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Paris area similar to Rome's Pantheon area

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Aug 24th, 2003, 11:27 AM
  #1
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Paris area similar to Rome's Pantheon area

My wife and I have used this forum to help plan our two trips to Italy and we were very happy with the recommendations and suggestions for places to stay and things to do. Following advice from this forum, we stayed at the Albergo del Senato in Rome in early October 2002 and were very pleased with the hotel and the location. We are now planning a trip to Paris with our 13 year old grand-daughter in late June 2004 and are looking for a similar area of Paris - ie relatively centrally located to most of the major sites and just a good feeling about the neighborhood. On our first trip to Rome in May 2001, we stayed near the Spanish Steps and even though they are not that far apart, we much preferred the Pantheon area. I know it is largely a matter of personal opinion but if any of you that like the Pantheon area of Rome could recommend an area of Paris that has a similar "feel" to it, we would really appreciate it.
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Aug 24th, 2003, 11:43 AM
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The only similarity I can think of is either la Madeleine (the greek style temple reminded me of the Roman Pantheon) or the Sorbonne area with the Pantheon....
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Aug 24th, 2003, 11:50 AM
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Having not been to Rome or the Pantheon, it is difficult for me have a "feel" for it. But, I have been to Paris and stayed in a hotel near the Pantheon in the latin quarter and I do have a "feel" for that area. This is a popular area in Paris and I was very happy with the location. I also feel it was a safe area. A hotel I stayed at was the Hôtel Residence Monge. This hotel is priced at about $80 a night for a double, the rooms are small but clean and a full bath. It is also in an excellent location and two metros very near by. I think you can go to some of those Paris hotel web sites and get more information and pictures on this hotel. I have made my reservations directly. I call and talk with Julie, check for availability and then conferm via fax with a credit card number. If it is of interest to you, the hotel information follows:

Hôtel Residence Monge
55, rue Monge
75005 Paris
Tel: 01 43 46 97 90
Fax: 01 43 54 47 25
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Aug 24th, 2003, 12:50 PM
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I can second Hotel Monge. We stayed there in July and were very pleased.
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Aug 24th, 2003, 01:39 PM
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Hi John,

Anywhere on the West side of the 5th and the East side of the 6th.

Try www.multimap.com and start at the corner of Boul St Michel and Boul St Germain.
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Aug 24th, 2003, 03:01 PM
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Wow! Interesting and quite perceptive question. This family just looooved your thinking...

We stayed at the Santa Chiara (we could pat the top of the Pantheon on our terrace!) in Rome and know what you mean--we were near the center of the "fun" action and out of the way of traffic. Still remember holding the hand of my little one saying goodbye early am to the fountain in front of the Pantheon. We cried.

So your question made our dinner conversation tonight. Great way to relive past trips. Kids are now 12 and 16; they started going to Paris at 8 and 12.

After much debate, we feel Notre Dame, boring that it is, is the "Pantheon" of Paris. Not in terms of history, etc.--in terms of how action radiates.

Therefore, using your logic, the best place to stay would be Ile de la Cite (with only really bad hotels) or Ile de St. Louis, except that there are not a lot of places to stay there. So two other great neighborhood options are the Marais (which got three out of four votes at our dinner table) or the Latin Quarter (one vote). We used to stay only in the Latin Quarter quite near St. Micheal, but after our last stay in the Marias, we're moving to the Marias as a family (minority votes are appreciated but...).

One of the big factors in our vote was the fact that in a way, the Pompidou Center (on the edge of the Marais) is the Spanish Steps of Paris, which we never knew until we stayed in the area.

So therefore, following our logic, if you stay in the Marais nearest Ile de St. Louis/Ile de la Cite (we were at Caron de Beaumarchais), then you can that feel of "pulse" or "tension" between two large gathering sites. I thought that was what we enjoyed in Rome. We'd walk over to the Spanish Steps almost every night but we didn't have to live there!

Now if you could just land an apartment rental on Ile de St. Louis, you're talking a really great experience...

Neat thing about Paris as opposed to Rome is the use of river banks. That's why staying somewhere close to water means a lot of action.

