I'm new here. From Washington DC - never been to Europe but heading to Paris for a wedding in May.
Since I've never been to Paris, and only going for 4 days, where should I stay? I'm trying to stay on Marriott points to save $$$ so there are no rooms available at the C-E (which is where I would've liked to have stayed). The two I'm most seriously looking at are the Ren Arc de Triomphe and the Ren Parc Trocadero. My wife likes more modern places, so Vendome didn't seem like a great fit.
I've tried to read as much as I could on these forums, and based on that, I was learning towards Arc de Triomphe. Would love to get some more feedback on the two hotels (or others in Paris, if I'm missing something).
Thanks in advance!
Edit! A room at the Marriott C-E has become available to book with points. I've read some things about that (thanks jerrycoin) that C-E is quite the experience for first time visitors. I've also read things saying that things around the C-E are way too crazy, busy, expensive, etc. For first time visitors who don't speak French, maybe it isn't the best option?
First of all, THANKS so much to everyone for the replies. I have decided to go with the Marriott C-E - as it's our first time in Paris, and C-E sounds like the place to go for first timers. I was very fortunate to get in on points with no Euro surcharge and booked it.
If anyone finds themselves in the Washington DC area, let me know (feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com). I'll be happy to pick up a bar tab in return for a chance to bend your ear about Paris! I'm excited about the trip, but nervous too (especially since I don't speak French). Not sure if our lives will ever bring us back to Paris, so I definitely want to make the most of it!
Be careful with an invitation like this, you buy the beer? You may have Husker or me show up and if we go to a place like The Occidental Grill, you might have to cancel your trip to Paris, for lack of funds!
Let us know the specifics about what worries you about Paris. Having been at least 60 times, I do not, speak French. Yes, I love it and respect the French world, but you will make it. If you need to, just get a basic French tape. Likewise, if you need some help finding your way around, let us know. You can take the Metro all the way from CDG to the hotel and save a lot, or you can arrange to be picked up at CDG. Do what your budget will let you!
I you need advice on places to dine/see, let us know!
Congratulations, on the trip you will always remember!
Thanks, Jerry! Feel free to show up - Occidental Grill won't kill me. But we're not heading to Citronelle!
I'm not sure why I'm worried - never been outside of the country (except for Canada, but that doesn't really count). I'm excited too, and the closer it gets, the more excited I'm getting. Especially seeing so many of your lovely pictures from your travels. And even more so knowing that my hotel rooms won't cost me $600 a night (thank you Marriott!).
I'm going for my best friend's wedding, so the good news is, we'll get a lot of dinners free there! The rehearsal dinner is at some place that looks crazy expensive (180 euros a head, which seems insane to me). We're just going to meander around, see the Eiffel Tower at night, head to the Louvre at some point, the Palace at Versailles, maybe a few other sightseeing things (maybe just quickly in a cab!) and experience the Champs Elysees up close. Other than that, we'll just experience what comes.
Anything that I "can't miss" ? I've got the Rick Steves book, and he has some great recommendations, but if there's anything under the radar that is really can't miss, would love to hear.
Cheers - and let me know if you swing through DC!
Will take you up, but will not be in DC for awhile!
When I make it, will be at The JW, and you and friends can join me in their great CL! Yes, I'll pay for the friends refreshments or we'll just go to the lounge. You will be in for a good time on your 180 Euro experience. Remember to use the C-E for a HQ point if you can, they have a great sidewalk cafe and your friends will really have a great time. Here are a few pictures of fun things to do! Don't forget, you can take the RER/Metro from CDG, if you do not have too much luggage, or you or not too tired.
I do not know what your budget is, but let me know, because, here is a place you should visit in Monmartre, which was rated the best value in Paris. You must give yourself three hours for a three course meal, but they only charge around 15 Euros for a great meal. Likewise, get your pass for the metro, and use the double decker bus to get you around Paris, and get your friends to join you. You will have a riot, and save a lot of money. When you go to Notre Dame, visit one of my favorite, bathroom stops, at Quasimodo's, just a half block, toward the Seine, from ND, get a refreshment and walk downstairs.
