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Have I chosen a hotel in a red light district?

Hello everyone I hope you can advise me. A month ago I booked a hotel in Paris, 1,rue Chenier, Hotel Baby. Tonight I read many reviews all warning people about prostitutes outside and on this street. They speak of problems not feeling safe getting to their hotel after dark or in the nearby metro. I am with my husband and 8 year old daughter! What have I done!? Should I try to cancel and find somewhere else? Will there be anywhere else since we fly there in June? Is it that bad? Help!

Posted by
52 posts

I just checked my reservation and it is non-refundable because it was a really good price to book online. I am stuck. Has anyone else stayed near here...is it as bad as I fear from these reviews or are they perhaps exaggerated? I remain hopeful.

Posted by
8293 posts

I think the area looks interesting and if you got a good deal, stay with it. In June the days will be quite long and you probably won't be out and about after dark considering your daughter is only eight, and you will be travelling with your husband, after all. "Les Girls" won't pay any attention to you and your family and your child will not even notice them unless she is made to.

Posted by
9110 posts

I know the area. It's fine. Quit worrying about it.

Don't tell anybody, but I once saw a couple of hookers very near Rue Cler.

Posted by
3580 posts

If you want to know if prostitution is happening in a neighborhood, send a (decoy) lone adult male for a stroll in the evening. He will find out very quickly.

Posted by
342 posts

I agree with Jo. Over and over again I see people saying not to stay in the area around Munich's train station because it's "seedy." And, yet, I have stayed there each of the last 5 years and have yet to encounter anything even remotely alarming. There's a difference between prefering an area for its atmosphere (like staying in the Viktualienmarkt area) and stating that an area is seedy and unsafe.

I think too many Americans are far too sensitive and ill-informed. A "red light" area in Europe is not the same as a red light area in large North American cities.

As others have said, you need to get advice from someone who actually knows Paris before jumping to conclusions.

Posted by
9110 posts

To refine my thoughts above: I don't know the hotel, but I know the area and I know it well. It's fine.

It's strange how some posters tout trip advisor one minute and knock it the next.

I doubt that "professional reviewers" have any idea (or even give a rat's rear bumper) what goes on in every room in every hotel they review. I would also suspect that there is not a hotel in the world that has not been the setting for a bit of hanky-panky.

Jo's post should be taken for gospel. My only caveat to her post would be that she probably doesn't know the area and is speaking hypothetically. The area is not unsavory in the least.

Posted by
837 posts

I will second positive attitudes toward tripadvisor. I have found it to be an excellent source of information on hotels and inns; much better than travel books. I look at pictures taken by clients, evaluate the mix of ratings, and read a number of positive and, if there are some, the negatives.

Posted by
2193 posts

A third vote of confidence for tripadvisor. And, Jo is absolutely spot on with her comments! Traveling extensively both in the U.S. and across Europe, tripadvisor has NEVER let me down. By far, it is the best resource available for what it provides.

Posted by
355 posts

Wow. This string seems to have gotten a little off topic. I think Helen wants feedback from people who may know the area.

Helen, I am not that familiar with what the area is like at night, having only been there during the day. I found a website for the Paris Office of Tourism and you can submit a question to them. Perhaps they can help you with your decision. Here is the link:

http://en.parisinfo.com/contact-us-1/

Hope it helps.

Posted by
12919 posts

Regarding Tripadvisor---Steve and Jo are talking about two completely different things. There is a HUGE difference betwen the reviews on Tripadvisor, and the discussion forums.

The reviews often are suspect---you have to read carefully and learn how to recognize the phonies. It is a problem recognized by Tripadvisor and many others, as Steve's linik points out.

The TA forums, on the other hand, are a wonderful source of information, just as this forum is. The people who have been designated "destination experts" have been chosen because of their thoughtful and helpful contributions--usually thousands. Often they are locals with insider's insights. They answer questions on the forums, and generally give excelent advice.

The reviews and the discussion forums are on two completely different areas of Tripadvisor, so just be sure you know which you are using. And take the reviews with several grains of salt.

Posted by
8064 posts

I have deleted my posts, because they had moved so far away from what the original poster was looking for.

Instead, I have started a new thread where this topic could be discussed without taking anything away from Helen's request for assistance.

Posted by
430 posts

When traveling without reservations my wife and I always try to book in the red light district in larger cities as our first choice. I've found I can get great prices. I paid less than 45 Euro for a Double with private bath, phone, cable TV, etc... in Frankfurt using that method.

Even if you're in the red light district, call it 'local color'. You're safe.

(Speaking from experience -- have done the red light stay with my wife and toddler)

Posted by
9110 posts

I'll end it since it seems I'm the only one who actually knows the area.

HELEN, DON'T SWEAT IT!

Posted by
1064 posts

Moral: Never book a room at a hotel named Baby. Or Honey. Or Sugar, Darling, Lolita, etc. I am sure the hotel is perfectly legitimate, but the name alone would make me suspect "Red Light District."

Posted by
52 posts

I just wanted to thank everyone for their insight on this question. It's great to have somewhere to ask questions of people who have been there.

Posted by
881 posts

Hi, Helen.

I just wanted to put in, that we read the same kind of comments on our hotel in Vienna. Hookers, seedy, etc.

And what we found when we got there was a nice hotel, pretty typical for any big city, and had a great stay with my 70 year old Catholic parents. Yes, there were a couple hookers here or there, but nothing different than you would experience staying downtown in New York or LA, or, etc, etc.

I agree with the others. Americans tend to be a bit overly sensitive. Take the reviews with a grain of salt! =)

Posted by
10344 posts

This topic reminds me of the time, a few years ago on this forum, when a woman wrote in asking for the perfect hotel recommendation for her and 15-year old Grandson. Someone recommended a hotel, by name, which I happen to...uh...know is flanked by not one, but two, clubs of dubious repute--which possibly might have been of some interest to Grandson, but I thought I should post this fact for Grandma's benefit. I have a feeling Grandma didn't book that hotel.

Possibly, this demonstrates the superiority of personal travel experience over internet research.

Posted by
8064 posts

Ok now boys. Am I going to have to call your father?

Posted by
881 posts

Kent - would you mind giving me the name of this hotel? ;)

Posted by
10344 posts

Chris: Hotel name is in the PM I just sent you. Always glad to help a fellow Helpliner in need:)

Posted by
9110 posts

New use for street view on google maps. Zoom around looking for hooker corners, take copious notes, hope the one with the green and purple hair is still around when you get there.

Posted by
8975 posts

New use for street view on google maps. Zoom around looking for hooker corners, take copious notes, hope the one with the green and purple hair is still around when you get there.

Google Streets blocks out most all of the Red Light Districts. Try "walking" through Amsterdam's RLD and you will see what I mean.

Posted by
448 posts

I had to go downstairs to verify on my street map, but i agree with Norma. It's a small street, off a busy boulevard, near several metro lines ans i'm sure you'll find something else other than prostitutes to worry about. I checked your hotel reviews and sounds like the biggest complaint is small bathroom where you probably won't spend too much time. It's near one of our favorite take visitors to restaurants Bouillon Chartier, 7 rue de Faubourg-Montmartre that's the street name, it's not in Montmartre...Noisey and crowded, and yes tourists eat there, but so do Parisiens/French people. Be glad you booked in advance. Oh and think about packing light..don't believe the hotel includes elevators, and nothing seemed to indicate that the buffet breakfast was included in the price.