Finding the perfect location and hotel for our wants & needs. To enable us to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary in Paris
was uppermost in my mind, as I began the unenviable online search for the best place to stay – at a price which was agreeable and didn’t make my purse scream in pain on taking out my debit card. Of course, all is relative to funds available and internalised belief system but on this occasion I knew I wanted our trip to be memorable (with us both having somehow managed-through disaster and triumph, to stay married for 25 years.) Unfortunately I couldn’t cut myself completely loose when thinking about the expense. So began to let my fingers do the walking or tapping in this case!
How to Choose
The first thing I decide, is to think about what I want to do, whilst staying in my destination of choice. Knowing I wanted to be close to the Seine. Imagining romantic walks, whilst holding hands with my husband, as we strolled its blustery banks. A yearning to see for myself the Eiffel Tower up close and a desire of my husband’s to sit on Parisian cobbled side streets, enjoying a cool beer whilst people watching. Were all pretty powerful pictures in my mind, which had my fingers flicking to google maps and the Tourism Paris Website to find out where would be the best place to stay. This is where I learnt the word arrondissements (districts.) Which the city of Paris has 20 and I began to check out which one would be more suitable to our needs on this trip.
The Left Bank captured my imagination as I read about it being the Paris of Artists, Writers and Philosophers. Saint Germain being known in previous years, as the centre of the existentialism movement. Well known names such as Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Bouvier. Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway were tripping off my tongue and the writer in me, wanted to see what it would look like and feel like staying in a location steeped in history and interesting little side streets. Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. More of that tomorrow – when I talk about our observations and experiences during our stay in the city of love. (Perfect for an anniversary celebration.)
The next thing I needed to sort out was how we were going to get there. Having arranged with Eurostar to travel in Business Premier Class. I set about the task of checking out, how far from Gare de Nord, we wished to reside for two nights. I thought it best to check out some hotel addresses and work out where they were, in relation to our step off point in Paris.
This is when I came across the HOTEL DE FLEURIE– Paris Saint Germain. What drew me to it, was its location. Nearest tube station Odéon-a ten minute walk to the Seine – oh, and the size of its hotel rooms in comparison to some I had been looking at on the web.
With only four metro stops from Railway Station to Hotel. I checked out how far from the metro it was, to arrive at the hotel. A single block away – although I did walk us in the wrong direction, initially. Directions on the website would be helpful. Alongside checking out some reviews on tripadvisor. I wanted to check the prices on the website. I ended up booking with Expedia but wished I didn’t have to do this to save money. I don’t know how the system works between the hotels and these sites but it can’t be a good thing, can it? When a hotel has its prices on the inside of the room and they are more than the price of the comparison website. Is it just me or does that sound kinda messed up!
On booking up the Hotel de Fleurie, Paris Saint Germain and checking out the hotel location. I mentioned I would like a quiet room, as my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary and I was a little concerned the main street would be noisy (I can’t help shouting our jubilation from the rooftops) and Vanessa wished us well by offering us a free upgrade, in honour of our stay. I asked a little about the building history, which she told me she would find out for me, as her family had owned it since 1989 but she didn’t come back with anything. I would have liked to have known if possible. On our last night the receptionist was not the usual one, whom we had been seeing and was very courteous, but this gentleman was more relaxed and distracted in manner – not as pleasant for us – as it made the hotel feel like the owners had gone away and left a friend of a friend in charge. If that makes sense.
Our upgrade was a front facing room. The road had a small amount of noise at night but not exceedingly so, as located down a sweet side street, with a couple of restaurants close by. The huge double glazed windows shutting out all noise once closed properly. I’d have like the curtains to be a little fuller, so we didn’t have to position them quite so carefully to block out the light completely but this was only a minor detail. The wood panelled room was tastefully decorated in what I assumed to be Parisian style and clean. Not as sumptuous as I was expecting but well equipped with a mini bar and safe(tea and coffee only comes with the deluxe room but always worth asking for it to be available.) Separate toilet and bathroom. Although it took a call to reception to find out exactly where the air con was but reception was really helpful. Offering to come and show us where it was if talking us through it didn’t work. It was discovered, turned on, otherwise without the windows open it could be stuffy in the summer heat-the room became a cool delight.
Unfortunately there wasn’t a garden – which I would have liked and we didn’t spend a lot of time in the lounge, which was charming. The breakfast in the hotel was 13 euros but Vince and I decided to buy coffee and pastries from a little shop on the boulevard. Only 2 euros a pop. Access to the internet, newspapers, tea and coffee were all available. WiFi was strong and steady in our room until later in the evening and the doors of the adjoining rooms seemed a bit bangy and loud but there was no noise at night and rather than the tiny lift to take us to our room, we found the charming spiral staircase, which we used, as we were only on the second floor.
I’d definitely recommend Hotel de Fleurie as a place to stay in Paris on a two night mini-break. Due to cost of room (once booked on Expedia) and the closeness to metro, bus routes and major attractions.
Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 73 7000