Note that I booked this through Hotwire and that I paid $113 per night. Breakfast added another $16 per day so we're looking at $139 per night, taxes included.
Note also that the actual entrance of this hotel is 7 Rue de l'Echelle and that the two reviews for that address are horrid. Do not be confused, there are not two Hotel Normandy's, it is on the corner of Rus Saint-Honore and Rue de l'Echelle.
After getting my conformation from Hotwire, I looked at the reviews here. I was disappointed and concerned. After I got my conformation from the hotel itself, and now saw the Rue de l'Echelle address I was mortified.
Background on me: I fly about 300,000 miles a year and stay at hotels at least 150 nights per year. I am Hyatt Diamond, etc., and tend to stay at "better" hotels. I decided that in Paris, I wanted to stay in a local hotel and could not resist this price.
However, after the reviews we decided that we would get off the plane, drop our bags at the hotel and find another hotel. We were not going to stay in a rat infested flea trap. The prepayment to Hotwire was going to be our penalty and a lesson to be learned.
So, when we arrived at the hotel we were a bit surprised. Classic Parisian exteriior, and the interior lobby, although cold, was very pleasant. It turns out that they were working on the exterior automatic doors and the lobby was warm as toast the following 4 days.
One room was ready (it was only 9:00 am) and the very friendly staff assured us that the other room would be available by 1:00pm. We decided to check out the room.
The elevator was small, it only holds 4 people but there are two elevators. The room was larger than the typical European rooms and there was more than enough space for clothing and other items. No doubt that this hotel was on the downside of its glory days, but the room was quaint, charming and very detailed. The walls had wonderful plaster relief portraits with painted details, the locks were 19th century (but effective) and you could tell that this hotel was "a place to be" 30, 40 or 50 years ago. The bathroom was very functional, the heat worked and there was a lovely balcony door. The balcony itself was too small to sit on (and a bit scary to stand on) but it was nice to have floor to ceiling air. There was a modern flat screen TV and the phones worked. As you entered the room, the door looked a bit beaten up, and there were some cracks in the paint in the room. The rooms were also a bit haphazardly laid out, I would guess that large rooms had been converted to smaller rooms with bits and pieces going nowhere. But, overall, both rooms were as large as a typical American hotel, i.e., much larger than a typical Parisian hotel.
The lobby was nicely laid out and the bar was charming with the bartender even more so.
Breakfast was buffet style; ham, bacon, eggs (scrambled in a steam tray), fruit, yogurt, baguettes, croissants, cereal, juices, sausage, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. A very decent breakfast and not unreasonably priced at 12 Euros.
The other room that we had was a bit more modern, with a bathroom with bidet but the toilet in a separate room. Amenities were enough, nothing special but nothing missing either.
There may be some stairs, floors were in "halves", i.e., you might take the elevator to the third floor and then walk down 6 or 7 steps to get to your room.
Apparently, according to three framed pieces on the wall opposite the bar, many famous people have stayed here including Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Boy George, Frederic Mitterand, Ravi Shankar, Alain Delon, The Stray Cats, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (before the famed NYC incident), Herby Hancock, Jacques Cousteau and many others.
As opposed to some other reports, I logged onto Orange WiFi (19.90 Euro for a week) and had no problem with a signal. Nor did my business partner on the other side of the hotel. And (about $30 US) is a good deal for one week, not to mention that with Orange, you can log on in other places besides the hotel.
One complaint is that, being an older hotel there were not many free outlets for charging phones, computers etc. I had to unplug one light to get some things charged.
The bottom line is that this hotel could use some fresh paint, some wall cracks repaired and other minor cosmetic work but overall it was very clean, the staff friendly and, as others have mentioned, you simply cannot beat the location. Across the street from the Louvre, and near several Metro stations and the RER (to go to the convention center (Parc de Expositions) or DeGaulle Airport) you can walk to the Seine, right back, left bank, Notre Dame, the Opera House, etc.
For the price, I would stay here again and again, This hotel is Paris. If you want sterile, and to make believe you are in Nebraska, there is a Holiday Inn not far away, If you are a married couple, this could be very romantic. If you a newlywed, you might want something a bit "less authentic" and newer.
For the record, we did not see rats, roaches, surly staff or many of the other things that people reported. This was an extremely pleasant surprise after reading the reviews.
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- Also Known As:
- Normandy Hotel Paris