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“Fine, clean but NOT 5-star”
Review of Victoria Palace

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Victoria Palace
Ranked #368 of 1,804 Hotels in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 24, 2014

My teenaged daughter and I travelled to Paris and stayed 3 nights. While it was clean, the rooms were generously sized and the staff were friendly and (mostly) spoke perfect English, it was NOT a "luxury 5-star" hotel. At half the price, definitely value for money. But at top rack rate (which we were charged with no upgrades at all), it was adequate, nothing more.

Paris is an amazing city and we have been there many times. We have stayed in true 5-star hotels (at not much higher a rate than the Victoria Palace) in excellent locations, and we have stayed in 3-star hotels at far lower rates. I booked the VP entirely based on the 5-star guest rating and the reviews, but found that it was merely adequate.

The rooms are lovely, the location is slightly farther out (but near to the Metro), the bathrooms are generous and everything was very clean. However I thought the staff were fine, but nothing special. The bellman did not offer to assist us with our luggage upon check-in, nor did he help us out with it when we left. One night we asked the staff to order us a taxi--they did and we were told to come to the lobby and wait. After 10 minutes, we inquired and were told that the taxi hadn't arrived yet (no one had gone to look and the doorman doubles as the barman, so was busy making gin & tonics). After another 5 minutes we went out and looked ourselves, and the taxi was there. However the meter already said €10 as he had been waiting for 15 minutes for us to come out! When I brought this up with the front desk upon our return, they just said it wasn't their fault and they would call the taxi company and lodge a complaint in the morning! No offer of reimbursement nor any responsibility taken.

Breakfast was fine, but the breakfast room was not "special" in any way and the selection adequate but not 5-star. The eggs, sausages and bacon were cold, congealed and the meat raw and were not refreshed during the breakfast period. One day I arrived to find none at all and none were offered to me. The coffee was from a Thermos. The lady in the breakfast room spoke no English but was lovely and very friendly.

The mattresses were very saggy but the rooms were spotless. The free Wifi has to be reconnected every single time your device goes to sleep, which was annoying but it was free.

All in all, at half the price I probably would have been very happy staying here. But at that rate, you expect a bit more. Given that the hotel was almost completely empty (which was mentioned in other reivews), the management might consider lowering the price, or at least giving free upgrades when the hotel is empty to make it seem worth it.

I would not stay here again, nor would I recommend it to any discerning friends. Maybe it seems quaint and lovely if you don't travel much and you have heard horror stories of travelling in Paris. Personally I have not found Parisians to be unwelcoming, rude or intimidating, so I was not overwhelmed by friendly staff who speak English. There are nicer hotels in Paris, with far better value for money.

Room Tip: Whole hotel super quiet as it is largely empty!
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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9  Thank LRLA-UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael E, Responsable commercial at Victoria Palace, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2014

