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Touristy Area of Paris

Old Apr 30th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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Touristy Area of Paris

I am looking for a hotel in Paris that will be convenient to experience all of the typical tourist sights. We are in our late 20's and want somewhere lively, but not too loud. We enjoy walking around and people watching, but want to be convenient to the Metro so we can see all of the sights. We will be staying for 4 nights and want to take in as much of Paris as possible (I know, that's a tall order).

I came across the Hotel D'Albe which seems to be in the heart of the Latin Quarter, but other reviews have said it is TOO touristy. I have also done some research on Hotel Le Six, Hotel Le Petit Paris, Hotel Lutetia and Chateau Frontenac. Our budget is as close to $250/night as possible.

Any recommendations for neighborhoods or specific hotels would be much appreciated!!
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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It really is impossible to distinguish between someone's else's "too touristy" and your "lively" so just pick one in the center of the city, not too far from the river and you'll be fine. You'll have better personal citeria for your next visit. Ask for a room that faces on a courtyard or is at the back to take care of "too loud" and don't fret too much over the choice.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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Thank you for your feedback. You are right in that one person's too touristy may be my ideal location. I guess by "too touristy" I read that the area around Hotel D'Albe is not representative of authentic Paris with the type of restaurants, souvenir shops, etc.

Which side of the river do you recommend?
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 08:45 AM
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What's convenient? If it's "walking distance" then you're SOL because Paris is larger than Chicago so you won't find any single neighborhood walkable to all sites. Learn about the numbered districts (arrondissements) in Paris. You'll be in Paris for 4 nights, so good luck with actually seeing "all of the sights." You'd really need 7+ days for that, minimum.

Get a map and start determining what you want to see most and where those things are. General concept is that any arrondissement numbered 4-7 will (1) put you close to Metro connections for anyplace in the city, (2) have sufficient dining and entertainment options, (3) and be within walking distance of some major attractions.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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First off - ALL the hotels you've researched are in good locations. Well done.

My subjective comments on the locations of each - FWIW:

Hotel D'Albe - yes, being steps from Notre Dame there will be lots of tourists in the area - so what?! YOU"RE a tourist. It is a super convenient and charming area. An excellent choice.

Hotel Le Six - Just north of Blvd Montparnasse and close to VAVin MEtro. I like this area - charming, lots of cafes and close to the park, but a little far from the river and the tourist attractions by foot (which is why a first time is going to Paris, no?!). Quickly and easily enough to Metro to places, though.

Hotel Le Petit Paris - Nice, convenient location and a little cheaper to eat in this neighborhood. Close to university. No Metro nearby but there is an RER station nearby and walking isn't too bad.

Hotel Lutetia - Great location. Charming neighborhood, easy walk to tourist sites, not too touristy an area, lots of shops cafes etc. nearby. Excellent for MEtro with three different stops on three different lines with a block or two (Saint-Sulpice, Sèvres–Babylone, and Rennes).

Hotel Chateau Frontenac - Just off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées it is convenient but is in a much more commercial area than all the others. If you you want to be there and plan to shop, then it's a good area and convenient as well. I noticed it's your only right bank choice if that says anything.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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Try the Hotel Minerve, in the Latin Quarter but slightly off the beaten track.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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The Hôtel d'Albe has always seemed like an ideal tourist place for me -- if you do not mind constant activity at all hours in the area. Since it is the sort of thing that I crave and I never ask for a "quiet" room, it might be ideal if I did not already live in Paris.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 10:51 AM
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Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback. There are so many hotels in Paris that it is overwhelming trying to choose one. I think I'm leaning towards Hotel D'Albe as it appears to be ideally situated for a first time tourist in Paris. Are there other hotels in that area that come recommended, or should I stick with what I found?

Also, is it worth paying to have breakfast in the hotel, or am I better off venturing to the cafes in the area?
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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Start with what you have already. Are you even sure any of your places have still have available rooms???
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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Breakfast in hotel: more agreeable and cheaper in a cafe.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 03:08 PM
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The Hotel d'Albe seems like a good choice; I would find that area a ilttle TOO lively, but kerouac's recommendation carries a lot of weight!

On all of our trips to Paris, starting when we were in our 20s and continuing many years later, we like staying in St. Germain. We've stayed a number of times at Hotel Le Regent, which is probably not as stylish as hotel d'Albe. But we've stayed at other hotels in that area. It's more a cafe sort of place; I think of the Latin Quarter as more of a bar sort of area, if that makes any sense. But the two areas are right next to each other, so you could easily spend time in each.

In St. Germain, there are a number of cafes on Rue de Buci between Rue de Seine and Rue Magazine/Rue Dauphine that we go to for breakfast. 100% more interesting than a hotel breakfast, and cheaper too. Even including the quick stop at the patisserie after breakfast, to get something small to try as a mid-morning snack.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 03:58 PM
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"In St. Germain, there are a number of cafes on Rue de Buci between Rue de Seine and Rue Magazine/Rue Dauphine that we go to for breakfast."

I love the pedestrian rue de Buci late in the evening, say 10pm, for a pot of mussels in a lively restaurant filled with locals and tourists. The whole place is still buzzing then. Fun people watching.
Ann Marie
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