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School group (n = 40) searches for cheap hotels in Paris and Rome

School group (n = 40) searches for cheap hotels in Paris and Rome

Old Oct 9th, 2009, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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kybourbon - I agree. Eurocheapo simply presents a lot of info on many inexpensive, vetted lodgings that can be sorted many different ways (kind of like ITA).

It's ALWAYS best to deal with and book directly with the property.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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Let's Go France and Let's Go Europe IMO are super good sources for info on hostels, youth hotels and similar accommodations for groups. At any major library and in any major bookstore - they give the run down on literally hundreds of hostels and budget hotels, etc.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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In Rome, I think you can find quads with private baths in convents for the same price you would end up paying in hostels for dorms with shared baths.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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teachercanada you are at it again! Your Egypt trip with your students earlier this year was quite something. Paris and Rome should be a piece of cake for you. Best of luck! (Anyone who wants an inspiring trip report should just click on her user name.)
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 05:42 PM
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I would contact the tourist office in each city and ask them to reco very modest hotels with decent locations that might have so many rooms available. Also - you should realize that most rooms in europe hold only 2 people - those with beds for 4 are few and far between in modest hotels. I can;t imagine there are many that would have 10 double double rooms.

You may want to consider taking entire dorm rooms in hostels - which would help with the security issue.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 05:54 PM
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Wow, what a wonderful response from so many great Fodorites. Thanks everyone for sharing your suggestions, thoughts and experiences.

I think I will focus on the Paris accommodation aspect of our trip first.

RedBalloon - I have checked out the website for BVJ and it looks very appealing. Both locations look terrific. The price seems on target and some meals can be purchased on site.

bardo 1 - thanks for the link to eurocheapo. There appear to be some good prospects for us in the Marais.

CarolA - the FIAP is a place I had already heard of. It is not as centrally located as I would like - but the price is good when one considers that breakfast and dinner are included.

pauljagman - an interesting comment you make about the willingness of travel agents to assist with the "fine tuning" aspect of accommodations. Nearly every travel agency we have ever worked with has tried to direct us to higher star hotels. They do this for the right reasons, I'm sure. They want the travellers to be happy and comfortable. They also like to say they deal with 3* and 4* hotels which provide a higher level of security etc. I am not sure if they make any more money from us if the cost of accommodation is higher. I don't think so. One of my goals is to introduce my students to hostelling so that when they return to Europe on their own, it is second nature to them. They likely won't be staying in expensive hotels if they return. Your second comment (where you wish us well) is welcome. Travelling with 40 teenagers has exciting moments, but I love it! We sometimes have more challenges keeping the chaperones in line than the youth.

Palenque - how nice to respond to you after reading your posts for 4 years. The website for MIJE is quite appealing and I was putting it near the top of the list. Great location, good rates. Just about an hour ago I was chatting with a fellow teacher who had actually taken a large school group to Paris last year (he was teaching at the AFNORTH school in the Netherlands at the time) and they stayed at the MIJE. He thought it was ideal for our purposes (great reviews too). We will definitely do some more research into MIJE. I am familiar with Let's Go France and Let's Go Europe from previous trip planning. I agree they are a great resource.

kybourbon - what a great set of links for information on the monastery option. It looks like we will have lots of choice. I can't seem to find any monasteries in Paris, but that's ok since we now have some wonderful hostel options.

StCirq - I am tickled that you would respond to my question. I have followed your posts for years. The FUAJ website does offer myriad ideas and I am glad you mentioned it. I will need to spend time to digest all the options available on that site alone.

laurie_ann - you flatter me. Egypt was a wonderful trip, but Europe presents a very different social milieu for younger travellers. I've had the pleasure of visiting Paris numerous times, but Rome will be all new to me. That's why I just love this message board. I know I will get wonderful advice from thoughtful, caring, experienced travellers. By the way, I am a he, not a she. I never thought I wrote with a feminine style, thanks for the compliment.

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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 05:50 AM
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kybourbon - Our posts crossed last night. You are very correct. There are not many hotels that cater to the four to a room option we would like. We have in the past stayed in hostels with 6 or 8, even 10 to a room. I prefer this option because it brings the group together for the experience (rather than breaking them up into groups of 2, 3 or 4. It is also a plus for the security aspect because each student will look after the others. We would never agree to share accommodations (rooms) with other groups or strangers. Thanks again for your input.

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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 06:58 AM
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I've traveled with groups and prefer less in a room than more. In my experience, the more people you put in a room, the less sleep they get. Peer pressure to stay up all night seems to increase with the higher numbers. Lack of sleep results in sullen, cranky teens. I've also found it good to change roommates every time you change locations (more so with girls than guys). Some convents have shared bathrooms while others have private bath. Most hostels will be shared.

You will find many of the cheaper suggestions on eurocheapo and other sites are not large enough for a group of 40 which is why many student groups stay further out of the center. Adult tours are willing to pay more and are usually more centrally located. That's why I thought the convent option might work better since there are many low-priced and central.

I'm not sure of the entrance fees for student groups from outside the EU for museums in Rome. Most discounts I see for Rome say they are for EU. If you can't get student discounts, I suggest getting the Roma Pass which is 23€. It's good for three days and gets you two free admissions with discounts at others and a 3 day transportation card (good for metro/bus/trams/local trains). It also includes (new this year) some medical assistance. Best value use of the pass is Colosseum/Palantine/Forum (counts as one entrance) and the Borghese (reservation required). These two will just about equal the price of the pass. The transport pass is not good for the trains to the airport.

