With over a dozen trips to Paris under my belt, I can honestly say the Azur Hotel at 5 rue de Lyon in Paris is a bit of heaven.
It is not a fancy hotel in a fancy neighborhood, but an incredibly comfortable, secure and spacious hotel for the money. I have stayed in hotel room in Paris that made my walk in closet at home look like the Taj Mahal and the Azur is the opposite. In this price range, it is by far the largest hotel room I have seen thus far.
The rooms are furnished with vintage and antique furniture, but beautifully kept. My favorite room has a writing desk with chair, a window seat, a rocking chair, spacious armoire, night tables and double bed. The bathroom is massive, over 22 feet long (yes, I measured it). Huge, oversized bath tub with tile surround, bidet (gotta love a bidet), commode and oversized sink with the neatest feature; little holes in the porcelain so your soap drains and does not get gunky in the soap holder. The bath also has a wooden coat rack so that you can hang your night clothes. The towels are oversized and there are French wash mitts instead of wash cloths. The room has double doors, with a tiny alcove in-between.
The first floor of the hotel has the usual reception desk and several sitting rooms. Breakfast is served in the sitting room and while not included in the room price, it is fresh and a pleasant way to begin the day. The breakfast is the typical Continental fare, but if you request an egg or yogurt, it will be served. I must admit, I often go to the boulangerie across the street for a brioche or croissant and then to the café next door for an espresso.
There are two elevators, one small modern elevator and one antique elevator of cast iron and brass with a stunning cage. You can also opt to take the beautiful stairs with wrought iron railings.
While the hotel is old, it is meticulously maintained and a great deal of care goes into it's upkeep. Brass is polished daily, floors are washed and vacuumed throughout the day and even the windows on the upper floors are always clean.
The hotel is owned by two sisters, who are each charming in their own right. One sister is an elegant Parisian woman who is perfectly coiffed and mannered. The other sister is more of a "free spirit" bohemian type, with flaming red hair, plenty of jewelry and an infectious laugh. They are a delight. The hotel has been in their family for many years and you can tell they love their property and it's guests.
You may wonder why anyone would want to stay in the 12th arrondisement, but let me assure you, it is the perfect location. First, when you land at CDG (Charles de Gaulle Airport), you can exit the terminal and find the Air France bus stop going to Montparnasse. For around €7.00, you get on the bus, and the first stop is Gare de Lyon. Directly across the street, not even one block is the Azur Hotel. Simply walk kitty corner and voila! It only gets better from here. If you walk two blocks to the North, you are at Place de la Bastille, the hottest neighborhood in Paris. Great restaurants, Bastille Opera, the thrice weekly marché at Boulevard Richard Lenoir. Another two blocks and you are at Place des Vosges, the Marais, great shopping, great history and the most Parisian of the more popular neighborhoods. Two blocks northwest of the Azur Hotel and you are at Place d'Aligre and the daily market of produce and antiques (mornings only) as well as the Viaduc des Arts, which is an old train station converted into artisan shops with a mile long park up above. Directly around the corner from the hotel you will find some terrific restaurants on Boulevard Diderot. A few brasseries and a restaurant Savoie which serves traditional fondue and raclette dishes. With all this so close to the Azur Hotel, I cannot imagine why anyone would stay in St. Germain, which is so overrun with Americans, you may as well stay home!
I have sent dozens of friends and family to stay at the Azur and unless someone is willing to put me up at the George V or the Crillon, this is the only hotel for me!
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- Also Known As:
- Azur Hotel Paris