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Why Doesn't RS recommend hotels in 6E and 5E in his France 2017 book?

Hello, I love the RS France book, but I am disappointed that he has neglected to review hotels in the Latin Quarter and St. Germain areas. Is there a reason for this? What am I missing?

Posted by
2923 posts

The hotels probably cost too much because the locations are so popular. Value propositions that are family owned (which is what RS is looking for) in those areas are few and far between — some would say non-existent. And the guide does not and cannot cover everything. After all, he used to leave Marseille, France’s third biggest city, out of the guide book for France (not sure if that has changed).

Posted by
7257 posts

But you will see that it was wrong to assume that his books are comprehensive as there are also other arrondissements in Paris with hotels not reviewed. This is why it is better to go to a book store and buy travel books so you can skim them for content before you buy them. Or go to the library local and see if they have the Lonely Planet or Fodors Paris 2017.

Posted by
2436 posts

I like the blue bibles for practical information about the most popular sites in the major cities. But I never plan a trip to Europe with just the RS guides. In addition to the internet, I like to use The Lonely Planet and Let's Go guides for the places and neighborhoods left out of the RS books.

Posted by
1127 posts

I remember a decade ago he suggested the Familia Hotel in the 5th. I stayed there and it was just short of "meh" - but the breakfast was nice. It seems to still be a decent deal.

Posted by
68 posts

Oh this is all wonderful feedback.....It makes sense to supplement with some additional guidebooks. We are a bit snooty when it comes to hotels. We don't travel much, but when we do, we like to stay in comfort and a little bit of 'posh' as long as it isn't crazy expensive. But we don't really do the 'touristy' stuff. We like to explore off the beaten path and hang with locals whenever possible. I find RS books to be full of wonderful useful information in this regard. But I am afraid to trust the tripadvisor type websites for hotel reviews. I will definitely check out the lonely planet and other guide books. Thanks so much!

Posted by
1118 posts

Steve Smith, the co-author, with RS on his Paris & France books talks about this in one of his presentations at the RS Travel Talks. It is the one that was posted in July 2016 around the 2 minute mark. He limits it to 4 neighborhoods/Arr.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6ooG1ebQGg, and gives his reason.

Posted by
6720 posts

Years and years ago we stayed in the Grande Hotel Leveque on rue Cler. It remains our worst hotel experience on every conceivable level (from noise, to rudeness to them telling our baby sitter we were not registered when she called) and after that we simply never booked a recommended hotel from an RS guide again. Well we did use one in the CT in Vernazza. the place required half board and in a town that had a couple of fabulous restaurants we were stuck eating the only inedible tomatoes I have ever eaten in Italy. RS has much wise advise about travel, but our friends and we have not been thrilled with hotel recs. We travel close to the ground and when we use hotels don't book fancy ones -- but these have not been treasures.

Posted by
2436 posts

drcynpizzulli - I use TripAdvisor exclusively to find my hotels. I look for the highest rated hotel that is (1) in my price range and (2) in an area where I want to stay. I have always stayed in great hotels with this approach. I like to check the RS guidebooks to see if "my" hotels are mentioned. My Florence, Monterosso, Munich, and Avignon hotels were in the RS guidebooks. Usually, we end up staying in a neighborhood not covered by RS.

We are leaving next week for a trip to Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona. On this trip, none of our hotels are recommended by RS. However, based on past performances, I expect that they will all be outstanding.

PS: This is my favorite hotel in Paris:

http://lecitizenhotel.com/en/

Posted by
6876 posts

Look at www.booking.com. The site has reviews of people who actually stayed in the said hotels. Travel books are just too limiting for selecting hotels.

Posted by
2923 posts

I could not agree more with this statement: "RS has much wise advise about travel, but our friends and we have not been thrilled with hotel recs. " Three tries for us and three massive fails and we stopped even looking at RS hotel recommendations though I have stayed at and loved Hotel Londres et Eiffel which I did not know was a RS suggestion until I got there.

Posted by
781 posts

I don't use RS hotels because if you read the reviews on TA they are usually not that good,my goal is to be in the center if I am in a city near public transportation.I stay in St Germain when I am in Paris because there are so many great restaurants within walking distance of our hotel.
Mike

Posted by
1878 posts

I think Rick picks a few arrondissements and does not attempt to cover all of them when it comes to hotels. I have always found his hotel recommendations to be pretty strong. Paris is a tough city for hotels, anything reasonably priced is lucky to get 7/10 on booking.com. I don't really rely on guidebooks for hotels any more since the advent of that site. (Emailing hotels direct is just such a hassle when so many don't respond promptly or at all).

Posted by
7257 posts

I agree booking.com is a good site since only people that booked hotels on the site can submit reviews there.

