I will be traveling to France (Paris) July and August of 2010. I will stay in Paris the first 3 weeks and then move on. I am looking for an inexpensive hotel, in a nice neighborhood. I have read so many different blogs on places to stay that frankly I am confused. I would like someplace with close access to transportation but not so far away that it would take me an hour of travel time just to get into the city to see all the sights. I read about 1 hotel that you had to take the bus and metro for 90 minutes - doing that everyday would use up too much time, so I need something closer to the sights of Paris. Close proximity to local restaurants, cafes and even a laundramat would be great. An apartment is NOT an option, I put this out there as I know many of you will recommend this for a longer stay.
After exhausting the suggestions in the Rick Steves books, try looking for places in the 18th (Montmartre) or the 5th (Latin Quarter). I also suggest that you look into the LET'S GO and ROUGH GUIDE books for Paris; they list hotels at lower rates than many of the hotels in the RS books. I have stayed at the Hotel du Commerce in the 5th and have seen some budget-type hotels in the 18th. I think you will want to be within the ring-road of Paris, but many places not centrally located are in "nice" neighborhoods, are close to the Metro, and may be bargains. I stayed in the Hotel Eden (there are two of the same name and both are budget) a few years ago; it was very inexpensive and very French. If you speak French, you will get along well with the proprietor there. In the 7th, near rue Cler, is the Hotel de Turenne (in RS books). I paid 62 Euros for a single ensuite room last spring. To keep within your budget, skip the hotel breakfast and have coffee/croissant at a nearby bar or cafe. Bakeries abound in Paris, and I have found plenty of laundromats there. I love Chinese food, so most of my meals are taken at the Chinese "delis." I get more food for less money than at the French bistros.
Hi Nancy,, I have to travel to Paris in July and/or August ( I would choose to go other months, but can't)as a rule. I have found most deals and special rates have not appeared yet on the websites. I find by Feb -Mar many websites list "L'Ete Promotions"( summer sales) ,, as hotel room prices in Paris actually take a dip from mid July thru August, and raise up in Sept.
I realize you may not want to wait to book,, so you can book most places that have reasonable cancellation policies in place and then rebook later if you fnd something better. I have done this serveral times, only occaisonally having to forfeit a 5 euro or so booking fee( not all places charge this). Do be careful if you elect to take a special internet rate,, some require you pay whole payment up front and it is non refundable. Rates like those are often very good, but I personally don't want the risk.
Hotel Tourisme is in a good location, I haven't stayed there, but a local on my other forum suggests it to her visiting friends and family. Two star, but clean and safe area( near ET).
Hotel Royal Phare is another ,,, I believe its in one of Ricks books, I met a poster from RS who actually was staying there, she said it was fine, small rooms, but clean etc.
I have stayed at Hotel Des Mines, about 5 years ago ,, it was very cheap, but, clean , good location etc. I only paid 60 euros a night back then. Thereagain,, got a deal.
You should also look at Hotel Perfect. I have no first hand knoweledge of that one, but seems to be a hotel slash hostel,, and reviews well if you accept that it is budget.
Also , check out Hotel Du College de France, great area,, one of my favorites, but I don't think it has A/C,, I like A/C in Paris in summer,, I am not good with heat.
Good luck,, lucky you to get such a nice long stay,, maybe I will see you around!
All these hotels are central enough.
A couple of thoughts. Safety is not much of a factor; with a couple of exceptions, you can stay most anywhere inside the circular highway and be comfortable any time. Also, anywhere within the circle is only a ten minute or so walk to a metro and then a ten minute ride (at absolute most) to anywhere there are "sights". Once you're into the heart of town everything is in wandering distance. That having been said, the hotels that others have mentioned are going to cost a couple of grand, at best, for three weeks.
A couple of questions. Why are you going to be IN Paris for three weeks? Absent a seminar/conference, that's a long time in one place. Do you plan to make excursions outside the city during this three week period? What kind of hotel do you want -- quaint with atmosphere or just spartan, safe, and clean? Do you speak French?
Paris ties with HK as one of my two favorite cities; having been there several hundred times over a big bunch of years, I can probably cough up an idea or two that might help you if you can nail down your needs a little tighter. And, what others have said: lucky you.
I know everyone has their own tastes and needs, but I have to say three weeks in a hotel, presumably eating restaurante meals twice a day every day is my idea of financial insanity.