Even though we are well aware of our many imperfections and although we know we cannot please everyone, there is always a sinking feeling when a client details what he or she saw as our most egregious shortcomings. However we are grateful for the feedback as it will help us improve on what we do and also better communicate what we cannot do. This reviewer has taken the time to raise many issues and they deserve looking at point by point. Please forgive the overly long response.
How does one determine a ‘luxury five-star hotel’?
Luxury is not a ‘thing’, it is a concept and like all concept words, (‘love’, ‘beauty’, etc.) , although it gets tossed about with much abandon, it largely is in the eye of the beholder and means very different things to different people. This is why at the Victoria Palace Hotel we tend actively to shun that sort of word and focus rather on objective statements of the accommodation and services we offer and leave our guests to determine whether or not we fit their idea of luxury. In this instance, obviously we did not. As to the five-star rating, that was not of our devising; it was conferred on us by the French tourism authorities in light of what they consider luxury. (It is not however the highest possible rating as the French system allows for one more level).
Some of our amenities definitely would be considered ‘luxury’ by certain people. That we are a smallish, independently owned hotel and are not duplicating some standardised, international idea of ‘luxury’, for example. Certainly the size of our rooms would be considered a luxury by many: the smaller ones range from 25 to 28 square metres, whilst our 28 Junior Suites each have an area of 35 square metres. It may not sound like much to a non-Parisian, and indeed this reviewer almost glibly skates over thm (‘generously sized’), but in a neighbourhood where the average price per square metre topped 13,000 euros in 2013 space is a significant luxury. (Please see the Wall Street Journal of 10 January 2014 regarding property prices in the 6th arrondissement.) Obviously some guests who intend spending most of their time out of the room will not value that particular luxury, in much the same way that this reviewer acknowledges that he or she did not require help from our staff and so placed no value on their language skills and knowledge of the city. (Although had she or he asked, we might have been able to steer him or her onto the above-ground bus system which is much more pleasant than the underground metro that he or she mentions.) Presumably this guest, secure in his or her knowledge of Paris, also did not attach any importance to the little guides we have created to help our guests find the local artisans, chocolatiers and off-beat boutiques scattered around the area and which give the Cherche-Midi neighbourhood its distinctive flavour.
Porterage & Taxis
It was dismaying to read that he or she was offered no assistance with his or her luggage on arrival: our policy is for the room clerk to escort clients to their room and have the porter follow with the luggage. I have never yet seen any of our porters gazing out the front door whistling and pretending not to see a client with luggage, and even if the porter is engaged with other clients I like to think that another staff member will step up and offer assistance, but if for some reason the correct procedure was not followed, I do apologise. This will be taken up with the staff to prevent any similar occurrences.
Unfortunately taxis are rather a fraught issue in Paris: firstly there is a shortage of them. In addition to that, most of them are affiliated with one single company creating a near-monopoly situation in which clients invariably are the victims. It is extremely frustrating for us, both as hoteliers and as Parisians, but we have no solution. Taxis are ordered over the internet and from then on their approach and arrival is monitored in real time on the front-desk computer. If a client asks whether or not a taxi has arrived, there is no need to step outside and look: a glance at the computer screen immediately tells the room clerk. The taxi’s arrival is instantaneously visible on the computer, in addition to which the driver is required to present himself to the hotel staff, even though the room clerk or the porter usually can see the car as it pulls up to the door. The pricing issue sadly is a real one: the driver switches on the meter as soon as he or she accepts the call and starts making his or her way towards the hotel; it is impossible to predict how much will actually be displayed when it arrives, but the one thing that is certain is that it will be noticeably higher than the flag-down fare and that is something over which the hotel has no control. I cannot offer any explanation as to why this guest would not have been alerted of the taxi’s arrival as it is something that we do dozens of times every day. If we were remiss in this instance, I am very sorry and again, it will be addressed with the hotel staff.
Breakfast & the Breakfast Room
The description of the breakfast as ‘cold, congealed and raw’ invites some measure of scepticism. At the moment our breakfast room is being refurbished so we have been using our function room and this has limited the space available for the buffet and its presentation. (There is a photo of the current set-up on our Facebook page.) This explains the use of thermos urns for the coffee, which is less than ideal but seemed the best available option during the renovation. The hot food items are kept in a chafing dish (an electric one so as to avoid candles or alcohol gel canisters burning out); it is not a particularly glamorous way of keeping them warm but it is in wide usage around the world because it is very effective. As to their being raw, one would like to think that had a slab of raw bacon or a tray of uncooked sausages been slapped down on the buffet, any number of guests would have noticed and pointed it out to us, not to mention the hotel’s owner who takes his breakfast there every morning. We do not make any claims that our breakfast room is ‘special’ (whatever that means), but it is above-ground and has windows, which on the Left Bank is a bit of an achievement in of itself. And after all, how many other hotels on the Left Bank serve their breakfast in a room, the walls of which are entirely covered in stretched, yellow silk damask? As I mentioned above, this is only temporary: our real breakfast room should be back in service at mid-April 2014 and we do think it will look quite ‘special’ after its far-reaching—and staggeringly expensive—renovation.
Beds
This reviewer is the very, very first person to describe our beds as ‘saggy’. Most of the time, when clients complain about our bedding (and some do) they complain the beds are too firm. However, we shall keep this in mind as we put together our plans for changing and updating the bedding.
Upgrades
Finally to the issue of rates and the question of upgrades which appears to have rankled. The winter is rather a slow period in Paris, particularly on the Left Bank which relies primarily on leisure travellers. Our response is to offer lower, promotional rates during this season and I have no doubt that the reviewer had one of those rates, as opposed to ‘full rack’ as the he or she writes.
Regarding the question of free upgrades, the Victoria Palace Hotel does have quite a firm policy and has it for several years: we simply do not offer free upgrades, regardless of how slow the period may be. There are many reasons for this, but perhaps the most important one is fairness: it would be extremely unfair to those clients who have paid for the additional comfort and size of a Junior Suite if we were to offer the same accommodation to other clients who have not. We would rather be faced with the occasional frustration of a client who has been denied a free upgrade than run the risk of irrevocably losing the custom of a high-spending client who feels that he or she has been needlessly paying for something he or she might have had for free if only he or she had not been constrained by discretion and good manners.
I am sorry that our guest feels we did not live up to the standards he or she expected, but I do thank him or her for taking the time to share his or her concerns and opinions regarding the Victoria Palace Hotel, and I especially thank him or her for the kind comments regarding the cleanliness of the hotel and the pleasant breakfast staff. Our hardworking Head Housekeeper has been with us for over thirty years; she will be very gratified for the acknowledgment of her efforts.