Posted by
1540 posts

I look for hotels on Booking.com, but I usually try to contact the hotels directly to book and almost always get a better rate than using Booking.com.
Just my experience....

Posted by
2466 posts

I never use TripAdvisor.
I use booking.com or other websites to compare prices.

Rick doesn't even cover hotels in the 14th and 13th arrondissements, for example - even though many of them are very inexpensive.

Posted by
293 posts

@trayla... I have been to Paris a lot of times and I've never heard of canal St Martin. Thanks for this tip and this hotel. Looks great.

Posted by
8493 posts

There's a contradiction because in the video clip Steve Smith says one of the neighborhoods they focus on is around the Jardin de Luxembourg. Well, that's the 5th and 6th. So what's up?

BTW, we booked two RS hotels in Germany a few years ago and decided never again. We do much better on our own.

Posted by
11450 posts

Whats really funny is RS tours do stay in hotels in other arr. than just the 7th, I took one RS tour and in Paris we stayed in the 14th, my friend took a RS tour and they stayed in the 4th, on border of the 11th.

I personally would not choose a RS recommended hotel as once they get in his book they get so much business I think alot of them raise their rates and lower their attitudes.. plus I know that from the areas he recommends in Paris I wouldnt be happy with the areas he suggests in other cities.

Posted by
68 posts

We are going to be staying in one of RS recommended hotels in Bayeux: Hotel D'Argouges (which we already booked). According to what I've researched, this is an excellent property. I'm about to book Amsterdam and Bruges, as well as Paris. Based on all of your feedback, I will compare booking.com's recommendations against the RS books. All of your responses have been extremely valuable.
Cynthia

Posted by
5697 posts

Here's another answer I haven't seen above -- if you want more RS suggestions in Paris, look at his Paris 2017 book. (600 pages on Paris versus 180 pages in the 1100 pages of the France book.) In the France book, he says "I've focused my recommendations on three safe, handy and colorful neighborhoods" but in the next sentence refers to other neighborhoods to consider if you're "looking on your own." Paris 2017 book gives 35 pages of specific hotel recommendations.

Posted by
915 posts

I love Rick Steves (obviously) but the one area that I do not agree with him is in his hotels. He is dead on regarding the attractions, transportation, food, etc. but like a PP said, if you want more of a "posh" or "American-style" hotel then you're not going to necessarily be happy with Rick's suggestions. I tend to rely on TripAdvisor, etc. more for hotels, and also we stay at a lot of Marriotts and Hiltons (if they are available in Europe) because I know precisely what to expect from those chains.

Posted by
6779 posts

"posh" and "American-style" are exactly what RS specifically avoids.

Posted by
729 posts

I've generally been happy with RS hotel recommendations. Hotel descriptions are concise but tend to be quite accurate. We travel as a family and get triples and quads. Space can be quite tight, esp in major cities, and rooms may lack charm, but we're looking for inexpensive, clean rooms. In smaller towns, some RS recommendations have been truly outstanding.

Posted by
9893 posts

drcynpizzulli, I had the pleasure of staying at Hotel d’Argouges on a RS Paris and Heart of France tour. What a neat place! Just walking up to it felt like I was entering a novel, lol. I travel solo so usually get a teeny room in a corner and this room was huge. I would stay here any time!

Posted by
68 posts

@Pam Thanks for the feedback about Hotel D'Argouges. We are meeting up with old friends from the U.K. and suspect this will be a lovely place to get re-acquainted after so many years!

Posted by
1157 posts

We used RS exclusively on our first trip to Paris and had a fine time with the hotel he recommended. We found his precious Rue Cler to be overrun with American tourists with the resultant mediocre food offerings and indifferent service. That said, RS is great to get a novice traveler off to a good start. Once you see how easy it is to travel on your own, you can do it your way and discover many other areas of Paris or other European cities to experience. We've used Tripadvisor for years along with the internet and have had many world class adventures, all thanks to RS essentially taking us by the hand and guiding us using his book. Oh, and we always stay on the islands when in Paris.

Posted by
2466 posts

There is a lot of mis-information - maybe typos - that are in RS guidebooks.
I have to check other guides to be certain.

Posted by
1217 posts

I'm pretty picky about cleanliness and have a husband with mold allergies and have generally skipped the RS hotel recs because of a certain vibe that they consider a bit of mustiness to be part of the charm of a property. For our first stay in Paris, we ended up at a Holiday Inn in Montmarte, which sounds generic on the surface but turned out to be a quieter residential area- mostly shops on the ground floor and 6-7 floors of flats and hotel rooms above. The small courtyard area behind the hotel was typically overrun with kids playing football when they weren't in school.

Give me a well-run recently updated Ibis with air con and wifi included for a modest price, and I'm happier than I would be in the 'character' property. Chain, but not American and not posh