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Paris in early December - help with hotel please

Paris in early December - help with hotel please

Nov 16th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 167
Paris in early December - help with hotel please

My wife and I are planning a 3 day trip to Paris in early December. We are in our late 30s and this is our first trip to Paris.

We have narrowed down our choice of location as St. Germain, but continue to have some brief doubts now and then (there is just too much info on the net!)

We have narrowed down to Hotel Bonaparte and D'Angleterre in St. Germain - primarily due to the reviews and recommendations on this and other message boards.

One other hotel in the right bank, however, continues to appear as a charming choice - Britannique.

Our ideal budget is e125 but can up to 150 or therebouts.

We would like to see the usual 10 or so must see sites, but would also like to stroll around and experience Paris in an unplanned sort of way.

Please help with views, suggestions. What would be particularly useful would be a description of the areas around these hotels so that we get a feel for it (from a proximity perspective, all 3 seem OK).

Any suggestions on other hotels/areas would also be welcome.

Thanks all.
ahmedhaff is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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Hi Ahmed,

We always stay at the Bonaparte.

You can tour the neighborhood by entering "61 rue Bonaparte" and "Paris" at www.pagesjaune.fr

Do you have any particular questions?

ira is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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Thanks Ira,

Bonaparte has indeed become a choice, in large measure, due to your posts!

I did go to www.pagesjaune.fr - thanks.

Couple of things : what we would like to hear is a description of what one might typically be doing around the area, its character etc.

Also, please remember that we will be going fairly cold and possibly wet weather. I would imagine that might take something away - sitting on a sidewalk cafe, watching the world go by would be out! From a weather perspective, would that area still be of choice?
ahmedhaff is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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The Danube gets rave reviews for the manager--and for its comfort in the winter months (no a/c for summer).
Underhill is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 08:52 AM
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I understand how a first trip to a city leaves a lot of questions about what area to stay in.

It looks like you've picked three hotels perfectly located for both seeing the top sights and for wandering. Even being on opposite sides of the river, they are still very close to one another and you'll end up strolling the same areas no matter which one you pick.

I've stayed at the Bonaparte and would say that both the location and room size are great. I am not going to split hairs about which of the three is better located. It's subjective anyway.

One nice thing about the Britannique is that the nearby Châtelet Metro has seven different subway lines running through it. A minor point, though.
bardo1 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Thank you so much,

I'm surprised I missed The Danube - seems like a gem - must explore more!

Though I'm not very keen on travelling on the Metro (just a personal dislike), we may well have to due to weather and the short time we have. I'd much rather walk or take a bus.

Thanks again, for the advice.
ahmedhaff is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 09:00 AM
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I know how it is to want a great hotel, especially for your first visit--but I think you are over-analyzing this thing too much. The first two hotels you name aren't that far apart, so there isn't going to be a big difference in location. It really doesn't matter that much what exactly is right next to one hotel versus another, or what is exactly across the street, things like that. Think about it from any other city -- is it really that important what is in this block versus a half block away?

I think another mistake people make is thinking everything has to be within the same block as their hotel, when they worry about what there is to do right nearby--or even within a couple blocks. You can easily go anywhere you want by public transportation and certainly can go a couple metro stops easily enough. Almost any block in central Paris is going to have some kind of restaurants and cafes and minor shops nearby, bakeries, small grocers, etc.-- you can count on that.

The other hotel is on the Right Bank and I have heard good comments about it, also. It's a very central location and on a quiet street -- would be near the Louvre and things like that on RB. It's near Chatelet metro stop, I think.

YOu don't say how these hotels fit into your ideal budget. The Britannique is a 3* and the Bonaparte only a 2*, I know that. I've heard the Bonaparte is a little plain, which is what you often get in a 2* hotel, but you probably know that. Photos can be deceiving, but the Britannique looks nicer to me than the Bonaparte in terms of room decor, etc.

The Britannique is a good location for museums, and jazz clubs. There are some jazz clubs in St Germain, of course, but I think the RB is a little better in that now. It's closer to the Marais, you could easily walk around that area from there, and is just across a bridge from Ile St Louis. You can walk to Ile St Louis from the Bonaparte, but it's a lot farther.

If it is cold and dreary, you may not want to be walking long distances but both will have places around to walk to eat and cafes. Actually, a lot of cafes do have outdoor sidewalk seating by having heaters and things, and some have large windows where you can still see the world go by, so don't rule cafes out.

I think either area would be fine for you, they both have advantages and disadvantages. The Britannique has a 10 pct off promotion in some winter periods, but that may not suit your dates (Nov 13-27 and Dec 12-25).

Christina is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 09:08 AM
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I am overwhelmed by the quick and helpful responses - you are all wonderful people - God bless you.

I must add that we are not terribly energetic travellers! we like to be a bit lazy on holiday (and therefore tend to take longer vacations - this one has just come up as a result of a business trip, so it's short). So while we are not looking for luxury, a nicer hotel does help when you come out of bed at 10 AM and are out a about close to midday! That, in fact, is my only slight reservation about Bonaparte.
ahmedhaff is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 09:15 AM
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We've stayed at the du Danube 8 or 9 times in the last 4 years and we love it. The area is so convenient..you are a short walk from the D'orsay, Tuileries, Louvre, a bit longer ( under 15 minutesa) from Notre dame a Ile d't Louis. There are numerous cafes and bistros very nearby. And we love Francois!!

