This updated hotel in a Haussmann-era building facing historic Gare de l'Est is only two blocks from the Gare du Nord and the popular Canal St-Martin district. There's a contemporary vibe to this establishment, which prides itself on around-the-clock reception service—which can be inconsistent—and free Wi-Fi access.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The area around the train stations has not always been the most savory, but since the renovations of both Gares de l'Est and du Nord, efforts have been made to make the neighborhood safer, quieter, and more resident friendly.
A recent spruce up has added brightness to most of the rooms, which are small and streamlined, with all the basic amenities, including safe, minibar, flat-screen TV, and a kettle. Some higher-floor rooms have small balconies that afford views to the Gare de l'Est and over the Paris rooftops or the quiet inner courtyard. In warmer weather, reserve a room overlooking the inner patio. They're sheltered from the bustling station and more serene.
The hotel's placement above a metro station is problematic for those who would prefer perfect quiet. Double-glazing does help with some street noise, but interior walls could be thicker.
Tiled baths are clean and contemporary, if a little hospitalesque, with heated towel racks and wall-mounted blow-dryers.
The bright, contemporary lobby and reception area's computer tables and lounge areas lend themselves to working or hanging out with a book and a coffee, which is offered throughout the day.
The café-style breakfast room off the lobby is where you'll enjoy a buffet breakfast, of pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, and all the basics.
You can always pop over to a café or even the Monop, in the same building, for a nice selection of smoothies, groceries, and French prepared foods for breakfast, or any meal, on the fly (or in your room).
The métro station right across the street is convenient, with direct lines to Notre-Dame, the Latin Quarter, and other points of interest. Take the RER B direct to both airports. It's just a five-minute walk to the Gare du Nord, home of the Eurostar to London.
The popular Chez Michel (about a 5-10 minute walk) is one of Paris's best Breton restaurants and always a good bet for a high-quality menu of fish and seafood dishes as well as hearty meat dishes. For something a little less pricey and more casual, Chez Casimir, next door, by the same owners, is also a good bet. You can also head over to the Canal St-Martin, about 10-15 minutes on foot, where the Rue des Vinaigriers is now foodie central, lined with interesting bistros, wine, bars, Asian food, pastry shops, and the like.
The historic Alsatian Brasserie Flo, opened in 1871, is an atmospheric place to settle in for a beer or glass of Reisling. Gare du Nord's lively Café du Nord bistro is a great place for a drink and some people watching. At the nearby Canal St-Martin you'll find tons of lively bars, like Chez Prune, right next to the canal, or the popular Comptoir Général, or La Caravane, near République.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Reasonably priced, clean, modern, and in a great neighborhood for exploring, this hotel is not always consistent, and does have some noise issues, but higher floor rooms away from the elevators seem to be a very good bargain.