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Lisa Sep 18th, 2002 11:06 PM

Paris Hotels, Restaurants and more
I was introduced to a web site about Paris that is a fantastic labor of love. It has the most wonderful collection of hotel, restaurant and other information about Paris that you can imagine. When I saw the request for a $10 donation, I almost left the site without looking further but after viewing the hotel page, I can assure you I was ready to pay much more. This is better than any book I have read with lots of links and tons of useful information.<BR><BR>I am not in any way associated with this site.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Enjoy!<BR><BR><BR>

Nola Sep 19th, 2002 04:27 AM

Hi Lisa-<BR>I feel exactly the same way about that fantastic site and posted a message about it quite some time ago. So I'm warning you - get ready for some really hateful posts and/or e-mails.

bl Sep 19th, 2002 05:16 AM

This site has gotten very bad comments due to the $10 fee. The person is Fred Min who created the site and he appears on this forum frequently. The hotel reviews he mentions are based on compilations of other people's reviews.

xxx Sep 19th, 2002 06:00 AM

I understood that the $10 was optional, you pay after seeing the info only if you felt it was worthwhile. Having a good collection of opinions is a great tool!

Nameless Sep 19th, 2002 09:40 AM

Lisa and Nola- I'm so glad to read your posts. I also posted a message about a year or so ago recommending his web site thinking I was doing people a favor, giving them a wonderful source of information. I know it gave me more information and Fred helped us more than any other book, travel agent, or even the tourist office in New York. Some of the posts that appeared were awful. I still don't understand why. If he sold his internet book in a store it would cost a whole lot more, and you're under no obligation to buy it; only if you think it's worth it and use it.It does cost to set up and maintain a site like that - I know, my husband has one. I would bet that lots of people use it without the payment which to me is kind of like stealing.

xx1 Sep 19th, 2002 09:49 AM

I have no big objections to the site, but are the people whose opinions he uses credited? For example, in a hotel review, does he say "thank you to the reviews we have received from ..." and credit them? Otherwise, I'm not happy about someone taking other people's reviews and using them without credit in his own website, especially since he IS asking you to pay for it, honor system or no. For example, if he lifts reviews posted here on the Fodors forum (or Rick Steves, etc.), that's unethical. <BR>

Gretchen Sep 19th, 2002 10:20 AM

If you read Fred's book you will see that he asks people to send him comments IF THEY WANT TO. It is indeed helpful to hear other's comments--some are good, some are not. You can make up your own mind. Fred is an extremely helpful person with a great deal of personal experience travelling in France.

Nameless Sep 19th, 2002 10:39 AM

I could not care less about how he gets his information and comments. All I know is he spent the time to organize it and present it in a very well organized book on his web site, easy to read, and extremely helpful with lots of information that doesn't appear anywhere else or would take a huge amount of time to locate. He also helped us tremedously via many e mails. As for the hotel comments, those comments are sent voluntarily, like Zagat's restaurant guides. You don't really expect him to credit each individual who presents a comment, do you? But the main thing is, as I said, if you don't like it, don't use it, don't buy it. If you don't like Zagat's don't use it, don't buy it.

aa Sep 19th, 2002 10:40 AM

Maybe so, but I've read stuff on his site that read almost exactly like what I've seen here. And always here FIRST, his site later. Seems fishy to me.

wohooo Sep 19th, 2002 01:16 PM

I tried to get on to the site and all it does is advertize for the $10--<BR><BR>there is NO CONTINUE area to click on that he advertizes-- Are you supposed to send the $10 BEFORE you can even find the "continue" button===<BR><BR>Sort of like buying the cart before the horse

Skidoo Sep 19th, 2002 01:26 PM

Just click on anything

Nameless Sep 19th, 2002 01:34 PM

Scroll all the way down. It says "click here to continue" at the bottom underneath a picture of Einstein. Just click on the blue writing.

laurie Sep 19th, 2002 04:28 PM

I can tell you that Fred's "others have said" comments were mostly "lifted" from the AOL Paris travel board. People there take the time to write, and share, detailed trip reports with others who frequent that board. For free, I might add. He "lifts" these comments without permission and without acknowledgement. If you've read the list of comments, for any particular hotel for example, they are mostly contradictory. A huge problem is that rooms in Paris hotels vary enormously, and most people have stayed in only one room. So, to say that "rooms are tiny and dingy" or rooms are "huge and newly redecorated" is simply generalizing based upon ONE room. Fred's comments go back quite a few years, too. Many, many smaller Paris hotels renovated COMPLETELY just before World Cup - modernizing bathrooms, installing new furniture, even adding modern air conditioning. There is NO way of knowing when these people stayed in any particular hotel. Fred also visits restaurants recommended by others on the AOL Paris board, then writes as though he discovered them himself. Sometimes, he likes them, but often his experience is miserable even though everyone else was positively thrilled with the place. He shamelessly promotes a place called Cote Seine. Word is that he never receives a check there because of all the folks he has sent over the years. The place is pedestrian, and hardly the quintessential Parisien restaurant/bistro experience, unless your desire is to run into a lot of other Americans with Fred's "guide" in hand. Until Fred discovered THIS forum, and began promoting his guide here himself, FORGET FODOR's was colorfully emblazoned on the home page. To say "this is better than any book I have read" tells me this is a plant. Oh, and watch out for inaccuracies. Prices are WAY out of date, particularly since he gives them in dollars and considering the fact that the exchange rate has gone DOWN 12% or more this year. And, there is a lot of incomplete "advice". Example "leave your passport in your hotel", with no admonition to leave it in a room or hotel office SAFE. But, if you think "NEVER STAND WHEN YOU CAN SIT AND ALWAYS USE THE TOILET." is advice worth paying $10 for, go for it!<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>

Mark Sep 19th, 2002 04:31 PM

According to the disclaimer, nothing has been updated since 10/2000.

HAH Sep 19th, 2002 08:09 PM


Julie Sep 19th, 2002 09:58 PM

I used this website (and sent him te $10) and thought the information was well worth it.

Steve Sep 20th, 2002 05:08 AM

All of you Fred bashers are unbelievable. Here's a guy who spends a good deal of time helping people, supplying information in one place that would take weeks and weeks of research to find and might not be able to be found under any circumstances by the average person who doesn't know France at all, and you complain that he actually asks for a $10 donation to help with his costs for his web site. Don't you have better things to do, like helping people the way he does? I received a whole lot of information from him before I "signed up" with him, and since it's all done anonymously he has no idea if someone has contributed or not. He still helps them out by answering their e-mails and posts. Some of you actually send hateful e-mails to him? Truly not to be believed.

Ed Sep 20th, 2002 05:39 AM

Hey Steve- I'm with you. It's a terrific site and a great resource for information. That poster actually read the disclaimer? Who reads the disclaimer? He evidently uses the web site a lot if he bothered to read the disclaimer, just doesn't want to pay for it.

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