Bastille area, by the way, had a lot of the same feel as Spanish Steps. You know, a lot of teenagers trying to hook up. Interesting from ages 18-25; lost on the rest of us. Eiffel Tower has none of that.
 
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Aug 26th, 2003, 12:23 PM
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Thanks so much for the replies. Amelia, you totally understood the point of my question and I really appreciate your ideas. I know the sad feeling of saying goodbye to Rome. Sounds like your dinner table has some pretty interesting conversations around it. I guessed and you confirmed that the Notre Dame area is probably the "Pantheon" area of Paris but I thought I should be looking near the St Germain des Pres/Latin Quarter area (I guess I was thinking like your lone voter) for an apartment (yes, we want to stay in an apartment instead of a hotel). Did you get 2 rooms at the Caron de Beaumarchais or did you all pile in to one? For some reason, the things we have read about the Marais area have not given us that "warm and fuzzy" that we had about the Pantheon area in Rome even before we went there. I think you are correct in that if I could find something in the Marais but close to the river, it would be perfect. Again, thanks for the good info. One more question, we will be there late June of 2004 - what are your thoughts on air-conditioning? After this year's heat wave there, we are pretty sure we want air conditioning but it is very hard to find in an apartment that doesn't cost a fortune.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 12:53 PM
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Hi John, I also stayed at the Albergo del Senato last year and know what you mean. I am going to Paris next month and after many questions and doubts in choosing the hotel I decided to go for the Hotel Madison in Boulevard St. Germain. In fact, the hotel, from the website reminds me of the Albergo del Senato and its location is also excellent maybe with the parisian feel like the roman feel you had in Piazza della Rotonda. That's why decided for the Madison though it's more expensive than the other options I had. Chcek its website www.hotel-madison.com
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Aug 26th, 2003, 02:19 PM
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I haven't been to Rome so am not really sure, but I wouldn't say that all of Paris radiates out from Notre Dame.

If you are saying you want to look in St-Germain, Latin Qtr or Marais as substitute for the Pantheon area, that's a lot bigger area and about 3/4 of central Paris.
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Aug 29th, 2003, 04:33 AM
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amelia
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I think you'd be fine with an apartment in the St. Germaine/Latin Quarter area.

I looked at the other posters' responses, and I just want to make sure we're on the same page, John (I think from your reply that we are). I take it you're looking for something central to the historical center that doesn't make you feel as though you are in the line of a tour bus stop.

I do want to point out that in addition to making use of its rivers (unlike Rome which tends to turn its back on it), the many Metro lines in Paris can make even a neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris tie in wonderfully with the historical center. So I truly think you have a lot of backup apartment options you can explore if A/C is a major concern. The Pages Jaune website can help you "look" at your neighborhood--just make sure it's close to a good Metro line.

I think it's great that you're starting so early.

Here are some replies to your other questions:

Air conditioning. Even without the example of this past summer, I was happy I paid attention to this little detail. Our stay at the Caron de Beaumarchais would have been excrutiating without it.

Caron de Beaumarchais has tiny "large" rooms to begin with. I don't believe there are family rooms there.


Warm and fuzzy Marais? We felt that way but that doesn't mean everyone would. The Travelzine website authors stayed there for three weeks, I believe, and I suggest you read their experience if you want a more expanded feel. We used many of their restaurant suggestions, by the way.

Another hotel and hotel area we felt cozy in was L'Hotel Colbert. It was a 3-star when we stayed there and is a 4-star now. It occupies a great little niche on the Left Bank side of Notre Dame. Just as we talked about our daily walk in Rome, we liked our daily walk from this hotel. We'd walk through the teeny Rue de la Bucherie near St. Julien Le Pauvre and we could go over the Pont Au Double to Notre Dame or walk along the Quai St. Michel to the Metro/RER hub of St. Michel. There's also a super little restaurant across the street from the hotel (name escapes me right now by I can find it later) that has wine cellar offerings at almost cost.

Paris has a lot of niches like this, though. Again, between starting early and with the availability of the Pages Jaunes, you're going to be in great shape.

Still, there was somebody on this website who was able to land an apartment rental on Ile de St. Louis for a decent price. Now that would be the true experience of a lifetime.
 
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