Relais Christine or Hotel de Fleurie?

Sep 2nd, 2005, 09:28 PM
  #1  
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Relais Christine or Hotel de Fleurie?

Going to Paris in April w/husband & 12-yr-old daughter. Choosing btwn "Family room" at Fleurie & Deluxe Queen w/extra bed at Relais Christine. Fleurie is good, because it has 2 connecting rooms & 2 bathrooms. Two bathrooms is a luxury & a real time-saver in the AM. Downside is the rooms are so tiny that even w/2 we may feel claustrophobic & there's really no place in the hotel for child to wander off to.
On other hand, Relais Christine would be just 1 room (but I'm hoping to snag one of their very large rooms) and just 1 bathroom. However, the child could wander about or read in the courtyard or the Lobby (which looks large & pleasant). If we end up with a room opening up on the garden, she'll be out there all the time. Don't know if a 12-yr-old can hang out in the spa area...kinda doubt it.
So those are my thoughts at this point. Naturally the RC is more expensive, but I figure we're paying for more room to spread out in the room & on the grounds.
I'd love opinions & I'd ESPECIALLY love it if anyone can recommend specific room numbers at the RC, as it would be most reassuring if that aspect of the trip were taken care of in advance. I've read in so many places that people are given small, dark, charmless rooms, but the Front Desk is always happy to let you try another room. I mean that's great and everything, but I'd just as soon cut out the first step & arrive at a nice room on the first try.
 
Sep 2nd, 2005, 10:17 PM
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Sorry I haven't stayed at either hotel, but I have read a bit about each. The Relais Christine is really expensive--for me that is--in comparison with the Hotel de Fleurie. I doubt the rooms are that tiny at the Fleurie. You would get two separate rooms anyway so I'm sure there would be more than enough space for everyone.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 07:24 AM
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The deluxe rooms at the Relais Christine are quite large for European standards. Once we were upgraded to a loft room which had a large loft with a bed and another bedroom below...I don't know how expensive that is, but it is possible you could be upgraded depending on their capacity at the time you check in. I am a big fan of the RC...having stayed there 3 times. I especially like the large living room (lobby) with an honor bar and comfortable sofas to relax in after a day of walking all over Paris....also appreciate the free internet access with their computer off the lobby.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 11:54 AM
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The Relais Christine is a lovely hotel, but the rooms vary widely in size and charm. Even the loft rooms aren't all the roomy. And, as much as I do love the place,( mostly for its location and small size) it has an atmosphere of adults-only. I honestly can't imagine a 12-year-old feeling all that comfortable sitting by herself in the smallish lobby or courtyard.

So for all the reasons above, I'd go with the Hotel de Fleurie. I don't know why you think the rooms are tiny ( have you been there before?), but I think the family room is a really good setup--especially since it offers a seperate bedroom AND bathroom.

Have a great time!
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 11:55 AM
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Interesting-- I guess I was posting about the same time as the person above me who had an entirely different impression of the Relais Christine. Well, that's what this forum is for, right?
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 12:24 PM
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I should've mentioned that we HAVE stayed at the Fleurie (13 years ago) but it was just my husband & I. Our room faced the street, but with the triple-glazed windows closed it was silent! Our room was a Queen bed with no more than 6 inches (literally) on either side of it, and 4 feet of space at the foot of it. And that was the whole room. I mean it was a tiny room that they'd somehow managed to squoosh a bed into! But it was gorgeous & we loved it. (did I mention, that was 13 years ago?...)

I wouldn't be quite so delighted if we ended up with 2 rooms that size now. Maybe it's just me, but I like to have something other than the bed to sit down on.

Calling glsebs!!! I have a question for you. If you had to choose between a room with a terrace overlooking the courtyard or garden OR a room that led out onto the garden, which would you choose, and why? I'd love to know.

Thanks so much for everyone's input so far.
 
Sep 3rd, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Just wondered if you've thought about renting an apartment? It might meet more of your needs, and cost less money.

