I made the attached report to Jerry and Prof Chria a couple of summers ago and it may be helpful to you;
Report on the Rive Gauche Hotel. I just returned from my first ever visit to Paris spending five nights in the Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel, 17, boulevard Saint-Jacques. The rooms are small but nice and the hotel is very quite. The cost is much less expensive than the Marriott’s Champs-Elysees property (we visited the C-E property, nice!) It is an easy ride on the RER from CDG Airport on the B line to the Denfert Rochereau Station and then proceed to the hotel. You can switch to the # 6 Metro (green) line and exit at the St.Jacques or Glaciere Stations (the hotel is between the two stations)—however, it is easy to walk (down hill) 5 minutes to the hotel from Denfert Rochereau. The hotel staff was very nice and helpful! There are several fine restaurants within walking of the hotel or a one or two metro stop ride. All of Paris is within easy reach by the Metro or RER. I would stay at the property again. Jerry, as you suggested I bought a “Paris Visite” 5 day 6 zone pass which worked on all forms of transportation. The two day museum pass is nice also. New Hilton Member, at your suggestion, we attended one of the many! free musical performances over the weekend, the one we attended was in the square at the Denfert Rochereau RER station-great. We visited Versailles, Arch de Triumph, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Boat on the Seine, Les Cars Rouges sightseeing bus, Basilique de Sacre-Coeur (some interesting streets and shops getting up the hill to the Sacre-coeur!) My three favorite restaurants within walking of the hotel were: 1. La Closerie des Lilas 171, boulevard du Montparnasse (come to think of it I may have taken RER B from Denfert Rochereau to Port Royal Station for this place); 2. Le Pavillon Montsouris 20, rue Gazan (super food $$$$ beside a small lake located in a park where I ran in the mornings) and 3. Au Petit Marquery 9, boulevard de Port Royal (excellent food service a little slow at times). This is my report to you three and thanks for your help in making this the best.
The "Ole Judge", makes a good point!
Can you check previous posts on this site?
There have been a lot of "Mixed reviews" on this property. I have never stayed there and do not know the property. Having enjoyed every other Marriott property in Paris that I have stayed in.
Have a great trip!
I LOVED the Rive Gauche and stayed there all the time until I used a Rewards stay and refused to pay the extra points and got shafted in a major way and treated like a non person, even though I speak fluent French.
If you are NOT staying on rewards, or if you pay for the extras, everything should be wonderful. Paris is a very walkable city, and although it looks like it's out of the way it's not. Just get a good map and you'll be on the rue St-Jacques across from the Ile-de-la-Cité in 10 minutes. It is also extremely convenient for metro and RER. If you are coming from CDG, get the RER to Denfert-Rochereau, which has elevators. (Don't change for the short distance to either St-Jacques or Glacière, which are both equidistant from the hotel, but have many steps, not good for suitcases or human joints.) Once you're they're Place d'Italie is a short distance away with some great shopping, fabulous Vietnamese/French food, and connections to most all metro lines in Paris.
When I did my dissertation for two years in Paris, I lived on rue Corvisart, not far from the Rive Gauche, so I know the area well. Very safe, probably more so than right in the center of the city. But then I've almost never had security problems abroad.
I found my stay at the Rive Gauche to just be so-so, and will not stay there again. While I've read on this sight that there is much to see and do in the area proximal to the Rive Gauche, I didn't spend my time locally during my stay, and found the walk to/from the metro to be not as visually stimulating as other Marriott properties that I have stayed at. ProfChiara is correct that there is an elevator (which is nice if you have joint issues or kids and strollers) at the Denfert-Rochereau station. I encourage you to do a search on this hotel within this website, as other insiders have posted about many good things to do and see in the surrounding neighborhood. I cannot speak to that as we just happened to spend our time during the days sightseeing elsewhere in Paris and didn't have the time to explore the neighborhood. While the concierge staff and hotel gift shop staff were very friendly, polite and helpful during our entire stay, we took issue with our room. The room was quite small as was the bathroom, and with the shower partition only covering half of the tub area, the bathroom got pretty wet after a shower (and I took plenty of cold showers...read on...) The weather was very muggy during our stay, and the air conditioner in our room did not work. Yes, that's right. When we would turn the A/C on, we got heat instead, and the window would only open about 3 inches! We called on this problem three times during our stay, and each time, while someone attempted to resolve the problem with the room climate, it was in fact never resolved. Upon the last attempt we were told that they were very sorry, but that there was nothing they could do, and it was not possible to move us to a different room. I was forced to spend the week in a state of sweat, as did my clothing. It was not pleasant and I was quite disappointed. I never felt or looked my best during the entire stay because of it. Very unpleasant and disappointing. We stayed on points, but I don't know if I agree with the Professor that everything would be necessarily great just because you are a cash customer, that is, I don't know that the outcome of our dilemna would have been different had we paid in cash and not points.
