Hotel du Champ de Mars, Paris

I walked past this hotel a few years ago just off the Rue cler and it looked lovely - it is even listed in Rick Steves book as a great find! However, I was reading some reviews on another web page and every review was bad. The hotel was lovely but the lady - owner was not a nice person. Has any one else had a similar experience? We would like to stay there but not if she makes us miserable!! JACKIE, B.K. KY

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

Sent an e-mail inquiry earlier this year for a stay this summer and never received a response...scratched them off the Paris list. If you need a recommendation, check out Hotel de la Tulipe at paris-hotel-tulipe.com. It's a couple of blocks east of Rue Cler. I really enjoyed this little boutique hotel...very nice.

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3209 posts

A lot of people on this site love this hotel. My son, a friend of ours and I stopped in there on one of our visits to Paris with the idea of staying there on our next visit (we go often)) and the woman and her husband, who own it, were so incredibly rude we left blown away by how rude they were. I speak fluent French and we were extremely polite. Don't know why they were so nasty but they were. I'm sure they aren't rude all the time to everyone, but I have heard this about them from others. There are 100's of wonderful hotels in Paris where the owners and staff are wonderful all the time, I'd rather spend my money there.

Posted by Ed
Huntington, WV
132 posts

I'm afraid that the previous postings are not unique to this establishment. I had the pleasure of staying at the Hotel Champ du Mars in the early 80's and it was quite lovely. Unfortunately, the popularity of this immediate area has allowed its' neighborhood entrepreneurs to become quite arrogant. This is a shame.

All in all, rue Cler has deteriorated significantly in quality of service and goods over the last five years in particular. The final straw for me was the change of ownership and management of the wonderful old boulangerie on the corner of rue Cler and Champ du Mars. It's now just terrible.

Trust me, Paris is NOT rue Cler. Rick has inadvertently ruined this former gem. There are 19 other marvelous arrondissements to choose from. The Marais between Centre Pompidou and Place des Voges is fantastic.

Have fun - Ed

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

I have stayed there twice, but it's off my list.

The female half of the ownership team was fine on our stay. The male half... he's in the WRONG profession. Dealing with "guests" seems to be just an imposition. And it wasn't just Americans. I saw him SCREAM LOUDLY at some French guests for some small infraction.

He yelled at me for sitting in the lobby. (He KNEW I was a guest, I was waiting for my mother) I was sitting there not doing anything, (no feet on the furniture, no cell phone talking etc..) "GUESTS SHOULD NOT WAIT IN THE LOBBY! (What's it for???)

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3209 posts

I agree with Ed 100%! I do not care for the rue Cler area. I find it boring, far away from sights other than the ET and full of Americans holding Rick's book. As Ed said, there are lots of other wonderful areas of Paris that are much more worthwhile, in my humble opinion. I've never understood why Rick is fixated on rue Cler.

And, wow Carol, to have stayed there twice and they treated you so badly...incredible.

The sad thing is, they fit the stereotype of the unpleasant Parisian which a lot of Americans have, so some Americans staying there just have their misconception of Parisians reinforced. Most Parisians are wonderful in my experience.

Posted by Don
Toronto, ON, Canada
25 posts

I'd concur with the other posters. My wife, two daughters and I stayed there last August. While I wouldn't say the front desk was rude, no one went out of their way to assist us when we had simple questions about the Metro or nearby sights. We found that the locals would stop and point us in the right direction. The hotel itself was lovely and we enjoyed the locale. My daughters would visit the man who owned the creperie each morning--and he was a delight. But the staff were indifferent to their guests.

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

Just a note... the first time I stayed at the hotel there were no issues. (I would not have returned) The second time was the problem. (There won't be a third :) )

Posted by Jill
Mission Viejo, CA, USA
1 posts

I have to agree with the other previous postings. We recently stayed at this hotel in mid-June of 2009. A main factor of choosing this particular hotel was based on a Rick Steves recommendation. Luckily, we were only able to book this hotel for our last night in Paris and I am grateful it was no more than that. The room was cute and affordable, but the room was left unclean and the staff is incredibly rude. Both individuals we talked to during our stay were equally rude. If you are looking to stay in the Eiffel Tower area, we stayed a few nights prior at a hotel only a few blocks away (and closer to the Eiffel Tower in fact) called Hotel de la Paix. We liked our stay there very much and the staff there is overly friendly and helpful. I hate that I spent any of my stay or money at Hotel du Champ de Mars.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17792 posts

Jackie,

I've never stayed at the Hotel du Champ de Mars, but had a look at it when I was in Paris in June. The Desk Clerk seemed friendly enough, but of course that's not necessarily representative of all the staff (or the owners).

