Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas
Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas' home in Paris
5 rue Christine, Paris 75006
Just down the street from the lovely 4-star Hôtel le Relais Christine, is the site of the Gertrude Stein's & Alice B. Toklas' 2nd home in Paris to which they moved in 1938.
Gertrude had started a huge art collection with her brother, Leo, and it would later become a priceless art collection (filled with Picassos & other post-impressionist works). Hemingway mentioned in A Moveable Feast that going to Miss Stein's apartment was like going to a museum with her wonderful works of art displayed on her walls. He also liked to sample her collection of eaux-de-vie there, too!
When they moved here they brought 130 painting with them. If you're seeking the site of her famous literary salons you'll find it at 27 rue du Fleurus.
Great hotel, excellent staff!
Relais Christine is a fantastic hotel in an excellent location (unless you're a single female traveling alone). The hotel is down a dark, quiet alley which I was uncomfortable walking down alone at night. Besides that, the concierge staff is faboulous (great restaurant recommendations) and everyone is super friendly. I had the most amazing massage at the spa. The cave like atmosphere is inviting and cozy. I would definately return to the Relais Christine with my husband or family but will choose somewhere else when I'm alone.
Perfect, Romantic Getaway
We just got back from a 6 night stay at the Relais Christine for our 5 yr anniversary, and we absolutely loved it. The hotel is located right in St. Germain des Pres, about a block from the Seine and within easy walking distance to Notre Dame, Sainte Chappelle, the Louvre, etc. The neighborhood is also filled with incredible restaurants, great markets and shopping, including a movie theater across the street showing American classic films with French subtitles.
We had a duplex room at the Relais Christine -- a sitting room on first floor and loft bedroom. This was great to have for the length of time we stayed - felt more like "home" than a typical hotel room. It was beautifully decorated, very clean, and the bathroom was wonderful -- deep, long tub and constantly replenished supplies and thick rooms/slippers. The bed was very comfortable -- as a previous poster mentioned, it *is* two twins pushed together to the size of a king, but that is very typical in Europe and I've had that setup in other four star places we've stayed at.
Service was one of the best experiences we've had in hotels -- very pleasant front desk staff, helped us with all sorts of random requests and provided excellent recommendations for local restaurants. I think they had a lot of patience with us, because we switched restaurant reservations frequently!! Maid service, room service, breakfast service were all top-notch as well. My husband speaks some French, and I always tried the basics, so I don't know if that influenced the way people treated us or not -- but we thought the people of Paris (Relais Christine, included) *very* friendly and hospitable. I recommend reading the book "Savoir-Flair: 211 Tips for Enjoying France and the French" by Polly Platt. It helped me a lot in understanding and respecting cultural differences.
We ate breakfast at the hotel three mornings, and enjoyed the atmosphere though the cost is a little expensive and there are many breakfast options within walking distances. One night we brought in dinner to realize we forgot utensils and the front desk sent up complete utensils/dishes/etc. for us to use.
Overall, would highly recommend if you want a peaceful, personal experience in an old, artsy neighborhood. We hope to go back to Paris for our 10th anniversary and definitely plan to stay at the Relais Christine!
Loved the location..hated the Room
My wife & I stayed at Relais Christine the first weekend of Dec 2006 because: 1) my wife loved the area that the chalet is in & 2) the hotel was part of the Small Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel is beautiful & in a great location in Paris. Even the staff of the hotel are great (very friendly & helpful). The biggest negative is that the beds in the rooms are from the 1970s....1) instead of queen size or king sized beds...they have two twin beds pushed together, 2) the mattresses are OLD - you can feel the springs & they are not 'fun' to sleep on. For the price they charge....i just don't understand why this hotel doesn't upgrade the quality of it's furnishings. Don't think we'll be staying there again. If you're going to paris...go the safe option...stay at the Four Seasons.
High Expectations Met
In our visit to Relais Christine, we found to be true essentially all of the accolades offered by earlier reviews. The hotel is exceptionally attractive from the exterior and in the common areas. It feels smaller and more intimate than the number of rooms would indicate. As you pass through the gates from the street, there’s an immediate sense of being “home.” The hotel is blessed with the combination of a perfect location for many of the attractions of Paris and the quiet of a near private street.
Our room was small and nothing special, but fine. The bathroom was well-appointed and spacious. We were concerned that our room was next to the elevator, but we never heard it at all, nor did we hear a word from the many guests who must have passed by our door.