Price being about equal, I am opting for the Ren La Defense this year, and although I have not stayed there before, have heard good things about it here on MRI. It is also right on metro line 1, which means very little transferring.
I do not know about the concierge lounge. I would think that being a conference center it would have one, but then I just finished a stay at the Marriott in Monterey, CA, which is set up for conferences in a big way, and was disappointed to find that there was no CL there.
To speak to your question of weather, I've been three times during the last week in May, and each time was different. Once it was warm and dry, summer-like, once it was not just rainy, but muggy as well, and last time it was sunny but cool with occasional rain. With the recent climate changes (caused by global warming?) I have learned to always pack an umbrella whenever I go to Europe in the Springtime, because you can expect rain at least one day during your stay, and having a good umbrella (not the cheap compact kind that break when you look at them crosseyed) saves the day. I bring a full-sized one on the plane with me, the kind that has the "J" handle. That way I can just hook it on my arm and go, and carrying it that way on days that have even a small chance of rain has not been inconvenient in the least, and when the rain does come, I feel like the cat who ate the canary when I pop open my umbrella, and continue on my business of enjoying the prettiest city in the world without skipping a beat!
I would imagine that my hot room stay at the Rive Gauche was an exception, but for me it was enough to not want to risk another faux pas there. It is likely that your stay will be fine. Anyway, Paris is wonderful and I wish you a happy and memorable trip!
I have also decided I will not stay at the Rive Gauche again, which is a shame after many years of enjoyable stays there. But my 'rewards' stay when I refused to pay extra money for a 'free' room and was treated terribly at check-in and check-out and given a tiny room facing nowhere soured me once and for all.
Since I can't afford most of the higher priced Marriott options in Paris (except possibly the Courtyard Saint-Denis, which is much more amenable to me in location than La Defense), I will probably stay at one of the many Accor hotels since they matched my top status. Much of my time last year was spent in European and Middle Eastern locations that did not have Marriotts, so I decided to maximize what I get out of each stay anywhere by getting comparable status. I'll be in Marseille and Avignon in May after a quick trip for a documentary in France at the end of this month. Once again, I'll be staying at Accor, which is everywhere in France, and at all levels from luxury to a version of Quality Inn.
I realized I was getting too tied to Marriott when I started staying at places and cities where I didn't want or have to be and so have changed my habits, especially with what some of us perceive to be worsening service and amenities.
Hi Pluto77, Fortunately I'll be spending a lot of time in Avignon and Provence since my next book will be on Avignon at the time of the Black Death (however gruesome, it's fascinating stuff). Plus the papacy was in Avignon for more than 7 decades in the 14th century, so there's the enormous and amazing papal palace and museums -- not to mention the nearby vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe, my favorite wine.
You should definitely spend some time in the Loire Valley, especially with your interests in Poitiers and Angers. Poitiers has some of the oldest Christian buildings in the world, both churches and baptistries, from before the Roman Empire collapsed. And the castle at Angers is spectacular itself and also contains the Apocalypse Tapestries. And you can't miss nearby Chinon, which is where I will be for the filming in a couple of weeks for Joan -- because it is also where Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and their sons spent many of their Christmas courts.
Boy, you certainly know your way around, and where all the goods are. (And how do you find this information? I am clearly spending time in the wrong libraries, but then considering where I live...) These sites will definitely make their way onto my bucket list. What are you filming? (I thought a book and some off-Broadway about Jeanne d'Arc.) Just being curious.
I have lived or stayed in all of these parts of France (several years of my life if added up). France is my specialty and secondarily Italy, so I know pretty much everywhere in France (at least that has ancient or medieval sites, and have been to every part but the Massif Central. It was a good decision to slug my way through grad school for nine years -- it definitely paid off!
PS - I didn't answer your full question. We're starting in Domremy then on to Chinon. I think I have convinced them Rouen should be the other site though they wanted to do Orléans. Unfortunately, I knew from having spent 2 weeks in Orléans for research that it had suffered devastating destruction in WWII -- the few medieval parts that 'remain' from Joan's time (including the cathedral) are almost completely restorations. So I'm hoping they listen to me! I'll find out in two weeks.
Yes, I too have found myself going a little overboard to stay at Marriotts, and now with the match of many other chains, I have looked a lot more at other chains. Status matching is just another form of benefit that the hotels chains have figured out is a way to attract, or keep, loyal frequent stayers. I hope we see the competition, and Marriott, step up their game a little further.
More Paris Links:
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)