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My wife and I (mid-fifties, teacher and judge, travel to Europe at least twice a year on a budget with one longish 2-3 week trip and one or two five-day short breaks over long weekends) stayed at the Familia in early April 2004 for five nights. We will return and have recommended it to our daughter who will be traveling to Paris soon.
Good solid value for Paris. We had a balcony room on the fifth floor (#51).
We were next to the elevator and there was some mechanical noise from it, but nothing to interfere with sleep. There was also some noise from adjacent rooms (next door and -- couldn't tell -- either above or below) and this was from ordinary conversational levels. Nonetheless, people were seldom in their rooms, came in and went straight to bed, and we had no reason to complain. If noise is a big concern, I think I might take the other gentleman's advice and ask for a room on the opposite side of the hallway where there is only one neighboring room(although you give up any view of Paris). We slept with the French door to the balcony cracked open (because the weather was beautiful, not because of noise) and the street noise was not objectionable.
Ditto to others' comments on the small rooms, but entirely adequate.
You don't need more. Really.
Bed was excellent. Firm. No soft spots. European long roll type pillow for two.
CNN, MSNBC, TravelChannel in English. Other stations in French, German, Italian, and a station that I think was Al Jazeera. A good sports channel in French.
Bathroom with shower (no tub in our room) was tiled, tiny and absolutely immaculate. Soap and lots of towels provided. Plenty of hot, hot water even at peak times. Bring shampoo.
The balcony had just enough room for the two chairs and a table, but was entirely usable.
The breakfast was adequate (orange juice/drink, a croissant and a hard roll for each person, commercial marmalade, good strong European coffee (a small pitcher -- two full cups -- each) and hot milk (another pitcher to share). Some other travelers had teenage children who chose the hot chocolate and pronounced it very good. Tea was another choice.
Our room too had a refrigerator and we used it to store perishable pastries, cheese, and fruit. To save big money, we tend to eat big lunches, then just eat a light meal of such things many nights in the room or in a park, and then go out to a cafe later for beer, wine or a coffee, and to watch people, read and talk. (BTW, we find museum food in Europe to be routinely good (and sometimes spectacular) and not outlandishly priced. The D'Orsay's salads and their cheese platter, for example, are excellent values. When in London, try the Tate Britain.
The quality in America too can be excellent at the Chicago Art Institute, Joslyn in Omaha, St. Louis Art Museum and Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City. Sorry to ramble. )
Subways to and from the hotel could not be more convenient. Cardinal Lemoine is two blocks away uphill, Jussieu is three blocks away (across from the new Sorbonne), and Maubert is perhaps four blocks distant, slightly downhill.
A train trip in from either Chas. de Gaulle airport or Orly could not be simpler. Take the RER B to St.Michel/Cluny. Then Line 10 for one, two or three stops to either Maubert-Mutualite, Cardinal Lemoine, or Jussieu (these stations form a triangle around the Famila). Cost 6.75 euros. Or if you want to avoid the transfer (and a longish, rather ugly underground walk from one line to another), you could just walk the last beautiful 1/2 to 3/4 mile like we did. Just exit at St.Michel/Cluny, and head toward and past Notre Dame Cathedral along the Seine. (BTW, in orienting yourself the best tourist street map I've found is the "Streetwise Paris" folding map. I'm really fond of Compass Map's "PopOut Map" series for London, Amsterdam, and Zurich, and of course "London AZ" for serious long-term London lovers, but "Streetwise" seems a better quick reference for Paris.)
Subway connections to all the major sites are equally easy from the hotel. Furthermore, both the Louvre and the D'Orsay are within walking distance. I'm guessing a mile and a half to two miles roughly... but a beautiful walk.
The neighborhood felt perfectly safe. There is an internet shop within one block. The hotel is near the relocated Sorbonne so you could visualize this neighborhood as a French version of a typical "campus town" area around an American university and you wouldn't be far wrong.
A lot of bookstores. Several sidewalk walk-up sandwich shops ...
Turkish, Greek, crepes. Two really pretty average brasseries (so far as food and atmosphere is concerned) within a block... but they had excellently friendly staff who seemed genuinely pleased we had come in.
Hope all this is of some help.
Room with a view
Just returned from a visit to Paris and spent three nights here. Had a 2nd floor balcony room with a table and two chairs overlooking the Rue Des Ecoles. The location is great with great access to the Metro, though Notre Dame and other sights are within easy walking distance.
Did not eat breakfast here as there was a cafe right across the street which had great coffee & croissants for a lot less. The staff is excellent and has no trouble with speaking english. For the price, comfort, and convenience, this is a great value. The balcony rooms are on the 2nd and 6th floors.
