As a Christmas/Birthday present (to my surprise) my partner booked a weekend break in Paris staying the Grand Hotel Francais for 2 nights for the beginning of May. Our trip was planned to coincide with our 10th anniversary so we really wanted it to be special. The decision to book the Hotel Grand Francais was mostly based upon TripAdvisor reviews and ranking, which were all good so it seemed like the perfect place. We were not disappointed!
We arrived on the Eurostar into the Gard de Nord station and without any bother or hassle hopped onto the Metro to the Rue des Boulets station. We had decided to purchase 2 books of 10 Metro tickets on the Eurostar for about €14.00 per book. This turned out to be the perfect amount of tickets for our entire trip and definitely worth doing. I am sure that these can be purchased at the station when you arrive but it was just one less thing to think about when we got there. The Rue des Boulets is a very short walk (100 yards) from the hotel and extremely convenient for other stops. Nation station is also only a 5-10 minute walk away. It really depends on where you are going.
We arrived early so our room was not ready, however despite this we were made to feel very welcome. We were able to leave our bags in a secure cupboard which was locked, and were also offered to have breakfast for free before we went off on our adventures.
We had a lot to see and do, so freshened up and decided to head to the Louvre. If you have time I would definitely recommend purchasing tickets before you travel for both the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower as the queues are/were massive and this can be very time consuming, especially if only have a short amount of time the last thing you want to do is waste time queuing. (Tip at the Louvre.. go through the archway as there is another check point it looks like it’s for tours and groups only, however this is also a another security point and we just walked straight through must have saved about an hour!!)
After the morning/afternoon at the Louvre we decided to head back to the hotel and check in, we were once again greeted with the same warm welcome that we had received when we had arrived that morning. We have visited many countries and stayed in very nice hotels, however we would say that the reception we received here was one of the best we have ever encountered very personable with outstanding customer service. This service continued throughout our stay and made our trip even more special.
We were delighted when advised that our room had been upgraded to a superior room as we had not expected it, but what a fantastic surprise and to top this off we had been left chocolates and wine along with a lovely note with congratulations on our anniversary. Just perfect!
We were given a corner room on the 3rd floor which had 3 big windows with views of the street below. The room was a good size with a good sized bed, (which was extremely comfy) Flat screen TV which had a couple of English channels (but who goes to Paris to watch TV anyway!!) tea and coffee making facilities which is always plus there was also mini fridge and iPod docking station, which both came in very useful for us. Everything was very clean and comfortable, we could not have asked for anything better.
As we had booked direct with the hotel breakfast was included in the room rate. The breakfast room was located on the ground floor. The breakfast is continental and has a good selection for everyone I would have thought, there were breads, pastries, cereals, jams, fruit, cheeses and cold meats and a lot more. It was all we needed to set us up for the busy day ahead.
The hotel provided a list of restaurants that they recommended nearby which was extremely useful. The restaurant which we tried and would thoroughly recommend was called /po.za.da/ it was exactly what we wanted, completely French tucked away on a little side street. We unfortunately do not speak much/any French but the waiter was fantastic and translated the menu for us. We only had a main course but the whole menu sounded fantastic and it was difficult to choose what to have. We were not disappointed, the food was in our opinion ‘amazing’ and the wine just divine! We arrived at the restaurant without making a reservation and although we had a wonderful table located downstairs and the service was still excellent, upstairs seemed like the place to be. I would recommend asking the hotel to make a reservation for you, which I am sure they would do without hesitation. The prices were very reasonable.
The neighbourhood that the Hotel Grand Francais is located is very nice and felt very cosmopolitan, with nice little wine bars and restaurants within walking distance and away from all the touristy places. We enjoyed a relaxed evening of wine and cheeses and extremely pleasant service wherever we went perhaps this is ignorance as we do not speak the language but as the saying goes ignorance is bliss! We found a lovely bar within walking distance which was one of our favourites was called Titon defiantly worth a visit.
Our train on the last day was not until the evening, which gave us another day to explore. We checked out with ease and before we even asked about leaving our luggage we were asked if we like to leave it for the day. There is no charge for this service and it was a relief that we would have walk round with everything for the day. We decided to take to take picnic with fresh bread from the bakery, cheeses and a bottle wine, we then spent the afternoon in Montmartre looking over the whole of Paris! This trip was very special <3
If you are lucky enough to have a smart phone then I would thoroughly recommending downloading the Trip Adviser city guide app, once you have downloaded the data you can use it offline. We found it to be invaluable to guide us round the city finding fantastic bars and restaurants, we also found that when we came across something which we were not familiar with it was simple to look up and learn about something that we would have perhaps walked past. The only downside would be that battery drains quickly.
Paris is a fantastic city with so much to do and see, too much for weekend - we will definitely return! The Grand Hotel Francais is a wonderful gem, just far enough away from all the hustle and bustle but close enough to be in the thick of it within minutes.
We would 100% stay at this hotel again and will be recommending it to all our friends and family!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.