We had the pleasure of staying at the Grand Hotel Francais June 5 through 12, 2013, and we have nothing but praise for the staff, the location, and our room.
The staff was amazingly kind, efficient, and helpful, as we learned right upon our arrival. We showed up at the place at 7 am, jet lagged and tired from an overnight flight, worried that our room was only promised by 3 pm. The attendant at the desk, Jamal, suggested that we first proceed to the sumptuous breakfast buffet (which never showed up on our bill!)… by the time we got back the room was ready, around 9 am! Throughout our stay, the staff (desk crew , chamber maids and the amazing breakfast hostess, Patience from Congo) went far beyond the call of duty to accommodate us and make us feel at home.
Our room 662 on the top floor, a “suite”, was really an average sized room by general European city hotel standards… this is Paris! But it was cozy, well appointed, and, most importantly, amazingly quiet, with a small but charming terrace to watch sunrise and sunset. I don’t think I have ever stayed at a big city hotel offering this much peace and quiet.
The location is great! With the hotel being situated literally just east of the area usually covered by tourist maps, the neighborhood has a nice authentic feel with many useful and interesting shops. There is a great grocery store just across the street, Boulevard Voltaire.
The metro station Rue the Boulets is just steps away. With only one Metro line passing through, Nr 9, this is an “easy” stop involving only short walks to the gates. Number 9 will bring you to central stations downtown (like Republique and Bonne Nouvelle) and also to Trocadéro, an ideal access point to the Tour Eiffel.
Of the many restaurants we ate at (all moderately priced with main courses below 20 Euro), I liked the following two best: Fourmi Ailee and Bouillon Chartier, mostly based on the great authentic atmosphere. In both places, we were seated in small, cozy upstairs rooms.