Monday, May 4, 2009

Paris - booked!

We have booked Paris. We had a hard time picking out a location – of course we want to see the Eiffel Tower, however, we probably want to go up the Montparnasse Tower- we’ve read that although its not pretty to see itself, the lines are less, the cost is less, and the view of Paris is the same as Eiffel, if not better as you can see the Eiffel Tower (good for pictures. :) Mr. Lush also wants to see the Pere Lechaise Cemetery (where Jim Morrison and others are buried), and that’s in the east part of the city (which is close to where we’re staying.) Here’s a quick glance map of major attractions and their districts (Arrondissement).

Basically, we couldn’t find one spot that was close to everything we wanted to see, so I poured over reviews and decided on the Hotel le Relais du Marais. Its 125 E per night, includes wi-fi in the room. Its reviews were that it was clean, the hotel staff is friendly, and its really close to a Metro station so it makes everyplace in Paris seem close. Negatives were the room size (as with nearly all under 200 E per night hotels in Paris) and that its so close to the Metro that sometimes it’s a bit loud and you may not be able to sleep with your window open. I must note that the pictures online do make the room seem a bit bigger – the ones on Trip Advisor show it’s a bit smaller, but it was the top rated hotel under 150 Euros per night and hardly anyone had anything negative to say about it- which is impressive as there is always SOMEONE on Trip Advisor who dislikes a place.

Its in the Marais district (in the north part of the 3rd Arrondissement - close to the 11th) – we opted against the oh so popular Rue Cler – right by the Republique and down the street from the Centre Pompidu, which honestly I might want to see more than the Louvre, which is also a 5 minute metro ride away. (well, that might not be true- I do want to see the Louvre, but I’ve heard the lines are soooo long (6+ hours) that we’re going to be armed with alternatives – because I don’t want to see the Louvre enough to wait that long in line.)

Here’s the map from the hotel’s website:

We had our eye on another hotel in Marais, which of course was booked, as it was quite a bit cheaper – the Hotel Jeanne d’Arc.

For your reading pleasure, here’s some info on the 3rd Arrondissement from Frommers website: 3rd Arrondissement (Le Marais) This district embraces much of Le Marais (the swamp), one of the best-loved Right Bank neighborhoods. (It extends into the 4th as well.) After decades of decay, Le Marais recently made a comeback, though it may never again enjoy the prosperity of its 17th-century aristocratic heyday; today it contains Paris's gay neighborhood, with lots of gay/lesbian restaurants, bars, and stores, as well as the remains of the old Jewish quarter, centered on rue des Rosiers. Two of the chief attractions are the Musée Picasso, a kind of pirate's ransom of painting and sculpture, which the Picasso estate had to turn over to the French government in lieu of the artist's astronomical death duties, and the Musée Carnavalet, which brings to life the history of Paris from prehistoric times to the present.


nataliego said...

yay! it's booked. sounds great!

LucyinStLou said...

You will have such a great time! Have you seen 2 days in Paris? It might be kind of funny to watch before you go.