Having never been to Paris, we chose this hotel for three reasons. Firstly, it's close to Gare du Nord - so it's a quick RER train ride from Charles de Gaulle and easy to get to for the second leg of our trip, taking to Eurostar to London from the same station. Secondly, it's near a Metro station - Grands Boulevards is 5 minutes away. And thirdly, it looked fantastic. It was also pretty good value too, around €100 for an en-suite room with continental breakfast.
The hotel itself is very contemporary (which to me means it'll date soon but it looks great now), with lots of black, white and neon lime green. We checked in within two minutes and eventually found our room on the first floor (when the lift door opened, it looked like there were just three doors on the floor). The room itself was, in hindsight, quite small. I only say in hindsight because at the time it was perfect and I'd still maintain we did fine with the space but it was tiny and had virtually no storage. Not a problem for us, but it could be for some.
Given the space, a separate toilet was ingeniously squeezed into a small corridor-type arrangement beside the shower, which was deep inside an alcove. The upshot was that despite having no doorm or curtain, the spray from the shower didn't reach the toilet. Clever really, but it also meant no sink in the same room; that was at the main room door, at the end of the bed. Confused? It'll all make sense and honestly, Paris isn't the type of place I'd want to squander away in a hotel room (well, not all day anyway!).
The hotel wi-fi was awful. I'm not sure how, but despite more than adequate coverage, the routers never seemed to want to make friends with our phones. The only device guaranteed to connect was my Kindle Fire. We plan a lot through our phones when abroad, so wi-fi problems are a big headache. Thankfully, it worked enough for us to find two great restaurants.
The first is almost legendary and just a short walk from Hotel Gat Folies. Chartier on Rue du Faubourg Montmartre has been on the go since 1896 and serves a different menu every night (and when an item is gone, it's gone). You also can't book, you just queue up and hope for the best. And it's close on the best alright - we ate very well there on two nights - starters, mains, desserts, wine, beer and a side for under €50. We sat next to a Danish couple (you're put with strangers, so prepare to be chatty!) who've gone there every time they've been to Paris since the 70's and they said it's just as the remember - minus the sawdust.
The second place was Hugo's on Rue Papillion - again, high quality French dishes for normal prices served by people who are proud of their culinary heritage. Plus it was full of locals, which is always good!
As far as the hotel is concerned, no news is good news. Breakfast was fine (although UHT milk was a bit of a surprise on my cereal, I couldn't manage it!) and there were plenty of breads and a few pastries with really good coffee. It's not the type of place we wanted to hang around in but that's not a criticism. All we wanted was a clean, comfortable and central place in Paris that wouldn't cost the earth and in Hotel Gat Folies, we found it. Hopefully it stays that way!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Travelers will be pleased to discover the cozy and friendly atmosphere of Maxim Folies! This boutique hotel 3 stars with a modern decoration offers a comfortable accommodation and also a delicious breakfast buffet composed of fresh products, and homemade preparations served in a bright room open on the street. Situated in the center of Paris, between the Opera Garnier and the Gare du Nord train station, Maxim Folies is served by 4 metro lines, and all around theaters and restaurants crowd in this district so lively day and night! And for shopaholics, the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps are really close by walking... ... more less
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