Paris in spring - what not to recommend. To cycle there makes it even sweeter. The French have created a lovely cycle route from Dieppe to Paris via old train tracks, rolling French fields and then into Paris via the parks. Best route to follow is one carved out by Donald Hirsch.
Best place to stay on first night is 23 Grand Rue where you will welcomed by Madeleine and Peter, and eat a wonderful meal loving cooked by Madeleine. Watch out though; Peter is a wine expert and if you share his knowledge too much, then there's a danger of not enjoying the next days cycling!
23 Grand Rue, Mesnières-en-Bray,Normandie 76270, France
+33 (0) 2 32 97 06 31
How to say this: you don’t find these hotels anymore and Hotel Esmeralda will undoubtedly sooner or later fall into the hands of savvy promoters who will turn this most authentic and simple 12 bedroom hotel, all with views over Notre Dame into a boutique hotel with stratospheric prices. However, for the time being, just enjoy it: rush to this gem of a hotel with its cats and wallpapers coming out of a bygone era. Share this secret address with everyone you love. As with all great passions, it won’t last, so savour every moment of your stay.
4 rue Saint Julien Le Pauvre 75005 Paris
+331 43 54 19 20
Google map: bit.ly/p5i8v6
* Agnes is our Been there local for Paris. You can view her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/paris-local-agnes-poirier.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/AgnesPoirier
You won’t have to pass an exam to get a room at Hôtel des Grandes Ecoles, just make sure to book in advance. This hotel, ensconced in an impasse with a garden, right in the heart of the Latin quarter, opposite where Hemingway lived in the Twenties, has affordable and lovely hotel rooms, some with Toile de Jouy wallpaper which will no doubt colour your dreams. Room from 118€. It is not cheap but worth the investment!
A very romantic hotel with starry lights in the room,very friendly and helpfull staff, I recommend it for lovers. This design boutique hotel is very famous in Paris.You can even choose the fragrance of the room and the color of the lights.
Situated on the sloping streets of Montmartre in the heart of the largest flea market in the world, is Chez Bertrand, surely the most original Bed and Breakfast in Paris. There are three rooms to choose from, each utterly unique and designed and decorated by Mr. Bertrand himself. ‘Le Studio’ welcomes you to the moon with its lunar likeness, ‘L’Appart’ provides a disco ball and giant Haribo dispenser, but the pick of the bunch is certainly ‘Le Loft’. In this former fireplace shop you can sleep in a circular bed, or … a Citroen 2CV converted into a bed! Whichever room you choose, each comes with a complimentary 'French Survival Kit' that includes a baguette, a saucisson and a bottle of Bordeaux.
The eccentric Bertrand is both a friendly and informative host, having written a guide to Paris he can tell you everything there is to do. He makes a pretty mean breakfast too.
The famous romantic castles in France are not as distant and prohibitive as they may seem: only 40 minutes by train from Paris and you reach the Château of Villiers-le-Mahieu in the middle of the beautiful French countryside. This place can make anyone feel romantic: walking in the castle gardens, over small bridges and along the ducks and beavers swimming in the moat, sitting under the moon lit statues in the courtyard. The castle has a superb spa with a heated swimming pool with a jacuzzi, a sauna and a Turkish bath, a solarium with plenty of free tea and dried fruit, and a gym. There are also massages available, but the prices are pretty high. And just to make it even more romantic, don’t forget to book the dinner table by the fire place.
One night for two people cost 179 Euros, including breakfast and entrance to the spa.
An absolute pleasure! If you are looking for affordable/mid-range accomodation in Paris, Le Manufacture certainly is that. After sitting on the internet for ages trying to find suitable accomodation in Paris, I found La Manufacture - it looked greated and I couldnt believe the price (80 euro for a double room). It was also just outside of the main tourist hub, so it was quieter and cheaper. Friendly and helpful staff, immaculate room, fantastically located. Don't bother staying anywhere else!
This hotel is very convenient and very friendly. I stayed there when I went to Paris for a concert and wanted to stay near the venue. The hotel is near La Cigale and the Elysée Montmartre concert venues and a few steps aways from main Paris attractive sites.
This is a great hostel – pretty new and just ten minutes on the Metro from the Eurostar at Gare du Nord. They’ve got private rooms, dorms, free WiFi, an internet café, a bar, a sauna and a soundproof nightclub in the basement too!
The guys on reception told me it’s on the same canal where they filmed Amélie and that the building’s a remake of the old nineteenth century warehouse - Magasins Généraux, which burnt down in 1990.
