Friday, August 30, 2013

Where to stay in Paris: Paris hotels and accommodations

Because Paris is a popular tourist destination there are many hotels to choose from. Where you stay will depend on many factors such as: budget, preferences, length of stay and travel plans. I would recommend booking your accommodations in advance for the best deals.

Do your research:
Booking a hotel online is very simple; I use trusted sites like Expedia for my bookings. I also take the time to check out  sites like Trip Advisor to read reviews on the hotels. Many hotel photos and information may not always be up to date, on Trip Advisor and Expedia travelers often post photos of the hotels and review the rooms and amenities. This gives you a good idea of what to expect and will alert you of any major problems not disclosed by the hotel.

Zones:
 Paris is separated into 5 zones or areas. If you want to stay in central Paris then look for hotels in zone 1-3. The closer you stay to zone 1 the closer you are to the heart of the city. Zone 5 is the suburb area and the location of the airport. Knowing this will help you narrow down your hotel preferences.

Some of the things I look at when booking a hotel are:
* Good location (close to stores, shopping, food, entertainment and in a good neighborhood)
*Reviews and recommendations
*Cleanliness
*Service Reputation
*Star rating
*Safety and security
*Price/value
*Close to public transportation (if I am not renting a car)
*Amenities (air conditioning, Wireless internet, pool etc...)
*Inclusion of breakfast
*Free calls
*Free Airport transportation

Things to consider:
Teeny tiny:
When booking a hotel in Paris expect smaller sized rooms and bathrooms, and take the exchange rate into consideration. I also noticed that quite a few hotels did not have elevators (not great on hot summer days); and the hotels that do have very tiny elevators. Not all hotels in Paris have air conditioning so if this is important to you on hot days then make sure you contact the hotel or property and find out if the Ac is in working order.

Go for comfort:
If it makes you more comfortable to stick to a hotel chain you are accustom to, then do so. There are Best Westerns, Hiltons, Sheraton and other well known chains in Paris. I found that many of the North American hotel chains had larger and more spacious rooms. If you are going to book with an unfamiliar chain or private residence then make sure to confirm all your preferences in writing, you don’t want to get there and find out it wasn't what you expected.

Location, location, location:
Usually the closer you get to major sites and attractions the higher the cost of accommodations. Before you depart research the modes of transportation and the ease of access from where you are staying.

The comforts of home:
If you are staying for more than 4 days or you are traveling with family or a group of friends consider renting an apartment and splitting the costs. You will get more for your money and have a few more of the comforts of home like a kitchen and household appliances.

Vacation in Paris: Apartment Review
Where I stayed in Paris:  Apt Paris Hilton on Avenue de Suffren
I decided to rent a fabulous apartment for my week long stay. Here are some photos and a review.







Pros:
*Great location: 3 minute stroll to the Eiffel Tower! 
*Amazing building security, very safe
*Close to the metro, grocery store, restaurants, shops and entertainment
* Upscale furnishing and spacious (for Paris standards)
*Sleeps up to 4
*Air conditioning
*Elevators (large for Paris standards)
*Full kitchen (fridge, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, all cutlery and dishes, coffee maker)
*Dining room
*FREE local calls
*FREE calls to North America
*High speed internet
*Lots of information about the metro and sight seeing, they have a book where guests of the apartment write travel suggestions to future guests which is very helpful!
*Great bakery next door
*Manager (Tania) was very nice and extremely helpful
*Complimentary bottle of wine
*They sent us maps, a discount card and tourism info prior to our arrival
*There were small touches like fresh towels, coffee, a few spices for cooking, European adapters and cords for appliances, slippers, flat irons, blow dryer, dish soap etc

CONS:
*No housekeeping during your stay
*There are a lot of rules to follow because the apartment is in a residential building. You can't make any loud noises at all, you can't even speak loudly or the neighbors may complain!
*The flooring in the apartment is woven bamboo like material and it hurts your feet so you have to wear slippers or socks. Also it smells a bit unpleasant. 
*The shower curtain lining during our stay was in need of replacing
*The toilet is in a separate small room and there is no sink in there
*The shower head was in the middle of the tub which made it awkward
*They need to provide better instructions for the AC (how to remove the water cartridge) and better instructions for the microwave/oven
*The windows did not have screens so when you open them bugs fly in

Would I recommend staying in this apartment? Yes! I had a fabulous stay and I liked the apartment. You can walk to the Eiffel Tower in a couple minutes which was a major selling point for me. For more info on this hotel visit: Vacation in Paris


Check out my other  posts on Paris HERE

9 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the info on the apt. I am currently looking at bnb's in Europe. We are planning a trip there sometime in late October. I will put this apt on my list of choices.

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  2. These are all great tips. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in that apartment!

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Ooh totally forgot about Trip Advisor! Great tips, and they work for traveling to anywhere too. The apartment you rented looks really great. That's such a good idea! :)

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  5. This is a really good review!

    I was wondering if we could follow each other. It would be great, just let me know :)

    x Maria / Retro Street Station

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  6. Very useful post! I always like to get real impressions from the travellers!


    makeupdemon.blogspot.com

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  7. Fantastic post! Brilliant idea to do a review post on accommodation.
    -Nnene

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