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“Hotel Helvetia - basic, clean, fair price, close to metro”
Review of Hotel Helvetia

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Hotel Helvetia
Ranked #1,116 of 1,803 Hotels in Paris
Reviewed 8 April 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Helvetia for 3 nights in April 2013. Our room was one of the biggest doubles available and was about £80 a night, not including breakfast. Book online in advance for this rate as its £120 a night if you just turn up.

The room was very basic, fairly small, clean and warm. A double bed, 2 night stands, a small table/dresser, a tiny wardrobe and a suitcase stand in the room and a shower, basin and toilet in the en suite. Everything you need - just very basic. The bed was very comfortable with a nice firm mattress, plenty of pillows and blankets, lovely fresh crisp cotton sheets. There was central heating in the room but we got a bit chilly so put on the electric radiator that was there too and soon were toasty warm. The shower was excellent, controllable heat (I like it hot hot hot!) and good pressure. The large window in the bathroom was brill, you could sit and admire the view while on the loo, lol ... amused me anyway :)

Breakfast was ok, nothing fancy but decent enough. £8 each got you tea, coffee or hot chocolate, 2 hunks of french stick, 1 pain au chocolate and 1 croissant, a little bit of cheese, butter, jam and a pot of fruit puree stuff. We asked for coffee 'au lait' and got a jut of hot coffee and a jug of hot milk which mixed together made delicious milky coffee. The breakfast staff varied, one spoke quite a bit of english, 1 didnt, but we managed perfectly well and got what we needed each day.

Reception staff all spoke English pretty well and were all friendly enough and happy to help us useless Brits with very little French knowledge.

Located right next to Gare de Lyon, this hotel is very easy to find and travel to/from. My experience in Paris was that it doesnt matter where you stay really as long as you can use the Metro, you can literally get anywhere in Paris in a few minutes for about £1.30. The Metro was very easy to understand - even a country girl like me with no london Underground experience found it simple and very efficient. The one time I did get a bit confused a French Man came to my rescue and pointed out where I needed to be without me even asking for help! It really is a Myth that the French are grumpy and arrogant- we found them kind and helpful at all times. A smile, A 'Bonjour' and they will do anything they can to help you :)

Downsides to this hotel - well, its certainly not posh/luxurious but you get what you pay for dont you? A few comments have said the corridoors were narrow etc, I guess they might be a problem for anyone with severe mobility problems but there is a lift to all floors and the corridoors were no problem for me and I'm a big girl! I think some people just like to find something to moan about.

We noted that there were no smoke detectors in our room - I dont know what the regulations are in France but it certainly could be a problem. Our particular room had 3 windows which all had opening door sized windows and could easily have been used to escape but we were only on the first floor .. any higher and you might well be toast!

So, all in all, a good if somewhat basic reasonably priced hotel that I wouldn't hesitate to use again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ladybiker2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 - 81 of 299 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2013

Very basic accommodation. Only chose if you have to be at Gare de Lyon at the crack of dawn for a train trip to somewhere else....staff nice, but rooms very basic. I'm not complaining about the rooms, you get what you pay for...but a couple of points need to be mentioned. I shudder to think how anyone with a mobility problem would cope here, or, dare I I say it, cope if there was a need to be evacuated. There is a tiny lift, very much straight out of a Harry Potter film, and it really only takes one or two people...one person at a time if you have large suitcases. Mind your fingers in the doors of bedrooms. Other thing that needs to be mentioned is that the people in the room next to me were smoking....I'm sure this is breaching rules, but hey....maybe there were no smoke detectors, which is even more of a concern. Consequently, my bedroom reeked of smoke all night long. Not very pleasant.

Room Tip: If you have lots of luggage or kids, ask to be close to ground floor.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Lou655
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2013 via mobile

I stayed for one night, got off the train from gare de Lyon, literally a 1 minute walk. Very friendly and helpful staff. Great value for money. the metro station is right outside hotel doors. Even though the hotel is on a very busy road, I could not hear the traffic with the windows closed. Will be staying here again when I revisit paris later in the year

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank mjmally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2013

My Wife and I were on honeymoon and were surprised by how nice this little hotel was! Very well situated, main station was literally accross the road(Gare de lyon) and grocery store just outside the hotel. The room was small, but really clean and comfortable. Even though on a main road, we didnt hear a sound!! The small lift was rather interesting, tiny....big enough for 2people and luggage!! All staff spoke english. I would reccommend this to anyone traveling to Paris!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jason_Terence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2012

I chose this hotel mainly because it's near to Gare de Lyon and not too expensive (relatively speaking of course). It is a small hotel, although my room size is acceptable. The bathroom is a bit dated. There is a street light outside my window which is too bright at night. It wasn't noisy though. Overall there is nothing special either about the room or the hotel. It lacks the charm factor and the atmosphere isn't very inviting or warm.

The restaurants near the train station are a bit touristy to me. I recommend the one in the middle of Rue de Lyon, which I have written a review about it.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank manchai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2012

The hotel is very convenient for the Metro, Gare de Lyon main railway station and Air France Bus to CDG airport. In Paris the cheaper hotel rooms do tend to be small and this was the case here. In my experience as a single traveller it was well worth paying a little more for a double room Breakfast is available in the room but I didn't partake so can't comment on this. However, the hotel suited my purposes. I found the the reception staff to be very competent and friendly - and they spoke good English.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com
Thank J0123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2012

We needed a cheap overnight stay in Paris near the Gare du Lyon railway station. we chose the Helvetia as it was considerably cheaper than the surrounding hotels. The hotel was pretty much what we expected,a small very basic room in need of a paint job but with a surprisingly good shower. The staff were very helpful and spoke quite good english. Numerous good restaurants within a 5 minute walk, so all in all we were not disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank newcanadafan429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Helvetia

Address: 28 B boulevard Diderot | 12 Arr., 75012 Paris, France
Region: France > Ile-de-France > Paris > Bercy / Nation , Reuilly
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
#174 Best Value Hotel in Paris
Price Range: £75 - £107 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Helvetia 2*
Number of rooms: 48
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Helvetia Hotel Paris

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