So, imagine a small room with a couple of beds and a sink. The ceilings are very tall and out your window is a view of the small park on the open square.
The bathrooms are shared and hot water is (or at least in 1992 was) only available for several hours in the morning, although I've been told there are some rooms with private bath.
But the morning croissant, coffee and juice makes a good starter and you'll begin your day right in the heart of the city of lights.
Staff were VERY practical - that is to say, don't expect much in the way of service.
Unique Quality: This is an unbelievable bargain: 35 euros a nite - barely a nudge up from when I stayed there 15 years ago. So is it 'nice'? Well, it's not too bad and the location just can't be beat for easy walks to the Rives gauche or droit.
You must be able to negotiate multiple stair steps with your luggage.
Directions: Take the metro from the airport to the Notre Dame or Pont Neuf stations and just make your way to the Place Dauphine.
If you face Notre Dame's front door, it is directly behind you, a short block away from the square.
OK, I admit that this is a cheap hotel, for better or for worse, but I would go back in a heartbeat because of "location, location, and location".
Unique Quality: This very inexpensive hotel is in the center of Paris on Ile de la Cite'. It is a 400 year-old building where Henri IV had his printing presses. The view out the window is Place Dauphine, the playyard for the crown prince. It is at Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris. After crossing this bridge, one is on the Right Bank near le Louvre. Just a short Paris block east is the Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle, Paris' most beautiful "church". Over one more block is Notre Dame, loved by tourists day and night. When we cross a bridge from Ile de la Cite' to the south, we find ourselves in the romantic and economical left bank. Reserve early. The owners speak English. They do not accept credit cards for reservations, so we have to send a check written in euros. Phone: 01 43 54 44 53. Address: 25, pl. Dauphine.
Directions: l'Ile de la Cite'
Shabby Chic Budget in Central Paris
Formerly, this hotel was one of the best budget finds in Paris. In 2006, I paid 32 euro per night for a single on the 6th floor with superb views; now the cheapest room is 60 euro for a double room with shower with the most expensive rooms being 83 euro (double - 2 beds - with shower & toilet). With the advent of their own website (finally!), prices seem to have increased.
Super central, the Hôtel Henri IV is located on the Île de la Cité (same island as Notre Dame & Ste-Chapelle) from where you can pretty much walk everywhere within Paris' péripherique. When I stayed there the hotel was bare bones accommodations & very clean providing a simple café-et-croissant breakfast (included in the price). However, this hotel is very popular so you'll either have to make reservations several months in advance, or luck out like me and walk in to score a room.
You're within walking distance of most tourist sites such as:
Shakespeare & Co
the Seine and the Bateaux Mouche
Musée du Louvre
Place de la Concorde
The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur and the Champs Elysées is easily reached via the Métro. Several Métro stations are located nearby, 1 on the island (Cité), 2 on the right bank just across the bridges (Pont Neuf and Châtelet) and Métro St-Michel & RER St-Michel Notre-Dame on the left bank just across the bridge.
Unfortunately, they have no elevator but some rooms provide incredible views overlooking the tranquil Place Dauphine and of Notre Dame's towers in the distance.
http://www.pbase.com/beatchick/image/58343219 (16 photos total)
http://www.pbase.com/beatchick/image/58343254 (3 photos total - night-time views)
Unique Quality: The staff is super nice. After I'd checked out, I discovered I'd left my favorite scarf behind and walked back to the hotel. Sure enough, the cleaning staff had found it and tucked it away for me, smiling shyly at me as she handed it over.
You still book your room by phone but now follow up for confirmation via their new e-mail address. I believe they are still cash only.
When I stayed there some rooms had showers while some had showers are down the hall or on another floor (although the rooms themselves had sinks). The website seems to indicate that all rooms have showers now. Before, the rooms were basic with simple furnishings and extremely clean but now seems to have been renovated. The website has photos.
The building itself is very old, at least 400 years so the stairs are creaking, the doors are old, it may even be hard to use the key but that's part of the charm of staying in such an historic building (in fact, King Henri IV once held his printing press here in the late 1600s).
You might be interested to know that Madonna keeps an apartment on the same square as the hotel!
Photos: February 2006
Directions: From RER St-Michel Notre-Dame, walk north to the island across Pont St-Michel, walk west along Quai des Orfevres, north along rue de Harlay, and cut through the tranquil triangular Place Dauphine. The hotel is on the southwest part of the park.
You get what you pay for (i.e. not much in terms of comfort). The towels had so many holes, it was hard to dry yourself...assuming you could take a shower...the shower head holes were plugged by carbonates (took me half an hour to unplug each hole with a pin)...the sink was plugged too (got fixed with Drano as soon as I complained), and the beds were not very comfortable, and, yes, I almost forgot, the closet fell on me when I tried to open it!!. Anyway, it is clear, you go to this hotel because it is cheap and well located, period. Make sure you spend most of your Paris trip away from your room!
The breakfasts were nice (baguette, butter, jam, coffee, tea or chocolate), sometimes entertained by the talkative owner, around a big round table on the first floor.
Unique Quality: 21 rooms, 4 with shower and toilet
Rooms 60-90 euros
Rates include breakfast
Credit Cards Not Accepted
Very popular, make sure you make reservations several months in advance!
Directions: Place Dauphine on Ile de la Cité (1st Arrondissement). Narrow building near the tip of the square, Southern side.
Métro: Pont-Neuf, Cité
31 Av George V, 8th Arr., Paris
43 avenue Bugeaud, Paris
19 rue du Champ de Mars, Paris
28 Place des Vosges, Paris
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Address: 25 place Dauphine, 01 Arr., Paris, 75001, France