More about Hotel des Grandes Ecoles
Excellent value, good overall experience
My family of four stayed at the HGE for 4 nights during March. Rate was 145Euro which is excellent for four people. Breakfast was optional and not pushed in any way. Did not have much contact with staff who were polite and friendly but not overly anxious to help. You wouldn't believe the reservation book- it looks like every room's bookings for a month was on one page- written in pencil and erasures everwhere- looked like scribble so I can understand how some reservations may get lost.
After below postings, I double confirmed our reservations by email and everything was fine. We shared a quad room which was fairly large- about the size of the average double/double in the US. The second bed was a fold-out couch and reasonably comfortable. The bathroom was updated, clean and modern with a stand-up shower and shower doors and good towels- bring your own shampoo. Room was a little tired, fairly worn carpets and bedspreads but overall was nice enough for my wife who is extremely picky. Hotel is quiet. The outer door is locked at night and we felt safe. Location is good- about a two block downhill walk to the metro station, half mile to Notre Dame. Not too touristy neighborhood and not many shops in immediate neighborhood. Definitely would recommend walking a couple of blocks north to the market street for the 5th Arr. where it appeared mostly locals go to shop for produce, meat, bread, etc. This market area was similar to Rue Cler but fewer tourists, I thought. A couple of nice bake shops were near the metro station- great fresh baguettes, pastries and sandwiches. Here's my take on the districts of central Paris comparing with Manhattan: If you want shopping and hustle-bustle like Times Square and 5th Avenue, choose the 1st and 2nd Arr., if you want more like Greewich Village, choose the 4th, if you like Soho, choose the 6th, if you like the upper west side, choose the 5th or 7th. Paris was very cold in March, sometimes staying in the 30's and windy. The gardens were dead and grey. When I return, I will shoot for late Spring or early Fall. In conclusion, I would recommend Hotel Des Grande Ecoles for overall value and a good location. I would stay there again.
Travelling all the way from Down Under can be an exhausting experience; But arriving in the calm courtyard was pure bliss. I stayed in one of the garden buildings. To be woken gently by the sounds of birds and children playing in the nearby school was a delight. The rooms are neat and far from cramped. The service is efficient without being overbearing. It is hard to believe this oasis is close to such artistic and culinary action! This truly is a sanctuary in the heart of Paris.
My daughter and I ended our European trip in Paris with a two-night
stay at this hotel. It was during the very hot part of summer 2003.
Even with record-breaking temperatures and no air conditioning, our
room remained cool.
I realized (as we pulled into King's Cross Station in London) that I had left my new Canon digital camera in the bed table drawer in our room at the Hotel Grandes Ecole. My daughter called the hotel from the station. We were told the maid had found it. We requested theysend it to us and charge our credit card for shipping and handling. About two weeks later it showed up at my door in California, beautifully packed and in excellent condition. The note with it read, "No charge this time. Next time you pay."And Americans say that the French are rude! What a great (and honest) staff.
Okay but nothing to write home about
Knowing Paris from previous visits, we decided to make it our honeymoon destination as well. We were in search of a small, charming, quiet hotel and after doing some research and reading the reviews we decided on the Hotel des Grandes Ecoles. The hotel was well located, within it own neighborhood of local restaurants, bars and cafes and a ten minute walk to the Latin Quaters and as such we did not opt for the hotel breakfast which is rather pricey considering the nearby options.
Certainly, the staff was nice and helpful. The rooms themselves were on the smaller side but not unreasonable and the bathroom/shower was modern and clean. As the hotel is within a courtyard there was no disturbing street noise. On the otherhand, the beds were extremely soft- squaky soft, the kind that can give one a backache. Although we had no street noise, we could hear everything in the hallway and the adjacent rooms. We knew there were no television sets so if that is a necessity for you, be warned...the radio (an ancient 1950's thing) did not work. All in all, the hotel was well priced, charming and well located but it just needs some basic updating.
Nice place to stay, it felt French.
My family of 4 enjoyed this hotel and its location during the first week of April,'04. Our quad room, 150E, up a spiral staircase, was as large as your typical Holiday Inn room and very clean. (Note: no TV). Two pastry shops were 1 1/2 blks away in either of the 2 directions outside of the hotel.
We especially enjoyed the rue Mouffetard, only one block away. A very livey area in the evening, with many reasonably priced restaurants and small bars. Seemed to be visited by many university students. There is also a small grocery/wine shop on the little square, good for buying that bottle of wine to enjoy in the hotel courtyard. The hotel has a drawer full of bottle openers.
Plus, we found the French people to be very friendly and helpful.
It is okay......
You read the reviews, you think you are in paradise....True, the hotel is charming, and the area nearby has everything you need and more restaurants (sushi, french,italian,argentinian,iranian,greek,etc) a good grocery store and a very good bakery (with cafe-au-lait at the counter, an excellent value), a nearby metro station, etc.
We had no problem with our reservation. We were told two nights in a bigger room to the courtyard, three nights upstairs, and that was exactly what we had. Very little interaction with the hotel personnel, and they were okay. Yes, there are some flowers in the yard.....and yes, you can sit and open your wine there too, but beware of inflated expectations. I would go back, it was good value for the price, and that is the reason I would give it four out of five.
April in Paris
We spent two nights at the hotel in late April and loved it. NIce room, beautiful courtyard, locked gate at night, but they apparently let anyone in who rings the buzzer. MM Marie was a riot!