I've stayed at the Rive Gauche many, many times and it's a wonderful hotel with great rooms and friendly people. If you've never been to Paris, maybe it's worth it to stay in a much (MUCH) more expensive hotel such as Vendôme or Champs-Elysées. I've never stayed at either and don't plan to, because the Rive Gauche gives me everything I want in a hotel of Marriott quality.
I admit to being fluent in French (but everyone at this hotel speaks English, as do most youngish French people in Paris) and having lived in Paris for more than 2 years (not far from this hotel).
I can't comprehend -- except for business -- why ANYONE would stay at La Défense. It may be a fantastic hotel and it's on metro lines, but you can't walk there from here. From the Rive Gauche, you can walk all over Paris. You're not next to Notre-Dame or the Louvre but it's a short ride (Denfert-Rochereau or Place d'Italie being the best places for connections) or a better walk to any of these. It's Paris! Enjoy!
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I should simply add that after my last 'so-called' rewards stay (it was more like purgatory), during which I was treated horribly, apologized to by the GM of Marriott in France after being given a tiny room and no privileges, I will not under any circumstances stay there again. It's very sad for me to say that, because all my previous stays had been wonderful. But when I refused (again at check-in) their add-on fee for a one-night reward stay before flying home, I was told by a truly nasty desk person (I only wish I remembered her name, but was very tired by then) in exceptionally fast French, that I was essentially entitled to nothing.
I wish I could stay there again, because I always liked it before that. But being treated like 'you know what' at a hotel you usually stay at changes everything, esp at elite levels. By contrast, although I usually only stay a day at end or beginning of a trip at the Athens Ledra, I am treated like royalty, given beyond the usual gifts, including whole bottles of wine, discounts on hotel restaurants and generally treated like they love me. The Rive Gauche lost me forever thanks to one nasty woman at the reception desk, and the room (cubbyhole) she gave a then PP member. Sure, I'd like to get the privileges of a concierge lounge back, but I would rather stay at a hotel that respects me --and in most cases gives me more.
PS -- I'd stayed about 5-8 times at the Rive Gauche before using points and refusing surcharges, so I don't think I am being unreasonable.ProfChiara
I don't blame you, Profc. I was wondering whether or not the French GM offered you anything when he apologized?
What are the surcharges on the points stays for? How do you refuse them, meaning the basis on which you refuse them? That might be in some other place here, but I couldn't find it.
I stayed here for 2 nights 3 years ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was upgraded to a fantastic room on the top floor (from which you could see the entire City), the breakfast was great, + the lounge was fine if I remember too (although I don't use lounges much nowadays).
Ok, it's not in the heart of tourist Paris (which has its pros and cons), but you can easily get there via a quick tube ride if that's what you're after. However, I founds plenty of bars and restaurants within a short walk of the hotel.
Hi eb and Jerry,
You both know, I think, the whole story -- I'd stayed at the Rive Gauche year after year -- then the one time I used points and refused to pay their extra per diem fee (which seems largely confined to France), I was treated horribly (beyond rude) at the Reception, even though I am fluent in French. The staff member rattled off in faster French than I have ever heard used by ANY French man or woman (which I can almost always understand fully) that I would get no extra benefits because I hadn't paid the fee. I said fine, took my card key, and ended up in a cubbyhole facing the south industrial side of Paris. It was about the size of a bathroom at the Athens Ledra or Grand Flora. I had always written glowing reviews here and on tripadvisor, so was particularly upset, even though it was only a one night stay, thank God. It was in response to the latest tripadvisor review after that trip a couple of years ago that the French GM contacted me and asked that I write to the specific manager. But no, I was not offered anything in return.
BTW, I don't want it to be in the heart of Paris, absolutelegend1. I lived in the 13th arrondissement for my two years of dissertation research and love that part of the city. In fact, when I was in Paris in October, when I would not stay at the Rive Gauche, I stayed at a Best Western right near Place d'Italie. No luxury, but very inexpensive, and at least they treated me well.
Maybe it was one bad apple (une pomme très mauvaise), but the kind of treatment I got two years ago made me swear off for life, despite probably 6-8 previous longer stays.
profchiara Nov 13, 2012 4:30 PM
I know exactly what you mean. I swore off Red Roof Inns for the same reason.
For the GM of France to apologize to you and then offer you nothing, was probably showing that he didn't come up through the ranks and doesn't know that much about customer service.
As far as the clerk goes, I'd been thinking that she very possibly has something against Americans as a group since she was talking too rapidly for most non-natives to understand and jealous of you as an individual. I think anyone would be able to tell that you're an awesome person. Also, it was a power play for her. I hope she was fired.
As far as the other question you asked in another blog about importance of levels, in regards to my booking a room with them, it's all about the value instead of the brand. When you get to the plains states that we traveled in 2005, Marriott hardly exists once one passes Omaha, NE and pretty much until you get to the coast.
You are so, so nice to say that. Maybe you could get a job at the Rive Gauche? It might fix at least one problem. The funny thing, especially as I've now learned Italian quite well and am learning Greek is that my French has gone from fluent to close to bilingual. This woman at the desk knew I understood every word she said even though she might as well have been reading off the fastest teleprompter invented. At the same time, of course she also knew I was American from the reservation (but then at the time she also knew I was PP).
I never got an answer from my letter to the RG manager, though since I sent it in French via snailmail, maybe it never got there. I would love to think things have changed back to the way they were, but if that's how one staff person treated a Platinum Premier member who spoke the language, I wonder. I think it had a whole lot to do with the fact that on principle I will never pay for rewards stays (which can be $100 or more a day depending on the location) because they are, after all, supposed to be rewards.
Anyway, not great bed notwithstanding, the BW de Weha treated me like an honored guest (I have equivalent status with them thanks to there being so many more of them in France and Italy. The only other Paris Marriotts I've stayed at were Trocadéro (fine, except I DIDn't like the location (I like the old city and the 13th) and the CDG Marriott, which is truly excellent.
The funny thing is that I almost never find anti-Americanism anywhere in France these days. I wish I had gotten the woman's name, though I usually back off before doing anything that could get someone fired. But she ruined a whole hotel for me, and forever.
As those of you who've known me for a long time, I think you're all way wicked awesome, as we say in Maine. (Even if after 19 years I will never be a Mainer, I can still use the lingo.)
PS -- I just got my Fluenz Italian 4&5 when I got home from teaching today and I just started using it because I couldn't wait. Fluenz has the most awesome language programs (albeit limited to certain languages) for adult learners who don't just want to look at pictures and remember a phrase. Since I'll be in Bologna (alas, not Crete) next week, I'll get to use it again at every opportunity.
C è benissima!