Kudos for the free computer available for guests off the lobby, the several newspapers available daily at no cost, and lthe honor bar in the living room. And for remembering a birthday with a bottle of champagne awaiting us in the room at the end of the day.
Our only negative was the unevenness of the staff. Although everyone was friendly and courteous, we found some to be quite responsive and others to be less so. When asked for directions to a recommended restaurant near the Louvre, the reply of “you’ll find it” didn’t really help much.
Nevertheless the location and the quality of the physical facilities and the level of service in general warrant a high rating. We would happily return there in future visits to Paris and recommend it without reservation.
A superb hotel. We spent two nights in April, 2006 and will return if we can.
The hotel feels much smaller than the 60+ rooms. The staff is extremely helpful. The common areas are beautifully decorated, as was our room. We had one of the deluxe doubles, with glass doors opening onto the back garden. It was so tranquil you had to remind yourself you were in the middle of Paris. Housekeeping was perfect. Adjusting the heat/air conditioning to get the right overnight temperature was a little tricky at first.
The two best parts of the hotel are quiet and location. Because it is on a small side street, there was no noise at all. The location is incredible, three blocks from the Pont Neuf in one direction, and two blocks from the Boulevard St. Germaine in the other. The Rue de Buci, filled with cafes and restaurants, is only two blocks away.
This hotel is far from inexpensive, but you get real value for your money. Highly recommended.
would definitely recommend
I flew in with my girlfriend and booked a massage in the spa for both of us to work out the jet lag. The spa has great atmosphere...very cavey and gothic. Very relaxing as well. The staff were very helpful. We left a travel pillow and they saved it for us when we returned to pick it up 3 days later. :-) I liked this hotel, enough not to want to write a review. I'd rather like to keep it a secret. The breakfast room is worth the cost of breakfast!
Terrific staff and location
My husband and I checked in Sept. 5th and our room wasn't ready which we expected. They were so nice regarding our having to wait and offered us another room which was ready. The staff is top notched and always was considerate of our needs. The women running the breakfast room was so pleasant everyday (we were there 6 days) and remembered each day what our drink preferences were. Knowing a persons name is also a plus in my book..which they did! The location was perfect and I loved the courtyard before entering the hotel. Many thanks to the General Manager, Jean Luc, who runs a 1st rate hotel!
This hotel is exactly what I desired for a romantic Paris vacation. It is in Saint Germain de Pres right off the Pont Neuf on a discreet side street (rue Christine). You enter through gates into a lovely courtyard and a former mansion with rooms for 50. A quiet location is always important to me and this delivered. We had a lovely top floor room with separate sitting area, queen size bedroom (quite a firm bed) and modern wood and marble bath. The service matched the location -- discreet and pleasant. They only rang our door once -- to deliver champagne on our wedding anniversary. Highly recommend.
I'm planning to take my g/f to Paris from december 16th till december 19th. Of course I could book with one the MANY hotels, but I want something special. Like a small chateaux, a penthouse or at least anything other than a standard hotelroom.
Any suggestions? Budget is max 400/500E per night. Thanks.
RE: Something special
Check this out http://parisluxuryrentals.com/ I've never dealt with them but there are some excellent photos and a toll free number.
There aren't really any chateaux in Paris itself. There are old Hotel Particuliers instead. If you go out of Paris you may find something. You can check the relais chateux site http://www.relaischateaux.com. I have some friends who've done this. They were really happy with the experience. There are all sorts of weekend deals.
RE: Something special
I agree with the other poster. You'll never go wrong with a Relais & Chateau hotel. They are top of the line! Another place to investigate is Karen Brown's website. Her guidebooks suggest some very interesting places in France.. and Paris.
RE: RE: Something special
Booking a chateaux or penthouse will most likely run more than 400-500 euro/night. Deluxe hotel rooms cost over 600/night.
RE: Something special
You coulld get a REALLY beautiful room at the Hôtel Lutetia for that rate. It is one of my absolute favorites in Paris. See my Paris page for details and a link.
RE: RE: Something special
Another very special hotel is the Relais Christine in the 6th. I never got there even in my former, more affluent life. :-) That one may be in your price range.. amazing how short a distance money goes these days.
RE: Something special
Another very very nice hotel is Hotel Britannique....a famous in Paris...But don't if it is what you are expecting...You can visit the website to have a better view: http://www.hotel-britannique.com
It is perfectly central, that's also what I appreciate with this hotel....And the other thing is the particularly romantic and wonderful decoration...
Have a nice trip!