The location is right on the Bassin de la Villette - Paris’ biggest artificial pool of water which hooks up to the Seine via the Canal St-Martin. Because of this spot’s popularity the builders had to bring in the famous architects, Chaix et Morel - the same guys who were behind the restoration of the Petit Palace.
On foot you can reach the Buttes Chaumont Park in no time and also the Parc de la Villette, which includes the Science Museum.
The routes into the city are pretty easy too. Crimée Station on Metro Line 7 is only 200 meters away and takes you straight to the department stores around Opéra, the Louvre, Le Marais and the Latin Quarter.
The Laumière station on Metro Line 5 is about 400 meters away and will take you to the Bastille, the Oberkampf night spots and the Latin Quarter.
Also there’s the Jaurès Station on Metro Line 2, again only 400 meters away. This goes to the Arc de Triomphe, Pigalle, the Père Lachaise cemetery and Montmartre.
From the hostel itself you can organise bike tours, walking tours, a Paris induction, basic French language classes and day trips to places like Versailles, and Giverny.
St Christopher's Inn
159 rue de Crimée
Phone: 00 44 207 407 1856
Metro: Crimée, Laumière or Jaurès.
My tip is not to book this hotel. On the website it looks quite charming and the area near Place de Clichy metro is great and lively with lots of brasseries. But the hotel had ropey-worn carpets, tatty old furniture, noisy water pipes when the room upstairs flushed the loo and the hallway stank of stale tobacco. The beds were comfy and clean though, and it was only €90 for a triple room, so maybe I shouldn't complain and ask myself “what did I expect?”
Rue de batignoles, Paris 18
This hotel is located in the northern region of Paris, near all the concert venues and the famous Montmartre.
Despite the fact it's in a very lively area, the street the hotel is in is very quiet and you will be able to fall asleep after attending a concert.
Hotel Gavarni is an old-fashioned-style hotel in the chic 16th arrondissement in Paris.
The owner is green and he wants his hotel to be the same. That's why organic food is served for breakfast, the water from the showers is recycled, the staff is trained to save detergent and water and so on...
5 rue Gavarni
75016 Paris - France
Phone:+33 1 45 24 52 82
Forget the big stuffy international hotels and book yourself into the Christian Lacroix designed Petit Moulin in the Mariais. It is a charming little hotel in a 17th century building that used to be a boulangerie and still has the old signage. There is wireless internet in all the rooms, and you are right in the heart of a very trendy district full of design shops and art galleries – getting into town isn’t difficult and the extra minutes spent traveling are well worth it for staying in such an original place, with none of the hollow impersonality of larger hotels.
Hotel prices in Paris aren't cheap. In fact, they are surprisingly expensive. My recommendation would be to check in to smaller boutique hotels which may be just away from the main tourist attractions/streets. Take the hotel Vernet as an example. Just a few steps away from the Champs Elysee but benefits from great interiors and a equally great location.
We booked a flat in Paris based on information on the website. When we arrived on a Saturday night the key was not available. With a lot of luck we were able to contact a local agent who was able to get us into the flat that Holiday Velvet had booked with them for us. it was not the flat shown on the web. It was small and cramped and cost two thirds of what we paid. We have been ignored by Holiday Velvet and have not received our deposit refund let alone any refund of the difference in the rental.
Hotel des Academies et des Arts is a three-star hotel in the heart of Paris. Usually whenever you're looking for art in general, you would go to a museum or an exhibition - in this case you just need to go to a hotel!
The French street-art artist Jerome Mesnager made this place his and had carte blanche to paint his 'white bodies' all over the hotel. Same thing with Sophie de Watrigant and two video artists. It is worth a look!
I found this site, where they propose video reviews of hotel rooms, short term rental flats in Paris, based on videos from travellers. And you can see that they are not commercials. It's only for Paris though, it seems they will add other cities soon.
Lovely holiday apartment for two, superbly located a few steps from the Arc de Triomphe and very close to the Champs Elysees.
Good value, comfortable holiday accommodation. Quiet and peaceful but with easy access to all the major tourist sites.
Close to Metro and RER. Easy access from Charles de Gaulle Airport on the Air France Airport shuttle coach, which stops one minute away.
rue de L'Arc de Triomphe.
Tel +44 (0)191 5192257
If I had to go to Paris once again I would definitely choose Montparnasse, because it is not far from the Invalides and the Eiffel Tower. In addition to this, Saint Germain de Pres is pretty close (15 minutes on foot) so you will able to see the chuch mentioned in the Da Vinci Code.
If you want to spend a weekend in this part of the town choose this hotel, a three-star with a lovely garden where you can relax after walking all day.
84 Rue Raymond Losserand
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