Our one-star petit paradis

A one-star hotel in Paris? When we tell friends this is where we stay, they visualize a combination youth hostel and flophouse.

The truth is quite different. For years we have stayed at a small hotel on the Left Bank and found it perfectly satisfactory. Besides, who can complain about a decent room in Paris, breakfast included, for $55? Our petit hotel not only makes the city possible, but a lot more fun.

The bed is comfortable, the shower is hot. No TV, no phone, but who cares? We are only there long enough to sleep. French doors open onto a tiny balcony. If the carpet is threadbare and the chenille drapes look suspiciously like former bedspreads, the fireplace with marble mantle makes up for it.

Some disadvantages: The hotel has five floors and the elevator holds only two people. The place is run by the dour Monsieur Marc, aided by a lovely young woman called Patricia, who speaks fluent English. So does Monsieur Marc, but he prefers not to. With a staff of two, who double as clerks, cleaners, and wait staff, the hotel runs on their schedule. On our last visit we arrived at 2 p.m., zonked from jet lag. Our room wasn't ready. "Come back in a couple of hours," said Monsieur Marc.

"But they are tired!" cried Patricia.

"Everyone is tired! I am tired!" sighed Monsieur Marc with a Gallic shrug.

Another drawback is the regimented breakfast. Monsieur Marc tells you where to sit. And don't ask for anything extra. One day a young woman innocently asked for a carafe of water. Monsieur Marc fixed her with an icy stare.

The pluses are many; the greatest is location. Minutes from the Métro, the hotel is near the Sorbonne, the Latin Quarter, and narrow streets bursting with cafes, shops, and markets.

The breakfast room is a gathering place for guests, who share information on sights, itineraries, and experiences and swap books and maps. The hotel's name? Ah, that would be telling! Try the two-star Hotel Troyon near the Arc de Triomphe. We want to be able to stay there again, after all.

• Diane Barnet is a freelance writer.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK