We stayed here for a week in the late April, 2005. It is in the heart of the Marais district which is a great place to base your exploration of this great city. Le Marais is charming, bustling, gay, Jewish (part of it) and central. You can walk anywhere in Paris from here or take the metro if it is raining. This hotel is on one of many narrow, quaint cobblestone streets with lots of nearby bars, restaurants, cafes, etc. The people who run the hotel are friendly and helpful (by Parisian standards). Make sure you book way in advance (months) or you will be disappointed. After looking around this and other central areas we realized this place is a bargain and great value (for Paris). We were in their least expensive room type at 110 Euros per night - no multiple day discounts. This city is expensive - if you think the accommodation is expensive, wait until you start paying to eat out!
It is easy to walk (2 short blocks) with your wheeled luggage from the metro stop at hotel de ville. There is a tiny elevator (2 people or 2 bags, not both) and 5 floors. The decor is traditional with exposed timbers in places. Everything is clean and basic, this is not a luxury hotel. Our room was small and the bed even smaller. A standard bed for Paris but very difficult for 2 people - about the size of a standard double bed in North America but seemed shorter. This is the standard in Paris though unless you want to pay $500 US equivalent a night. Don't know why - the people seem to be the same height (though much thinner) and the bed is small even if you find a large room. The bathrooms were large, somewhat modern, clean and complete with bidet. They unfortunately have the large tub with no shower or curtain so you have to sit and spray yourself if you don't want to flood the entire place (again - why? - a shower would easily fit). The bed was uncomfortable by North American standards but adequate (except that size thing). There was barely enough room for your luggage on the floor and we kept tripping on it. There are no amenities in the hotel except for free internet in the lobby - kudos to this this hotel as this is very unsusual and if a hotel has it here they often charge a lot (20 Euros per hour) to use it. Customer service is not a big thing in Paris - hotels or restaurants - but that is part of the charm :)
Hint about food - avoid the cafes for meals and go to a restaurant for much better value and quality. Better than that , frequently picnic - the food (and wine!) in the groceries (one around the corner from this hotel) is cheap by comparison and excellent quality. Our best meals were sitting on a bench in a park or on the wall of the Seine.
Word of warning - this, and seemingly most hotels in Paris are fire traps. Alternate exits or fire escapes are unheard of. Smoke detectors are rare, no one seemed to know what a sprinkler was! The outside of most buildings were not made for climbing. We almost bought a rope and would consider it next time. A travel smoke detector would not be a bad idea either. This is not to single out this hotel as this is standard but the one very narrow stairway from the top floor was very sobering.
All the above aside, this place is a find (for Paris) and we would definitely go back. Learn some French (just "bonjour" helps immensely) and roll with the "rudeness" and you will have a great time in this city. The staff at the hotel are there 24 hours a day and always willing to help. Take a day or two to skip the museums, etc and just wander the streets in Le Marais - one of the best things we found to do in Paris!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A few steps away from the Place des Vosges, the Picasso Museum, the Georges Pompidou Center and from the Notre-Dame, you will enjoy a charming residence typical of the Marais area, which has managed to preserve its character.Each of its 7 suites and 22 rooms, uniquely decorated, invites you to an intimate stay. It resides in an old private hotel from the 17th Century and buried in the heart of Pari, where it is easy to get lost among the old facades and flowered interior gardens. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- De La Bretonnerie Paris
- De La Bretonnerie Hotel
- Hotel De La Bretonnerie Paris