Familia was wonderful
My sister and I stayed at Hotel Familia in March 2004 and were very pleased by both the hotel and the employees. We had to switch rooms for our last night because the hotel was full and we made our reservations a little too late, but they were very helpful - even moved our bags for us during the day while we were out sightseeing. The rooms were very clean and the bathrooms in great condition. Being two females traveling alone I felt very safe in this hotel - there was always someone at the front desk and after midnight the doors are locked and can only be opened by the night desk person. They keep your key when you leave, so no one can go upstairs to the rooms unless they claim their room key.
The area was very nice and conveniently located near a couple metro stops.
We just returned from a four night stay at the Familia Hotel - it is a great find. The location is ideal and the price is right.The staff is extremely helpful and accommodating. They speak fluent English and will help with directions, suggestions, etc... The breakfast was good and convenient. You get coffee or tea, juice, bread and croissants. Actually, the coffee was some of the best we have ever had. (and we drink A LOT of coffee)The rooms are small by American standards, as are most rooms in Paris, but you can't beat the price. While the smallness may be a bit intimidating at first (western) glance you quickly realize it is just the amount of space you need. Our room was on the third floor, toward the back. Noise was not a problem at all we heard no conversations of nearby guests. (Even during the several nights when the hotel was completely full.)We visited at the beginning of December and during rather cold weather. Our room temperature was comfortable on some nights we slept with the window slightly cracked because of how toasty we got. The warm room was certainly nice to come back to after a long and chilly day of sightseeing.The rooms are very clean and comfortable we never felt cramped. The closet easily fit our clothes and suitcases. There is a small refrigerator if you want to store food and drinks. The bathroom was clean and not restrictive. The shower is a little tight and I would recommend anyone over 6 feet examine the bathtub/shower rooms - they may provide a little more space.This hotel is great if you are looking for a welcoming, clean, affordable and centrally located hotel in Paris. Enjoy!
So much help
I have stayed at the Familia the last two years and have found the staff to be most helpful and courteous. It is my intent to return to Paris in February 2004 and I will stay at this charming hotel again.
Great Location and Attractive Rooms
I stayed at this hotel on October 19 and 20, 2003. The location was great, and the rooms (I was in a different one each night) were comfortable and charming, especially the one with the balcony. The breakfast was good, and Adam and Edson were gracious hosts. I would like to have stayed longer and would definitely stay here again.
We stayed at Familia Hotel 2/28/03-3/7/03 and it could not have been a better experience. The staff was nice and helpful (gave wine opener when needed and helped iwth directions/advice)!), the area was perfect in the Latin Quarter within walking distance of Notre Dame, Pantheon, etc. Several greats restaurants and pubs and many metro stops near (closest Cardinal Lemione). The rooms were great- small of course- but clean and quaint. Great murals painted wall in each room-adds uniqueness. Stone walls in the staircase with hanging tapestries- GREAT feel. We had the best time staying at this hotel, and especially for the price. Great little grocery 50 steps away, too. We were 2 couples from USA, none of whom spoke French, and during a turbulent political time in the world- and we couldn't have felt more welcome and comfortable. If I ever have the pleasure of returning to Paris, without a doubt, I will stay at Familia!
Excellent hotel, we stayed there in August during the heat wave and the fact that there is no air conditioning was real problem. The staff was excellent, found us a big fan, but still very hot. Other than that, can vouch for the excellent quality of the hotel and the staff.
Adequate with charm
We stayed at the Hotel Familia a the end of November 2002 with friends of ours. We had 2 rooms at Hotel Familia and 1 at the Hotel Minerve (owned by same family). The rooms are small, but charming and very clean. The rooms have what you need--not luxurious, but nice. It felt like what a Paris experience should feel like. The bed was comfortable and room was heated just right. Walls are very thin. We could hear other rooms, but it did not disrupt sleep. Breakfast was skimpy and is included. At the Hotel Minerve breakfast was better, but not included in price. Great location! In walking distance of so many places including Notre Dame. Convenient Metros nearby. Hotel staff was helpful--we had a lot of confusion with our reservations and they got everything right. There were a couple hotel staff who were abrupt, but you find that everywhere. I would recommend staying at the Hotel Familia.
I have nothing but nice things to say about the Hotel Familia. It's got a great location, the rooms are charming, the bathrooms were immaculate and modern, (as of our visit in November, 2002) and the staff was accomodating and very friendly. Between 74 and 95 euros a night. We left Paris for a few days and when we came back to the Hotel the staff seemed genuinely happy to see us. They were always helpful too.
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