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“Our secret hotel!”

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Grand Hotel de l'Univers
Ranked #683 of 1,801 Hotels in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Our secret hotel!”
Reviewed 13 August 2013

This was our second visit to this hotel. We stayed there 2 years ago for the 16th birthday of our eldest daughter. The hotel had not changed at all. Clean rooms, clean bathrooms and after walking around Paris for 10 hours the most comfortable beds I have ever experienced in a hotel!
Location is superb and I must recommend taking out a city bike to see the sights! In a lively area with a great atmosphere. Wonderful service and very friendly, helpful staff.
We returned for our youngest daughters 16th and were not disappointed, standards were the same and we had a magical time in Paris! This hotel is a hidden gem . Totally delightful and well worth a visit.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank saz9597
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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369 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2013

This is my second time to Paris, however my first time staying at this hotel. We were on the 4th floor and stay July 25th-27th. Check in was quick, easy, and hassel free. Our room was a bright red, and for Paris I thought the room size wasn't too bad compared to the place I stayed last time. The bathroom was also quite big. The room was very clean. We had a mini fridge in the room.

The hotel staff were fantastic, so friendly, and helpful. I definitely have not experienced this before which is a big plus for this hotel. They charge 12 Euro for breakfast which is your typical European Breakfast. I think it is a fair price to charge considering how expensive Paris is. Unless you are buying from a grocery store or some small bakery don't expect to eat anywhere in Paris for less.

The hotel is on a small street, and the signage is easy to miss, I walked past the hotel twice. But the location is perfect. You are about a 10 minute walk to the Louvre, and 3 minute walk from the metro. All main attractions are very close. This is just a fantastic location with tons of places to eat nearby.

Overall our stay was pleasant and I would most definitely book this hotel again.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Heather V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

My husband and I took our first trip together to Europe and we chose Paris. I chose this hotel partly because of the location but also I wanted the room to look French not like some room you find here in the states. We just got back about a week and a half ago. We had room 6 on the "first" floor and it had the "ugly" view so we kept the curtains closed so we wouldn't have to look at it. If we wanted to see what the weather was doing each morning I had to move the curtain, duck down and twist my neck to look up between the buildings. I joked with my husband that I felt like a mole or a groundhog.

The bathroom was not like the pictures when viewing the hotel online. The toilet was in a very small room all by itself and if you close the door your knees would touch the door and there was no ventilation so it was very warm.

We thought the staff were all very friendly and helpful and they spoke English. We especially liked Richard who even called to make reservations for dinner for us. He went out of his way to be helpful in other ways also like with shopping and such.

I would recommend this hotel and would probably stay there if we get to Paris again. Like I said the location was excellent!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DebFen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2013

While I chose this hotel for all its good reviews, we were still pleasantly surprised when we got there. True, the hotel is small. Not surprising as it was originally a home. However, this hotel is centrally located if you mean to be within walking distance to the Metro subway, Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee D'Orsay. It had an average sized room, good sized modern bathroom and air conditioning (you need to check these when booking a European hotel as these are not standard amenities!). Don't expect window views from this hotel. Not that we minded. Hey, after you've been out and about in Paris the whole day, you would not care for views from your hotel window. You'd be passed out on your bed and the hotel does have a very comfy one with extra pillows on hand.

The hotel had 6 floors and a cellar where they served breakfast at an additional cost but we opted to pass as we wanted to grab croissants from the local bakeries. Also, be aware that the elevator could only hold 3 people, actually 2 if you prefer not to be cramped. So please, if you want to stay here, try not to bring big luggage as you will have a hard time fitting in the elevator.

The staff spoke English and, more importantly, were all pleasant and willing to help. I was also able to get a good rate when I booked through the hotel website. They had a special deal when I was looking so that was a lucky break.

Aside from the central location, the best thing we liked about this hotel was the activity around the area. It was fun, fun, fun. You could find bakeries, market stalls and convenience stores just around the corner and tables were spilling out of the cafes and restaurants a few steps from the hotel. It gave the area a lively ambiance which also made one feel safe and secure. While there was much activity in the afternoon till night, it was not loud so one does not have to worry about losing sleep.

We will definitely stay here again and recommend it to all our friends. We loved, loved, loved Paris and this hotel just added to the positive experience!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Zaerie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Que, Canda
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2013

Great location, lots of restaurants, café’s, shops and also a grocery store around the corner in the St Germain des Pres area. We had room on 5th floor, very tiny elevator to bring you up, but quiet at night. Very little circulation, you could say it’s pedestrian street.

Small room, with spacious bathroom, but we were given a smoking room, which had carpet and kept that smoke smell to it. Thank goodness for A/C, and the window, we also had a small fridge available to us and in-room safe.

