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Paris hotel and neighborhood opinions

n
Nathan Lee Nov 13, 2002 11:54 PM

My fiance and I will be in Paris from Nov. 30th through the 4th. She has been looking for a hotel room in a central location with attached bath and she found this hotel:

Comfort Hotel Saint Martin
6, rue Gustave Goublier, Paris, FR, 75010
"Located in a small and peaceful street, between Gare de l'Est and Notre Dame, the Comfort Hotel Saint Martin is an ideal base for reaching the Grand Boulevards and the Halles quarter
Underground access is excellent to: Gare de l'Est - 4 minutes Gare du Nord - 6 minutes Les Halles and the Centre Beaubourg - 5 minutes"

Is this neighborhood safe? Is it close to any sights or close to the bus/tube stops?

I've spent a lot of time copying previous posts on restaurants, but still have no idea where any of them are located. What restaurants would you recommend in this neighborhood?

Any recommendations for hotels (and restaurants) would be greatly appreciated.

thanks,
Nate

P.S we'll be in London from the 4th through the 8th, so an inexpensive hotel there would be great as well.

  1. j
    Jim P Nov 14, 2002 07:59 AM

    Go to pagesjaunes.fr to find this location. This is a terrible area, in my opinion, not convenient to anything but the train station and a lot of transients. Good luck!

    1. g
      GG Mora Nov 14, 2002 08:16 AM

      IMHO, this is a pretty crappy 'hood. I don't know what you mean when you say "inexpensive", but my rec for low-priced in a pretty swanky 'hood would be the Hotel Bonaparte at 61 Rue Bonaparte. A room with bath & breakfast is $140 a night. The location is unimpeachable: directly across the street from Pierre Hermé, a few blocks from St. Germain (Deux Magots, Brasserie Lipp), walking distance to lots of good stuff (Luxembourg Gardens, Ile de la Cité), many interesting restos right around the corner and convenient to several Metro stops.

      4 Replies
      1. re: GG Mora
        n
        Nathan Lee Nov 14, 2002 10:18 AM

        thanks,

        We were quoted a room with bath for about $50/night.

        1. re: Nathan Lee
          e
          Eric Eto Nov 14, 2002 11:37 AM

          Travelling in many cities in Europe, I find it pretty easy to get a room, IF you're like me and don't give comfort and service a priority. I figure I'm going to be out and about (till late most likely) so all I need is a bed and a shower. I'll splurge on food rather than pay for higher-end lodging. You should keep in mind that hotels in Europe at this price point are much smaller and much less service-oriented than american counterparts. But unlike American cities, they are a dime a dozen. Finding a room at $50 isn't too difficult, if you find a suitably decent looking no-star (maybe one-star) hotel in a decent neighborhood, near a metro stop. This is especially the case when you get off the beaten path. One other note of caution about many of these no-star hotels is that there is not a 24-hour front desk. Some places close the shutters afer 1 or 2 am, and others just give you a front door key. Be sure to ask.

          I've stayed in the area of your hotel, in a no-star hotel in some alley/passage for something like $40 for 2 beds. It is somewhat of a wasteland, and doesn't feel particularly "neighborhoody" around there, but it's pretty close to a few metro stops. Definitely check out the Art e Metier station -- the station is fully copper plated (i think it's copper) and very striking. There are several African/reggae clubs in the area, so it can get a bit rowdy at night.

          I liked this cheap hotel near the corner of Rue de Bretagne and Rue du Temple across from a small park, near Place de la Republique. Rue de Bretagne is a nice little food market street, so getting out of bed and getting food/pastries is really convenient. Good luck.

          1. re: Eric Eto
            p
            Ping Nov 15, 2002 01:10 PM

            Nate,
            My husband and I go to Paris as often as we can afford it (sadly, our visits are getting less frequent now...), and we always stay in an apartment in the Marais. It's smack-dab in the center of the city, and really close to a few Metro stations, including the dynamite one suggested by Eric E., Arts et Metiers - yes, it's clad entirely in copper. Visit the newly re-opened Conservatiore Des Arts et Metiers (art/design/science museum), too. We rent through Rentparis (link below). Fabrice and his partners have served us well since they started the business with only a couple of properites. The advantages, as I see them, of staying in an apartment are the freedom of having your own place to come and go as you please, and the relaxing feeling of having a real "home base" in a frenetic city. I also don't eat breakfast, so I like being able to get up when I please and have a full kitchen in which to make tea and hang out quietly before going out. Fabrice will meet you at the apartment whenever you get there, and will answer any questions you have. We pay $95/night. I just got an email from Fabrice yesterday saying that they're running a special in November/December: 10% off per night.:)

            The place where we stay, on Rue Chapon, is just around the corner from Au Bascou, a very inviting and cozy Basque restaurant on Rue Reaumur near Rue Beaubourg. The place where we always go the first night is Les Amognes (243 Rue Du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Metro stop "Faidherbe-Chaligny"). Really awesome, pure, season-driven food that walks the line between refined and rustic. Call before you leave (01 43 72 73 05)to make a reservation.

