 18th, 2012, 09:45 AM
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Meant to include that the train to Villefranches is a short ride and can be done for a lovely day at the beach. Lots of lovely places to eat there too.

We stayed at this apt in Nice. It was ok, a bit dark inside but a great location and again a reasonable price. It is in the Residences of The Negresco Hotel.

http://www.vrbo.com/174633

========

This is in the same building and has good reviews:
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/96185
DebitNM is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 02:59 PM
  #6  
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Thank you for sending links to various hotels and residences-very helpful as we are just starting our research. Villefranches looks wonderful!!
Low price is not the object, reasonable rates is. We are now aware that taking the train to wherever we stay is a good option. Thinking of small hotel or apartment in a strategic location in Paris makes sense. B&B was a thought for French Riviera area.
Thanks for the comment re: Monaco.
We will have an afternoon, evening and morning before embarking our ship in Lyon. We have considered staying there for the 1 extra night. Any thoughts about Chalon sur Saone?
Thank you!
dorenet is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 03:46 PM
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I would stay on or near the Place Bellecour in Lyon. I love the Hôtel La Résidence.

<> But exactly what is reasonable for you? "Reasonable" means completely different things to different people. Name a price point.
StCirq is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 05:10 PM
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Is this your first trip to Paris? If so, I recommend a hotel rather than an apartment. It is nice to have a front desk staff to help you find what you need and to make reservations, etc. Again, to help you with some suggestions, a price range would help.
mamcalice is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 06:46 PM
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I know everyone has their own preferences but with so little time in France don't waste any of it lying on a beach! You can do that at home. A beach is a beach.

I agree about giving Monaco a miss... I've been 3 times now and still wonder why I bothered after the first visit. See if you can get an open jaw flight so you fly into Paris but home from Nice or Marseille.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Nov 19th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Antibes is a great little town on the Riviera. It has a lovely old town center with an excellent open-air market. It has a free public beach that is sandy, and it is close to Juan Les Pins, which has some of the best sandy beaches in the area. There is a wide variety of housing in terms of luxury and cost. In Antibes you can get your beach time, but also get to explore a really cool, old French town. There is also a nice Picasso museum, some nice art galleries, and several good restaurants. It is a very nice walking town, and the ramparts offer great views over the sea. The Hotel Belle Rives is a very nice hotel on the border between the Cap d'Antibes and Juan Les Pins, but there are much less expensive options as well. I also like Menton quite a bit for a sandy beach town, but it is fairly isolated from the rest of the Cote d'Azur.
autier17 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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If you haven't purchased your airfare, I would give Paris more than three days, especially since you'll be jet lagged at first..Rick Steves' guidebooks list more reasonable hotels than many other guidebooks.
Beaune is a lovely town to visit before your cruise.
After the cruise,Arles or so many other wonderful places in Provence would be worth more time too. Is there a reason why you are choosing the Riviera over seeing more of Provence? For the Riviera, Nice( beach is stones and pebbles), Villefranche (sandy) and/or Antibes(sandy beach). Small Ville franche is a cruise ship port so it can be over run with ship passengers.I am a beach person but don't waste time while in Europe on the beaches.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Nov 19th, 2012, 02:05 PM
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Monaco is one the few places that was a disappointment I loved Nice and Cassis. You will enjoy Arles and the very differentt Camargue.
cigalechanta is offline  
Nov 19th, 2012, 02:40 PM
  #13  
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We have been looking into Antibes, love the old town feel
As far as prices: French Riviera $250-$300/night
Paris, I'm guessing is higher $300+
Thought we'd end on the Riviera to relax a bit We have purchased our airfare, thanks for the great advice. Our intent is to sight see and then crash a bit at the beach toward the end of the day. Nothing is set in stone.
Have crossed apartments off the list as we gave it more thought and agreed we will need the "front desk" help.
Makes sense to explore Arles and then take a train to our destination.
dorenet is offline  
Nov 19th, 2012, 02:46 PM
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I have never paid anything close to $300 for a Paris hotel, though of course you could. There are hundreds of threads here on Paris hotels in all price ranges.
StCirq is offline  
Nov 19th, 2012, 03:12 PM
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If never been to France there could be a lot more interesting places than the Riviera. Provence? Much longer in Paris. You are going to be very relaxed on your river cruise.
Gretchen is offline  
Nov 19th, 2012, 08:51 PM
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River cruises aren't really all that relaxing; port stops at towns along the way mean walking to see the sights. It's not at all like an ocean cruise.
Underhill is offline  
Nov 20th, 2012, 02:55 AM
  #17  
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I will check out the threads on Paris hotels. I would love to pay less than $300/night.
Fell in love with the Hotel Belle Rives ala the website anyway, but it is a bit steep.
Can't wait to check out the Place Bellecour in Lyon...Wish I could concentrate fully on researching French Hotels and sites-work just seems to get in the way-lol
dorenet is offline  
Nov 20th, 2012, 07:48 AM
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Here's the hotel I like to stay in in Lyon, just a stone's throw from the Place Bellecour, on a pedestrian-only street:

http://www.hotel-la-residence.com/
StCirq is offline  
Nov 20th, 2012, 10:30 AM
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Flying out of Nice is very convenient and stress-free. It is a small, well-organized airport and easy to get to from Antibes. if you decide to end your trip in the Riviera, it makes sense to fly out of Nice.
autier17 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2012, 05:39 PM
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Hi Dorenet,

“Thinking of small hotel or apartment in a strategic location in Paris makes sense.”

You will find many excellent ideas for Paris hotels on this site. My suggestion- HOTEL DAUPHINE in the 6th. Small, very French, reasonable. Fabulous location minutes from the Ponte Neuf and Notre Dame in one direction and minutes from the Boulevard St. Germain in the opposite direction.

It’s a 3 star recommended to me by a friend. Spent five days there in June which I describe in my trip report. Mind you, the rooms are small but baths are good sized and modern. To me location is everything.

Have a wonderful trip…
latedaytraveler is offline  

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