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Travel Blogs from Paris
It was nearly 30c when we woke up and we weren't feeling too motivated. The heat has a way of slowing things down and even when I Googled "what to do to cool off in Paris?" the suggestions were to slow down and drink rose! Oh France. After lunch, we finally braved the sweltering heat and rode the even more sweltering RER to the catacombs. As luck …
Hi. I'm writing Robyn's blog as she is doing washing. I,ve left my washing beside hers and hoping she will do my washing as well. Fingers crossed. I,ve just given her a subtle prompt about mine being there. WE ARE IN PARIS,!!! Wow who would have thought. Got a bit lost. Slight problem about the map being upside down. Never could get the hang of …
... our stuff. On our second trip, our route required changing metro lines which means even more steps. Also when you get to your SNCF station, there's more steps to get from the metro area of the station to the SNCF section.
To move everything (luggage + kids) I have to make multiple trips up and down flights of stairs ferrying the stroller, suitcase etc. up and down. Quite a workout.
2 notable incidents:
... bar and meet his co-workers for a night out since tomorrow is a holiday and nobody works. That's also why we saw the Louvre and Tower today because tomorrow will be ridiculously busy. We'll go visit the soccer stadium tomorrow, the citadel and we'll stick around to see the Eiffel tower and Champs Elysee lit up at night.
I'll sure be happy to be back in Canada in 2 days from now. I need my own bed to sleep properly! And maybe these allergies will then go ...
Dennis had to fly off to Frankfurt today on business so I booked myself on a bike tour of Paris. I know, sounds risky, right? I was originally booked on a bike tour of Versailles but the trains were on strike today so that tour was cancelled. The tour company knew about the strike a couple of days ago so they called and offered me the Hidden Paris tour with assurances that it was perfectly safe! Since I had a little time to kill before my tour, I walked over ...
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Budget Hotel Convenient for Eurostar and Metro System.
Visited Paris for a three night stay early October 2006. Travelled from London via Eurostar , very convenient if you live within an hour of Waterloo or Ashford.
Stayed at the Relais de Paris Lafayette Hotel located five or six minutes walk from Gare du Nord station. Hotel is in a quiet one way street between Boulevard de Magenta and Rue La Fayette,
we had an inside room and experienced no noise from the traffic or pedestrians.
First appearance the hotel looked disappointing but we found our room, 107, very clean, fairly spacious and the bathroom looked brand new. The hotel is air conditioned which may account for the three star rating, do not expect luxury at these prices ,we found it ideal for a short break. The surrounding area is not the best in Paris but we never felt threatened, even late at night. Continental breakfast is a buffet affair including fruit juices, cereals etc. Priced at 8.50E you can eat as much as you like so it is not bad value.
The hotel is in a good location for exploring Paris. Metro line 4 runs from Gare du Nord to Les Halles, Chatelet and the Left Bank. We used to walk down Rue La Fayette, about five minutes to Poissonniere, and Metro line 7 direct to Opera and the Louvre.
Change at Chaussee d'Antin La Fayette to line 9 for Franklin Roosevelt (Champs Elysees) and Trocadero(Eiffel Tower). A carnet of ten metro tickets costs 10.90E, are not dated and will cover most metro trips including multiple changes. Metro maps are available at the ticket offices.
Restaurants round the Gare du Nord area are plentiful, tourist orientated and not the best in Paris. One of the best is Brasserie Flo Terminus Nord, 23 Rue de Dunkerque, right opposite the station.
Decent stop-off near stations.
The hotel has recently been modernised. Small lift. Rooms small but clean. Try and get an inside room as quieter. Our room had twin beds and a small double bed for third person or child in alcove - but it was a tight fit (we wondered how they made it!), but it would be ideal for a child or two small children. There are coffee and tea facilities (not common in France) but rather skimped on supplies (do all regular travellers carry a hoard of coffee and sugar sachets?).. Very handy for Gares de Nord and Est. No evening meals - we went to the Breton Beret, a regional restraunt on the second block as you go to Gare de Nord and can warmly recommend it - perhaps the best salad I have had this year! Breakfast at hotel standard lower end continental fare, rolls and packets of cheese, jam, etc. WARNING - there is a badly marked step in the middle of the breakfast room down which my wife fell, fortunately will no ill effects other than a broken cup and being drenched in orange juice. It would be illegal in UK without much clearer marking. One day someone will get badly hurt, but the staff do not seem to regard it with any concern. A bit on the expensive side, worth checking if the Mercure hotels at the two stations are doing cheaper offers when you go.
Ok for a short stay
Close to Gare Du Nord and easy to get to from the airport (Euro8.10), room clean and quiet despite being near the St Quentin food market. Some small gripes were that we booked a double room and got a twin, the hairdryer only worked if someone else held the switch to the "on" mark, the tea-making service was the meanest ever and the deal advertised a full English breakfast but consisted of a choice of 2 cereals, croissant, orange juice, tea or coffee from a machine, and sour tasting yoghurts (isn't that a continental?). We arrived late afternoon and noticed there were 2 sachets of tea, coffee, sugar but only 1 small portion of milk (about half the size of those you get in a travelodge) and also plastic cups. We made 2 cups of tea and planned to ask about additional supplies later. On returning from an evening out we asked the receptionist who told us he didn't have the key so we made do with a bottle of water from the minibar (charged E2.50). The next day didn't bring an improvement, with the same quota, uncleaned plastic cups, and an early afternoon request for at least a 2nd portion of milk was met with "that is not possible". Returning from another voyage into Paris at 9:45pm we found the hotel door locked but someone opened it after 5 or so minutes hanging around. Apart from that we had a mainly enjoyable stay, the metro was really easy to use (buy a book of tickets for E10.90) and easily got to places like the Eiffel (nice Italian just by BenHakim metro). We twice walked up to Sacre Coeur and the artist area and apart from gangs of African tat-sellers on the steps in the park there were no issues, we were more concerned with avoiding Café Post at the bottom of the hill - we paid E16.50 for an unedible roast chicken (bones skin and a slither of black meat?) and fries and a similar disappointing gammon and fries and left without ever receiving our drinks, although the waiter did apologise that "it is crazy tonight". A bar with good food and service is opposite the Gare Du Nord (Auxville). We walked the Champs Elysee right down to the park, passed the really expensive bars, shops and the packed MacDonalds and bought tasty baguettes from "Pauls". If we ever went to Paris again we might go to the same district but would try a different hotel. Other things to be wary of, lots of beggars and drunks sleeping rough, and lots of roads with torrents of water running along the gutters at all times of the day and night.