            Have fun!

            Link: http://www.rentparis.com

            1. re: Ping
              n
              nate Nov 16, 2002 05:35 PM

              Thanks Ping,

              My fiance will be happy to hear that.

              Nate

      2. d
        DavidT Nov 14, 2002 08:42 AM

        In Paris, I highly recommend the Hotel de Seine, 52 Rue de Seine, phone 46 34 22 80, fax 46 34 04 74. It is on a relatively quite, very safe block in a great area on the Left Bank. My guess is that rooms w/bath are 100-120 euros a night, maybe less. The hotel is 2 blocks north of Blvd. St. Germain, very near the Buci Street market. There are a ton of shops, restaurants, cafes, etc. within a 5 minutes walk of the hotel and you can walk across the Pont-Neuf or the Pont des Arts and be at the Louvre Museum in about 10-12 minutes.

        3 Replies
        1. re: DavidT
          s
          Sarah Nov 15, 2002 05:19 PM

          The rue de Buci itself is a lovely place to stay, and has at least two good hotels, the Hotel de Buci at 22 (four-star) and the Hotel Buci Latin (three-star) at 34 ... or at least they were good when I stayed at the second one a few years ago (although go for an ensuite room!).

          On eating out, I agree that it's fun to walk around and take potluck ... and the backpacker's guides can be used to highlight promising streets, even if you don't want to plan ahead.

          As for the hot spots. Cafes on the banks of the Seine are expensive, and not worth it (the more commercial, the more you have to count your change!). But some famous cafes are fun to visit, for example on the Boulevard Saint Germain .... Les Deux Magots and the Cafe de Flore, where writers like Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir used to hang out.

          1. re: Sarah
            m
            Molly Nov 22, 2002 12:23 AM

            The Hotel Buci Latin is now called the Artus and a double room is 235 Euros. My brother sayed there last week.

          2. re: DavidT
            m
            Molly Nov 22, 2002 12:20 AM

            Rooms at the Hotel Seine are above 150 Euro's.

          3. t
            Tatyana Nov 14, 2002 08:42 AM

            If you want to be close to everything I recommend Hotel de la Sorbonne (I think it's about $80/night) It's close to Sorbonne, Luxembourg Gardens and Boul St. Mich. We stayed there this summer. Rooms are small but clean and if you want a normal size bathroom, get a room w/ a bath instead of shower.

            Link: http://www.hotelsorbonne.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: Tatyana
              m
              Molly Nov 22, 2002 12:18 AM

              I don't see how you say that the Sorbonne, the Luxumbourg Gardens and the Bd St. Michel are all near each other?

              1. re: Molly
                c
                Caitlin McGrath Nov 22, 2002 10:10 AM

                They are all near each other. Entrances to the Luxembourg gardens are right on Blvd. St-Michel, the Sorbonne is just a few blocks off of it. None of these locales is more than a ten-minute walk from the others.

            2. m
              Matt B Nov 14, 2002 08:57 AM

              Try the Bourdonnais on the Rue Bourdonnais. They have a website. Walk to Eiffel Tower, Ecole Militaire and Invalides. Nice neighborhood. Despite the closeness to the Tower, it doesn't have a touristy feel. Many good restaurants in the area, including Le Montessuy on the Rue Montessuy, a small place with wonderful food. Also the restaurant in the hotel is supposed to be very good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Matt B
                j
                jenn Nov 21, 2002 05:06 PM

                I'm not sure when you last went to Le Montessuy on the Rue Montessuy ---we were there in October '00 for our honeymoon but when we tried to go there last week, we couldn't find it. It seemed to have been replaced by a Chinese-Thai restaurant.

              2. k
                Kitty Nov 15, 2002 09:11 AM

                I've stayed at the Hotel de Nice on the Rue de Rivoli in the Marais. Within easy walking distance of the Place des Vosges. The Marais is a great neighborhood with lots of restaurants and boutiques. Price was between $80-100. The room was small, but it had a private bath and a tiny balcony with a view of the towers of Notre Dame in the distance. Highly recommend this hotel! Decorated with lots of antique prints and funky wallpaper.

                1. j
                  Jim H. Nov 16, 2002 05:16 PM

                  If you are planning on $50 pernight, don't expect too much unless you are in a not-too-popular neighborhood. You should learn the arrondismente system, so you will have some idea where you are.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Jim H.
                    n
                    nate Nov 16, 2002 05:31 PM

                    Which arrondismentes are typically more desirable or safer?

