How wonderful are the little hotel gems of the world. These are the small hotels whose reputation stems from their fans’ word of mouth. A certain degree of secrecy is kept about their very existence.
As one who studies the cheap hotel scene in Paris, I can tell you that some of the city’s finest affordable sleeps almost never make the list of the “best budget hotels” in the travel sections of the major English-language papers. For one thing, since a surprisingly high proportion of these hotels do not use reservation agencies to handle their bookings, their “offline status” adds to their being well-kept secrets of the business.
Under the radar
It often happens (and it is somewhat laughable), that sophisticated travel specialists from prominent newspapers repeatedly fail to recognize—and recommend—these little gems to budget-conscious travelers.
Instead, time and again their lists contain the same well-known hotels which, while not being particularly expensive, are often by no means cheap. A common denominator for the latter is to be in the league of the two- or three-star properties, or to belong to an ever-pervasive budget chain.
Almost never do the proud little zero- or one-star independent gems find their way there. I believe that these represent the salvation of the truly budget-conscious voyager.
Some favorites on EuroCheapo
Many small and independent zero- and one-star hotels are recommended in EuroCheapo’s guide to cheap hotels in Paris, of course.
In the world of quality “cheapo” hotels in Paris, Hotel Tiquetonne seems to be the indisputable king. Its faithful clientele do not easily divulge the secret, for fear that the property will not be available when they’re in town. This hotel, one of the several cheapos located in prime central neighborhoods, is—in the memorable definition of EuroCheapo—”a massive, creaky and fabulously feminine place, providing 45 homey rooms at very low rates.” (Doubles from €60)
The Hotel Rivoli, a bare-bones sleep on the border of the Marais is another little gem, and as offline as they go (although it nowadays boasts a friendly internet site). Its low rates are hard to beat, it’s got good reviews on all the review sites, and its loyal customers are ready to remark that “the hotel is neat and tidy and the staff, very friendly and helpful.” (Doubles from €46-60)
The Hotel des Boulevards is another unassuming, tidy and well-located “super-cheapo” with “clean and spacious rooms” and an “optimum quality/price” ratio in the opinion of its clients. (Doubles from €55)
Not yet on the list
Other places that are quickly making their way into the prime league of beloved cheapo-friendly hotels, but are not yet listed on EuroCheapo (hint, hint), include…
35 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 11th arrond.
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 57 25 88
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
A friendly property situated in the funky 11th, the Hotel Cosmos had managed somewhat to remain semi-secret. Recently its (mostly young) faithful fans are coming out in droves and from all places. In popular travel forums they have dared to stand out against the imperious resident dowagers (who routinely praise only prestigious properties in the 5th, 6th or 7th), and have recommended the Cosmos without apology!
Reports applauding the hotel are appearing everyday. “Très bon rapport qualité prix avec un bon accueil!” , “leuk budget hotel met uitstekende prijs / kwaliteit verhouding!” or “Un gran hotel económico”, are the rule. Its prices, clearly described on its website are indeed hard to beat: €58 a single, €65 a double and just €90 (!) a quad.
Hotel La Laumière
4 rue Petit, 19th arrond.
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 06 10 77
I know some dyed-in-the-wool fans of the Hotel La Laumière who would rather be tortured than reveal their secret on the Web. This popular hotel, located in pleasant surroundings in the 19th, is a legit cheapo, although not an ultracheapo. Among its differentiating characteristics, described in detail on its stylish website are: a garden, a private garage, a night concierge and its two-star status (2012 rules).
Still, La Laumière manages to fit nicely into the cheapo category: singles from €70 and doubles from €73.
122 rue de Tolbiac, 13th arrond.
Phone : +33 (0)1 44 24 25 54
The 13th arrondissement has never figured prominently as a haven for SuperCheapos, but the Tolbiac is erasing this status. This budget hotel within Chinatown and close to Butte-aux-Cailles is nothing fancy but consistently clean, friendly and cheap. Its closeness to the “Olympiades” Metro station along the state-of-the-art 14th line is an added bonus.
It offers singles with en-suite bathroom starting at €62 and doubles from €60-67. Rooms with shared facilities can be as cheap as €37.50. We expect that the Tolbiac’s popularity is about to take off!
Stay tuned for more Cheapo recommendations…