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Reviewed February 24, 2014

My husband and I just spent 6 nights at the Victoria Palace and it was an extremely pleasant stay. I would not hesitate to stay here again or to recommend it to anyone. We stayed in room 401 facing the courtyard. And while the view wasn't much, the room was very quite and we were able to sleep with the window open with no noise at all. The hotel and room was spotless and the staff extremely helpful and accommodating. A great location with lots of restaurants near by and we were able to take a bus to get to all of our planned tours and sightseeing. The breakfast was good and very convenient with great cafe au lait! A gem of a place to stay!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ginnieggl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2014

I have stayed at many many " boutique" hotels in the 5th, 6th, and 7th in Paris, and can only regret that it took me so long to find the Victoria Palace: This is very special: The service is invariably friendly and attentive and helpful, the prices are extremely reasonable given the quality, rooms are spacious (we had a Junior Suite) and immaculate and very quiet (helped I suppose by the fact that the hotel was largely empty), the breakfast is excellent and the little "English" bar off the lobby is comfortable and charming. The neighborhood is wonderful, at least after a very short walk north or east of the somewhat shabby FNAC/Gare Montparnasse area. Perhaps there are a few trivial changes that could be made to make the hotel slightly more suitable for business travelers----for example, a coffee maker in the room should one want to work in the afternoon, or an automated phone wake-up service (we never did get a very early wakeup call on our last morning). But of course the vast majority of guests here are in Paris for pleasure rather than for business. Anyway, these are minor quibbles: The bottom line is that you just can't do any better than this.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
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2  Thank alanscottus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

We had 4 nights in January and had a lovely experience at this hotel. The staff were extremely helpful and happy to please. The Hotel is typically "Paris Chic" and we knew we were in Paris. The area is handy for the metro and we walked for miles every day, finding many eateries in and around the Saint-Germain area. Breakfast was nice but nothing special and depending on what time you dined not always replenished with pastries and croissants. Overall a great experience and would definitely return.Thanks to the staff.

Room Tip: Front facing room
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sportygirl1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

We stayed for five nights up to NYE following a recommendation from a friend. Here's our six reasons you should also consider the Victoria Palace.
1) A team of employees were nothing was too much trouble, always happy to assist.
2) An authentic Parisian ambiance enhance our Paris experience.
3) Rooms spotlessly maintained and of a size that was comfortable for us.
4) A quiet location within a short walk to transport and restaurants.
5) Considering to room size, location, service etc the Victoria Palace is excellent value.
6) A cosy, welcoming bar for a quiet drink at the end of a busy day.
Brod & Helen Sydney Australia

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Brod I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

I wanted to comment that we had a great stay at this hotel. The staff was way over the top in how they helped us. We were there with our two adult children so we needed two rooms. Both were great. I would highly recommend this as a place to stay.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank damitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

We stayed for four nights with our 4+1 offspring. The hotel was well situated for all the major sights. The staff were incredibly helpful and informative, the atmosphere of the hotel was delightful with beautiful furnishing.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank elnewong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Victoria Palace

Address: 6 Rue Blaise Desgoffe, 75006 Paris, France
Phone Number:
Location: France > Ile-de-France > Paris > Saint-Germain-des-Pres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#77 Romantic Hotel in Paris
#230 Family Hotel in Paris
#239 Luxury Hotel in Paris
Price Range: $235 - $431 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Victoria Palace 5*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the Left Bank, near the pseudo-Bohemian and resolutely charming, trendy rue du Cherche-Midi, the Victoria Palace Hotel stands out amongst Parisian hotels by the size of its rooms, especially the 28 Junior Suites averaging 375 sq ft (35 m²) each. The hotel opened in 1913 and although completely renovated , the decor remains deliberately traditional and quintessentially Parisian. For those travelling by car, the hotel has its own garage. The hotel prides itself on its staff's ability to ease guests into a truly Parisian experience : local shops, local restaurants, local markets, etc. There is also a special welcome for children to help introduce them to Paris and the French language. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Victoria Palace Paris

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