                    1. re: nate
                      m
                      Mogsob Nov 17, 2002 07:57 AM

                      While everyone has their preferences, I prefer to stay in the following (in order of preference):

                      6e
                      7e
                      5e
                      4e
                      1er
                      8e

                      You can certainly find reasonable hotels in all of the above, although perhaps not quite at the 50 euros per night level. Try the Familia Hotel or the Hotel Grandes Ecoles in the 5e.

                      1. re: Mogsob
                        p
                        paulagould Apr 3, 2009 03:21 PM

                        The Familia Hotels looks good and great prices - I love this website!!!!

                  2. n
                    Nathan Lee Nov 19, 2002 11:13 AM

                    Thank you for your help. She booked a hotel in the 8th.

                    1. c
                      Christopher Dec 8, 2002 09:35 AM

                      I'm amazed no one has already posted this idea. I have have had many wonderful deals with Priceline (for hotels). I check BiddingForTravel.com for bidding strategies/possible hotel outcomes. Although I did not like the Novotel Eiffel Tower, I will bid again in Paris in other regions/star levels.

                      Link: http://www.angelfire.com/ny3/globalgo...

                      1. m
                        Maurice Naughton Dec 14, 2002 05:13 PM

                        It's mid-December, so this posting is not at all timely, the original questioner probably already having returned to the states. But I send it along because some future reader may go through this thread looking for info.

                        This is not a main-stream view, as most of the other responses are. It's not for the Fodor-driven. It's for the adventurer, the explorer, and the poor. Couples must be very brave to think it represents a way of travel for them.

                        To travel as I do, I have to go on the cheap. So I don't get to stay in the Marais, my first choice, nor in the fifth, sixth, or seventh.

                        I stay often in the 10th, where I can live on very little. In October, having fallen into a financial swamp, I got a room for a week in the Hotel du Brabant on the rue du Petits Hotels near the Gares du Nord and de l'Est. It was a tiny single with hot and cold, very worn and tired, but impeccably clean and friendly. Shower and toilet down the hall, also impeccably clean. It cost me 26 EUR a night. The Marche St. Quentin and a Leader-Price supermarket and a boulangerie and some asian traiteurs (think Chinese carry-out and delicatessen combined) were all within a few blocks, so beer and demi-baguettes and composed salads and charcuterie were available for eating in the room, keeping the daily bread down to about four or five EUR. And this isn't anywhere near the bottom of the barrel.

                        It's a poor neighborhood, of mixed ethnicity, Black, Mid-Eastern, Indian sub-Continent mainly. Safe? I assume so. But probably not entirely if you're wearing an Armani suit and a Rolex. I tend to wear black jeans and black sweaters and a black jacket and a black leather backpack and I'm a white-haired, paunchy sixty-three-year-old, so I don't attract much concupiscent attention.

                        Go east of that in the 10th, past the railroad stations, and you're in the Canal St. Martin neighborhood, more genteel and upscale, and genuinely pretty but still very plain living. I think it an excellent place to have an apartment for a week or more. And there are interesting and inexpensive places to eat. Look for the ones that are crowded at lunch.

                        The area served by the Metro stations Strasbourg-St. Denis, Bonne Nouvelle, Chateau d'Eau, and Poissonniere feels rougher. A lone woman after dark there wouldn't be entirely at ease. Couples and groups more so. It's Turkish and Greek and Indian and African and Lebanese, and now Chinese too, and Americans bring their prejudices with them there and feel suspicious, but unnecessarily. Nevertheless, it's stupid to be ostentatious and camera-waving and careless. Dangerous? I don't think so. Uncomfortable? Considering the American character, somewhere between maybe and probably.

                        The tenth doesn't come close to the guidebooks' concept of "vrai Paris." Too many other languages. But it's worth exploring. The Baccarat factory museum is there, and the most beautiful fin de siecle resto Julien and the justly famed 19th Century Brasserie Flo.

                        If you have a little more dough, the twelfth, particularly between the Place de la Bastille and the Gare de Lyon is solidly middle class, comfortable, Parisian. It's my neighborhood of choice for convenience and reasonable prices. The rue de Lyon and its side streets have lots of solidly lower-middle-class (2-star) hotels, rarely fully-booked, and there are plenty of solid if not dirt-cheap restos.

                        Montmartre, the 18th, between Metros Blanche and Abbesses, is a village, everything you think Paris ought to be except medieval. Not expensive, not cheap, and not a stone's throw from Notre Dame. The Hotel Prima Lepic on rue Lepic is pretty and moderate, and there are plenty of good, fun, sociable eateries.

                        The 11th, between Place de la Bastille and Place de la Republique (Oberkampf) is trendy, or was, and young. Reasonable prices mainly. Lots of accommodation, lots of dining, lots of night-life.

