If you have a happy hotel story, please let me know? I’ve been browsing the internet on several sites like www.myhotelinparis.com and perusing old copies of Travel Smart Newsletter and then I start reading the hotel reviews atwww.tripadvisor.com. Whew! There seems to be a huge difference between hotel write-ups and reviews by people who have actually stayed at some of these gems.
Two cases in point: I was fascinated by Travel Smart review (this one dates back aways) by Parisian ‘expert’ Karl Weiss. He was asked to pick his favorites for cleanliness, comfort and excellent value.
He chose two that sounded really good to me – Grand Hotel de Champagne, 3 -star, near the Louvre and Hotel Saint-Merry, also 3-star near Centre Pompidou. Both hotels are thick with history, the Grand Hotel de Champagne according to Weiss has sections that date back to the 16th century. It housed the royal family’s silversmiths.
The Hotel Saint Merry adjoins the St. Merry Church. Its owner has tried to reflect the Gothic style of the church in the hotel’s interior.
Both hotels sounded kind of quirky and steeped in history – not to mention great locations. But what the reviewers tended to agree upon was that the rooms of both of these hotels tended to be cramped. The bottom line is – are you willing to give up a little elbow room for some atmosphere?
As I mentioned in my earlier post today, if you’re looking for elbow room, check into some of the larger hotel chains on the periphery of Paris.
Maybe I am biased, but I really think you get ‘more for your money’ if you’ll excuse this crude expression by staying on the Left Bank. But then, what about the romance of staying on Ile St. Louis, or the Marais? Ah decisions, decisions. Here’s the deciding factor – if size of a room is not an issue for you – and you appreciate the thrill of sleeping in historic amplitude – and if your time in Paris is short, choosing the Right Bank might be just right for you. You wont’ lose valuable time taking buses, Metros or taxis to get to the museums and monuments you want to see. If you plan on staying in Paris for a longer stayer and tend towards claustrophobia – you might want to consider expanding your search.
If you are reading this post and you have been happy with your Paris hotel, by all means, please leave a comment. Clearly, the perfect Paris hotel is not so easily unearthed. One person’s ‘bijoux’ is another person’s crackerjack box.