Arriving at the Hotel
by Hannah the Zebra
It had taken me three days on the internet here in California to find the “perfect” little hotel in Paris. My definition of perfect is different now than it was when my husband and I were younger and healthier. Then I would have put “romantic atmosphere” toward the top of the list. I say toward the top because it would have come right after “affordable” and “family friendly.” Unfortunately in those days, we rarely made it past the category of “affordable,” so our options were limited.
And while I wanted “romantic atmosphere” to be present for this trip, there were other necessities higher on the list. I was looking for a hotel that:
- Was affordable (still #1 on the list, although we can afford a little more than we could in earlier days).
- Had either a ground floor room available or a lift to get us to a higher floor.
- Was close enough to the places we wanted to see that either of us could walk and not have to take public transportation (which uses a lot of energy in an unfamiliar city) or a taxi (which uses a lot of money).
- Had an accessible room so that my husband, who is now legally blind, would have an easier time navigating around the room and thus be less likely to trip or fall.
- Served breakfast, since many cafes don’t open until 12 noon, and
- Had at least some non-smoking rooms, and preferably was a non-smoking hotel.
Given that we wanted to be right by the Louvre, the Tuilerie gardens, and the Musee d’Orsay (the museum that houses the impressionist art), that was an extremely tall order. At least if I wanted it to be affordable. I had plenty of options if I was willing to pay €500 – 1,000 a night. But I was looking in the €200 – 300 a night range. The closer to 200, the better. (I’d already tried the €100 – 200 range and that didn’t exist with list of things I was looking for.)
The third day I was on the internet, I finally found an affordable hotel that had every single one of the things I was looking for, including the location. When we saw the pictures on line, we could see that it was tucked into a tiny side street, but you could still lean out the window and see part of the Louvre, and the Tuileries. And when we arrived, we discovered it was just as great as it appeared on line. We found that it had enough amenities to keep us more than comfortable, a fantastic welcoming staff who were happy to help me along with my halting French, and a delicious breakfast. And it even had a romantic atmosphere.