I am hoping that my next trip to Paris will be with my two adult daughters, son-in-law, and two small grandchildren. It will be their first visit to France. I was thinking we might all stay in one of the two bedroom villas at the Marriott Vacation Club outside of Euro Disney (or whatever it's official name is) as the two bedroom villas would be much less expensive than booking two rooms at a Marriott in Paris proper. I know that the RER train from EuroDisney is about a 25-30 minute ride one way, but I am wondering how accessible it is (how close to the Marriott property) and if the savings would be worth the inconvenience (and train cost) of staying 30 minutes outside of Paris. Does anyone have any experience with staying at this Vacation Club property and sightseeing in Paris? Please share your experiences and insight. Thanks!
This past May/June we stayed in Paris (Rive Gauche). Later in the trip, we had a rental car to visit Reims, etc and also stay at the Vacation Club near Disney in order to see Disney. I don't know what transportation the Vacation Club provides but you will need transportation for pretty much anything - Disney, eating out, getting to the RER. The RER station is right on the Disney property so if you can get to Disney, you can get the RER. Since we were visiting Disney, we paid for parking - don't know what options for parking there are for the train. Once into Paris on the RER you can get anywhere easily by transferring to the Metro so that's not a problem.So all in all, it can work but with overheads.
As a personal opinion, if the objective is to see Paris (i.e., more than just a day trip), then spring for the hotel and the Rive Gauche often had good rates (or try one of the Courtyards near a Metro). Paris at night is an important part of the experience (City of Light - remember!) and having to hoof it back to Club makes it more difficult. The Eiffel tower at night when the sparkling lights come on (they're only on for 5 minutes) is a must. The Seine at night, the monuments - Notre Dame, Arc de Triumphe are all so wonderful in the evening. The restaurant at the Rive Gauche is a bit pricey for whole family but there are choices at the Denfert-Rochereau including a market for groceries. The Metro is nearby. There is a supermarket in direction away from Denfert - neighborhood not the best but seemed safe. Hotel has been a Marriott for about 5 years - not quite marriott architecture/design but was very comfortable. If you have lounge access - it was quite nice, open all day with sfot drinks, snacks,.... Using points, it's cheaper than some other choices.
Yes, have done it and you have a great plan!
The property is very nice, and they have a shuttle to the train station and EuroDisney. You can relax and enjoy the best of both worlds. I will put some pictures to follow, and if you need more details please let me know. Here is a picture of the villa, which was very comfortable, and the train, which was wonderful. You can make a great "Day trip", for all. Once in Paris, relax on the "Tour bus", which will take you around to all the major attractions at a very reasonable price.
Lori, see previous posts on Paris, for additional information!
Hi, I just wanted to let everyone know for future reference, I called MVC d'Ile de France, and they do not have a shuttle from the property to the train station/Disneyland. The concierge said there was a bus line we could catch near the property. Since I don't have Printkey 2000 on my pc at home, I couldn't save and include the screen shot for visual clarity here, so here is the link to the Bailly-Romainvillier Bus website. It shows a map of bus lines. You catch the bus (line 34) at the corner of Ave des Golfs and Allee de l'Orme Rond. It is anywhere between a quarter mile walk (from the closest villa) to a half mile walk (from the farthest villa). I was planning on purchasing the zone 1-6 7 day paris-visite pass for daily transportation to/from central Paris. I'm not sure, but since the Disney train RER A stop is in zone 6, I'm thinking that access to the local busses in that area may be include in the zone 1-6 paris visite pass, so hopefully that won't be an added expense (1,70 euro one way bus ticket).
