Bonjour de Paris!
I arrived at the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel at 7am this morning. While I had emailed them of my arrival time, I was fairly surprised when the room was ready. I was upgraded to a suite of three rooms and two bathrooms on the 17th floor with a panoramic view of the left bank all the way to Montmartre.
While it may not be in the very center of Paris, it's very convenient to metro and RER lines and Place d'Italie. And it has the most comfortable beds in Paris!
Sally and I stayed there and while it is not in the center of Paris you can get to anywhere by the Merto boarding at St. Jacques or Glaciere the hotel is between those two stations. Our favorite restaurant is Le Pavillon Montsouris 20 rue Gazan, the food is super and it is located beside a small lake located in a park where I ran each morning not far from the hotel. Have fun!...Bill
Paris is like a second home to me. I lived here during my dissertation for two years from 1985-87 and have lived for periods of months since. My apt. not far from the Rive Gauche was on Rue Corvisart, not far from the Gobelins Tapestry factory.
This particular pope's confession, testament and memoirs are fascinating (Clement VI) because he was one of the Avignon popes and said of his predecessors "They did not know how to be pope." He proceeded to show them till the plague struck Europe. Surprisingly he showed himself a rather amazing leader during the next three years.
I have to say I am very impressed at Paris' environmental efforts. They might have been doing this for years, but I am not a night owl and this is the first time I have had two floor to ceiling windows. But since my view goes all the way past the Pantheon to the Ile de la Cité and up Montmartre, I can say that Paris was completely dark at midnight (and maybe before) last night (the Eiffel Tower is not in my sights) except for streetlights and an occasional light. The City of Lights seems to be conserving in a big-time way.
I just got back from the library and alas must pack up tomorrow so I won't be able to get out to the Arch (de la Défense?) since I leave Monday early. The C-E and Vendôme are out of my price range when I take research trips but I love the Rive Gauche because I know the area so well, plus like I said, the beds are the best in Paris (on a par with Trocadéro, but I like this area better).
For lunch today I by chance found a wonderful Franco-Vietnamese restaurant in the 6th Arondissement called La Muraille de Jade. It was absolutely superb. I could tell right away because it was already nearly full immediately after 12. If any of you know France, you know most restaurants only start to fill up at 12:30-1:30, especially on a Saturday. My meal was prix fixe Menu Gastronomique at 36 euros. (I don't ever eat dinners since I get the Marriott breakfast and hors d'oeuvres in the lounge and lunch is always cheaper elsewhere than dinner.) For that I got a kir, a plateau (2 courses of appetizers), shrimp with sauce piquante and delicately fried rice, a half bottle of wine of my choice, flaming pineapple beignet dessert and coffee. It was amazing. I don't know if I'd be able to find it again, but it was near the Odéon stop, but toward the Seine.
Ah Paris! Actually I have only been working. The beds here are so comfortable that despite my 6am wakeup calls, I just turn them off. I hope tomorrow, since libraries aren't open, to take a day trip to Saint-Malo.
In 10 days I'm going to Toronto for a conference staying at the Bloor-Yorkville Marriott then on April 29 I leave for a week in Andalusia, Spain. Alas, no Marriotts there...
The one unfortunate thing is that it has rained here almost all my time -- so much for springtime in Paris but at least I escaped the Nor'easter.
I have greatly enjoyed your reflections on Paris and the Rive Gauche hotel, and the correspondence it has triggered. I am based in the UK and visit Paris fairly frequently, originally for work purposes, but these days mainly to sample the joys of French racing at Longchamp and Chantilly. I will seek to discover the joys of French Vietnamese cuisine next month. My thanks in anticipation.
Be all that as it may, one small point re. Andalucia, and Spain more generally. Taking literally the press reports emanating from Marriott and AC Hoteles, the joint venture - "AC Hoteles by Marriott", covering a substantial number of hotels, is due to be launched at the beginning of May. It will be interesting to see whether this project is still "on time" and, if so, exactly which hotels are included, and on what basis.
Other Paris threads to check
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1101 La Défense, Paris, France
SusanL (Renaissance Vendome)
Thanks & CDG to Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero (Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero)
Paris! "Never better!" (Arc d'Triomphe trip report)
Surprise (discussion on Paris sights & hotels)
Hotel and Metro in Paris (hotel airport transporation options)