                        As I said at the outset, this is a contrarian view, most suitable for the feckless and those who go alone and are often broke. Oh, and those who aren't on a two-famous-restaurant, three-great-sites, and two-museum-a-day schedule. Frommer would arch a brow and furrow his forehead.

                        1. m
                          Maurice Naughton Dec 14, 2002 05:13 PM

                          It's mid-December, so this posting is not at all timely, the original questioner probably already having returned to the states. But I send it along because some future reader may go through this thread looking for info.

                          This is not a main-stream view, as most of the other responses are. It's not for the Fodor-driven. It's for the adventurer, the explorer, and the poor. Couples must be very brave to think it represents a way of travel for them.

                          To travel as I do, I have to go on the cheap. So I don't get to stay in the Marais, my first choice, nor in the fifth, sixth, or seventh.

                          I stay often in the 10th, where I can live on very little. In October, having fallen into a financial swamp, I got a room for a week in the Hotel du Brabant on the rue du Petits Hotels near the Gares du Nord and de l'Est. It was a tiny single with hot and cold, very worn and tired, but impeccably clean and friendly. Shower and toilet down the hall, also impeccably clean. It cost me 26 EUR a night. The Marche St. Quentin and a Leader-Price supermarket and a boulangerie and some asian traiteurs (think Chinese carry-out and delicatessen combined) were all within a few blocks, so beer and demi-baguettes and composed salads and charcuterie were available for eating in the room, keeping the daily bread down to about four or five EUR. And this isn't anywhere near the bottom of the barrel.

                          It's a poor neighborhood, of mixed ethnicity, Black, Mid-Eastern, Indian sub-Continent mainly. Safe? I assume so. But probably not entirely if you're wearing an Armani suit and a Rolex. I tend to wear black jeans and black sweaters and a black jacket and a black leather backpack and I'm a white-haired, paunchy sixty-three-year-old, so I don't attract much concupiscent attention.

                          Go east of that in the 10th, past the railroad stations, and you're in the Canal St. Martin neighborhood, more genteel and upscale, and genuinely pretty but still very plain living. I think it an excellent place to have an apartment for a week or more. And there are interesting and inexpensive places to eat. Look for the ones that are crowded at lunch.

                          The area served by the Metro stations Strasbourg-St. Denis, Bonne Nouvelle, Chateau d'Eau, and Poissonniere feels rougher. A lone woman after dark there wouldn't be entirely at ease. Couples and groups more so. It's Turkish and Greek and Indian and African and Lebanese, and now Chinese too, and Americans bring their prejudices with them there and feel suspicious, but unnecessarily. Nevertheless, it's stupid to be ostentatious and camera-waving and careless. Dangerous? I don't think so. Uncomfortable? Considering the American character, somewhere between maybe and probably.

                          The tenth doesn't come close to the guidebooks' concept of "vrai Paris." Too many other languages. But it's worth exploring. The Baccarat factory museum is there, and the most beautiful fin de siecle resto Julien and the justly famed 19th Century Brasserie Flo.

                          If you have a little more dough, the twelfth, particularly between the Place de la Bastille and the Gare de Lyon is solidly middle class, comfortable, Parisian. It's my neighborhood of choice for convenience and reasonable prices. The rue de Lyon and its side streets have lots of solidly lower-middle-class (2-star) hotels, rarely fully-booked, and there are plenty of solid if not dirt-cheap restos.

                          Montmartre, the 18th, between Metros Blanche and Abbesses, is a village, everything you think Paris ought to be except medieval. Not expensive, not cheap, and not a stone's throw from Notre Dame. The Hotel Prima Lepic on rue Lepic is pretty and moderate, and there are plenty of good, fun, sociable eateries.

                          The 11th, between Place de la Bastille and Place de la Republique (Oberkampf) is trendy, or was, and young. Reasonable prices mainly. Lots of accommodation, lots of dining, lots of night-life.

                          As I said at the outset, this is a contrarian view, most suitable for the feckless and those who go alone and are often broke. Oh, and those who aren't on a two-famous-restaurant, three-great-sites, and two-museum-a-day schedule. Frommer would arch a brow and furrow his forehead.

                          1. s
                            Sandy H. Mar 6, 2003 10:38 AM

                            Nate,
                            I can recommend the Hotel Crystal at 24, rue Saint Benôit in the Saint Germain des Pres area. My husband and I have stayed there for the last 2 years. The rooms are not too small, and the bathrooms are very nice. Metro and bus stops are close. It's moderately priced and well located, only half a block from Café de Flore. The staff is friendly and helpful. The price has gone up a bit this year, but still in the moderate range. It was 137.20 Euros last year and is 144 Euros this year. A very lovely restaurant nearby is Le Petit Zinc at 11 r St Benoît ... good seafood and warm, friendly waiters. http://www.petit-zinc.com/

                            Sandy

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