Their standard rooms are quite small and it pays to book a superior, either on the courtyard or streetside. The streeetside rooms have double glazing and are quiet, especiall yn winter with the windows closed. We always go in Feb or Oct, so have not been bothered by the lack of a/c

I have a review on Trip advisor with pictures of room 15 and pictures of room 6 can be found at this site

jody is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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Everyone's got their own perception of what they expect in a hotel. I stayed at the Danube and it did not meet my expectations. I believe I'm the only one who has posted negatively about the hotel. I've read many glowing comments about its friendly, helpful manager and staff. Unfortunately, for whatever reason(s), during my and my aunt's visit for two nights last Feburary 2004, we did not experience this. I'm not asking for a staff member and/or the hotel's manager to be my pal and personal friend, but I would expect to be treated with some sort of welcome upon checking in and to feel comfortable in asking questions. Also the bathroom needed to be renovated as it was very old.

I have stayed at the Angleterre in 2002 and at that time we paid alot for a deluxe double as we were three in one room. The room was a good size but in need of renovation, same with the bathroom. However, the hotel was renovated in 2004 so the rooms (per their website) look beautiful now. Other than their strict reservation and cancellation policies I'd choose the Angleterre as it seems like the type of hotel you'd like based on your statements.

While I've never stayed at the Britannique I find the rooms overpriced.

francophile03 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 09:34 AM
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I prefer the Left Bank and would choose the Bonaparte, but there are definite advantages to the location of the Britannique.

You will be able to "watch the world go by" if you get a table at a window in a cafe.

Have you checked availability at these hotels? It's getting close to the beginning of December and they are all small hotels. You won't go wrong with any of them and if you don't love it, you'll only be there three nights and you could look around neighborhoods for a different hotel for your next trip.

I just read your post about wanting to sleep until 10:00 A.M. In that case, if you decide on a hotel in St. Germain e-mail or call and ask about noise. I was there in October and there was construction in progress right next to St. Sulpice and it was very noisy. I'm sure they start working earlier than 10:00. I'm not sure how close the hotels that you are considering are to this construction site and it also may be finished by now but do ask before you book.
Luisah is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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I can't seem to find a website for Bonaparte - I've sent emails/booking requests to others. Would anyone happen to have the web address?
ahmedhaff is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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The Bonaparte does not have a website or email. You need to call and/or fax them.
bardo1 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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The bus system is a great alternative to the metro. The busses are convenient, easy-to-use, and the above ground feature allows for continuous sightseeing. Go to the website: www.ratp.info. Play around with it and you'll be able to see bus routes and directions. I found it very helpful on our last trip to Paris.
elsiejune is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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D'Angleterre, Danube are all booked up. Britannique is available, but for e159.

So far I've got the following:

Hotel Verneuil : e135
Hotel Britannique : e159
Millesime hotel : e185
Hôtel Madison : e210

I need to close this in a day or two max - please help.

I've narrowed it down to all four as acceptable options - price favors Verneuil, but don't want to have a lesser experience for a few Euros.

Look forward to your advice.

ahmedhaff is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Ahmed, small hotel rooms in Paris are known for being quite small. The Verneuil standard rooms are not exception, as per what I've read. They are said to be very, very small. If you decide on the Verneuil, do yourself a favor and book a superior room.

Location wise, and looking at the map, the closer you get to the Latin Quarter, or the 5th, the more action you get. The closest you get to the 7th, the quieter things tend to be.

Whatever your choice is, have a great time in Paris.
Ceci is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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Another thought...if your choices are booked up...is a stay on Ile St Louis. Hotel de Lutece and Hotel Des Deux Iles are two highly rated hotels, in your (upper) price range. Location is a definite plus. Notre Dame 5 minutes away, easy access to both left and right banks, lots of restos on island and within easy walking distance, St Germain one bridge away..staying in an area that has a nice neighborhood feel.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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The Verneuil's standard double rooms are not worth the cost. I stayed in #401. The bed takes up 90% of the room and unless you don't mind being in tight quarters and don't get claustrophobic, don't bother. The bathroom, ironically, was almost as large as the bedroom and even came complete with a bidet.
francophile03 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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To add, I stayed at the Hotel de Lutece and would highly recommend either this hotel or the Hotel des Deux Iles as the Ile St. Louis is a beautiful location to stay.

But these two hotels are very popular and they book up at least six months in advance. Therefore, it would be unlikely you will get a reservation at this time unless a guest has cancelled.
francophile03 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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LOL, francophile, I am not really following you when I post about the Lutece ! It seems like a conspiracy

ahmedhaff, I agree with francophile..having stayed at the Lutece, I think it is charming and sweet and would go back again.
I have been to the Danube also, it is very nice and I do like rue Jacob and the neighborhood very much.
We have been staying at the D'Angleterre for years and I have nothing bad to say about that hotel either.
My friend recommended the Brittanique this past spring, after she stayed there in the winter, but they were booked up. It seems to be a very nice hotel in a very nice location.
Good luck!
Scarlett is offline  

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