You can have a better Paris experience in a studio apartment, buying your own food at the market for most meals and only eating out for a treat, for half the price, and more likely even less than that. Plus you will be living like a Parisian instead of an american with an obscene amount of money to spend.
And there are many to choose from that are within walking distance to most sights.
But to each her own, I guess...
Go back to the IP. Nancy has said that "an apartment is NOT an option." I would stick to suggestions other than great apartment deals. In my experience, a single traveler does not benefit financially by renting an apartment.
Ed , Steve and Randy.
I personally do not like to stay in apartments. Some people prefer hotels. I do.
Why people who like to stay in apartments feel it is their duty to convert others into apartment stayers ,, I do not understand.
OP wrote she was " NOT" interested. She was not undecided,, she was pretty clear.
I have been to Paris for three weeks.. I LOVE it ... and I go back. Some people definately can easily amuse themselves for longer periods in one place. There are MANY interesting daytrips to do,Paris is of course a great transportation hub.
Paris itself has over 200 museums and sites.. many tourists do 3 musuems ,, see the ET ,, and run off. That is perfectly fine... for them.
To each his own.
It amuses me that some feel that staying in an apartment gives them more of the local flavor of Paris,, yet they run away after a week. Stay three weeks,, even in a hotel,, and you will have absorbed alot more then any short stay apartment user.
Buying your own lettuce and making your own sandwich is not everything to everyone,, LOL .
Also ,, most hotels I have stayed in Paris have mini fridges. I tend to book them for that and the A/C( which many apartments do NOT have) and find I can keep some cheese, soda , and yogurt in them. So I can snack easily,, and often "breakfast" in my room. I also find if I have had a very long day,, a take out sandwich and pastry ,, while lieing on my bed and watching the tube,, is a great decompresser.. I even pack disposable plastic spoons and forks( who wants to do dishes on holiday?) for snacks. .
There is some amazing take out delis in Paris. No need for a stove.
I agree with Pat. I've stayed in hotels in Paris many times for anywhere from 3 to 6 wks (and once, when I was 18, for 2 mos) and love it. Even after 6 wks there were still many places we didn't get to and we left wanting more time there. I can never get enough of Paris. Hotels feel like a real vacation to me. I like making friends w/the staff and reception and having them to ask advice of. I like not cooking and doing dishes when I'm on vacation. And I love having someone else make my bed and clean the bathroom everyday. Having said that, we are planning to rent an apt in Paris for 5 wks next May. It'll be our first time and we'll see if we like it. There are plus' and minus' to both I think. One is not better than the other. And hotel's are not necessarily more expensive than apartments.
Pat & Susan,
If you assume that the only person interested in the replies is the person asking the headline question, then you are quite right. She said no apartments, so no apartments it shall be. However, I assume that for every headline question there are 5-50 others lurking & reading behind the scenes, trying to learn.
I think people should travel and I know that the #1 reason they don't is fear of the cost.
A person occupying a single in a hotel in Paris and eating out every meal could easily spend $200/day on food and lodging alone without even spurging. Our family spent about that same amount for all 5 of us for our week in Paris last sumer while staying in the most ideally convenient location imaginable. That probably isn't useful information for the person who asked the question. But is it too daring to suppose that it might be relevant to others?
Gee Randy,, I find that hard to beleive,, I can't imagine finding groceries at home here for my family for less then 300 dollars a week,, but you managed to find accomadation and food.. simply amazing.
Note, most of us who stay in hotels longer term,, do not eat out every meal either,, I think I mentioned that ?
Just so you know,, on most forums,,, it is assumed that posters ( will try anyways) to stay on the topic of the thread. So its not that we don't realize others read the thread,, but , with your reasoning , it would justify a poster recommending 3 bedroom places,even when a poster is asking for one bedroom places,simply becuase there may be someone lurking who is interested in a three bedroom places?
Its like threads where people post they are most definately NOT interested in renting a car,, but posters insist they should. Maybe they should,, but they aren't going to ,, and they are asking for alternative means of getting somewhere or seeing something.
I must say that I most definitely envy you for planning a 3 week stay in Paris. Lucky you!!
