“Location is everything”–or so they say. One of the first lessons I learned during my trip to Paris was that how easily you get along in Paris can be directly relative to where you stay. Arrondissements (districts) in the center of the city, along the Seine, are closer to tourist sites and easily walkable. People there also tend to speak English more than in the outlying areas. If you don’t speak much or any French, and you want your trip to Paris to be as easy and stress-free as possible, the center of the city is where you’ll want to stay.
I’ve already written about my linguistic and cultural struggles during the first four nights of my stay in Paris, when I stayed in locals neighborhoods. The last three nights of my stay, when I was hosted by Hotel le Tourville in Paris’s 7th arrondissement, were so much easier by comparison. Location isn’t quite everything, though.
Hotel le Tourville is a four-star hotel offering the services to match, including concierge service, limousine service, laundry service, and air conditioning. If you don’t feel like venturing out for breakfast, Hotel le Tourville offers a very nice breakfast buffet (for a price) in a warmly-lit basement room lined with gorgeous paintings of Paris scenes. All the staff I interacted with here were at least bilingual (French and English) and were very professional and helpful.
Overall, the hotel has a classy, old-money style to it–elegant without being showy. It’s quiet and subdued. There is a spaciousness to its public and private rooms and elevator that seems more in line with what you’d find in the U.S. than the other hotels I stayed at while in Paris. Yet it’s a small hotel (just 30 rooms), so it doesn’t have the anonymous, cookie-cutter feel of a large chain.
For a hotel that boasts such a comfortable lounge/sitting area off the lobby, I never actually saw anyone enjoying it. No doubt they were too busy exploring Paris. . .which is quite easy to do, as it’s right outside your door. In one direction, it is an easy walk to the Champs de Mars, the Eiffel Tower, and the Seine, and in the other direction, it is an easy walk to Les Invalides and the Rodin Museum. The Ecole Militaire metro is a block away on a corner busy with cafes and restaurants, including the wonderful Le Terrasse, where I had dinner all three nights of my stay in the 7th. There is an ATM on the street, a tiny market, and a good pizza place where I got a large slice one day for lunch (for 3 Euros). Essentially, if you stay here, you will have everything you need for an enjoyable stay in Paris practically at your fingertips.
This hotel does not have single rooms, so as a solo traveler, you’d probably stay in a double. I stayed in a suite here, which I have decidedly mixed feelings about. I did not request a suite, they gave me one. I didn’t ask why, though maybe I should have. Were all the double rooms booked? Perhaps. Were they trying to impress a travel blogger? Perhaps. In any case, it puts me in the position of not being able to describe for you what staying in one of the double rooms is like. I can show you a picture:
Prices for a double room at le Tourville are very reasonable, given that it’s a four star hotel in the middle of the city. You can get a price as low as 137 Euros by booking early or at the last-minute or 140 Euros if you stay 3 nights. (These prices are for the standard double room. Other rooms cost more.)
As for the suite, it was very spacious and lovely–with the biggest bathroom I saw in Paris. The tub was huge. There was a shower wand, but no curtain, which I have read is the norm in Paris. (Not a problem for me.) The bed was quite large–great to sprawl around in. Facing the bed is an armoir with tons of drawers and shelf space, hangers, and a TV. Because this was a suite, it had a separate seating area with daybed, settee, and desk.
Solo female travelers might be comforted to know that this is a very secure hotel; room keys are checked at the front desk when one goes out and retrieved upon return. There is always someone at the front desk to answer questions and provide what you need. I felt quite safe walking around the neighborhood at night.
One word of advice, though: Bring your own laptop (or smartphone or iPad). While the hotel has a loaner in the basement, I found it to be impossibly slow. It took three attempts to connect to wifi. Also, if you’re not used to French keyboards, it can be an exercise in frustration to figure out how to type numbers and symbols. The rooms all have wifi, so if you bring your own equipment, you’ll be fine.
In summary, this is a very nice hotel, and I would certainly stay there again if my budget allowed. Everyone I interacted with in this neighborhood spoke English, which makes it especially appealing for English or American tourists who don’t speak French. With the central location, the bilingual staff, and the services provided by the hotel, Hotel le Tourville offers a good value for those travelers seeking an easy and enjoyable stay in Paris.
Edited: For reader Kristina, here’s a photo of that tub!
Disclaimer: My stay at the Hotel le Tourville was complimentary, but my opinions are my own. Hotel photos courtesy of Hotel le Tourville.