Yep, you have to climb 20 steps just to get to reception, the rooms are not much bigger than the beds that they've somehow managed to squeeze in, the elevator is so small it barely fits 1 person, there's no fridge or mini-bar in the rooms, it can be a little noisy outside at night, but this hotel is absolutely fabulous.
Recently refurbished by Christian Lacroix, the interior is, well... oddly unique. Each room is different. We had room 52, which has a copy of Jan van Eyk's Arnolfini Portrait on the wall behind the bed, mixed with a few strange photo mash-ups for good measure. The building is 400 years old and you can tell. The floor (covered in a carpet designed to look like a wooden floor) is spectacularly uneven. The handful of steps from bed to bathroom were down hill all the way.
Right outside the window is the Seine (at it's narrowest point), the Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame. All around you is the Latin Quarter, an area of Paris that I love and a good base i think for first time visitors. Plenty of cafes, bars and bistros right on your doorstep. It's an area that stays up late some nights, so you'll find it to be a safe place to walk to and from a restaurant.
The ground floor is Le Notre Dame cafe. We spent a late night there watching people hurry through the rain and amusing the waiters with our poor attempts to speak French. They deliberately brought us the wrong drinks, with the right drinks just hidden out of our view.
We've stayed in plusher places than Le Notre Dame, but this place really made us feel at home and put a massive smile on our faces. We can't wait to go back.
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- Also Known As:
- Le Notre Dame Paris
- Le Notre Dame Hotel