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Paris Hotel and Experience with age 80+ parents' comfort in mind


I am bringing my elderly (75+) parents to sightsee in Paris for four days. Walking is difficult for one parent so I would like to be in a centrally located area like Rue Cler or another pedestrian friendly place. They are interested in seeing the usual tourist destinations (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Napolean's tomb, Sacre-Coeur, Louvre, etc). Has anyone had this experience? Where did you stay? Do you have any tips on how to navigate or access places with a handicapped individual?

Thank you for any information!

Posted by
8425 posts

In your position I would search, ( or your favorite search site) and filter for A/C and elevators, and your desired locale. Getting adjoining rooms is something to discuss with the hotel when you have narrowed your choices

Good luck

Posted by
897 posts

For elderly parents, I would use an American chain such as Marriott or Hilton that is going to have an elevator and will explicitly say on its website whether they have connecting rooms or not.

Posted by
4939 posts

How elderly? I know most people would consider us elderly (they just don't know us very well!), and we would vastly prefer a Rue Cler or Latin Quarter hotel to any Marriott or Hilton.

You might try to decide before you go searching what features are important or necessary. Some of us old fogies can still climb stairs and carry our own bags, as well as walk to the Metro station. And we love seeing how the hotels differ from what we encounter in the states.

But people have different needs and preferences, so make a list. And ASK your parents what they prefer.

Edit to add: Thanks for modifying your post. It's more clear now what kind of problems you might face.


Posted by
7494 posts

I would not stay in an American chain hotel in Paris either and I am a senior! I would stay in the 5th, 6th or 7th arrondisrment.

Posted by
5697 posts

For four days and walking difficulties, I would count on using taxis between sites. (Turning 75 this year and now accepting that a taxi is a reasonable alternative to long walks.)

Have always stayed in the 4th, 5th or 6th arrondissements -- if a hotel listing does not mention a lift, that hotel does not have one.

Note that Arc de Triomphe can easily be seen from the outside but requires an elevator (provided for seniors/ handicapped) PLUS one flight of narrow stairs to be able to access the excellent view from the top.

Posted by
239 posts

Rue Cler isn't really central. I'd recommend staying in the 4th, 5th, or 6th.

Posted by
737 posts

Columbidaesway, how limited is your parent’s mobility? Does s/he normally use a walker and will you be bringing one to Paris? Or is a wheelchair preferred? Can your parent walk up and down inclines or manage a few steps here and there, including curbs? We could be more specific if we knew a bit more. Also when are you traveling?

Posted by
7494 posts

Hiring a guide who can provide ideas for better access to the historic sites may be helpful.

Posted by
4211 posts

I agree that Rue Cler is not central. I always stay in the Latin Quarter (5th). It's easy walking distance to many places and close to the metro. What time of year?

Posted by
461 posts

I have had an idea for a couple of years that there is a need for an elder/mobility challenged travel guide sort of a supplement to typical guides like RS’s. Giving tips tricks and reviews on how to best access various locations with minimal difficulty for those that have mobility issues. But I have no real idea how to start it...

I will give you some of my experience having been in Paris the last two years with my elder father (age 86 and 87 on the two trips).

First off be advised that France and Paris have nothing like the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and accessibility is MUCH harder then is typical over here. Be it in a Building or on public transportation. So Taxi Cabs will be your friend.
As noted elsewhere if a hotel does not say it has an Elevator it most likely does not. But feel free to contact them and ask. I found one really old hotel (built at the time of the construction of the Eiffel Tower) that had a hotel but did not list it, and the same thing for a hotel in Avignon). If you let the manager know you have elderly they will tell you what you need to know. Just contact them directly. They pretty much all have someone that can speak English if you don’t speak French. We stayed in a hotel that had a bit of a view of the top of the Eiffel Tower from our room. It was little and tucked into the roof line but it had a tiny elevator. Most older hotels have really small elevators so you may have to send one person up then send the luggage up on its own..

My other piece of advice is to have your parents doctor write out on a prescription type official looking pad any major health issues your parents may have. (One for each of your parents) then put this into a ziplock back (one bag per parent). This is useful for two things. If (heaven forbid) something happens you can show it to the medical personnel and spread up treatment. But it is also useful to gain access to entrances and services that otherwise are difficult or impossible to access.
For instance at Versailles if you don’t have this you enter on the right with a typically long(ish) line and pay (I think) about 35€.
With this we used the entrance on the left of the courtyard and had no line. They actually read the whole paper and then let my father in and I was allowed to go with him (as I understand it one person as an escort per person that has mobility issues). This got us in faster and we got access to the elevator(s). Also this entrance was free thus saving us a noticeable amount.
We then took this amount and rented a golf cart to travel around the gardens.
We has similar situations at other locations as well.

Also remember to check insurance, I personally would not travel to Europe with elderly parents with out medical repatriation insurance (not cheep) but that is up to you and your folks.

So you will need to do a LOT of research as the information is not readily available (at least it was not a year or two ago when I was planning). But you can find it and your parents can have a great trip. My two trips to Europe with my father are some of the greatest memories I have. And now that he has a bone marrow issue and can no longer travel due to weekly treatments I am EVER so great full we went when we did. I just wish we had gone sooner

Posted by
783 posts

The George Cinq has an elevator and is centrally located. It a Four Seasons property and used to Americans. I'm sure your parents would be well treated there.