Breakfast was so so, toast, croissants, eggs, cereal, coffee….

Hotel is 5 min walk to Le Louvre, La Seine and Pont des Arts for love Locks Bridge. Taxi stand around the corner which costs about 11euro to get to Eiffel Tower.

Room Tip: make sure you do not get a smoking room
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AzzurroMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 379 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2013

I)PREAMBLE

During the summer of 2012, Best Western was running a promotion offering one free night for three different stays.

Although I had more than six different stays between French and German BW where I went last June 2012, the promotion was limited to only one certificate; unlike “Choice Hotels”, where you can earn several free nights if you repeat your two stays (only two for Choice!) several times.

Since the certificate for that free night was only good until the end of the year, I had to use it during my trip to Paris in December 2012 instead of saving it for the summer 2013.

I could have chosen the top of Best Western hotels in Paris with my certificate, but I chose this little hotel for only one reason: in December 2012, it was the only one with a same day cancellation policy by 4 pm. All other BW, whether luxurious or not, had an advance cancellation policy: you must cancel 24 hours before the day of arrival or you lose your money!

I wrote "your money" because, although I had a certificate for a free night, they said that if I didn't cancel one day before, I would lose, not my free night certificate, which would have made sense, but a night at a full rate of more than $200, which I refused to accept.

Sheraton Four Points in Montevideo has the same policy: if you don't cancel one day before arrival, you lose, not the points (that they already deducted from your account when you made the reservation!), but they will charge your credit card for whatever the price is for that night that you didn't cancel a day before arrival!

With Choice Hotels, you only lose your points if you don't show up, which makes sense, but not your money. In fact, you don't even have to give them a credit card number when reserving an award night with points. That's why I always say that "Choice" has the very best hotel loyalty program, just as American has the best one for airlines, at least so far!

Not so long ago, most hotels had a "6 pm courtesy hold" policy and took your reservation without even requesting a credit card. Some still do, like many Ibis hotels where I have been in France, Vienna (the real one, in Austria, not in the US!), Lima and Buenos Aires. But they are now an exception. I had several reservations like that for Madrid, Paris, Vienna and Salzburg, Austria, in June 2013 on a 4 pm, or even 7 pm courtesy hold, without a credit card, and I currently have several similar reservations for the Congreso Ibis in Buenos Aires in July and a Frankfurt Ibis in August 2013.

Then, many hotels started requesting a credit card with day of arrival by 6 or even 7 pm cancellation policy; most Ibis still have this excellent but obsolete policy.

But more and more hotels are now requesting a cancellation notice of one or even several days before the day of arrival, which I never accept because every time that one of my flights has been cancelled (which happens more and more often), that has never happened one or two days before but always at the very last minute!

Those hotels get away with it because people accept it, until the day their flight is cancelled at the last minute, they lose their money and they learn the hard way that they should never accept this now widespread policy.

II) GRAND HOTEL DE L'UNIVERS: Small rooms but EXCELLENT LOCATION

In spite of its name, this is a very small hotel with a handful of rooms on every floor.

But it has an OUTSTANDING LOCATION, in the heart of the Quartier Latin, at a walking distance from Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the fountain of Saint-Michel by the Seine River, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, the Panthéon, the garden of Luxembourg or my beloved Sorbonne, where I spent twelve years in the 1960s and 70s.

I had room No 2 on the first floor (European standards = second floor in the US). It's a small room with a double bed (no space for a queen!), a small round table, a luggage rack, a small club chair, a "mini bar" (in fact a money maker machine for the hotel, full of expensive bottles with NO ice and NO space left to put your own stuff), and a small full bath with a bidet, something totally unknown in the US.

It opens over small street Grégoire de Tours. NO rooms with view. They all open, either over this little street with a building right across, or, even worse, on a “puits de lumière” ("light well"), with a dark wall a few feet from your useless window!

You could fit three or four of it in the huge room 735 at the Sheraton Four Points in Los Angeles LAX, where I wrote these lines in February 2013 before I edited them in July to update transportation information, and lost all helpful votes from the original posting in February! At this Four Points, you will pay about half the price you pay in a Parisian hotel. But of course, LAX is not Paris, and there is quite a difference between Los Angeles "Airport Boulevard" and "Boulevard Saint-Germain" in the “City of Light”!

All personnel in this BW Grand Hôtel de l’Univers were very kind BUT, unless location is vital for you, at €135 without breakfast (around $200 + breakfast a/o December 2012) I must confess that this is NOT an outstanding value for money, even in Paris.

However, as I said, it has an EXCELLENT LOCATION, only 2 short blocks from métro Odéon, and you may walk to main attractions in the Quartier Latin, which is one of the many "hearts" of Paris, together with the Opéra and Montmartre.

