Having not visited Paris for over thirty years, we had no recent experience on which to base our selection of a hotel but finally decided on the Francois 1er based on its location and on the previous reviews. We were not disappointed. We loved it!
The hotel is in a very quiet one-way street but still only a short walk from the Champs Elysees onto which you emerge close to the Arc de Triomphe. It is therefore well situated for all forms of transport – including one of the stops for the open-top Les Cars Rouges – and for shops and (more importantly to us!) restaurants. As we tended to stay out for most of the day and return to the hotel to freshen up for the evening, it was particularly nice to then stroll out to select a neighbouring restaurant for the night. However, you do need to check the outside menus before plunging in as some of the prices verge on the unbelievable!
The staff were at all times polite and helpful and the front desk always able to help. The hotel is quite small and feels calm and sedate which suited our mood perfectly. If you prefer a bustling environment, you may also prefer a larger hotel. Our room (one of their Executive class) overlooked the main entrance and was beautifully furnished with a huge and very comfortable bed and a delightfully decorated and excellently equipped bathroom. We never failed to get a good night’s sleep as the noise from outside the hotel is negligible and we were never aware of the sound of other guests once we were back in our room.
Initially, we thought that the additional cost of 22 Euros for a breakfast was perhaps more than we wanted to pay but we tried it on the first morning and, after that, went back every day. If you want nothing more than a coffee and a croissant, then it would probably be better to wander out into the cafes but the selection of hot (limited) and cold (extensive) food was very seductive. There were fruits, meats, cheeses, eggs, cereals, pastries, fish . . . and more.
Although there is no restaurant other than the breakfast room, there is a small bar where you can also get food at certain times. We only used it once for a drink in the late afternoon as there were too many distractions outside keeping us away.
Incidentally, we used taxis on many occasions and, to our surprise, found the drivers exceptionally friendly and helpful (including giving us tips on where and how the pickpockets were currently operating). They are not cheap and travelling to and from Notre Dame to Sacre Coeur in heavy traffic cost us the best part of 20 Euros each way. Taxis are also the most comfortable and convenient way to travel to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport (about 14 miles from Paris) although again the fare does cost around 50 Euros each way.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Intimate boutique hotel with beautiful appointments set in restored townhouse dating from 1900 - 3 blocks to Arc de Triomphe. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Francois 1er Hotel
- Francois 1er Paris
- Hotel Francois Paris