11 November 2015

Un hôtel sans ascenseur

When I was in Paris on November 1, I stayed in a hotel in the Latin Quarter, not far from the Sorbonne and the Cluny museum. It was a hotel I knew about but where I had never stayed before. Why did I choose the Hôtel Marignan? Well, because of location, location, location, and because it was not expensive. I'm not an extravagant person.


I knew the hotel didn't have an elevator. I didn't know how many floors it had. It turned out to have seven of them, in American terms. In other words, the front desk and breakfast room were on the ground floor, and there were six more floors above. The main surprise was that I was given a room on the top floor. Remember, no elevator. Oh, and heavy suitcase.


But the Marignan is in the Latin Quarter, and near the Saint-Michel RER station. The RER is the regional transit system, with trains that go directly out to Charles de Gaulle airport. That's how I would get out there — by RER train. A ticket costs 10 euros. That convenience was really important. I figured: for one night, how bad can the hotel be? Actually, it was fine, except... well, you know.


The Marignan is a friendly place. The man at the front desk speaks French and English. He's French and he's talkative — in a good way. He told me that is wife is an American woman from Connecticut. I think a lot of his clients might be younger Americans. They probably don't mind climbing up and down the stairs, even if their rooms are on a high floor.


The room was perfectly fine. In it were three beds: one single, one double, and one small child's bed. There was no TV, but my room had a private toilet and bath. Evidently, many of the rooms don't. There are showers and toilets located down the hall that are shared by all the people staying in the cheaper rooms on the floor. My room, the deluxe model, cost 89 euros for the night. Cash please, I was told. Breakfast was included, while in most hotels it costs between 8 and 15 euros extra.

13 comments:

chm said...

Even though you're just a kid, I can feel the pain (six times from the living room up to the loft!). In my own building, in Paris, they were able to squeze a narrow elevator in the stair case; in the front part of the building, they don't have any!

Ken Broadhurst said...

Yes, I slept in the child-size bed, of course. LOL.

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

I didn't know that any hotels actually in Paris still had rooms without bathrooms in the room -- I thought that during the Mitterand era (wasn't it?) all of the hotels were made to adapt every room to include a bathroom. I guess not! And, I guess that's why it looks to have only one star-- I think that I read somewhere that a hotel with no elevator can't get more than one star.

Still, it looks nicely kept up, and that's a great price -- that room would be great for three traveling 20-somethings!

Evelyn said...

An unforgettable bargain! In my Europe on $5 a Day time, I always had a raincoat to put on for the toilets down the hall. I like that plaid blanket.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Yes, one star. No elevator, no TV. There was a wall-mounted phone in the room but I got the impression it didn't work. The room was very clean and the linens and blankets were nice and fresh. At first, I thought I didn't have hot water. I never did get any hot water to come out of the bathroom sink faucet. The shower I turned on and let the water run for a while, just to see. The water finally got hot, so I didn't have to take a cold shower before going out to the airport. The breakfast was fine (and "free" — included in the price of the room) but it was nothing to write home about. What the hotel has that hardly any do was a laundry room that was free for guests. So people must come and stay there for days or weeks at a time. It also had a kitchen with two refrigerators and a microwave where you could store and reheat food. Le Marignan is a former pension de famille (boarding house) and really not a bad place. [Remember Mme Cornille?] If I stay there again, I will know to specify that I don't want a room higher than the 3ème étage. You really can't beat the location.

Ken Broadhurst said...

A raincoat -- what a good idea. all the blankets in the room were very nice and clean. See my comment to Judy above. I might go back to the Marignan on a future trip when I need to stay just one night in Paris. It's handy to be right next to the Saint-Michel RER line and not have to haul my suitcase through the metro before getting on the train that goes out to the airport. I still didn't go to have dinner at the Tunisian restaurant down the street, just because somehow it didn't appeal to me that evening. I went and go a pizza, which was delicious, and a big bowl of coffee-flavored ice cream. It was great.

H.Peter said...

Latin Quarter beats Gare du Nord for sure. That's where I stayed on my recent trip back to the US, for the very same reason. Convenient access to the RER.
I was lucky and had an elevator though.

Ken Broadhurst said...

My original plan was to stay in a hotel out at the airport, since I had booked a flight that took off at 8 a.m. Then Air France canceled that flight and put me on one with a 1:30 p.m. departure. I decided it would be more fun to spend the night in central Paris. I had plenty of time the next morning to take the RER train out to CDG.

Diogenes said...

In that area we always like Hotel Albe Saint Michel:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187147-d208082-Reviews-Hotel_Albe_Saint_Michel-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

Breakfast is included and the bathrooms are BIG for Paris, though the rooms are small. About 30 euros more than Marignan, but closer to the RER/Metro.

Ken Broadhurst said...

My original plan was to stay in a hotel out at the airport, since I had booked a flight that took off at 8 a.m. Then Air France canceled that flight and put me on one with a 1:30 p.m. departure. I decided it would be more fun to spend the night in central Paris. I had plenty of time the next morning to take the RER train out to CDG.

chrissoup said...

That's exactly what our room looked like when we stayed there in 2013 for 8 days with our granddaughter, except we were on the 2nd floor. She loved the breakfast, and laundry and frig were handy. They ask your age when you reserve; I thought that was because of the elevator situation, but maybe not. Staff was very friendly and helpful, as you say.

LaPré DelaForge said...

Great room decor... either well kept '30s or nicely re-crafted...
but those stairs.... we used to stay at an hotel in Bruges with a staircase like that...
but only three floors of it... and that was bad enough with a suitcase!
It is difficult to retrofit a lift into an old building.... most postwar are designed around liftshafts...
they've just fitted a lift into the mairie here... it has changed the building... but, means people don't need to use the dangerous, external steps up to the front door on the 1st floor!

Autolycus said...

I'm a fan of the Cosmos in the 11th - round the corner from a bus route to the Gare du Nord, extremely clean, tidy and modern, excellent value - and it has a lift. The neighbourhood's a bit on the edge of everywhere else (not quite Oberkampf, not quite République), hence no doubt the relatively low prices, but it has all the necessaries.