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5th ARR: Hotel des Grandes Écoles

Rue Cardinal Lemoine, Phone:

Reviewed by: Kaydee from TN, review #2009

When: August 2007

A comfortable Left Bank hotel offering a quiet garden oasis in the midst of busy Paris. Great location! {3 stars}

Hotel des Grandes Ecoles, photo by Kelly Wood

My daughter and I spent three nights at this hotel. This was my sixth trip to Paris; I've stayed four times in hotels and twice in apartments. I definitely found a winner on this trip - comfortable, convenient and economical.

The Hotel des Grandes Écoles is a three-star hotel located on Rue Cardinal Lemoine in the 5th arrondissement. This is a great location, less than five minutes from the Place de la Contrescarpe and the top of bustling Rue Mouffetard, with its shops, cafes, bars, clubs, and food market. The Cardinal Lemoine, Place Monge, and Jussieu metro stops are nearby.

The hotel has 51 rooms, incorporating three large houses, all of which open onto a central courtyard and garden. The garden is a wonderful and very unique feature of the hotel, and is attractively landscaped. Many rooms look onto the garden and in warmer weather (which unfortunately we didn’t have), breakfast is served outside. We had the feeling of staying in a country hotel, though we were right in the middle of Paris. It was very nice to return to this spot at the end of every day ... almost a secret garden on a private street in Paris.

We opted for the least expensive room, a twin-bedded double with a shower/bath (€115 a night). Larger rooms and rooms-with-views are available. Our room was cozy and comfortable and included a table and chairs and a desk. The walls were papered in a floral pattern. The bathroom was tile and everything was clean. Our room did include a large fan, though it was unusually cool during our stay and we didn't have to use it. In our room (106) there was no outside noise from the street, and we did sometimes keep our windows open.

The hotel staff was helpful and efficient, responding promptly to our request for extra pillows. We especially appreciated the bookcase full of “left behind” books, including a couple of Paris guidebooks.

Breakfast was €8 additional. The hotel does have WIFI (though you must have your own laptop), requiring the purchase of a special card (€4 for 3 hours ... other quantities available).

We really enjoyed our stay at Le Hotel des Grandes Écoles, and I would definitely stay here again.

Reviewed by: Marianne from WA, review #1096

When: Ma, 2005

Quiet charming Left Bank hotel in great neighborhood, inexpensive but popular - reserve early. {3 star}

This budget hotel is recommended on a number of sites and we found its acclaim to be deserved. The neighborhood is great. The hotel is located on a quiet street, about 2 blocks from the Cardinal Lemoine Metro station. Nearby are the Place Contrascarpe, a pedestrian-scaled square, the rue Mouffetard market, and a variety of restaurants. This is a Left Bank residential neighborhood, very enjoyable to be staying in.

From the street all you see of the hotel is a big green gate. Inside the gate is a cobblestone courtyard, with tables and a garden in back. We asked for a quiet room and got the room farthest from the street, overlooking the garden. There can't be a quieter room in Paris. We were awoken by birdsong.

The room itself, while large, was pretty spartan. No shampoo for instance. And no TV. But all the basic necessities and a good bathroom.

The hotel is popular and you must reserve far ahead. But not too far ahead. The web site specifies the earliest date to reserve; approximately 3 and a half months.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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