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Trouble Booking Paris Hotel--Champ de Mars

After MUCH pondering, reading of Rick's Paris guide and web searching, my decision for a Paris hotel has (for the moment) come down to a choice between Hotel Cler (rated by Rick as $$$) and Hotel du Champs de Mars (rated $$). It seems from Rick's guide that de Mars should be less expensive, but (after great difficulty with the Mars website) the two seem like a dead heat--about 1,100 euros each ("superior" doubles) for five nights in late March/early April 2020--not exactly high season. Does this seem right to any of you with experiences at these hotels? Also, de Mars will not let me remove the breakfast fees for both of two people; it still insists on charging a breakfast fee for at least one person. I'm beginning to think that another location say, around the Luxembourg gardens, may be a better choice. For us, a lift, a quiet room, WiFi, a fridge, a coffee pot, and maybe a bathtub are important. It'd also be nice not to trip over luggage (two carry-on suitcases and two backpacks), hence the preference for a "superior" room.

A final question: in general, the Paris hotel websites seems much clumsier than American ones--is this typical?

Thanks in advance for you time and effort in responding to my questions.

Posted by
8067 posts

I would check other brand guide books for hotel recommendations as well including booking.com which has reviews of hotels from average Joe travelers. I would not book a hotel this far in advance; chances are the price is going down at sometime; but 1100 euros for 5 nights for two people does not sound expensive considering the location of the hotels.

Posted by
6102 posts

I've stayed in the area of Rue Cler and also in the Latin Quarter. I find the Latin Quarter closer to most of what I do in Paris and less expensive. I think the area around Luxembourg Gardens is also a more convenient location in comparison to Rue Cler, but in general, it does seem more expensive than Latin Quarter. You might want to take a look at Minerve. I've stayed at its more budget sister property next door, Hotel Familia.

Posted by
752 posts

Just looked at the Champ de Mars booking engine... yes, it is a bit different than some other French hotel websites I’ve used. Regarding breakfast charge: although it seems to prompt you to select a quantity, you don’t need to try to remove it, just don’t click on add (ajouter) and it won’t be added to the total. Very odd that.

In my experience, this hotel books up early, seems to have a very loyal following. But do check out the Luxembourg Gardens area and 5th arrondissement, particularly if this is your first time in Paris.

Posted by
78 posts

I made a reservation through Booking.com for Hotel du Champ de Mars - it was very easy. I checked the price on that site with the Champs De Mars site - they were the same. I am staying there in 2 weeks - they have excellent reviews, and it is right off of Rue Cler.

Posted by
9436 posts

I think that’s quite expensive for Hotel Champs de Mars (nothing special and many people have posted here that the owners can be very unpleasant - i went in once to check out their rooms for a possible future stay, they were not busy and the wife/owner was rude to me too) and the location, which is not central at all.
Notre Dame is the very center, and heart of Paris. I recommend getting a good map of Paris and see where everything is. I like staying close to Notre Dame and the river.
Rick Steves has way over-hyped rue Cler for 30 yrs now, i have no idea why, it’s ok, but nothing special - and it’s full of Americans with Rick’s guidebook clutched in their hand.
Check out hotels on Ile St Louis, which is as central as you can get and a much nicer neighborhood imo. It’s charming, surrounded by the river and amazing views. You can get a room at one of the hotels there for the same, or less.
Or check out hotels in the 5th (Latin Quiarter) or 4th (the Marais and Ile St Louis),

Posted by
129 posts

Thanks to all commenters so far. I am definitely going to look around for places in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and even the 12th arrondissements. I'm pretty much resigned to spending around 1,100 Euros or more--what the hey, we don't get to Paris every day!. Any and all comments are appreciated.

Posted by
3801 posts

There are jacuzzi bathtubs in some of the rooms at the Hotel Apostrophe on Rue de Chevreuse in the 6th but close to the Montparnasse quartier. Hôtel La Villa Saint Germain des Prés on Rue Jacob in the 6th has bathtubs in some rooms. If I recall correctly, so does the Novotel Gare de Lyon. I've heard that Hotel Le Lapin Blanc on Blvd Saint Germain in the 5th has bathtubs in some rooms but I have not been there. You have to call to request a room with a tub.

Posted by
9436 posts

I should have recommended JHK for bathtubs as she is by far this forum’s Paris hotel expert... : )

And i also remembered i have had a hotel room with a bathtub! Hotel St Jacques on rue des Ecoles in the 5th.

Glad to hear you’ll be looking in more central areas, i think you’ll be happy being closer in. Enjoy your time in wonderful Paris!

Posted by
93 posts

We stayed at the Hotel Relais Bosquet In March and loved it. Great Location, nice rooms, good breakfasts.
they gave RS discount too which was less than the coupon code that the hotel gives out.
I highly recommend!

Posted by
94 posts

I love Ile Saint-Louis and stayed at the Hotel de Lutece, which is a cute, small hotel in a great location. My room had a huge bathtub with a shower attachment but not a stand up shower. My friend's room had only a stand up shower but no tub.

I've also stayed at the Hotel Saint-Petersbourg Opera in the 9th, very near the Opera Garnier and really liked the hotel and the neighborhood.

This year we're staying in the 6th (San Germian de Pres) at Hotel Millesime, which a friend reccommended. It looks great but have never actually stayed in this neighborhood. I like that the location is close to the Seine and other places I'm visiting this trip (museums, restaurants, etc.). This hotel is a bit pricier but this is a milestone birthday trip for me so we're splurging a bit.

Hope you find a good hotel! Have a great trip!

Posted by
920 posts

Hi,
If you like the idea of staying in the 7th, I had a good experience with the Hotel Londres Eiffel. I walked the 7th and Rue Cler. I didn’t find either to be overrun with Americans, but I was there off-season in December so that may have made a difference from the experiences other travelers have had with Rue Cler. Good luck with your hotel search, and have a great trip!

Posted by
9436 posts

Rachel, i was referring to rue Cler, as i said, not the 7th.

Posted by
422 posts

I have stayed at Hotel de Champs de Mars 3 times in recent years. I found the owners a bit reserved but friendly.

Posted by
9436 posts

I agree with Michele, Hotel de Lutèce is wonderful! All 4 hotels on Ile St Louis are great.

Posted by
14 posts

I've stayed at at this hotel on 2 previous occasions. I've never experienced any issues with the hotel, except that maybe the rooms are slightly smaller than other Paris hotels (12-14m sq. versus 14-16). I actually have a reservation (which I have to cancel by next week) for this hotel later this month for 5 nights for around 1100 euros. I have another reservation at the Hotel des Deux Isles for about $200 more (for entire reservation) but includes breakfast, larger room, and has minibar. I've stayed in both areas and like them for different reasons. Having a hard time deciding!!

Posted by
2499 posts

I’ve stayed at the Hotel de Lutece on Ile St. Louis and loved it. The hotel staff are very helpful and the island itself is charming.i would stay there again!