Posted by
2870 posts

I don’t think of Rue Cler as being very central. You’d be near the Eiffel Tower and that is about it. I’d stay near the Louvre. I suggest Hotel de la Tamise. I do not know your budget but I think you will love it. I do not know if they have adjoining/connecting rooms. Note Montmartre is hilly and may be tough for the parent with walking difficulty but that is what taxis and Uber’s are for. Could you give a little more detail about the difficulty walking? To me, based on my own father and father-in-law, there is a big difference between “walking is difficult” and handicapped. Do you need an accessible room? Will you need a wheelchair? We needed a wheelchair for my father-in-law. My father had difficulty walking but a cane, limited stairs, and frequent rest was what he needed on trips. If you let us know your budget, travel dates, and whether you need an accessible room, I may have other suggestions.
For getting around town, buses will usually be better than the metro.

Posted by
826 posts

Please note that just because a lift/elevator is in the hotel description, it doesn’t mean the lift goes to every floor. Or that stairs aren’t required just to get INTO the hotel. If this is an issue, be sure to contact the hotel and ask specifically about stairs. Especially in older hotels.

We did a lot of searching for adjoining rooms and found that they are available. On, search for two rooms for 4 people, and in the filter mark Elevator. You then need to look through the results for Adjoining Rooms. I wish there was a filter for that.

I almost booked Hotel Residence des Artes for our group of 4, but ended up booking an apartment. It might suit your group. It’s very central, close to metro and RER lines and taxis.

The sites you mention are very spread out, so no hotel will be central to them all. Just be ready to take taxis. I would be looking for a neighborhood that has lots to offer in itself. Then decide do you want a modern feel, or old world feel with modern conveniences. Prepare for rooms (and bathrooms) to be VERY small. Look at pictures very carefully, and note room sizes. Read reviews carefully. I found 110/115 sq feet very common.

Google Earth is great for getting a “feel” for a neighborhood.

Posted by
737 posts

So many good suggestions here, yet until we know more about the one parents mobility, it’s difficult to know what’s best.

One of the recurring ideas is that it may be advisable to take taxis to the sights. If that is the case, then central location may be relative.

The OP originally mentioned the Rue Cler area. Hôtel Relais Bosquet, which some of us know through Rick Steves, has a step free entry and two handicap accessible rooms on the entry level in the courtyard. They also have two adjoining double rooms elsewhere in the hotel reached by elevator, in case the parent can use a regular room.

Many of us know from experience how flat this area is, and the Rue Cler pedestrian market street is a half block from the hotel. I brought a friend of mine in her early eighties to stay in this area about 5 years ago and she appreciated the calmness of the neighborhood in the evening. She felt less self-conscious walking at her own speed.

Edited to add I was just using the Citymapper app for Paris and noticed that they identify which buses and stops are accessible!

Posted by
4822 posts

I’ve actually stayed in one of the step free rooms at the Hotel Relais Bosquet. It was large by any standards and very nice. Just a few steps to the breakfast room and lobby. I agree that this might be a pleasant neighborhood for your parents and that you will be using taxis.

Posted by
4939 posts

If you do find a hotel with an elevator, be sure to ask how big it is. Our favorite Paris hotel has an elevator, but I don't think a wheelchair would fit in it. I'm sure even if the wheelchair did fit, the person's companion would not.

We haven't stayed at the Relais Bosquet, but we know and like the area. It sounds like a good option.

Posted by
4674 posts

If your parent is a wheelchair user then buses will be more convenient than taxis. If they don't use a chair but have difficulty walking, buses may be more problematic, as stops can be a distance from where you want to see and/or hard to find.

Posted by
239 posts

I stayed at Hotel Residence des Arts in April. It does have an elevator, but the elevator is very small. It would not accommodate a wheelchair. We were on the top floor and after getting off the elevator there were half a dozen stairs to access our room but I suspect that wouldn't be the case on the other floors. The room was really spacious, we had a separate bedroom and living room. The bathroom was also spacious. There were many place to eat very close by and the metro/RER stop was really close too.

Posted by
2023 posts

We also like Hotel Relais Bosquet and it has an elevator. Rooms are spacious and breakfast is included in the rate. I don't see anything to dislike about the area--two grocery markets, cheese shop, bakery, etc. The staff at this hotel is great.

Posted by
14 posts

One thing I would check carefully, is the bathroom/shower situation - walk in showers are much easier to enter and exit than a high sided tub.

We have stayed in the Latin Quarter at Hotel Atmospheres, it has an elevator, showers are walk in and breakfast is served in the basement (accessible by elevator), there is a low step up to one section of the breakfast area, but one need not sit in that section. The elevator is certainly large enough for a wheelchair, but I'm not sure the bathroom or shower would be wheelchair accessible.

There are a number of restaurants near the hotel. Down one block (but down hill) is subway, and bus service, a cheese shop, bakery, cafe - and there is a market on some days. I would stick to taxi's whenever possible.

One item to mention regarding restaurants - the bathroom's are often located down a steep set of stairs, but you should be able to research that in advance.

Posted by
11280 posts

"I have had an idea for a couple of years that there is a need for an elder/mobility challenged travel guide sort of a supplement to typical guides like RS’s. "

Rick beat you to it - sort of. He used to have a guide, Easy Access Europe. However, the last edition was years ago; I'm not sure why he didn't keep it going. He has made it available for free on the website:

To the OP: Do be sure to read his Paris chapters. While the book is old, a lot of the information in it will still be useful.

Here's Rick's page on travelers with disabilities, with lots of links for more up to date information:

And here are his tips for senior travelers:

I also agree with the others, that the Rue Cler is not as central as the 4th, 5th, or 6th arrondissements, but that if you're taking taxis, it may not matter as much as finding a suitable hotel.