More about College De France
Perfect location - value-for-money accommodation
We stayed here for four nights (Feb 4-8). The room was small but clean and pleasant. The bed was comfortable, there was a small but perfectly formed bathroom and in-room safe. The room had the original wooden exposed beams in the ceiling, which I loved. The staff were very friendly and helpful, the location was ideal, the walls were a bit thin ;) but this is hardly a major concern - the building is old! There is a small lift to the fifth floor. The hotel is very close to some great restaurants, is just off the Boulevard Saint Germain, has an ATM across the street and is round the corner from a street market, loads of bakeries etc.
The hotel breakfast is useful for the first day until you get your bearings (is €8: tea/coffe, OJ, cereal, croissant, bread) but we found it more convenient to get a pastry from a bakery as we left for a day of sightseeing. The museum of medieval art is round the corner and you're near several Metro and bus stops. We will definitely stay at the Hotel College du France again - I think it was a great value-for-money hotel with a hard-to-beat location and wonderful atmosphere.
Wonderful and friendly hotel
We recently spent a week in this hotel. The front desk staff is friendly and helpful, Monsieurs Sadr, Mestel and Belanger go out of their way to make your stay pleasant. All requests were honored promptly. The rooms and the bathrooms were kept spotless for the guests. We would definitely stay here again.
Perfect Location and Friendly Staff -- but some problems
Just returned President's Day from a quick 3 night jaunt to Paris with two college friends. We were three 30-something singles, 2 girls, 1 guy, looking for an inexpensive but centrally located hotel to hang our hats and get some zzzz's after a long day of walking and enjoying the city. Hotel du College fit the bill for the most part, beginning with the friendly and helpful staff.
We checked in painlessly after a long flight -- didn't even have to give a credit card, they just asked for our name and handed off a key (that looked like it was from the 19th century). We took the unimaginably small lift to the 4th floor where we found the smallest room ever. Though everything was neat, I decended the spiral staircase (which is lovely, but IMHO dangerous as it is not well lit and the stairs are black wrought iron) to the front desk to inquire about a bigger room and was told there were none available. The gentleman asked me to wait a moment and then took me to a room adjacent to the parlor/lobby, which was slightly bigger. We moved to that room (room 10). We had to leave our luggage at the front desk since the room wasn't ready which was fine with us.
Ultimately it was a smart move as we had no stairs to climb when we rolled in very very late each night. The beds, as noted in several reviews here, are incredibly comfortable -- even the cot. I was concerned that being on the first floor would hinder us sleeping, but the room was surprisingly quiet even during breakfast (which we never ate -- go around the corner and buy a croissant and get a coffee, much cheaper). The room did get quite hot at night which seems to be why the windows are opened by staff after the beds are made. It wasn't a problem for us. The TV was fine, BBC and CNN worked for us.
My biggest problem with Hotel du College . . . though neat, the room was not cleaned at all while we were there save making the beds and emptying the 1 trash can in the bathroom. When we checked into room #10 I used the bathroom (which was perfectly fine in size) and discovered many short wirey hairs (you figure it out) in an otherwise seemingly clean bathtub. The shelf above the sink had water and soap spots all over it. Towels were fine and there were plenty of them. Throughout the stay I noticed that the sink and tub fixtures were spotted with soap, watermarks and toothpaste streaks -- never wiped down during out entire stay. Also, the fact that there are no showers was a little annoying at first. It took a day to figure out that taking a bath and using the shower head to rinse your hair only was the way to go.
Other things to note, especially for Americans -- there is no such thing as an ice machine in Paris. This hotel has few amenities and ice is not one of them. However if you desire ice at 4am after bar hopping all night, Sebastian (the incredibly patient, kind, tolerant and funny overnight desk clerk) will drag himself from bed to crack a tray in the kitchen for you. Thank you Sebastian!
On to the good -- the best part is the location. You are literally 4 blocks from Notre Dame. Buses are at the corner and the Metro is 2 blocks. Great local restaurants and bars. Sebastian gave some great recommendations for local places. We had one fantastic meal at Brassiere Balzar and one terrible meal. If you go, ask for Jimmy on Friday night -- FANTASTIC waiter.
Another note of caution -- the exchange rate for American dollars is terrible right now. Our stay at the hotel came out to $149 a night, which was about $40 more than we wanted to spend per night. And frankly, this hotel is in no way worth $149 a night. But it's Paris, so go and drink the wine and eat the food and worry about the bill when you return!
A Great 2-Star Hotel
I checked out of this 2-star hotel on 24-Feb-05 after a six night stay. I had room #33 which had a very nice view of the street. Some rooms have balconies. My room was just the right size. It had sufficient closet space with a safe. The room had no dresser. The room was clean, comfortable, and quiet. It had very large, tall windows and was bright and cheery. The carpeted room did not have a smoky odor like many hotels do in Paris and it was not musty at all. Obviously, the hotel has never hired the services of an interior decorator, but I would not say that the room was tacky or shabby at all. It was quite pleasant. I had a very clean private bath with a toilet, shower/bath, hair dryer sink. The room was cleaned and made up every day. People working at the hotel were pleasant, helpful and made sure I got all of my messages. There is an excellent restaurant across the street, Le Pre Verre (make reservations).
