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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

26. Paris Accommodation

As I'm now having four nights in Paris instead of seven, I thought it might be a good idea to find a place a bit closer to the tourist attractions. Remember, the main "sites" I really want to see are the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Galeries Lafayette and walk along the Champs-Élysées. With this in mind, I've been searching for something with a similar cost to the place I booked back in October. Huh! Had I been smart, I would have booked a few places back then and made a decision later. As it is, many of the cheaper places are booked out and what's left is slim pickings. Naturally if I had a bigger budget, I'd have a bigger choice, but ... we have to do the best we can with what we have. The other problem for me is I need something with a lift - having arthritis, walking up and down four or five flights stairs, especially lugging a suitcase would make it a bit difficult.

Left or Right Bank?
Of the two places I found, one is in the same area (Saint-Germain/Luxembourg) the other is on the other side of the river in the Louvre/Châtelet area. I wish I'd had the foresight to book something in the Marais area a couple of months ago - I just realised today, most of the "tourist" sites are north of the river and this would have been one of the best areas for seeing Paris tourist spots on foot. Unfortunately, the hotels available now are rather pricey - many of the cheaper places are fully booked.

Hôtel Saint Pierre
This one is in the St. Germaine/Luxembourg area, about 1 km north from the first place I booked, at 4 rue de l'Ecole de Medecine so it will be much quicker getting to the "other" side of the river. It's only 32 euro more, so the price difference isn't too great.

Above: Single room

According to the booking site, the room has as follows-
Room Facilities: Safe, Air conditioning, Desk, Heating, Carpeted, Soundproof, Shower, Hairdryer, Free toiletries, Toilet, Bathroom, Telephone, Satellite channels, Flat-screen TV
Room Size: 12 m²
Bed Size(s): 1 twin

This is what it looks like from outside.

Above: Hotel exterior

The hotel lift looks pretty ancient.

Above: An antiquated lift

Having checked google maps, I find it is 1.6 kms from the Louvre, whereas the first place I booked is 2.2 kms (from the Louvre) - so 600 metres closer! It's also closer to the RER B line which I will need to access when I arrive and depart.
The upside too is it has air conditioning, the downside is there isn't an outdoor area or terrace. (Being a smoker, I don't much fancy standing on the street at night)

Hôtel Flor Rivoli
This is the hotel I found north of the river and is in the Louvre/Châtelet area. The main metro lines are available at Châtelet Metro Station, which is only 220 metres away. The Louvre is 850 metres, Georges Pompidou Centre an 11 minute walk and the Latin Quarter, 10 minutes by foot, according to the booking site.

Above: Hôtel Flor Rivoli

It doesn't look very inviting, does it? Sort of cold, not welcoming.

This is the single room

Above: Single room

Provided with free Wi-Fi and a satellite TV, this soundproofed room has a private bathroom with free toiletries and hairdryer.
Room Facilities: Safety Deposit Box, Heating, Hairdryer, Toilet, Bath or Shower, TV,
Telephone, Satellite Channels, Wake Up Service/Alarm Clock
Room Size: 10 m²
Bed Size(s): 1 single bed

Free Wi-Fi for me isn't necessary, I don't need a hairdryer and it doesn't have air conditioning. It does have its own toilet though. Considering there's no air conditioning, (the fist place I booked doesn't have air con either), it probably isn't that much of an improvement. For 100 euro more, the only advantage I can see is it's a shorter walk to the tourist sites. Something I'll have to think about.

Taking things into account, now that I'm writing this up, I can better see the advantages between the three places and apart from a shorter walk, this last place doesn't really have much to offer, whereas the Hôtel Saint Pierre has the advantage of air con and a shorter walk - maybe not that much shorter, but a bit.

There is also the street itself to be considered. There are buses running along the street of the first place (Pension Residence du Palais) and it has a (small) balcony. I think the street itself looks a bit nicer too.

Actually, I just did a "google" walk with both places in the St. Germaine area, and the walk from the Hôtel Saint Pierre was much nicer.

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