So that is a bit of a walk everyday on top of all the massive amount of walking in Paris, but I'm hoping that the train ride will offer just the right amount of rest. If we didn't have a 2 and a half year old and a 1 year old with us (think stroller and diaper bag), it would be no problem.
jusqu'à la prochaine,
Thanks for the info and pictures; much appreciated. I just really needed to know how accessible the train is from the Vacation Club property. It would be a very different trip from past trips as this one will involve little ones as well as young adults not yet refined by experience. No exploring quirky, little known corners, spending hours admiring art and architecture, visiting every hundreds year old church ever built or even waiting in long lines at Saint Chappelle. We will have to plan an itinerary that basically just touches the highlights while being child friendly. I stayed at the Rive Gauche, got to know the Denfert-Rochereau area by default. It was just ok, won't stay there again with so many other better options, plus I am trying to avoid the cost of two rooms (which we definitely can't afford in central Paris). There is a Courtyard at Neuilly sur Seine (suites wit kitchenettes), but a bit of a trek to the metro w/multiple transfers, which is fine but for the little ones? We'll work it out. Only reason why I would go now with the grandkids being so little is that my daughter and son-in-law are stationed in Germany for three years, so want to help them take advantage of proximity. Thanks again for your input.
I would not stay in Neuilly if I were you with kids, because it is toofar from a metro. It is close to the American Hospital, but hopefully you won't have to use that:)
To get around, you would have to walk miles, which is fine as a young couple, but with kids can be very hard. They need their energy and patience for Paris. Or you have to catch a bus, or have a long walk to a metro. Believe me,with kids, stay close to a metro. I am waiting to find out more about the Boulogne Courtyard, which is to open in March, because it is close to a metro, theBois de Boulgne park, and Saint Cloud, which has a wonderful, huge park, and delicious patisserie:). Metros are a family's best friend if you can't stay in the heart of it all(why can't the RVD rooms be larger???)
Hi Lakeshore, I went to google maps street view and "walked" (actually sort of floated) from the Courtyard in Neuilly to the Les Sablons metro, and ya, way too far with littles. It's a pretty neighborhood and a lovely .7 mile walk, to be sure, but totally not appropriate for this trip. Would be walking that twice/day at least, on top of all of the other massive amount of walking to be done. Taxis are out (child car seat and stroller issues). The metro is truly our best friend. Thanks for keeping it 'real.'
Lori is so right! This is a tough walk with a family!
If you were going to spend time in town with the family and wanted to stick to a budget, you may want to consider Ren. La Defense. My family stayed there many week-ends and we enjoyed the proximity to The RER and The Metro. The shopping and dining was a delight for everyone and it was a good deal on the week-end.
Good luck, and let us know if we can help with your trip plans.
The train is close, and they have a shuttle from the hotel to the train station. Likewise, don't make the mistake I made and drove into Paris. That was a disaster. The train is a double decker and easy, the whole family will enjoy it. Try to get the largest "Condo" available, the rooms are spacious and fully equipped for a relaxing stay.
If you have too, contact the hotel directly and explain your situation and desires to them. This has worked for me in the past. Just remember, there is a time change and best to call during their working hours. Get names and you might want to take a little "Gift" from the USA. This little place was very good and inexpensive, the front desk will direct you and maybe take your family there. Likewise, this little pastry shop was very close and very good as well. You will NOT have to pay Parisian prices here.
Jerrycoin, thanks so much for the local (Bailly-R) info and pics. We've made the final decision to stay at MVC Disney. We'll RER to/from Paris each day (plus Versailles one day) and make the most of it, and will stay in the city late one evening to enjoy the lighted monuments (thanks for the reminder, artisttraveler). I spotted a carrefour within walking distance of MVC, so we can do at least some of our own meals and maybe dine in the suburb at suburb prices if we feel the need. Wish we were staying in the city, but this is what we can afford. I know we'll have a memorable time.
You are in for a great time! The train ride into will be relaxing for you and just enjoy it. Get to know your RER routes and stations. One thing to consider is I think the hotel had a shuttle service to nearby places, including Disney. You may want to verify this with an email to the hotel so you know exactly what the hotel can/will do for you. You will find prices a lot lower there than in Paris. Lastly, give yourself some flexibility. Have different plans for some of your days. You will have to consider the weather and "The fatigue factor" for a group and family.
