First, the good. The hotel staff are very, very nice. That's the best thing about Le Citizen. (This is why it's difficult to write this review, but I feel it is necessary for all those considering it and are impressed by the high TripAdvisor ranking - like I was, and the reason I booked it.) The location is also good, within reasonable walking distance from Gare de l'Est. The inclusion of breakfast and minibar in the rate are a nice touch but more on that later.
I was really looking forward to staying at what I thought was a rather posh boutique hotel. I paid 249 Euros for one night, staying in the junior suite. I got room 11 on the 1st floor. I thought the room size was adequate but nothing one could call a junior suite. Maybe it was large for the hotel's standards, but this wasn't my first time in Paris and this room was about the same size as normal rooms elsewhere. If you have a room on the 1st floor, be warned. You are very close to the street. If traffic noise bothers you (and people walking by being able to see you if you stand by the window), ask for a higher floor.
As soon as I entered the room, there was a very strong scent of deodorizer, as if trying to mask some other kind of bad smell. I had to open the windows to vent the room but it never went away. Then there was no toilet paper in the bathroom - just 1 or 2 squares stuck to the cardboard core. How can anyone clean a hotel room and not refresh the toilet paper? So we tried the tissue box. What was inside was not tissue but the kind of rough paper towels that you find in public restrooms. There were a few sheets folded in half stuck inside the tissue box! I couldn't believe this was what I was getting for 249 Euros a night. I called reception and the very nice guy brought up a roll of toilet paper and an apology.
Since we arrived around 8pm, we wanted to enjoy as much of Paris in the few hours before leaving in the morning. We came back to the hotel around 1am and were very tired. One of the lights weren't working and when I inspected under the shade, there was a broken bulb. Not one that had burned out, but it was literally broken. Too tired to call reception we just went to bed.
In the morning I was really looking forward to breakfast because they kind of make a big deal about it on their website. It was just OK. The torn bits of ham on the narrow slab were paltry. They had already cut up bits of cheese stored in a jar - presumably to make it easier to put away later. The croissants were delivered after we started, but so delicious and fresh. There wasn't a lot of variety of anything but sufficient enough. I suspect they make their own yogurt. We were eventually offered cooked eggs (not readily put out but made to order). And of course, the guy running everything was absolutely pleasant and helpful.
I wouldn't call the minibar bountiful. A bag of chips and a granola bar, along with 3 tiny cookies presented on a doily. There was a can of Coke, Diet Coke, a bottle of beer, juice that seemed a bit old, and a bottle of grapefruit soda. When I reached for the grapefruit soda, I noticed the seal was broken! It didn't appear to have been drunk, just opened, but I was grossed out and put it back. There were also a bottle each of still and sparking water, which I presume to have been from a filtration system like Natura. That didn't bother me because I agree with their efforts at eco-friendliness. The whole thing was a nice touch, but don't get too excited about the "free" minibar.
The good thing about the bathroom was that it had a deep tub. The bad thing about the bathroom was that the shower door didn't close all the way (it's one of those half foldy things that don't extend the entire length of the tub) and there was visible mold in corners. The fact that half of it kept swinging open meant puddles on the floor. Also, the grout on the walls and on the floor appeared scummy.
None of this was as bad as when I lifted the duvet to get into bed only to find various hairs of different size and texture, and some dark lint. The sheet on the bed and pillowcases looked fresh, so I have to think that the duvet cover was what was unwashed. Again, I was too tired to complain or switch rooms or wait for someone to remake the bed so I took one of the robes, inspected it for hair and other unwanted bits, and used it as a blanket.
So I have mixed feelings about this place. I had high expectations and they were definitely not met. But the staff are so nice! I was warmly greeted upon check-in and a different guy who checked me out was equally warm and pleasant. When they confirmed my reservation over email, they offered car service. I decided to order it to take us to the airport, and had no problems whatsoever. The driver was very nice, and the ride was smooth and problem-free. My guess is that the staff interacting with guests are not the same people cleaning the rooms. In which case, management really needs to know about the substandard way in which housekeeping is handled. It's really unfair to the front line staff because their efforts are not being matched. And if it is the same people cleaning the rooms, management really should consider getting separate housekeeping staff because it's clear they're not cut out for doing that side of the job.
Lastly, I was asked to pay upon checking in. The guy wasn't pushy, and he gave me the option of paying upon check-out. I didn't really care so I told him to charge me right there and then. He did. Then when I checked out I was again asked to pay (it was a different person). Turns out they couldn't find the credit card slip that I signed or any proof of payment. Not sure what happened there, but I guess I'll find out later. The check-out guy knew we had a flight to catch and he said he'd look into it and tell me before charging my card. Fair enough. Will update you if it turns out messy.
First floor rooms are very close to the street. If you're bothered by noise ask for higher floo...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
I am very bothered , and grateful to read your comment and would first off like to apologize.
Report response as inappropriate
You had the extreme kindness to take the time to write a very detailed comment and be assured that I have checked every single point of your review.
As a matter of fact, nothing was noticeable today but I can now confirm ( as I have checked with the housekeeper) that :
- All the bedding had been changed for sure (the night before you stayed, your room was set up in king size beds and for you , we changed it into twin beds as you requested )
- The light bulb was not broken ( but the very bizarre shape of these bulbs can let you think it was... it's those energy saving bulbs...) .
- Toilet paper was unfortunately placed behind the towels and I can imagine that at that time of the night you didn't find it. Again I am sorry for that.
This is the first time in almost three years that we get such a comment. I have spoken to all the housekeeping team to be sure that they understand that each detail is very important for our guests and that we have to be very careful .
We do hope you will give us another chance and stay with us again!
Thank you for your understanding,
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.