For those that wish to stay in the Rue Cler area, I've stayed at both the Grand Hotel Leveque and more recently at the Hotel Duquesne Eiffel and would certainly recommend either of them. I found the rooms very comfortable at both, and the staff were wonderful.

Cheers!

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

What's REALLY sad is that this KEEPS coming up, both here and on the reviews for this hotel. And yet it still gets top tier rating in his books. I realize that they are giving him a free stay and being VERY nice to him and his crew, but.... it does make me wonder about some of his other "recommendations".

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
2858 posts

My rue Cler area hotel the past couple of visits has been Hotel Turenne, a couple of blocks toward Napoleon's tomb. The hotel has been upgraded recently, and has a large public area on the ground floor where breakfast is served and residents can spend time. For a single room it is a better deal than H. Leveque or Champ de Mars. I got a single ensuite room for about 66 EU. Breakfast is pricey, but there are other places nearby for that meal.

Posted by Thomas
Snyder, Texas
504 posts

We stayed at the Hotel Relais Bosquet, which is just next door to the Hotel du Champ de Mars. It was a great hotel for us -- very clean, air-conditioned with electric blackout shades, elevator, and a very friendly staff. There was a nice breakfast, but it was not free. There is a metro stop around the corner.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7828 posts

EDs post is good, read it again.

I stayed at the Hotel de la Place du Louvre,, loved the location, and the staff,, all the staff,, were incredibly nice.

Posted by Jo
Las Vegas, NV, USA
190 posts

I have stayed here once. Will never do it again. The beds and bath seemed clean; everything else in the room felt dirty. Did not like the staff/owners. Mainly, it just felt uncomfortable. I really cannot understand why Rick likes it so much. Other places he recommends have been great, but not this one.

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6809 posts

Are we required to stay on Rue Rick Steves?

A question raised by the above posts is:

Given the many hotel choices in Paris, does it make sense to limit ourselves to those few choices given by Rick in his Paris book?

Why just the rue Cler and Marais? and why just be limited to certain hotels in those two areas?

We hear there's a joke among some Parisians about the "rue Rick Steves" (rue Cler)

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
2858 posts

I've stayed in the rue Cler area many times. I tell friends that H. Leveque is "training wheels for Americans." I always visit rue Cler even when I'm not staying there. It feels familiar in a "home" sort of way. Most recently I stayed on Montmartre in an apartment and spent a week exploring there.

Posted by Susan
New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA
3 posts

My husband and I stayed at the Hotel du Champ de Mars on December 30 and 31, 2012. We found the hotel charming and do not have a single complaint. The gentleman at the front desk was warm, friendly and always helpful. Our room was small but had everything we needed including a view of the Eiffel Tower. There are cafes on the same block and a short walk to the Metro and the Tower. It's a lovely central location and we would definitely stay there again if we are lucky enough to visit Paris again.

Posted by nancy
bethesda, md, us
212 posts

We stayed at a hotel we later found out rick uses for his tour groups -- Hotel Londres Eiffel. stayed there to be near a daughter living around the corner. staff helpful. rooms nice, we thought.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8760 posts

This question was posted nearly 4 years ago and there is just a small chance the question has been answered to her satisfaction.

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1970 posts

Gotta wonder why this person dug this old question up?

Posted by Aly
Edmonds
80 posts

I stayed here and never would again. All staff was very rude and gave out no tips or help whatsoever. The only good thing was the location. The rooms are VERY VERY small. It was cute but never would go back.

Posted by Aly
Edmonds
80 posts

I stayed here and never would again. All staff was very rude and gave out no tips or help whatsoever. The only good thing was the location. The rooms are VERY VERY small. It was cute but never would go back.

Posted by Emily
Chicago, IL, US
5 posts

Take a look at Hotel de Buci in St. Germain area. It's very Paris as far as boutique hotels go and has excellent reviews. Emily

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8760 posts

Could you be more specific, Aly? When did you stay there? When you say all staff were very rude, how were they rude to you? Were they all rude in the same way?