There is also just a transport pass available for three days and is 11€.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 07:24 AM
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While staying at the Etap on Rue Dr. Babinski, Montmartre area, I have seen several large groups come and go. The rates are about 55-60Euro per room, which can sleep 3. Two on the large bed and one on the top bunk. The toilet/shower is ensuite. The hotelformule1 is about 10 Euro cheaper per room, but the toilet and shower is down the hall. They are beside each other. The bus is about a 8 minute walk and the metro is about 10 minutes. Metro stop name is Saint Ouen, I believe.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 01:05 PM
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Thank you again kybourbon. Your advice is spot on about travelling with teens. I appreciate the advice about the Roma pass. It sounds like an excellent deal.

jkbritt - Thanks for your suggestion. I have never heard of these options. I will investigate and add them to this wonderful list of possible accommodations.

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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 01:08 PM
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They are french hotel chains and are not widely known in US.
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Old Oct 12th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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jkbritt - I have looked at the website for hotelformule1 and they offer a variety of choices. The prices seem good. Most are near the perifique which is not ideal for us. We would have to travel everywhere by transit, rather than walking. You can imagine the chapeones concern when we try to get 40 teenagers onto one metro car (and get all of them off at the right station). We've never lost a student yet - but it is a moment for concern. Thanks again for your great ideas. We will give all of them serious consideration.

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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 05:44 AM
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You will have to ride the metro anyway. The stop is about a 10-12 minute walk. There are also Etap's and Ibis's closer in, but they cost a bit more.
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 08:55 AM
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It is true you'll have to ride the metro anyway, I would prefer the Formule1 location at Porte Chatillon, myself. I don't think it is that far to a metro stop and they have a tram running now down there which is nice. I just like that area a lot better than Porte St Ouen.

Here is one place we mentioned on another thread, but I thin it would actually be perfect in your situation, although not some others:

This place has a lot of rooms and the quads are in your price range, and it even has some quints. It is sort of like a hostel, also, and has a super location near Notre Dame and the Latin Qtr.
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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jkbritt - Thanks once more for your thoughts. You are quite correct about needing to use the Metro. We have certainly needed in some of our past trips. The benefit for us if we stay close to the central area is the atmosphere. If we were downtown, we could easily take an impromptu walk along the Seine, walk past Notre Dame at various times of the day, walk to the Louvre etc. Everyone says (and I agree), Paris is best discovered by walking.

Christina - What a fantastic location. I viewed the website and I am very impressed. The prices look very reasonable. The accommodation is not sumptuous, but that is not what we are looking for. It looks very safe and secure. Thank you for this great lead.

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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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hi teach,

nice to be in at the ground floor of one of your [in]famous trips.


when I saw that you were going to Rome in March 2011, thinking it wouldn't be too busy, i went to check the date of easter 2011. whew. it's 24th April. plenty of time for you to escape before the hoards arrive. you don't want to be in rome in the week before easter.

regards, ann
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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Hello teacher,

My daughter staye here when she did a study abroad in Paris:

They have 200 rooms and 500 beds. Rates range from 36€ per person for 5-6/room to 60€ for an individual room. Almost everyone who stays there is a student, although I stayed there for a couple nights one time with my daughter.

It's out in the 14th (which I like but some people would think is a bit far from tourist sites) so you'd have to take the Metro. But it's reasonably priced and my daughter had a lot of fun staying there.
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 07:43 PM
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annhig - Thanks for your thoughtfulness. If you consider this stage to be the ground floor - I'll keep Fodor's posted on how the first, second, third, etc. floors progress. I appreciate your enthusiasm and your quest to keep me from the hoards of faithful who flock to the center of the Roman Catholic world at Easter. I have actually asked a few of the travel agents who are bidding for our business to include a short private audience with his Holiness on the Thurday we will be in Rome. Most agents ignored the request, but one explained the Pope meets with the public only on Wednesdays - and only up to about 25 people. I suggested to him we would change our itinerary if he could use his influence to get us in to see him. I would practice my ring kissing if needed. I think we would even settle for a bunch of Cardinals if the Pope was out of town. Really we just want to get a few pics from his balcony. I don't think it's going to pan out for us! We had already checked the date for Easter 2011 and knew we would be in a lower demand tourist season. On a side note, in March 2005, we were in Egypt and on Easter Sunday visited a room in a church (near the Hanging Church) where Joseph, Mary and a 12 year old Jesus were reputed to have stayed for a week while they were travelling in Egypt. It was a powerful moment for many of our group, including me.

Shanti - Thank you for your reply. Indeed the FIAP is well respected and offers an excellent product. The price is good when one considers that breakfast and dinner are included. We have added it to our list for further exploration. It is always nice to hear from someone who has personal experience at lower-priced accommodations. Thank you again.

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Old Oct 15th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Our high school kids went to Europe many times, here is there BLOG, perhaps you can glean some tips
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Old Oct 15th, 2009, 07:51 AM
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My son and I stayed at MIJE in Marais while visiting Paris. The rooms were extremely clean and even though it was a bit of a metro ride into the city, it was very close to the metro stop. They DO close at 1 a.m. so staying out really late would be an issue, but otherwise, we were extremely happy with our accommodations. They also allowed us to store our luggage since we arrived early. They do close everyday I believe between 12-3 pm for cleaning. Breakfast was also served in the morning, although it was very basic and blahhhh. Nice cafes in the Marais area though. I think it would be a great choice for a group of teens. Nice courtyard with tables/chairs for group get-togethers. Enough room for your entire group to hang out. I did alot of research before arriving in Paris and this hostel (along with the others of the same name, just different locations) seemed to be the best bang for our buck (or euro)!
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