If you’re planning to visit Paris and in need of accommodations, I offer the following account. Obviously this room, at this rate, in this location isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But considering that I have
fairly extremely exacting standards for hotel rooms, I thought our experience was worth sharing since I would re-book this room – a high honor, indeed, in the history of Amye’s Travels.
Going into this trip, I was worried. Before we could blink we were less than 2 months away from our departure (we stayed here in late June 2014) and had not booked any rooms for our trip. Like, none. Whoops. And then when I finally got around to starting the hotel search, I was quickly overwhelmed by the multitude of options – as well as how many of those options were outside our price range, or already booked. Panic ensued.
I tried to envision romantic Parisian nights spent strolling the winding streets, and looking up at the stars from a park bench. My imagination just wasn’t up for the challenge. I needed a room. And not just any room, but a decently-priced room that was kept extremely clean, preferably recently renovated, in a good location. Really, is that so much to ask? (Evidently, yes.)
After looking at, I kid you not, no fewer than 120 hotels in Paris, keeping a chart with about 40 options, narrowing the field based on quality and budget, and finally getting a positive booking confirmation, we had our spot. Hotel L’Empereur, a 3 star hotel in the 7th Arrondissement. And with an fervent prayer to the travel gods, a few weeks later we were on our way.
Luckily, the travel gods were smiling on us and we had a top-notch experience at Hotel L’Empereur.
Pro’s of Hotel L’Empereur:
+ Cleanliness: This is top top TOP of my list, and the Hotel L’Empereur did not disappoint. I found everything to be up to my standards, and maintained daily. This was a huge relief, and meant that I could truly relax at the end of each busy day out and about.
+ Recently Renovated: The web says this place was renovated in 2010, but it really seems even more recent. If you Google, you might see some older pictures of rooms and lobby. The photos on the hotel site are updated (as are the photos in this post) to give you a sense of what it looks like in 2014. They seem to have kept up with maintenance and I was very pleased at how new everything still felt.
+ Great Location: The hotel was 2 short blocks from a metro stop, but we only used the metro once. A taxi stand is also located at that metro stop, which we did use a few times. We could easily walk to the Eiffel Tower (< 10 minutes), to Rue Cler (adorable market street with cafes), to Les Invalides, and across the Seine to other sights. Given, we are city-dwellers and accustomed to walking. But the location really suited us.
+ A Room with a View: Our street-facing room overlooked Les Invalides tower. Even though we were just one floor up from street level (considered the 1st floor in Europe, you know it as the 2nd floor in the US) it is a quiet street and we weren’t bothered by noise at all. Its also worth mentioning we didn’t hear neighboring hotel guests either during our stay. Very serene.
Cons of Hotel L’Empereur:
– We had trouble communicating the street name to our taxi drivers. We got there successfully each time, but this street name doesn’t seem to be a familiar one for many. (That, or we just completely butchered the name!) I’d recommend asking for the Metro stop, La Tour Maubourg, as the easiest way to direct a driver.
– A common complaint, but we found the Wifi to be frustratingly slow. Luckily we were traveling for pleasure, not business, but if I had to log any work hours I would have been in serious trouble. We did manage to get enough connectivity to book a restaurant and load a map, it just demanded patience.
– The elevator is for individual use only :) Very cozy, and very slow. I mentioned that we were on the 1st floor (2nd floor U.S.) so we simply took the stairs. But if you require the single elevator, patience will be required.
– Breakfast is not included. This wasn’t a factor for us since my experience with inclusive continental breakfasts has generally been lack-luster, so we planned to grab a bite at cafes or patisseries which were conveniently located. Breakfast is available for an additional fee in the lobby, if you should desire it.
Overall, we were really thrilled with the Hotel L’Empereur. It was a lovely place to return at the end of our long days wandering Paris, and hit all my essential criteria – cleanliness being the top factor. No, it is not a luxury hotel. The desk clerks aren’t the friendliest, but hey – that’s part of the Parisian experience, right? The room itself definitely exceeded my expectations, and made our stay in Paris 100% more enjoyable.
I would absolutely recommend Hotel L’Empereur if you have similar criteria for your stay in Paris. Bon Voyage!
Amye’s Advice: Ask for a room on the 1st or 2nd floors to avoid the elevator. Rooms ending in -14 or -15 probably have the best views (we were in 114). I believe rooms -12 and -13 have partial views and rooms -11 and -16 having courtyard views, which might be preferred if you’re worried about street noise.