We are trying to narrow down our hotel options for a July visit, four nights, two adults. Our first trip to Paris, we are looking to do the major tourist sites, Louvre, Notre Dame, Eiffel, etc. We love having late dinners and being able to walk from our hotel in the evening hours. We don't mind taking the metro to the tourist sights. We are trying to book reasonable options as we have found from previous trips that we spend little time in the hotel, but location is very important. We've narrowed it down to 1. Grand Hotel Levesque on Rue Cler, 2. Hotel de la Place Des Vosges on rue de Birague, or Practic Hotel, rue d'Ormesson. 4. Hotel france louvre rue de rivoli or 5. Hotel des Deux Continents, st Germaine des pres. I realize these hotels are spread in different areas, please advise. If you have other suggestions, please share.
- remote from the sights
2 and 3. My favorite area. Both are near the metro Line 1 which is convenient. Lots of restaurants and cafes. Not too far to walk to Notre Dame and from there to the Left Bank. Kind of yuppie area.
Closer to the sights, I think not many restaurants close by.
Great area for atmosphere and restaurants. Where the students stay.
I eliminate 1 and 4. The others are all good as far as location goes. Make sure you have A/C. If it's hot, you'll want it.
Seems to me that the Pratic hotel does not get good reviews. It was one I looked into as I wanted to be in that area, but I ruled it out for some reason. There are several hotels right in that area of St. Paul. We stayed at Turenne le Marais. My husband thought the street noise was a little loud, but I thought it was typical. They have rooms on the court side if that's an issue for you. Service was good, room was clean, small but not too small. I'd stay again, and I love the location.
I'd suggest the Marais or St-Germain for convenience and lots of dining options. A friend stayed at the Hotel de la Place des Vosges and liked it, but I haven't been. The Place, though, is one of my favorite places (is that redundant)? I don't think more recent guests would share Janet's opinion of the Grand Hotel Levesque, but Rue Cler isn't very close to most sights and the restaurants will be full of Rick Steves followers (not that there's anything wrong with that! ;-).
I can only comment on the Rue Cler location. I like that area as it's within walking distance to some of the sights (Eiffel Tower, Invalides, Rodin Museum) and has good Metro access via Ecole Militaire to get to other locations in Paris. While there may be other tourists in that area packing the blue and yellow guidebooks, that doesn't bother me at all. Tourists toting the blue & yellow book can be seen all over Europe, so Rue Cler is not unique in that regard. That area has lots of restaurants, pastry shops, street grocers, etc. so it's a very vibrant area.
Regarding Grand Hotel Leveque, I've stayed there a number of times (most recently ~July 2013) and had no problems. The room I was assigned was somewhat "spartan" with a small bathroom, but it was clean and comfortable. Keep in mind that I travel solo, so the single rooms tend to be the smallest. I've seen some of the double rooms and they appeared to be larger and more comfortable. Their website indicates that the rooms have been "renovated" but the decor in at least some of them is still a bit "dated" IMO (the doubles seem to have larger and newer bathrooms). The window in my room faced an inner courtyard so no view, but I'm only in the room to sleep and shower so that wasn't a huge concern. I opted for the hotel breakfast (extra cost) and it was typical of many places in Europe. Not as elaborate as the hotels I stay at in Munich or other places, but perfectly adequate. I found the staff very helpful and efficient in booking a Shuttle to the airport on my morning of departure, and it arrived almost to the minute of the scheduled time. It was a shared Shuttle so took a bit of time to get there, but the driver took me right to the door of the terminal I was using.
I stayed at the Grand Hotel Levesque in 2008 and didn't experience any problems except for a faulty AC. When I reported it, they gave us a much nicer room. The rooms aren't anything special, but the location was excellent. After long days of walking, we always spent time around the Eiffel Tower which was very close by and enjoyed the lights. I have also stayed on St. Germaine des Pres and like that area very much as well. Of the two areas, I like the Rue Cler area better to stay in.