I stayed here for five nights in May. I didn't need a taxi to get to Gar du Nord. There were boulangeries close and small markets and a lavarie 1 1/2 blocks away. I found the size roomy compared to some boxes I've stayed in. The bathroom was modern, the beds comfortable; the little refrigerator was appreciated. It's just luck if you get noisy neighbors. I had none. The help at the desk would reply in English to my French. If you need info or just want to speak to a native then talk to the night clerk. He usually has time to share.
Beware of Room 204
I was looking for a hotel near Gare du Nord and found this hotel. It is very near to metro station and there is a convenient store next to it. There are lots of eating areas nearby and located on a not too noisy street.
When we first arrived, the receptionist greeted us warmly. We were pleased with the room and toilet. Both looked new and clean. However, I do not think they change the bedsheet throughout our stay.
My 4 year old nephew left a french fries underneath the pillow which we did not know. After we came back from a day tour, the beds are made but we found the chip is still underneath the pillow! One could guess the cleaner just pull up the blankets and tucked them in nicely.
There's also something to beware about room 204. After the trip, my roomate and I got red itchy dots all over our arms and legs. Since both of us stayed in that room and we're the only ones who got it, I suspect it's the room. So, please avoid room 204.
Really nice if you are interesting in Theater
My husband and I would like to go to Paris and see a comedy at the Theater. What we would see was "L'Emmerdeur" with 2 well-known french actors (by the way, really nice). We were looking for a hotel next to "Theatre de la porte saint-martin" and were finding Relais de Paris - Lafayette. Well it is not a 5 stars but it is not expensive as well... excepted breakfast (really expensive and not really good... on the second day, we tried an expresso bar instead and paid only €6 instead of €8,90 and it was worth it!). Our room was pretty and clean. Receptionist was nice and was speaking english, spanish, italian and of course french. Metro stations (Gare de l'Est and "Poissonière") are next to the hotel. We enjoyed our stay in Relais de Paris Lafayette even if we know that it is not the best hotel in Paris !
Great hotel if doing Paris on a budget
Stayed at this hotel in July 2005 whilst doing my first trip of Paris with my husband. If you are looking for a romantic hotel then this is probably not what you are looking for. If you are looking for a good priced hotel that is clean with great new bathrooms then this is for you. It is a 5 min walk from both Nord and Est stations; is walking distance (20 mins) from Montmartre. It is on a quiet street in a very bustling area. It is typically Parisien - small rooms and yes a small lift - but hey, that's Paris - and that's what you typically get with old buildings. There are plenty of restaurants and bars around; although not the typical French bistros that I love about Paris. However, with the proximity of the stations, it meant a short train ride to the areas closer to the centre of Paris.
I would certainly use this hotel again and would also recommend to both friends and family.
This place calls itself Relais de Paris Lafayette now...makes you wonder what they're hiding. This end of Paris in general was very dirty, and the hotel was on a dirty little street. The people at first were friendly, but the hotel wouldn't have measured up to what Americans are used to. The elevator (or lift) was so small, two people could barely fit in with their luggage. Then, you walked down a tiny hallway (single file) to your tiny room. It was clean, but if a fire broke out, there's no way you could get out. I asked for my room to NOT be cleaned b/c I had purchased some expensive merchandise, but they came in and cleaned anyway (nothing was missing). The breakfast wasn't good, and if you had it included in the price of your room, they charged you an additional nine Euros each person. I wouldn't go to Paris again, but IF I did, I would NOT stay here.
Hmmmm, not what I expected
Stayed 3 nights at Atel Royal Magenta near Gare du nord station for Valentines weekend. Location is good as it is within 5 mins walking distance from the 2 main railway stations. The hotel itself is not too comfortable and not a luxury, but what do you expect for 2 star. The breakfast is a typical continental one, same every day. There are some nice cafes with better breakfasts nearby, and 1 or 2 that do full english breakfast. I was not overall satisfied with the room we had, we ordered a double bedroom when booking with expedia, but received a twin room. It contained a little 2 seat sofa, tv with 5 channels, 2 chairs, a table, wardrobe, bathroom, very basic. The walls are really thin, and can hear you neighbours talking, there were a group of girls staying in the room above us, they kept us up at night with their talking and laughing. The worst thing about the room was that, the showers run out of hot water. So if you're early wake up you're in for a hot shower, otherwise its coldish water for a shower. Our room was on the side of the hotel facing the road, the windows were'nt double glazed, so could hear traffic zooming past all night. We asked the hotel staff for a room change but it was fully booked, so we had to wait till sunday to change the room. We received a double room this time which was better, and not on the roadside. The room was next door to the noisy girls, grrr. Overall, I would give the hotel 2 out of 10. I wouldn't stay there again. I think I'll stick with the franchise chains of hotel like best western or holiday inn or something like that, a bit prefab, but at least you know what to expect.