I cannot say enough bad things about this hotel.
We stayed at the Hotel du Champ de Mars in mid-June of 2009. The trip was for personal leisure with my boyfriend, my cousin, and her husband. I should have taken it as a sign not to stay at this hotel when, previous to our stay, I made many attempts to contact the staff via email on their own website, and never received any response.
During our June 2009 trip we stayed our first 3 nights in Paris, spent 3 nights in Rome, and then one last night in Paris. The first 3 nights in Paris we stayed in 2 different hotels and both were miles above Hotel du Champ de Mars in every stretch of the imagination. I am very grateful that Hotel du Champ de Mars was booked for the beginning stretch of our trip because our 1-day stay at this hotel was more than enough. Horrible!
There are 3 reasons that I chose to book this hotel in the first place. (1) It was in close proximity to the Eiffel Tower, (2) it was highly recommended by Rick Steves, and (3) the photos on the website appeared very cute for the low price. After staying here, I wonder why this hotel comes recommended at all. The rooms are decent, but beware that the single rooms don’t leave you any extra walking-around room. The price is okay for the area (close to the Eiffel Tower), but to avoid their rude staff, I personally would pay an extra 10 euros to stay somewhere else.
Upon arriving at the hotel, we were greeted (this is much too friendly of a word for his demeanor) by an attendant at the reception desk. After giving our name, he just blankly stared at us. I think he was counting our number of guests (only 4 of us) and was confused because they had us booked in one double room and one single room. Mind you, we confirmed the reservation no more than a week prior and had booked 2 double rooms for 4 people. Needless to say, the hotel was completely booked so we were stuck with the incorrect booking…yet charged the same price as if we had 2 double rooms as originally booked. We tried to haggle with this since it was not our fault they overbooked their hotel, but the desk attendant kept stating as long as 2 people were staying in the single room, we’d have to pay double-room price. Oh, and he added, if we didn’t like it, we could leave (and that is pretty much a direct quote). Yeah, at 6pm on our last night in Paris, find a new hotel and still be charged cancellation at this one…I think not. We were stuck with this hotel at this point.
Our room (the one my boyfriend and I had) was on the ground floor. It was a decent size and pretty cute. I will attach some photos. The cleanliness left something to be desired though. Wrappers (of who knows what) left on the floor, and many many hairs (ick!) on the bathroom floor and shower. I have photos of this too. It seems like they may have come in and made the bed, but did nothing else. It makes me wonder if they even changed the sheets. Luckily there was a window in the room (that looked directly into the window of the room across the way) and a fan in the cabinet, because this hotel did not have air conditioning.
My cousin and her husband’s room, if I remember correctly, was on the 5th floor. There is a tiny elevator (which is common for Parisian hotels to only have a small one if there is one at all), but 5 flights of a narrow circular staircase is a long hard walk even if you are not carrying a suitcase. Since their room was incorrectly booked as a single instead of a double, their bed was a full size bed and the room was only about a foot wider on each side of the bed. Very tiny. The bathroom was also very tiny. I don’t think they would have minded the tiny size of the room as much if they would have at least had a bed that fit the 2 of them comfortably.
When we left the hotel later that evening, we were stopped halfway out the door by the desk attendant stating that we would have to leave our key at the front desk. It took us by surprise (since this was never mentioned when we arrived at the hotel) and I have to say we didn’t feel 100% comfortable leaving all our belongings in our room with him having the key to enter…especially with the rude way we had been treated upon our check-in. I guess that is why we had bought luggage locks before the trip.
Later that evening we left the hotel again to do some sight-seeing and the desk attendant was not even at the desk for us to drop off the key. We had to wait in the lobby while a 3 other couples also piled up in the lobby to wait. Eventually the desk attendant sauntered out of the bathroom to collect the keys, but only after I had the chance to read a magazine.
Overall, our stay at Hotel du Champ de Mars was unpleasant. The rooms were decent in décor, but they were not clean and the desk staff was beyond unpleasant and rude. I can’t imagine they would have been of much help if we would have needed help with anything or needed tourist information. And the desk attendant upon leaving in the morning was equally as rude as the one the night prior. This one ignored us and stared at the computer in front of us and did not look up until he was greeted first. And then his only greeting was to correct our French. This hotel gives French staff a bad reputation and was our only unpleasant encounter of our 8 day trip. My opinion is that they think they can get away with treating people in this manner because being in a foreign country you do not have much recourse against them, and they have a steady stream of tourists and no need for you to be a repeat visitor.
In hindsight, I would stay at Hotel de la Paix (the hotel we stayed at our 2nd and 3rd nights in Paris, only a few blocks away and closer to the Eiffel Tower, and the staff and rooms there were excellent) instead or try something in the Notre Dame area. Never again would I stay at Hotel du Champs de Mars and I would never ever recommend this hotel to anyone.
Unique Quality: Decent room, hotel is in a good location near the Eiffel Tower, and moderate price. Still not worth the rudeness.
Directions: Eiffel Tower area. A few blocks from the Ecole Militaire metro stop.