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7828 posts

Sometimes when you do a search the posting that pops up is old( like this one) but people don't notice original date.
I have a feeling that many hotels from guide books tend to take people for granted after awhile, they don't need your good word of mouth anymore once they get the golden seal of approval from someone like Rick and I do think that happens sometimes.

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
673 posts

This is one case where an old thread is just as valuable as a new one. Given the importance of Rue Cler to all of Rick's years of writing, it is very helpful. As it happens, I gave up on the Leveque long ago, but everyone should make their own decision. Many people making their first trip to Paris seek the comfort of a full chapter in their tour book. Rue Cler has too much English spoken on it, but it's not a Disneyland or a Potemkin Village. A similar (but not identical) complaint might be made about the gentrification of the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan. Is it the "real" New York"? It's just as hard to say what is the "real" Paris today. The key issue may be getting timely and useful hotel information to potential visitors. I did not like Rick's bad "review" of TripAdvisor because I have found it useful, with ordinary internet caveats. I don't see them as a "Rick Steves Killer."

Posted by Jane
Lebanon
605 posts

Since this thread seems to be continuing and reinventing itself, I decided to chime in. Sorry to be so positive, but here goes. My husband is a fine art photographer and we spend time each year driving all over France. We always fly into Paris ,lease a car, and drive to our favorite spots as well as some new ones,return to Paris for a while, and fly home to Ohio. And, at the beginning and end of our trip...we always stay at the Hotel du Champ de Mars.We have done this for more than 10 years. We have probably stayed there 5-6 months in total. The Gourdals have always been very kind and we consider....as do many hundreds of others (check trip advisor) this hotel to be one of the best bargains in Paris.The last time we were there Francoise Gourdal was redecorating and she and her decorator asked my opinion on the colors. My husband and I often talk to Stephane. He is very helpful and we chat often. The rooms we stay in are always spotless, almost every year something new is added...new mattresses, new decor, bathrooms redone,etc. Some of you have written many times about the Rue Cler and this area and I wish some of the negativity did not have to be repeated again and again.There are really seasoned travelers that are not newbies or Ricknics who find value in this neighborhood and the Hotel du Champ de Mars hotel.

Posted by Jane
Lebanon
605 posts

One caveat to my last post. I do agree with you Ed that I really miss the old boulangerie on the corner... The new one is not the same at all.

Posted by Bob
Manchester, CT, USA
87 posts

We stayed at the Hotel du Champ de Mars for two nights in May 2012 (after the Rick Steves Paris tour). The hotel was quite satisfactory, and was an excellent value at 115 euros/night. The RS tour hotel was the Londres Eiffel - much more expensive at 175 euros, but not much better than the Hotel du Champ de Mars.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17792 posts

As long as someone has revived this ancient post, I may as well add a few comments as well. I quite enjoy the Rue Cler area and prefer to stay there both for the atmosphere and for more "pragmatic" reasons - it's close to some of the sights, has some good restaurants and hotels, and good transportation to other sections of Paris. Whether it's popular with English speaking tourists is not an issue with me, as I've found that's true in many parts of Paris. I haven't stayed at the Hotel du Champs de Mars, but I did stop by there for a brief "inspection" on one of my visits to Paris, and had a chat with the desk clerk. He was very pleasant and helpful, and based on my observations and posts on Trip Advisor (which are heavily weighted towards the "Excellent" end of the scale), I'd have no hesitation at all in staying there. Cheers!

Posted by Paul
Morrilton, AR, US
56 posts

We stayed at Hotel Champs de Mars this past spring and found the area and the hotel staff wonderfulafter we checked out we walked to a taxxi stand and it began rainingof course no cabs-we returned to the hotel and they tried repeatedly to call us a caband then with none available gave us precise directions on how to get to our destination by subway. Our room was smaller but very clean and the desk staff always ackowledged our enrty and departure from the hotel-we tried to book again this spring but they are full up Paul

Posted by Mary
Vancouver, WA
46 posts

This posting caused a severe rise in blood pressure as only yesterday booked a return stay with this hotel. Once I saw the original date it was a quick recovery. I stayed here with a 15 year old granddaughter in 2010. Found it totally charming and perfect as an introduction to Paris for someone her age. Everything was clean and staff helpful. So making a return trip this summer with another 15 year old granddaughter there was no question on where to stay. It did take repeated emails to get a response, but I never considered a different hotel.