You are absolutely RIGHT in rejecting an apartment as an option. So would I. I stayed 12 days in the same Pension in Berlin this summer in a trip lasting over two months in Europe. In Germany I have seen some hotels and Pensionen have this set-up, that is, if you stay for an extended time---and three weeks just might fit the bill---the hotel might offer a cheaper than normal rate and also if you book early enough for this extended stay, you'll get a reduced rate too. It's worth inquiring about this in Paris.
Whenever I am in Paris as I was this summer, I stay in the Gare du Nord area, always in the same 2 star hotel called New Hotel, clean, safe, reliable, helpful, not too expensive but not cheap either, the WC and shower are included. This time I was there for 9 nights,it's located right across the street from the station. It is in the 10th district; while it isn't that central to the sights, it is well served by public transportation, you can catch the RER from the station to CDG airport and the Euro-Star to London, a number of buses stop across the street from New Hotel, and Gare du Nord is also a Metro stop---all right there just across the street from the hotel. And, if you have to get to Gare de l'Est, it's only a few minutes walk. Mainly, it is for the convenience that I pick the Gare du Nord area.
The Gare du Nord area has a number of 2 and 3 star hotels all close to each other, depending on your budget; and cafes and restaurants are numerous as well as banks and money exchange outlets.
Read up in Let's Go: Paris to do your planning.
Fair enough Steve,, and hostels are a choice too along that line. I guess I have been lucky,, I find hotels can be just as cheap as many apartments( not all of course),, and have amenities I like ( as I said,, a/c is a must have for me in summer)
Pat, I hate to go on about the apt thing, but I have to tell you,for extended stays, any chance my wife and I can stay in an apt is the option we pick.
One reason; usually they are a lot larger than a hotel room. We can alawys find a place that beats the hotel rates. Our one bedroom apt (not a studio) in Paris last June only cost us less than $90/EU/nite. Yes, and it is not the same cost as Hostel, or shared apt, but the privacy can be wonderful. And it was nice having a place that was quiet at nite.
The apt. started feeling like home after a few days. You could kick off your shoes, and lounge around in a different chair or couch. You could have a quiet breakfast, or re-heat something for dinner, or enjoy take-out. We did our laundry using the apt equipment. One Metro stop was 1/2 block away, and we would walk to the Rue Clair area and the Eiffel tower.
And don't forget, many hotels in Paris DON"T want or allow you to bring food up to your room!
OK...different strokes for different folks, but it is an option that never should be overlooked!
I used the internet (I googled "inexpensive hotels" ) and stayed in 2 different ones in June this year. The one thing I found is that is much cheaper to book on-line rather than trying at a hotel desk. I was very pleased with my choices. They were half way between Palce de la Concorde and Gare du Nord. Very central and close to several Metro stops. Remember you can even look at them with Google view now and then read the comments of other guests.
steve, I guess I have been lucky,, I have never encountered the problem of not being allowed to bring food to the room,, I think I have heard that a few of the recommended Rick Steves hotels do have such a rule. I would never stay in them though for many reasons,, a) not even mildly interested in staying on Rue Cler,, and b) I need a bar or mini fridge,, as I do intend to snack in room, and will not have "madame" inspecting my bags,, LOL ( I read a review once where a lady said that the owner smelled her food and forbade her to bring it up to her room, darn the aroma of roasted chicken.LOL )
I have stayed in at least 7 or 8 different hotels in Paris,, and find I can average 90-100 euros a night easy,( I have spent more though,, and I have spent less) , and that for me is such a bargain,, since as I posted,, I love daily maid service, and need a/c( I always have to go in summer).
I have stayed at hotel Croix de Malte for 1 full week last year. Small, simple, clean. No fancy stuff. Not in the middle of the Louvre of course, but next to Republic Square where you have metro lines to go everywhere.
Hi Nancy, My wife and I have stayed several times at Hotel des Grandes Ecoles at Place Contrescarpe in the 5th arr. The rooms are nice, and the hotel has a wonderful private enclosed courtyard with tables and chairs, and afternoon shade; a great place to sit, sip wine, and visit with other travelers. It's not too expensive, has great restaurants nearby, metro and bus service near, the street markets on Rue Mouffetard and Place Monge are very close,and a laundromat around the corner. It's a lively district, but without car and truck noise. The Pantheon is a five minute walk and Jardin du Luxembourg is no more than ten minutes. Check out the hotel's website. Happy travels, Charlie Robinson