Having previously stayed in central Paris where the decor was nearly as tired as the staff, the Eurostar bargain for Sofitel La Defense looked too good to be true - 5 star luxury at 3 star prices (including 30% discount for 3 nights). The "catch", is that La Defnse is out of town, a business district or a concrete jungle - depending on which report you read. As a family of 5 (Mum, Dad and children aged 12, 10 and 8) our view is that both the locationn and the hotel are near perfect.
The contrasts between central Paris where we had a fantastic time sight seeing, and our retreat in Sofitel La Defense added to our enjoyable break. The 55 story glass skyscrapers of various geometrical variations coupled with the plaza which runs like a wide ribbon from the Grande Arche to the river Seine is a crisp antedote to the faded grandeur of the city itself. The photo attached of the sun rising over the Arc de Triomphe with the Eiffel tower just off to the right is also an image etched on my memory. In practical terms, the Line 1 of the Metro (now driverless!) runs from outside the hotel to central locations like the Louvre. It is also enjoyable to alight at stations such as Tuilleries and take the short walk across the park and over the foot bridge to attractions the other side of the river such as Musee D'Orsay.
What of the hotel itself? As with many hotels, first impressions set the tone, and things continue along a similar vein. The reception was bright and modern, with a profusion of pink orchids echoing the highlight tone of the fabrics against a chic and calm backdrop of neutral shades. The staff on reception struck that rare balance between professionalism and friendliness without bordering on obsequiousness. Switching seemlessly from French to English, there was none of the huffing an puffing that sometimes comes when we have specific requests: we were keen to accomodate our family of 5 as comfortably as possible, and they were happy to give us a free upgrade to a suite. We had a query about the Paris Pass (nothing to do with the hotel), and they researched it on our behalf and rang the rooms with the results.
The rooms themselves are very clean and modern. Hitec touches include the Bose sound system, Flat Screen TV including BBC1 and BBC2, Nespresso coffee machine and (best of all) the window between the bathroom and the bedroom which goes from transparent to transulcent at the flick of a switch. The shower, the toiletries and particularly the beds are all to a high standard. Even the settee bed had a sprung base and 4" mattress.
The only downside (for us) was that the breakfast at €27 each for a continental breakfast was more than we could justify, so we bought fresh baked baguette and croissant each morning from a nearby boulangerie for €8 all in. Back in the room, this made a nice picnic, washed down with more free coffee from the Nespresso machine.
In conclusion, the Sofitel was a great choice for us especially with the deal we got via Eurostar (2 adults, 3 children, 3 nights for £1,500 including train and hotel). We loved the hotel and the view, and with the Metro, felt like we managed to really have our cake and eat it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience Paris as never before through a marvelous mix of modern art, vibrant business, and exciting tourism. Nestled among soaring skyscrapers, Sofitel Paris La Defense offers inimitable French style and five-star luxury with a distinctly 21st century slant. Modern design, luscious shades of browns and reds, and an inviting atmosphere mean a refined Parisian adventure infused with the contemporary energy of la Defense. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel Paris La Defense Hotel La Defense
- Accor Paris La Defense
- Paris Sofitel