I stayed at the Hotel Royal Colombes for 7 days in Sep 2012. The hotel is recently renovated which helps end some otherwise typical issues with inexpensive French hotels (such as being gross). But the hotel has its good and bad.
- Cost is low. Paris hotels can get real expensive, real fast. And price does not always reflect quality. Generally price reflects location. A few realities about Hotel Royal Colombes location. Hotel Royal Colombes is in a Paris suburb. The Colombes suburb, believe it or not. So to get to and from Paris you will be taking the light rail train. This train to the suburbs is a SNCF light rail (J line) train. It is on a separate pay network from the normal Paris metro (subway). So one way ticket from your Colombes to Paris suburb is 2.50 Euros (and return is the same). A 5-Euro round trip each day. Consider that when pricing out your options for hotels. I did and staying was still tons cheaper than staying in central Paris. And the train ride is about 15 minutes. Tons of people take it. Not tourists, actual residents. The light rail station of Colombes takes you to the central Paris station of Saint-Lazare. From Saint-Lazare, you can get anywhere in Paris by taking the metro. The Paris metro is very cheap at about 1.25 Euro a ticket (as of Sep 2012).
- The hotel rooms have recently been renovated. Not super fancy, but newer fixtures and fresh paint is nice and it will be years before the mold and nasty builds up.
- Rooms come with Air conditioning and heat which is nice. Works surprisingly well.
- You get free WiFi. Its slow, but good for emails and light surfing. Doubt you can watch movies via internet though.
- The Colombes neighborhood has all the necessities you'd want. There is a baker right next to the hotel, a grocery store a few blocks away. Tons of specialty shops like a butcher, fish seller, fruit seller, chocolate, restaurants, bars, etc. Colombes really fits all the French stereotypes you can imagine. It is a diverse neighborhood.
- The neighborhood may not be for everyone. Being a diverse neighborhood is a good thing, but the social economic realities of the residents in this neighborhood are on the lower income levels. I found it safe and enjoyed my stay, but consider the realities for yourself.
- The hotel says it takes credit cards, but could not take my credit cards. Its not the hotel's fault, American credit cards do not have a chip inside them needed to be processed on European machines. None of our American credit cards will work unless the shop/hotel happens to have an old school machine for you to swipe your card through. Most places do not, except McDonalds. So I had to go to a bank to get a pile of Euros to pay for the room. This was a bummer since my bank didn't much care to give out a pile of cash to someone in Paris. What an ordeal that took 2 days to sort out. If the hotel would charge the room before arrival like other hotels, the issue would be resolved. But they cannot (or will not) so nothing is charged until you arrive. Thus, a real issue if you don't carry around a pile of Euros and use American style credit cards. Fortunately the hotel staff was flexible on the issue and did not require I pay until my bank came through.
- Hardly anyone speaks English. And some find it repulsive that an American cannot speak French. Expect some attitude from your fellow humans. Not at the hotel actually. But in general. The hotel staff was very polite.
For a hotel near Paris, this Hotel offers a good value with recently renovated rooms. I found it to be a good choice for me considering much higher priced options. But note that the neighborhood may not be for everyone.
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