By the way, the "grounds" at the Relais Christine are not extensive.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the idea, Weadles. Actually I scoped out quite a few really neat apartments a while ago, but I fear I'm not the risk-taker I once was. I'm not willing to risk spending one moment of my trip anxiously trying to track down an absentee landlord to correct some maintenance issue that needs to be addressed right away; ie. water pouring down from upstairs apartment... I'm more comfortable knowing I can call the front desk & that's the end of it. I realize that the odds of something going wrong in a nice apartment are small, but hey...
 
Sep 3rd, 2005, 01:58 PM
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Some apartment owners live onsite. How often will your daughter use the garden? Can she sit in the lobby or sitting room of the Fleurie?
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Oh, about the grounds ...
Right, it looks like a compact, terribly attactive little cobblestone courtyard, with a few stone benches I believe? It doesn't need to be expansive; just a place for my daughter to wander off to when I'm reading in the room & announce that I'm tired of hearing CatDog in the background, even if it IS is French.

As for her not feeling comfortable in the lobby, I can understand why you would think that. The fact is, she's traveled quite a bit, and over the past few years she's made a habit of taking off on her own to explore. As an only child, she's accustomed to being around adults, so reading in the lobby would not be intimidating. Fact is, that sort of thing is very self-actualizing, to use a bizarro psycho-babble term.
 
Sep 3rd, 2005, 02:10 PM
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Hey - we're corresponding in real time here! How often would she use the garden? If we had a room on the garden she would NEVER be in the room. She'd be out there all the time. As for the Lobby in the Fleurie, as I recall, they really don't have one. There may be one or two chairs right there by the desk, but that's it. That's why I'd be willing to go the extra mile with RC, for the extra spaces, small tho they may be.
 
Sep 3rd, 2005, 02:35 PM
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This thread intriques me. I'm not sure I have much to offer as I don't know the Fleurie at all except from descriptions here, but I never imagined it to be anything like Relais Christine which I do know.
Christine is a really lovely very upscale hotel with elegant fine furnishings and detail. I have the impression that the Fleurie while nice, is a much more typical little three star hotel. I would think the main thing to do is not just look at the specifics of space, but ask yourself which is more important. Do you prefer nicer, more elegant hotels, or would you be just as happy at a "lower scale" one.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 02:54 PM
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Patrick you make an excellent point. I'm continually amazed when I read reviews of the Fleurie & it's described as a very basic, but clean place.

Well, everything's relative. When we stayed there in '92 our finances were different & we'd spent the prior two weeks in various TWO (or ONE?!) star hotels. (The Sorbonne comes to mind, if you know that one.) I considered the Fleurie to be a wonderful, luxurious treat. Perhaps it's gone downhill since then, or perhaps it was in the eye of the beholder. I know our bathroom was enormous w/peach marble floors & walls.
 
Sep 3rd, 2005, 03:07 PM
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As I said, I don't about know each hotel personally. And maybe I talk for myself solely, but if I had to choose between the Fleurie and Relais Christine, I'd choose the Fleurie just for the lower cost mostly.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 03:41 PM
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OK, I'm posting way too much on my own query (not productive) so I'll just make one more clarifier. I know what I'll get at the Fleurie so I won't be disappointed. But when you're paying so much more for the RC, I'm terrified (yes, you read that right) that we'll end up in one of their awful, dark, tiny, dreary rooms which I've heard so much about. And everyone says they're happy to show you another room, but in mid-April they could be booked. So I am afraid of paying a significant chunk of change & ending up in an unpleasant room. I'd appreciate it if those who are familiar w/the RC would verify if there really are these terrible rooms that I keep reading about, because if there are, it's not worth risking...not to me, anyway. OK, I'll shut up.
 
Sep 3rd, 2005, 03:52 PM
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I know that if I'm paying more than $400 for a Relais Christine room, i'd be concerned as you too. It'll be very maddening if you expect a nice room but are given a gloomy one. I wonder if you can ask the staff whether or not a certain type of room can be guaranteed. Maybe it can't be done, but sometimes it's possible. At least you would have asked.