Stay in touch!
1st picture, Le Poulbot, on a street named the same, close to the Dali Museum in Monmartre. Second, is " Bus fun", you can take the double decker and see all the sights, get off anywhere and get back on for one flat fee, it's great! Third is Quasimodo's, just up from picture four, ND.
You're absolutely right -- that is the way to do it in Paris. It's good to have a map hidden somewhere just in case but it's more fun to find whatever is right around the corner and the next and the next. If you have a chance visit Cafe Procope. It dates back to before the French Revolution and I know all the revolutionaries met there, and I think Ben Franklin and Tom Jefferson hung out there too.
AdT, is rated one of the finest hotels in Paris. Liked it so much going back in May as well. It is in a great location and the staff is excellent. You may try to see previous posts about the hotel. Close enough to enjoy the CE, but the prices surrounding the hotel are much less than the CE. You cannot go wrong with this property. Have not stayed, but have seen the Trocadero property, and it would not be my first choice. Nothing wrong with it, but for first timers I would go with AdT. Here are a couple of pictures you may enjoy. Two very reasonable and friendly places to dine within a block.
We used to live in Paris...can't really comment re specific properties you mention BUT, I would much rather walk and eat around Trocadero...as it is more residential. It's an easy walk to the 7th, the Eifel Tower and my favorite street in all of Paris...Rue Cler. There, we shopped for bread, cheese, and wine and then took the ReR to the Palace in Versailles for a wonderfully relaxing day in the gardens. However, it is Paris, they are not that far apart, and a slightly longer walk only provides that much more to enjoy.
Wonderful comments, but do think about a "First timer", in Paris. It is challenging, at first, to transport loved ones around Paris. I think, making it easy on yourself, especially on points, is very important.
There are few places in the world that can duplicate the time that a C-E experience for someone that may never make it back to Paris. Yes, I do not always stay there, but I know my way around. Again, I am not trying to be anything but pro-wonderful time by all.
I have stayed at both and by far the Renaissance on Raymon Poincaire is a better location because it is not as commercial and 3 blocks to Trocodera then walk across to Eiffel can't think of a better scenario---in fact i am going to Paris for 2 weeks in April and will save my points for rainy day and stay at the new Courtyard in Boulogne so I can take advantage of the Mega Points and also rates at hotel are so cheap---have over 1.5 m points and only use them for the pricier hotels like St. Pancras in London--good luck
Thanks everyone so much for your responses so far!
A monkey wrench just got thrown - I was just fooling around on the website, and was able to book a room on points (no euro surcharge either) at the Marriott C-E.
I've read other things from jerrycoin that says the C-E is the best place (and quite the experience) for first timers.
So - the question to pose now is, should I stay at the C-E?
Curious as to your thoughts - and many thanks in advance.
Go for the C-E, it will be overwhelming, but wonderful for a "First timer"!
Even if you don't, let me know how the others and I can make your experience to special.
Good luck and feel lucky you can get into the C-E. If you finalize, try and look at previous MI posts and then ask about your Parisian hopes!
Did you see "Midnight in Paris"?
If this is your first trip to Paris, I would definitely recommend the CD property. It will be closer to walkable tourisit sites and the metro is very close to the hotel. The Trocadero feels more like a residential area although it is closer to the Eiffel tower. The rooms are much nicer at the CD and the concierge seemed more available than the Trocadero concierge. Be sure to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe at night - also don,t miss the La Douree macaroon shop nearby (across the street a bit). Enjoy!
If you do get a chance to get into the CE on points, you had better move on it in a hurry! The CE tends to book fast and it can be tough to get if you don't hurry. Here are a few more pictures in the area around the CE:
The first is the courtyard, pictured from the very nice dining room. Then the world famous Laduree, across the C-E, and Chez Andre (Frog leg's are great).
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)