Convenient to the Eiffel Tower
We stayed at this hotel for 4 nights. The first 3 were because it was the hotel that was part of our package tour, the final night was because it was easier to stay for one more night than to change hotels since we'd be leaving Paris in a day, anyway. It was very nice. I suppose its most outstanding characteristic was its proximity to the Eiffel Tower. However, it was also very close to a couple of different metro stations and a grocery, as well as a number of brasseries and cafés.
Le jour de Bastille by the Seine
At about 10:30 PM, I looked out my window and saw colorful explosions in the night sky. My wife and I hurried out of the hotel into the street in front and looked to our right at the Eiffel Tower where the firework originated. The street was by now fully crowded with people that no vehicle could move through it. So was the bridge across the River Seine in front of the hotel. This was a unique experience for us for staying at the Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel on Bastille Day 2005.
The Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel is surrounded by shops and restaurants. The Monoprix which is just right behind, within a few minute walking distance, has a supermarket and a bakery where we picked up our drink and bread during our one week stay. Just cross the street in front of the Monoprix and wander into smaller side lanes and, voila, there are restaurants of various nationalities- Italian, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian.
The Eiffel Tower is located about 1 km from the hotel. Other locations like the Les Invalides and the Champ Elysses may be further away but not impossible to walk there if one is prepared to walk for at least half an hour. We used the train to get to those locations. There are a few metro stations within a short walking distance from the hotel. Just before the Eiffel Tower there is one. One can find another if one walks to the left (instead of to the right towards Eiffel Tower) after stepping out of the hotel. Just be prepared to speak a small amount of French by asking "Qu est le Metro?" when you are out in the street and you would not have any difficulty finding the stations.
Our room located on the 15th floor was quite small but it was clean and quiet. The River Seine with a Statute of Liberty near a bridge could be seen from the window of our room.
The hotel staff was in general friendly and helpful.
Priceline Customers BEWARE
Having travelled a great many times to Europe each year and having visited France several times I am not a novice to the French culture nor do I have unrealistic expectations of a hotel in Paris. However, the Tour Eiffel quite obviously maintains "different' standards of rooms for different guests. My son and I travelled to France to meet some friends from Sweden to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. I managed to book a pretty nice travel package (air and hotel) with Priceline. My Swedish friends booked with a different discount broker, albeit paid about an equivalent amount per night for the Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel. His room was large, spacious with beautiful views of the city and was truly a beautiful living space. Furthermore, he was provided with a small changing area, bathrobe, slippers, pant press and quite luxorious accomodations. Unfortunately, my room was quite small, dark and offered barely enough area space to move around the room. After complaining to the front desk, I was told plainly "Well, sir, you booked with Priceline." To continue to argue the matter was pointless and I was very much given a "take it or leave it" attitude. This left me with the reality that I was stuck facing the difficult task of how to squeeze my suitcase into the closet, because otherwise there would be no way to pass from one side of the room to the other!
Upon entering the hotel you will find that the lobby is beautifully decorated in marble and the attention by the bell-hops is wonderful. However, be aware that the only method to enter the hotel is via an escalator up to a second floor. Not really much of an inconvenience for my travel party(except when you have luggage) but this could pose a problem if you are older or have disabilties. Bell-hops will greet you upon arrival, tag your luggage and then bring it to your room.
The service by the Concierges was variable -- one Japanese Concierge went out of his way to be helpful, while another was just plain curt, rude and incompetent. For example, I asked about a good hair salon to get a haircut for the New Years party. The good Concierge advised me of a salon, but reported they were closed that day. He recommended I return the next morning and they would make the reservations for me. The day when we did return the "poor" concierge immediately informed me, "oh they are are closed" and then, "well, I will call nowhere without a phone number." We just patiently waited for the other Concierge who immediately made all the arrangements and has booked that same day. What a difference!
Room service was attentive to such needs as ice buckets or for general items for the room. But the food quality was substantially below the French norm and a complete waste of money. My son ordered a Pasta Bolognese dish, which was cold and uneventful; it consisted of pene pasta with some dried tomatoes on top. My chicken "in its own juices" was so cold that I was actually concerned about contracting salmonella; nevermind the fact there were roasted feathers under the wings.
The Bar downstairs offered even poorer service and was quite expensive for truly lackluster performance. There are cigars available and the ambience is quite nice, but you can easily wait 30-40 minutes just to be served for the first time. Likewise, just requesting a check can be another 30 minute wait; AFTER you have requested the check. It was quite obvious that attention to the customer was NOT a priority. Waiters, a manager and the bartender seemed to spend most nights chatting with one another then attending to the needs of the "mere" patrons in the lounge. Observing some other visitors who did not speak any French, I was shocked to see how rudely they were handled. Intervening on their behalf for translation purposes only, it seemed that most of us had shared similar experiences. Avoid the bar, or save yourself altogether and avoid this hotel.
The location of the hotel is fair - there are two Metro stations in walking distance, albeit one is rather far down the road (Bir Hakem which takes you to the Right Bank). Otherwise, there is a Grocery store, post office and some small bistros in easy walking distance. Not an ideal location, but it will suffice for most people who are used to walking.
The pool is clean with some nice excercise equipment and even a sauna when it is open. There are prompt elevators which will guide you to any of the 30 or so floors of rooms. The room was quiet and clean with attentive maid service. As a party of two we were provided with two twin beds placed side by side. Two end tables and a dresser crossed the front of the room. This left barely enough room to walk from one side of the room to the other. A small tv was on the dresser with a quick boil kettle to make coffee. (Note: Beware the television has Pay TV channels which do not require authorization confirmation - all you have to do is turn to those channels and you are charged). Of course, it is not uncommon to have small accomodations in French Hotels, but not at this level or hotel caliber. The hotel parallels the Seine River and there are beautiful views from certain rooms.
It should also be noted that during my stay there were numerous pilots and staff from Air France and a Japanese Airline -- this is obviously an airline owned hotel.
Overall, based upon my experience I would seriously advise travellers to consider another hotel for an enjoyable stay in France. For the price, Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel was a tremendous dissappointment. For those who do a little research, they will find much better offerings then this lackluster hotel.
Inconvenient, but clean
We travelled to Paris on vacation and booked this hotel on priceline. The room itself was nice/modern but the location was really inconvenient for either cabs or the metro which made getting around a bit difficult - especially as the restaurants nearby were nothing special. The rooms were definitely on the smaller side but they were clean and the bed was comfy. We like to take a dip in the pool when we come back to the hotel and that was one inconvenience as you had to trapse through the entire hotel and then climb 4 flights of stairs and the pool was rarely open.
Good hotel, be aware of add on charges
Overall, this hotel is spotlessly clean, and spacious. THe room was larger than I expected, for European standards. One problem, only one small closet, no bureau or chest of drawers to unpack, so we lived out of our suitcases. I wanted to use the fitness center, but like the previous review, you had to trapse thru the entire hotel, then go up 4 flights of stairs to get there. Location could have been better, but it's only a 10 minute walk either direction to the Metro. THe front desk was very courteous and helpful. Our only problem was on checkout. We had prepaid thru priceline, but they tried to add on 7 mornings of breakfast. We never even ate in the restuarant because the prices were outrageous, 20 euros a person for bfast. I'm still waiting to be sure they didn't add on 280 to my credit card. Maybe it's a good idea to tell them on checkin if you'll be eating breakfast.
Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel, anyone stayed here??
Has anyone stayed at the Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel hotel? What are the good and bad points for this hotel? What are the staff, food, rooms, cleanliness etc like? I am wanting to go there but would like any info on it before hand.. Thanks