Paris – Our See, Eat, Visit shortlist.
See – The view from the Sacré Coure dome.
Eat – Pork dumplings at Miss Hú, and tapas at Chez Bouboule.
Visit – Montmartre cemetery, and Galerie W Landau Blast for a modern art fix away from the crowds.
Hotel review – IBIS SACRÉ COURE
Now we have departed from Paris, I thought I should review the hotel that we stayed in for the 3 nights we were there. The Ibis is a bit of a weird one, it’s accommodation with great benefits and quite heavy negatives, and I’m still not entirely sure which way it sways in the end. Upon arrival, we went through check-in procedures in no time at all and were told to use the lift to get to our rooms; this would have been great, yet the lift in question looked like a broom cupboard and would struggle to fit any more than one guest at a time, with no luggage. If you require good disabled access, this hotel would be your nightmare.
After realizing that the lift was not going to save us, we shouldered our bags for the final push to the second floor, up a steep staircase to an extremely narrow corridor that I could barely squeeze through; the room was crammed in at the end of the passage and looked entirely like it should not be there – but as long as we could throw our bags down and relax, we didn’t care.
Here are the highlights of the room:
Rates – we got this much cheaper as we booked months in advance and through an agent that block booked all of our accommodation, but rates online for a room tonight are GBP. 77 a night, whilst the reception desk showed a price of EUR. 105.
Beds – really comfy, but pushed together into a double; we didn’t mind this at all, but I know some people would.
Shower – absolutely amazing; I love power showers and this one could strip paint.
Storage – we didn’t use any as we are living out of our bags, but there was a single cupboard with coat hangers provided, and a set of shelves for folded clothes – probably enough for two people.
A/C – was about as effective as an old man coughing at you from across the street, and made the most annoying sound imaginable, which we attribute to our complete lack of sleep on the first night.
WiFi – brilliant; about twice as fast as my home broadband, managed to upload album upon album to my blog without any issue whatsoever – amazingly, it’s free, too!
Notes – the lack of fridge and kettle were annoying, as we wanted to buy bottles of water from local shops and have them cold throughout the night; we ended up buying them from reception each night at EUR.4.50 for a giant bottle to share. Aside from being massively warm in the evenings, the room was pretty okay for what we were doing but I wouldn’t stay there with my girlfriend, nor if I had a young family.
A hotel is not just about the room you’re staying in, it’s about a multitude of other factors too. I’ve tried to be as concise as possible about the experience of the whole:
Staff – Reception was manned by one person each night, which ranged in manners and attitude. We had nothing but good things to say about them until we witnessed one member of staff be extremely rude to a couple of young guests trying to check in. On the whole they were helpful, and all spoke reasonable to decent English.
Food – Avoid like the plague! The breakfast option is EUR. 10.50 per person, per morning! Leave the hotel, walk straight past the swimming pool, turn left, and you’ll be at an incredible boulangerie serving fresh orange juice, proper coffee, and freshly baked bread/sandwiches. Oh, and it’s cheaper… We were extremely glad to have refused the option, and saved EUR. 60 in the process.
Location – Possibly the saving factor of the hotel; the location is unreal (for people of our age and budget). It’s a 15 minute walk from Gard Du Nord, sits directly below the Sacré Coure, and has a few good restaurants and shops dotted nearby. It’s easy to get to the more vibrant areas, and a really nice adventure all the way to the Louvre/Eiffel tower area of Paris. The reason I stated that I wouldn’t bring a young family there, however, is that if you turn right out of the door you end up past the Moulin Rouge, and all the sex shops, strip clubs, prostitutes, and all round shady business that goes on there. It’s safe to say we didn’t turn right, as I wanted to keep my camera in my possession, except to visit Montmartre cemetery (a five-minute walk!). There’s enough immediately around you to fill a couple of days, and it’s a cheap taxi or a nice walk to get into the real hotspots.
Opening Hours – 24/7, which is a blessing. If the door is locked, they just buzz you in.
Checking Out – They have something called ‘Fast Check-Out’ where you literally just throw your room key in a bowl on the desk. At 5am this morning, we thought this was so beautiful it had to be mentioned.
To conclude – Ibis Sacré Cour is not a brilliant hotel, by any means. It’s outdated, slightly dirty, and in all honesty, just a little bit shit. That being said, the location is superb, the prices are reasonable, and the WiFi is brilliant, and free. I would recommend this to someone looking to get to Paris for a couple of nights, but I wouldn’t stay more than 3. Overall we’re giving it a 3*/5* rating.