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Time to choose Paris accomodations...please chime in

Time to choose Paris accomodations...please chime in

Oct 9th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
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Time to choose Paris accomodations...please chime in

I know the whole hotel vs apartment thing has been debated to death (and I've avidly read almost every post on it over the last year) but I'm still struggling with the decision and it's crunch time since we've decided to go this May (after considering China for about a day and then deciding to on Paris instead!)

We've decided we definitely want to stay in the Marias and have narrowed down the choice between one hotel and one apartment and I'd love to hear arguments supporting either side, specifically from those of you who have experience with this hotel or this apartment, but also in general.

The decision is between Hotel Jeanne D'Arc, 3, rue de Jarente at 84E per night and this apartment: http://www.rentparis.com/details.php?l=en&id=35 at 10 Rue Simon Le Franc for 105E per night.

We will be in Paris for 9 nights in May. This is my second time to Paris and the first time for DH. Niether of us speak more than a few words of French. The hotel is less expensive, was highly recommended by a few folks here on Fodors (although Trip advisor only has 2 reviews, one giving it a 5 and one giving it a 1!)and we like the idea of having help available for things like restaurant reservations and directions etc. Although I'm not even sure that a 2 star hotel would be willing to help with those things.

The apartment was also highly recommended here on Fodors and we like the idea of having space to spread out a bit and relax but are a bit hesistant about being totally on our own. And for 9 nights, the cost is 180E (over $250) more for the apatment. We can afford it, but are undecided.

As always, I know the decision is ours but it's helpful to hear all of your opinions and arguments pro and cons so please do take the time to chime in. Thanks!
plafield is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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I suggest you consider taking some French lessons between now and then and perhaps you'd feel more comfortable staying in the apartment. The other idea is to stay in the hotel for maybe 2 nights and then have a week in the apt. or split the trip if the apt. will allow it. Btw, there are plenty of reviews of the hotel here

mclaurie is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 10:52 AM
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<<we like the idea of having help available for things like restaurant reservations and directions etc. Although I'm not even sure that a 2 star hotel would be willing to help with those things.>>

I'm sure they would be as happy to help as staff in a three or four star hotel.

Have a great time whichever option you choose.
Luisah is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Thanks for that link mclaurie. The reviews are pretty much what I expected. The hotel is in a fabulous location but it can be noisy and the rooms are small and a bit worn. I like that everyone says the staff are all extremely friendly and helpful. All agree it's a great value.

It's just deciding if we want to spend a little extra to have more of a "home" but be totally on our own for 9 days in Paris. It's a tough choice!

Keep those opinions coming please.
plafield is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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If you do go for an apartment, you can do something like take Paris Walks or visit English-language bookstores if you want to meet up with other English speakers.

I can't imagine that you will find restaurant reservations to be that difficult, because almost certainly the staff member will speak enough English to manage. If not, you can arrive at the restaurant early in your stay to make a reservation in person for later in your stay.

Personally I do like hotels, but I can also see the attraction of an apartment, especially one like you've chosen.
WillTravel is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 11:27 AM
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You can also go to English-language drama - we went to a couple such shows in Paris.
WillTravel is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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I much prefer hotels over apartments, because I DO use the help of the front desk staff. A 2-star hotel will just as likely be willing as a 4-star hotel.
suze is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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The apartment looks good (provided the lift is operational) but is in a tacky area; Paris at it's worst if you are an adult. The nearest metro will get you nowhere you want to go, but you are about 4 blocks fron the #1 line. The hotel is on a fine street and in a much better area.
oakglen is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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First, if you haven't checked for availability at Jean d'arc I would do so now. This is an extremely popular boutique hotel and books up a year in advance.

We started choosing apartments over hotels a few years ago and can't imagine going back to hotels, except for a few days at a time. A week or more--apartment only.

For one thing, a nice apartment (not a studio--a separate bedroom is a must for us) is much more relaxing than a single room. A fridge and microwave lets us bring home goodies and nosh when we wish.

If we want to sleep in, we don't have to worry about the maid knocking on the door.

If one of us wants to watch tv or read and one wants to nap we can do so without disturbing each other.

Finally, I have always found the apartment to be less expensive then the two or three star hotels we used.
MelJ is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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Thanks oakglen. That's very helpful info. What do you mean by tacky?
plafield is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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I've never stayed in a 2-3* hotel where the front desk staff wouldn't make simple reservations for you. I wouldn't expect them to do what a concierge would do, which might be to get you some special tickets or reservations in some top spot where they are difficult, but they should call up a place if you give them the name and phone number. Of course they will call taxis for you, etc.