Thank you. Yes, we will definitely be flexible. This will be my mother's and my 4th visit to Paris (the hubbin's have no interest), but the first visit for my daughter and her hubbin' (who are stationed in Germany for 4 years) and grandbabies (the "littles"). My plan is simple: Be at my kids service. Be their tour guide (I speak "rusty" French which helps), and their babysitter while they climb the Notre Dame bell tower and take a group tour at Le Louvre and go inside Sacre Couer (shhhh.) This trip is for them. My goal is to just bask in their company and the splendor on their faces as they take in the sights. My son-in-law is an Apache helicopter pilot. He wants to visit France's National Air and Space Museum, which is perfectly fine. It looks very interesting. They're young, you know? Travel experiences are totally different for young people and folks 'of a certain age.' So much to see, so little time, which creates the perfect desire to return! And Marriott Vacation Club will be perfect for it all. Besides, the following week, my mom and I meet up with my other daughter and my sis & her husband in Italy! Then we'll be havin' some grown up time!
Okay, well you have me pointed in the right direction. I just googled Paris and kids, and found a gold mine. I wonder if you are thinking of Jardin du Luxembourg where the kids can sail their little boats in the pond or enjoy puppet theatre. Jardin du Plantes also looks kid friendly, and is where France's Museum of Natural History is (rer/metro stop Gare d'Austerlitz). I think the Zoo is there too. My grandkids will be 1 yr. and 2 and a half yrs. Puppets will be perfect! You know, they'll also have their grandma (What more do they need, really?!! )
I loved the top deck tour bus on the first day of my first visit. It was an excellent way to become oriented to the city's attractions, especially with being jet lagged. Money well spent. I've also learned to bring a good umbrella, which renders rain showers completely benign.
One thing not to miss -- which I always tell my students -- is the Sainte Chapelle. It's on the same island in the Seine as Notre-Dame, but much more glorious (if you can imagine). It's in the Palais de Justice complex, and you are best off (depending on how many people you'd need to get it for; I don't have children) with a Paris Museum pass which lets you pass through all the lines. Pick a sunny day and you will never see anything like it. It sounds like you've picked a place to stay, but since I travel so often to Paris and since my bad experience (after many good ones) at the RG, I will probably stay at the Courtyard Saint-Denis next time. Forgive my medieval history professor-ness, but another amazing site is right at Saint-Denis off the metro stop, the royal abbey and necropolis of Saint-Denis. It was the first ever example of Gothic architecture. The basilica is filled with not only amazing stained glass (don't let the plain and unattractive outside fool you) as the 12th-C. abbot planned -- to lift the heart and soul upward through light and height -- but also with tomb statuary of the kings and queens and children of times gone by. The actual bones that had remained in the tombs were put on trial (seriously) during the French Revolution, then after they were inevitably found guilty, usually thrown into the Seine, but the sculptures of the tombs remain in all their glory. Along with the Sainte Chapelle, it's one of my favorite places in Paris, although technically just outside. (And if you take the RER from CDG don't worry about the unpleasant suburbs you go through. They too shall pass. Saint-Denis was sort of the end of that part of the RER line as you approach Paris, but the last time I was there (I go EVERY time) Saint-Denis was much changed for the better. In any case, it's a block walk from the Paris metro (not the RER, which will leave you off in Saint-Denis near the Stade de France, the major soccer stadium).
Also if you get a Paris musée pass, you'll get to see the Conciergerie (the oldest part of the Ile-de-la-Cité), where famous prisoners such as Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and Robespierre spent their last days. If you're in a more gruesome mood (or your adult children are -- as some of my students definitely are), consider the catacombs near Denfert-Rochereau. When the Cemetery of the Innocents became a health hazard in central Paris a couple of hundred years ago, the major remains were transferred to the cemetery of Père LaChaise (amazing site -- I go for the lovers Heloïse and Abelard, who were finally reunited in death after their 12th C separation in life -- but most go to see Jim Morrison's grave. All kinds of artists and writers are also buried there). But the Catacombs contain layer after layer of the skulls and bones of the lesser mortals, right underneath the center of the city. If you are in a gruesome or historical mood, be sure to dress for the coolness and take a flashlight.
