You should absolutely make the trip but I would urge you very strongly NOT to stay at the Iliade. if part of the object of the exercise is to get your friends to fall in love with travel in general and Paris in particular staying in a rather uninspiring area on the northern edge of the city with a long commute by métro to the places you want to see is not, IMO, the way to do it.
I would recommend that you look for a hotel within walking distance of the Louvre and the islands. Even though you will be in the most tourist-heavy part of Paris you will also have on your doorstep many of the iconic sites of the city and all the atmosphere of the streets and cafés of the city that, however clichéd and stereotypical, are probably what you and even more your friends will be expecting.
If you would prefer something a bit less touristy you might consider the République area (3rd, 10th and 11th arrondissements), still a very lively and typically Parisian area, with a lot of vibrancy, plenty of great cafés and restaurants, and excellent communications by several métro and bus lines to everywhere in the city. It is also just a short distance (3 stops by métro) from the Gare du Nord. The other area I would suggest is the area close to Place de la Bastille in the 11th arrondissement.