The location is very good, between Blvd St. Germain and Rue des Ecoles. About a 2 minute walk to the Cluny and a 5-minute walk to the Pantheon.
I have stayed at 4-star luxe, 4-star, 3-star and this is my first 2-star hotel. It was an extremely pleasant stay. I have not one complaint. Please bear in mind that I am a very picky and demanding New Yorker and I think the Hotel du College de France is certainly an excellent value and I would definitely stay here again.
Questions? Just e-mail me.
Fabulous. Of course, rooms are small but -but -but the location is perfect, staff is friendly, rooms are spotless and the price is extraordinary. If you are reading reviews that say anything other than this about the Hotel du College de France, please keep in mind that some travelers expect the Ritz on a budget. This is not the Ritz but its high rating indicates that it exceeds expectations.
Wow - what a location!
I booked this hotel based on the reviews on this site and was not disappointed. The reception area is very smart and the check-in process was completed in seconds with ruthless efficiency. The staff were consistently warm, friendly and helpful. My room was small, but having stayed in 2* hotels before in Paris I was not surprised, the bed was soooo comfortable after a day's hiking round the sights! The bathroom was tiny but the explosive shower certainly blew away the morning cobwebs. The only downside for me was that the cleaners' cupboard was located directly outside my room and I was awoken each morning by their chatter and clatter.
The hotel's location is simply fantastic, two minutes walk to a patisserie, boulangerie, bucherie etc etc and a mere 30 secs to the cosmopolitan Boulevard St Germain. Notre Dame is within spitting distance. I would certainly stay here again and would recommend the hotel to others, for 93 euros a night the room was a snip given the central location on the Left Bank.
Location, location, location! This hotel is perfectly located for visiting central Paris. In the 5th, Latin Quarter, next door nearly to Musee Cluny, La Sorbonne, Pantheon with Notre Dame, Hotel de Ville, Louvre, the Seine, etc. all an easy short walk. Bars, restaurants and shops all so so close. Metro Cluny-La Sorbonne two minutes walk as is the Maubert-Mutualité metro. The hotel is typical Parisian, small, comfortable and very very warm in a freezing February. Rooms fine, with safe, tv and phone. Bathroom good too with hairdryer. Quiet location at night despite being in the centre of everything. Staff friendly and helpful and with excellent English. Breakfast very good though at 8 euro, you can go outside and eat for half that. We were very happy here and when in Paris again, we will be staying here for sure. Rates about 93 euro per room at the moment for a double, children under 12 get the third bed in the room for free. On my previous visits to this wonderful city, we ended up in some really awful hotels and I mean awful. This is an oasis of rest in a perfect location in this beautiful city - definitely one I want to return to in the future.
In the perfect location for seeing the city
We stayed in the Hotel College du France in March 05 during a five day visit to Paris. The hotel is in a tremendous location - we were surprised to find everything so close to our doorstep. The metro, RER and bus stops are just down the block so you can easily access all the sites and major transportation hubs (train/airport) very easily. We walked to the Museum D'Orsay one morning along the river route - Notre Dame Cathedral is literally five minutes away on foot. The hotel has information on excellent restaurants within five minutes of the hotel - carefully chosen by the hotel owners. The rooms are small but very comfortable. The bathroom was modern and well appointed, although we needed to adapt to the European style shower which is hand held with no shower curtains. At night we could hear the people in the room above but we expect this when we choose more intimate hotel settings like this. The staff were extremely courteous and helpful. As an example we were in Paris during the general strike and therefore we were not sure if our train would still be running. As we set off on our journey we were told that they had a room for us that day if we needed one - we appreciated the offer.
We look forward to coming back to this hotel and highly recommend the hotel to individuals wanting to experience the best of Paris locations within a very reasonable price.
Budget level quality and service
My husband and I spent a week in Paris Feb 26 through Mar 5. We stayed the entire time at the HCF. The location is fantastic for many of the tourist attractions- a few minutes walk from Notre Dame and the Louvre, as well as the Pantheon. The price was definitely in our bugdet, but I believe that 90 euros a night is off season pricing. The front desk was very good with direct hotel reservations via email, but not helpful in planning day trips or making restaurant reservations. When we arrived, everybody was friendly and spoke at least some English, which is great for your first time in Paris if you are not fluent in the native tongue. They gave us a list of restaraunts they recommend within walking distance ranked by price which was very useful. Our dinner at La Petit Prince was the best we had in Paris! The rooms, however, left a little to be desired compared to the pictures they have posted on the net. Ours had very old, stained, and burned carpet, and a bedspread that looked very used. When people smoked in neighboring rooms, it was like they were smoking in yours. The reputation for thin walled European hotels is definitely confirmed at the HCF - bring ear plugs. However, the bathroom was recently redone and there is a safe in the room. Housekeeping service was spotty - sometimes your room was cleaned, sometimes not. Breakfast, at 8 euros a day, we found to be a deal compared to other places nearby. All in all, if you don't expect brand new furnishings in the rooms and you are on a budget, this is a very reasonable place to stay.