Hi all - Know you will have some great advice for me We are going to Paris the very end of April for 5 Nights and will be able to fund it all though points. Never having been to Paris I can't decide what area to stay in. As a platinum guest would you recommend one hotel over another? Which melds the perks of the status with the location and feel of the hotel? Leaning between Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe and the Champs des Elysees. No one has said much about the Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel on the forums - though the review looks promising. Thank you for your thoughts!!
Congratulations on your travel plans! Can you please provide just a little more information? Are you a family or a couple? Will you be visiting the first time tourist attractions or are there specific interests? Are you a foodie? Flying in from CDG, and if so, do you plan on taxi'ing in (70€), Air France bussing in or training in (about 8€)? Look forward to your response.
We are a couple and we will have been retired for 1 month prior to this trip! We are flying into CDG and flight has us arriving at 8:30 AM. Love it all - want to see touristy things and culture. Very into nature and beauty. Love food and wine. Not a fan of crowds but not against them. Happy to save money where it is relevant and not afraid to spend it if the occasion warrants. We are flying out of CDG on May 21. In-between we are wanting to go to Prague, Cesky Krumlov (trying to decide if flying to Prague or train makes more sense) and then to Slovenia and Croatia.
Your question on bussing or training in - not sure - we are packing light and flying in on AA. (Goodness to fly on BA using FF miles I could have paid out of pocket for the same price- almost). Happy to train if it is not a hassle, which it doesn't sound to be.
Museums I know I want to hit D'Orsay and like to go to Montmarte. Pretty blank page outside of already purchasing the air and wanting to go to Croatia.
Hi again Zonahiker,
Congratulations on retirement and wow, you have some nice places planned to visit. I agree regarding BA and FF miles. Same w/Air France. If you are flying bus class on AA, try to book one of the newer B773's planes with the 1-2-1 configuration if you can. It's great.
For Paris hotels, you probably haven't seen much feedback on the Ren Republique because it's only recently opened. Where to stay sort of depends on your taste.
As far as getting to/from the airport, as I mentioned above,
d'Orsay is a wonderful museum, also of course, Le Louvre and to round those out I can recommend l'Orangerie as well as the Rodin musuem. If you're there on a Thursday, in the afternoon, l'Orangerie does guided tours in English, and they are wonderful. Also, in Le Marais, there is an extremely well done holocaust museum, Le Shoah, however if that is too much to bear on a happy holiday, there is a more subdued memorial worth a visit, just behind Notre Dame and Square Jean XXIII on the tip of the island Ile de la Cité, called Mémorials des Martyrs de la Déportation (74,000 Jewish Parisians, men, women and children, were rounded up and sent to concentration camps during the war.)
Of course everyone wants to see Notre Dame with it's elegant flying buttresses, but also you will want to visit Sacre Couer in Monmartre, it is exquisite and also Sainte-Chapelle for it's windows, but book online prior to your trip, as the line in the Spring can be very, very long. Saint-Sulpice is beautiful inside, as is Saint-Étienne du Mont, which sits next to the Panthéon in the 5th. The dome of the Panthéon has just been restored and inside there is a giant pendulum clock, plus lots of famous folks are buried there in it's necropolis.
The new Paris Philharmonie is a great venue for taking in a music concert. Check out it's schedule. But also, often there will be concerts in churches that are modestly priced. Just look for the flyers that are posted everywhere.
If you like street markets, you have to visit Marché Président Wilson, open on Wed and Sat. It's awesome! I owe psudad for that one. You could do it the same day that you visit the nearby Rodin Museum.
For day trips, Château Fontainebleu (we used a car for that one) or Château Versailles are wonderful, as is Chartres cathédrale and Giverny (Monet).
When you get back, you can school us on Croatia, Cesky K and Slovenia! It all sounds wonderful!
Congratulations on your upcoming Parisian, and beyond trip!
You are getting some wonderful tips from pluto77! Let me share a few other ones that may make your first Paris trip, relaxing and memorable. Here are a few things you will want to consider:
From CDG to any hotel, having done it most ways, remember you have luggage, have flown a long way, and have never been to Paris before. My suggestion, arrange for whatever hotel you decide on to have you picked up at CDG and brought directly to the hotel. You will not have to wait for taxi's, deal with RER's, or be overly concerned with your personal security. The price is typically about the same as a taxi, unless you upgrade your vehicle. This can be arranged via your Concierge at the hotel. You can call the hotel directly via Marriotts reservation center, just remember to do this during their Paris business hours.
To sightsee, walk or take the on/off buses, at least the first day. You can see what you like, get off, and then continue your sightseeing!
First Choice, but you had better book NOW, would be The C-E! There is NO PLACE like it, especially for first timers. You will think you are a "Movie Star", with the wonderful activity that surrounds you. Wonderful staff, great rooms, and fantastic food! Again book early, and all rooms are nice!
Caution! Fantastic place to visit, but unless you take a taxi/or tour bus, it can be a challenge. The "Hawkers" around the area seem rather unsafe, so do your best to avoid them. Once inside the Monmartre area is truly safe, but you will want to make safe arrangements prior to going! Here are a few wonderful places to visit while there:
Quaint, inexpensive places to dine, like Le Poulbot, near The Dali Museum!