Rue "Grégoire de Tours" is a tiny street (about 100 meters long!) starting at Boulevard Saint-Germain. As you exit MÉTRO ODÉON, cross the boulevard and walk towards Saint-Germain-des-Prés (in the opposite direction of the traffic) and you will find this little street on your right hand side just a short block away.

Turn right on that little Rue "Grégoire de Tours" and the Best Western "Grand Hôtel de l'Univers" will be roughly half a block on your left hand side.

On the same street, you will find about a dozen restaurants side by side. I tried one of them, called “Chalet Grégoire”, for which I already wrote a comment.

III) EXCELLENT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

As I said, this BW is just a couple of short blocks from "Métro Odéon", which connects at "Les Halles" with a line of the RER which will take you to CDG airport, North of Paris, in 30 minutes. If you leave from Orly (South of Paris, where Iberia operates), you may take the same subway at "Odéon" station (line "Porte d'Orléans" to "Porte de Clignancourt" going South, towards “Porte d’Orléans”) and change at "Denfert Rochereau" for the same RER but going towards the South, in the opposite direction of CDG.

However, this is quite complicated and expensive. So if you are GOING TO ORLY, there is a much better way. I suggest that you take the métro at "Odéon" in the direction of "Porte d'Orléans" and get off at "Denfert Rochereau", where you can take a direct bus to Orly called ORLYBUS for only 7.60 € per person each way. The journey lasts about half an hour depending on the traffic.

To go FROM ORLY TO PARIS, it leaves from Orly Sud and stops at Orly West before continuing to Denfert Rochereau, although it is often full by then. In that case, you may take the free rail shuttle ORLYVAL (no humans to conduct it, like Miami’s “Metro Mover” or Miami International’s Shuttle!), which will take you to Orly Sud in only one minute, then take ORLYBUS from its starting point.

Please note that, unlike bus 351, which will take you from CDG to Paris “Place de la Nation” with three bus tickets, ORLYBUS does NOT accept RATP tickets. Only CDG busses 350 to Paris Gare de l’Est, or 351 to Paris Place de la Nation will do so. However, ORLYBUS does accept NAVIGO card, if you have one already charged for zones 1 to 4.

And always remember to BUY YOUR TICKETS BY PACKS OF TEN, otherwise you will pay twice as much if you buy them one by one on the bus, where drivers give you the change back, unlike Miami or Buenos Aires. I explained all this in my comment about the "Quality Suites Bibliothèque Francois Mitterrand" on Rue de Tolbiac some time ago.

IN SHORT, this hotel offers small rooms, European way, quite well equipped. But don’t expect to find a microwave, an iron or an ironing board, as you do in US hotels for half this price! Please note that you will pay a higher rate here than in other places a bit farther, such as Ibis hotels. BUT it has an OUTSTANDING LOCATION and you may want to consider this if you want the convenience of a comfortable place right in the middle of the Quartier Latin in Paris.

Room Tip: NO rooms with view. The best view you can expect is a building across a narrow street. BEWARE of r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Efrin_Knight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkshire
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2013

The entrance is a small doorway in a one-way street right in the heart of the Latin Quarter with lots of restaurants nearby as well as convenient metro stations. I imagine it would be a nightmare if you were coming by car – even our taxi driver wasn’t sure how to get there.
The décor is slightly quirky and the room we were in was not that large, but perfectly adequate for a night’s sleep. As others have noted the windows don’t have a view – just a light well in our case, though we were on the top floor and looked out over the nearby roofs. However this mean that it was exceptionally quiet. The sheets were clean and the bathroom was clean and modern. Note that there is a lift, but it can take an age to arrive if others are using it.
Didn’t see much of the staff so cannot comment on the service – though breakfast was served with a smile, even though it was expensive. The second day we had breakfast at a nearby café for half the price and more fun as we watched the locals shopping.
If you can get a good deal on the cost of the room then it’s very good value.

Room Tip: None of the rooms have much of a view but many are quiet.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Theale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel de l'Univers

Property: Grand Hotel de l'Univers
Address: 6 rue Gregoire de Tours | 6th Arr., 75006 Paris, France (Formerly BEST WESTERN Grand Hotel de l'Univers)
Phone Number:
Region: France > Ile-de-France > Paris > Saint-Germain-des-Pres
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
#566 Romantic Hotel in Paris
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Hotel de l'Univers 3*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel can boast one of Paris' best addresses. It stands in the centre of Saint Germain des Prés. A short stroll from the Eglise St. Germain des Prés and the famous café "Les Deux Magot's". A place to see and to be seen! Recently restored this delightful hotel of distinction provides a variety of rooms with cosy intimacy. As an old townhouse, Grand hotel de l'Univers still has many of it's original details like the beans in the ceilings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Paris
Paris Best Western

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