I stayed in this hotel in 1982, getting the recommendation (just the name and vague directions) from an acquaintance at a Youth Hostel in London. We blundered our way from the Metro at Maubert-Mutualite, and after 30 aimless minutes of wandering, chanced upon it (and had been just about to give up)
It came as advertised - basic and cheap (25 Francs for a room with a shared shower across the hall. I think is cost a franc or 2 for use of the shower). There were dire warnings about cockroaches written on the walls, though we never saw one.
I was amazed to find it still in existence. Rooms are still cheap - from 58 euros, and it claims to have been renovated. No doubt it has a new concierge, though I'd love to think they have retained the ginger cat (or its successor)
Directions: Well located in Saint Germain - close to all the sites
Me and my wife arrived at the hotel at 11 pm in the morning and inspite of the checkin time (12 pm), we were given our room. Although it was the last floor (I think it was the 4th floor), we went through the narrow stairs and found that the room was a real cosy little place for two with a double bed, a small table, wardrobe and shower and basin. The window opened right out on the street giving us a wonderful view of the Parisian streets. The sheets were clean and towels were provided regularly though we used our own most of the times. The toilet facility was a shared one. And since we went in spring, the rooms were cool enough. It is self catering hotel (one of the ways to save money in a costly city like Paris) and we had our milk purchased for our tea and coffee though there are vending machines. The receptionists kept on changing with a French man (who knew "some" English) and a lady afterwards. Both of them were good, the former being a bit harsh. This hotel does not accept cards, so carry the amount in cash.
Unique Quality: The location of the hotel beats all the inconveniences, if any. It is a stone's throw distance from good sights like Notre Damme, Saint Chapelle, Pantheon to name a few. We never ever travelled by trains to locations (except Chateau Versailles'). We used to come in the night, plan where we want to go the next morning and set off!! Indeed, Paris is fun to be seen on foot (and it is good on the wallet as well, hehehehe!!).
To go with this, it is a 5 min walk from the Metro station, which we took only thrice!
Friendly staff, free Internet (one computer, sometimes a wait), room key kept at 24-hour desk, young guests (high school/college age) but quiet. Great location in the Latin Quarter. We had a double room with a shower but shared a toilet - no issues.
Unique Quality: Handy location, near open-air market.
Directions: Latin Quarter
The Hotel du Commerce is a cheap place to stay costing around 29 euro's a night for a single room with washbasin. It's close to the Maubert-Mutualite metro station on line 10 and very close to the Ile de la Cite - only a 5 minute walk.
Boulevard Saint-Germain is 2 minutes away and there are a good number of grocers selling fruit and other essential goodies that you may need. Being very near the Latin Quarter there are a large number of restaurants close by though these are aimed very much at the Tourist.
The staff were friendly and I had no hassles whatsoever. The bed I had was comfortable and the room quiet.
Unique Quality: Location and price would be the main attractions of this place. There is no elevator so if you are on the top floor you have a bit of a walk up a steep staircase. The hotel has free internet so makes keeping in touch with family very easy.
Making a reservation is easy via the Internet (first night plus booking fee in advance - site below) but you must pay the balance for your stay with cash.
If, like me you pick a room with only a washbasin you can pay 2 euro's to use the shower. The hotel had a deal where you could pay 2 euros per day for each day of your stay in advance and get unlimited use of the shower for your whole stay. I took up this offer & found it good during a hot summer to have a cool shower when I got back to the hotel.
Directions: Latin Quarter, just of the Boulevard St Germain
We stayed 4 nights in July 2005 in a double room (room 37) located on the 5th floor. The room had a sink and shower (in the middle of the room), double bed, writing desk and bedside table. The sheets and towels were clean and changed weekly or on arrival. Toilet down the hall (clean!)
The rooms were in several adjoining buildings and on several floors up a winding and strange staircase (big luggage would be impossible to manouver, ask for a lower floor)
Everywhere seemed reasonably clean, the rooms were decorated brightly (as shown on there website), The beds were confortable and extra sheets and pillows were provided. The staff were very helpful and spoke varying degrees of English, day staff spoke fluently (tollerated my broken french very well).
There was a heater and what looked like an air conditioner in our room, but when we enquired how to operate it we were told it wasn't an AC or didn't work. This made the room unbearable during the hot July days but the room was at the rear so we were able to leave the window open for some lite relief.
NOTE. breakfast not included
Unique Quality: FREE internet access
Fridge and microwave and communal dining area.
Lots of places to eat near by and weekend markets at both ends of the street.
Directions: Just off Boulvard Saint Germain near the Maubert Mutualité Metro (line 10)
It's a clean hostel with it's own charm. You have to pay EUR2 for showers and toilet is shared. You get free internet. The reception is 24 hours and you have to leave your keys with them everytime you go out. It's close to alot of french restaurants. There is kitchen facilities with microwave if you want to buy food back to eat e.g. breakfast. I give it a 4/5 only because the toilet is outside and sometimes it's abit cold in the middle of the night to run outside. But it's a great location, right next to the metro!
When I arrived in Paris I called many hotels listed in my Rick Steves guide, and all were fully booked.
Then I called this "Hotel du Commerce" and, as I could, I made a reservation. The clerk didn't speak English, and though I found it strange, at least I had found a hotel, I thought.
I took a bus and went to the "hotel". I was told that it was a room without a bathroom for 130 Francs (it was 1999, Euros didn't exist yet).
The woman at the reception was the rudest, most grotesque woman I had to deal with in my life. She was shouting all the time (quarreling with another couple of guests when I got in), she laughed when she saw my passport, made no efort to communicate nor to care for her guests.
Another unbelievable thing is that they only accepted cash (no credit cards) and you had to pay in advance !
I paid and went to my room.
There was no power outlet in the room to charge my camcorder, the bathroom was a mess, only WC, no shower. It was terrible.
I left my luggage in the room and left the hotel decided to lose that money and change that same day to a real hotel.
I found a poster in the street with a map and the hotels in the area, selected one, went to see the room (I didn't allow more surprises), I liked it and made the reservation for 3 nights.
I went back to the H. du Commerce, got my luggage, returned the key, and asked for my money back. The woman and a fat man, that I suppose was her husband, cursed some words in French, shouting even louder than before, and relunctantly gave me my money.
I got it and left. I was decided then to write an email to Rick Steves so as to eliminate that place from his guides, which I never did.
So this is just a little revenge for one of the worst experiences I had during my trips.
Unique Quality: LOUSY
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: 14 rue de la Montagne Sainte Genevieve, 5 Arr, Paris, 75005, France