I've never found an apt. as cheap as the nice 2-3* hotels I stay in, for the same quality of comfort and accommodations and location. I don't stay in places that cost nearly $200 a night, either. It's not surprising they would be more expensive, as apts. are supposed to give you more, of course. I like to travel in summer, also, and it is difficult to find any that are AC at decent prices.

IN any case, that apt is on a street I would never stay on, either. I don't know if it's Paris at its worst of tackiness (that might be around metro St Michel and rue de la Huchette, in my opinion), but maybe it's the Right Bank version of that. It's just off the Pompidou museum area. I don't know that exact street, they all run together to me over there as I don't hang around there a lot -- but tacky generally means tons of tourists, loads of cheap fast food and souvenir shops, vendors hawking stuff to tourists, etc. I mean tourists in droves like around St Michel, so they take up the whole sidewalk and that's all there is.

It's like that over around the Pompidou center, also, and Les Halles, but I'm not positive about that one particular street myself, but maybe oakglen is.

Christina is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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"we like the idea of having help available for things like restaurant reservations and directions etc. Although I'm not even sure that a 2 star hotel would be willing to help with those things."
Hi, plafield, I stayed at the Jeanne d'Arc in 2003 and can state unequivocably that this gem of a 2-star will make reservations for you!

As for my 2 cents, the only reason I'd rather stay in a hotel is because I don't want to clean up after myself. I'm on vacation for goodness sakes! I clean year-round after myself, after other people and a real vacation for me means not having to do that!
Beatchick is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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I've just been thru this myself, for a trip next April. We're spending over a week in the Dordogne, then another week in Paris, all on a pretty low budget.

I discovered that apartments in Paris usually want a high 'damage' deposit (hundreds to thousands of euros), plus a 25-50% rental deposit to hold the place, and then the balance is due several months before you go. And if you need to cancel for any reason, part or all of the regular deposit is non-refundable. This might not be a big deal to some people, but my wallet just isn't that big.

While I would love the extra room and kitchen of an apartment, the convenience and cost savings of the hotel will suffice this time. And with a hotel there's little or no penalty for cancelling even a week before, and if we really hate it, we can move to another place.
KateIP is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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I don't believe the area around the apartment is tacky, or Paris at its worst. I stayed a few blocks farther north in another RentParis apartment and liked the neighborhood.

It is on the Marais side of the Pompidou Center, a block or two away from the lovely food shops on rue Rambuteau and just a block or two farther from the rue des Francs Bourgeois and its fun shops.

Lots of nice things in the immediate area, and the area around the Pompidou Center is lively.

The only thing I noticed about the apartment that I didn't like is that the bed is pushed up against one wall.

As for cleaning, I have never found that we get an apartment so dirty or messy that cleaning is ever an issue on vacation. If I make the bed, that's as much cleaning as I have done.
Nikki is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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I hadn't noticed the video and the still photos don't really show the bed to well, but the video does (but you have to freeze the frame it goes by so quickly). I agree, I hate beds for 2 against a wall and frankly that bed doesn't even look like a double size, let alone a queen. Looks too small to me.
mclaurie is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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The main advantage in having an apartment for me was having a coffee maker...black coffee in the morning whenever I wanted without sitting down at a cafe. Along with a baggette from a local bakery and jam and butter for breakfast.
kasialouise is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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Just thought I'd let you all know we decided to stay at Hotel Jeanne d'Arc. It seems that the location is truly fabulous for the Marias and we couldn't find a decent apartment for anywhere near the price (84E a night!)We're booked for 10 nights in early May.

10 nights is a long time to stay in one place and hopefully we'll have a fairly quiet room. Reviews do say that some of the rooms are a bit noisy if windows are open but also say that the staff are all wonderfully helpful so I imagine they will be able to move us at some point if there is a real problem with the room.

The money we'll save will pay for a fabulous meal and we'll have the comfort of helpful folks to help us out with restaurant reservations etc.
plafield is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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There are plenty of restaurants within a fairly easy walk of the Jeanne d'Arc, including a couple literally round the corner in the place Ste Catherine. From what I recall, there's a rather chi-chi bistro which was quite fun.
PatrickLondon is offline  
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