Btw, in mid-April it could be rainy and cold. Do you still think the garden will work out? I guess the RC has a larger indoor public area than the Fleurie so I guess your daughter could sit there. If there is a working fireplace in the sitting area that would be nice too.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 04:34 PM
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I apologize for posting so much on this thread, but unfortunately, you're right to worry about getting a gloomy room at Relais Christine for $400/night, and if the hotel is booked mid-April ( and why wouldn't it be in the height of the tourist season?) it might be very hard to even request a look at a second room in the hotel.

Our experiences ( 4 times at Relais Christine) were that specific room requests could not be made at the time of booking. Twice we were shown rooms that were TINY, overlooking the street, and frankly not much nicer than a glorified Holiday Inn. Once, in August,we were upgraded to the above-mentioned one bedroom loft, and once we had a lovely if smallish room overlooking the garden. But let's remember that this is Paris, where even for a sizeable amount of money, you may not land a huge room!

My point about your daughter going to read in the lobby is that while she may be a delightful kid, she may feel unwelcome there. AHA, I've said it. I'm only throwing this out to you as the mom of two relatively well-behaved and well-travelled kids, who have learned that many times upscale hotels really don't appreciate having them around in a mostly adult- oriented hotel.

I think this would be much less of an issue at Hotel de Fleurie, or many others in Paris.

Anyway, good luck!
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 04:59 PM
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I see what Weadles is saying too. I think of the Relais Christine as a boutique hotel, more for adult clientele than for families. Of course, the Hotel de Fleurie caters to both.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 05:38 PM
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Hey Weadles don't apologize. I appreciate your input! I must ask why you kept returning to the RC after such bad experiences? (I'm not asking in a wise-ass way. I'm wondering if staying in a bad room there is still better than staying elsewhere?) Also, do you know what room TYPE the bad ones were? I think they are Standard, Superior, Deluxe, followed by Deluxe Lofts & Suites.
 
Sep 3rd, 2005, 05:55 PM
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My daughter loved the Relais Christine at 10, at 12, and in July of this year as a 16 year old. I am sure that your daughter would also love it,and that you'd be comfortable with her leaving the room and using the lobby to read, or to be on the free computer off the lobby. (they don't post a time limit, but us travelers trying to check home and office e-mails hope for a reasonable usage, of course.) If the weather is good, the courtyard is pleasant, but know that there's only one round table with a couple of seats. (although this year we ended up with a mini-picnic in the courtyard, the 4 of us - a niece was traveling with us - and the bellman, who was a real sweetie, brought us a small upholstery & wood chair to augment!)

We find the service to be special, the location to be terrific, love the breakfast area in the cellar (the gorgeous tan stone), and have our favorite rooms which we stumbled on during our first trip: #1, which boasts a good size foyer with double doors that open directly onto the courtyard, giving us our own private entrance. It's a pretty good size, especially for Paris, but I will admit that this year's renovation did give it quite dark walls. These are balanced with lots of lights in the ceiling, reading lights attached to the headboard, etc. It's room #1 (plenty of room, king bed, desk area, toilet separated from nice sized bath, closet with mini-fridge, and the separate good sized foyer.) We also splurge and get the adjoining room #2 (this is why I still work - someday I won't be able to afford it, but at this point we can.) #2 is smaller, but comfortably holds 2 twin beds, nice bath area, 2 large windows onto the courtyard, lighter in tone than #1. They connect via the large foyer. (On our first trip, my mother was with us - she tends to rise by 5am - we actually carried a comfortable chair and end table into the foyer, and she had a reading room without disturbing our daughter.)
I meant to ask to see other rooms this year when we were there - but, Paris was waiting, and there was no time. Plus, I am sure they were full, so might not have been able to see any regardless. Sorry I can't be of help, but I do think very highly of the staff, and of course e-mail is so popular these days with hotels over there for communicating. I may be wrong, but I really think that you could e-mail a room request, and just state your preference and your worries, and get a good room assignment. I have always found that it's the times I didn't remember to ask that I might end up with poor accommodations. Really, it's a superb hotel!
Hope this helps.
Jo Ann
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