In closing, have your Concierge help plan your trip, based upon your budget and desires! Marriott has wonderful staff in all of their hotels that I have stayed.
Let us know about your detailed questions!
MY first visit I intended to take the bus to the arch and walk to the CE . We could never find the bus so we took a taxi. When we saw how crowded the champs is and not knowing where to go I was happy I didn't have to lug luggage thru the crowd looking for the hotel . Having now been in this area three times I would be far more likely to try the bus again but as a first timer I was happy I paid the extra to get dropped off right in front of the hotel .
Le Poulbot looks wonderful!
jerrycoin do you know of anything similarly quaint near the Catacombs?
I have never had the opportunity to visit the Catacombs!
There must be some MRI who has, so it will be interesting to hear!
One tour that also interests me is "The DaVinci Code Tour"! Sounds like an interesting experience!
Zonahiker Paris is, indeed, a spectacular destination. I have comments about two of the hotels on your list.
Trocadaro is in a great location and we had a spectacular view of the Tower from our room The staff was excellent! On the other hand the rooms are small and poorly lit. The restaurant was excellent but there is no CL if that is important to you.
Marriott Rive Gauche is a bit tired but very well run and maintained. The staff was absolutely wonderful and the CL is one of the best that I've encountered. Two Metro lines have stations within two blocks of the hotel. Valerie, the guest relations mgr. there, is one of the most helpful people that I have encountered in any hotel, anywhere!
WOW! You all are amazing. I think we have decided to stay at the Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel ( you still have time to talk me out of it - but here is my rationale.. While the rooms might be small, and the view perchance into another window, the location on a quiet street is appealing. The location is also good. Arc we decided a little to far off and the CE too crowded of an area... if you think I am very off let me know, the redemption center is getting to know me well as I have switched from Arc to CE to Vendome so far)
Restaurant tips are great - thank you - would love any more suggestions there.
So far list of what we are wanting to do have grown to include Palace of Versailles, Monet's garden at Giverny, and of course museums; D'Orsay, Rodin, Picasso, Louvre, Notre Dame, as well as Arc de Truimph, Eiffel Tower via Jardin des Tuileries, a boat ride on the Seine, and then just exploring the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. The only place I feel I must shop at is the Shakespeare Bookshop! What am I missing - is it too much?
I want to see a lot but I also just want to sit at a cafe and watch the world go by.
Loving the comments on arranging a private pick up at the airport, and any other arrangement tips I would appreciate!
Sigh... April seems a long time off! Am so excited to experience all this!
Great tips provided so far.
We stayed at Paris Opera two years ago and loved it so much we're going back in March. Really loved the location: it's near Montmartre and still within walking distance of the 1er arrondissement, which is our favorite. Our room at Opera had a view of the Eiffel Tower, and the exec lounge was quaint and comfy.
If you're going to the Louvre and want to bypass the lines out front, go downstairs (Carousel) to the Tabac. You can pay cash for tickets there and there's an entrance to the Louvre near the Tabac.
If you aren't an Uber user yet, I recommend it for Paris. So convenient to get around! Bon voyage!
I think you made the right choice. I was not impressed with the Marriott C-E. I felt like a small fish in a big pond. The room view was terrible (that's fine) the bed was terrible and when I complained someone brought a board and inserted it between the box spring and matress to rectify the issue (of course it did not!). I'm also not sure what the attraction is with C-E blvd. It's very busy (all the time), very noisy and the shopping is better in Vendome anyway. Ren Vendome is well situated for everything. It was my favorite until we went a second time. My first time, they upgraded us to a beautiful corner suite with a view of Tuilleries. Simply terrific. Second time, nothing special. Very few of the hotel employees would extend any pleasantries. Be wary of a room facing the street. There are several bars on the street and it IS noisy late on weekend nights especially. Opera House is very nice as well. As for room sizes, they are all small compared to most (non-urban) U.S. hotel room sizes. Have a great time. If you like flowers and gardens, maybe go a bit later next time. April can be a bit early for everything to be in bloom. And perhaps a Fat Tire Bike Tour. Run by American ex-pats and run day and evening (with the Siene boat tour culminating at the Eiffel Tower which is beautiful and not to be missed at night). The ride is slow paced and gives you a good lay of the land. Also, look into Paris Museum Pass. It saves you money and you avoid the lines. Be aware of the schedules of the museums. Most are closed on certain days during the week and open late on other days. The Louvre is amazing but can be daunting because of its immense size. Try going two days for a couple-three hours each time. Go just before close to avoid crowds at the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Macarons - Pierre Herme. Amazing baked goods (including Palmiers) - Patisserie Stohrer. Angelina Paris Rivoli is a nice spot to have hot chocolate.
We are really excited to go on this trip! Notating all the suggestions for restaurants and treats. Great tips, we do plan on the museum pass and revisits to the Louvre. This is the first part, we then continue on to Croatia, Slovenia, and end in Prague. We had not planned on Paris at all - just was a convenient place to fly in and out of with FF miles. BUT now, the more I delve into the do this and thats, we will have to come back. Next go will be a driving trip to take in much more of the countryside.
Thank you all for your wonderful comments and tips - happy to take any more - those views from the inside make such a difference!