PS -- If you want some other off the beaten track medieval/early modern sites, let me know. Too many are fantastic (Château de Vincennes, at the end of another metro line, is another example) yet little known.
Thanks for the tip on St. Chapelle, walked by their many times, but never went into it. Will go in May.
Great advice on the RER.
I think Jim Morrison has been moved back to the US. Visited his grave years ago. No catacombs for me, I spend my time at the sidewalk cafe's.
Prof Chiara, thanks so much for all of the information and insight. It is much appreciated. Other than possibly Sainte Chapelle, I probably won't get to see the many places you recommend on this trip, as I will be hosting my kids and grandkids (very young) for their first trip, but after 4 visits to Paris, I still have, and no doubt will probably always have, a wish list of places to see there (I try to see different things each visit). I will definitely be adding the things you mention. They sound terrific. I've started creating travel notebooks with Microsoft One Note for my travel research, and I've cut and pasted some of your posts into my notebooks (hope you don't mind) for current and future reference. I enjoy French history (nothing like you, of course), and have been doing some studying (review) of French history (early modern France through the revolution and Napoleon III, as well as recent years - de Gaulle through Sarkozy), as I'm always looking to enjoy French conversation, which having a bit of knowledge seems to be helpful. Truth is, one time I chatted up a young Paris policeman, who informed me (and enthusiastically offered to recite) that he knew in order, ever single President of the United States. I asked him if he had a favorite U.S. President, and he said, "Yes, of course, Thomas Jefferson," and proceeded to tell me in detail, why. I was so impressed, that ever since, I've felt that I owed the French, who graciously share their country with me, the return favor of learning and respecting their national history.
Again, thanks large!
I think your kids and grandkids will be equally inspired by the Sainte Chapelle. The downstairs is very impressive but when you walk upstairs, it is utter glory, as you saw from the photos. By all means, cut and poste me as much as you like -- that's what I'm for!
Contrary to popular opinion, as you expressed so eloquently, the French love Americans, and they know American history, especially in their early modern period. Ben Franklin and Tom Jefferson both spent great deals of time in France, and the Americans supported the French Rev. Prior to that, the French (unwisely, if you're royalty) supported the American Revolution against George III. That's why there are so many French place names in Rhode Island, etc. And we should not forget that even later the French gave us the Statue of Liberty. You can see a smaller version on a Seine cruise. When I walked my beloved deceased cat in the Jardin des Plantes in the late 90s, a French couple came up to us and the kids wanted to speak to my cat in English! But Ben F. and Tom J. used to love walking in the Jardin (Latin Quarter near Place Monge) and Americans were much beloved by French revolutionaries.
I do get really upset with people who blame the French for so many things. We were and are allies. They helped us in the 18th C., we helped them, and so it went. And of course we helped them much in the 20th C. For all the seeming differences that are ALWAYS and loudly broadcast, the French and Americans basically love each other. I think frankly the French usually do a little better job of showing it.
Oh, well said!! Big smile. Yes, we are friends indeed! And so sad for our national contemporaries who do not recognize these truths (a work colleage told me not two weeks ago that he hates the French. It is very sad.) Yes, I've seen that little statue in the middle of the rive, and I notice so many avenues named after Americans. I will make Saint Chapelle a priority for this upcoming trip.
Thanks! Yes, all these pictures were in Yorktown, and it is a most interesting place, just a short drive from Williamsburg and Jamestown. Great visitor center!
When you want to see Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown, with those "Little ones", you can really have a time you will all remember. The "Golden Triangle", is a "Touching place", to visit.
By the way, keep the Parisian questions coming, I enjoy learning from all of the posts.