We spent our first three days in Paris at the Holiday Inn Gare de l’Est, an 8-story, 207-room hotel that was renovated in 2015.
Location: The hotel is in Paris’ 10th Arrondissement, directly across the street from the Gare de l’Est SNCF station and right on top of the Metro station of the same name, and a few minutes’ walk from the main Gare du Nord station (offering easy access to intercity and international trains, and Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) airports. It’s about a 10-15 minute train ride to the main tourist attractions downtown.
Checkin/Checkout: Checkin was pretty straightforward – the front desk staff’s English was perfectly sufficient, and they made copies of both of our passports and took my Chase IHG Credit Card for incidentals, then gave us our keys. Checkout was quick, though I had to find my credit card for them again – even though it was used to book the reservation online and was on file for incidentals, they needed the physical card again to process the room charges.
Room: We were booked in an ‘Executive King’ room on the 7th floor. Only two of the three elevators serve the 7th floor, and there isn’t any way to request a specific elevator from the ground level, so a couple of times we had to take the short elevator to the 6th floor and then wait again for one of the other two.
The room was pretty small – Paris is known for its small hotel rooms – and in particular, I was surprised at the small size of the bed. Having stayed at many IHG hotels in North America and Asia, I expected a king size bed to be pretty massive. Here’s what we actually got:
I actually went down to the front desk and tweeted at @IHGService about the bed size, wondering if we’d been assigned the wrong room type by mistake. My interaction with the front desk was a bit confusing – there was definitely a language barrier, and I left the conversation feeling like I’d gotten multiple different explanations:
- The bed in my room was a king size bed.
- We had the largest room (or bed?) size in the hotel. (There are definitely much larger rooms in the hotel, which was obvious from the map on the back of the door).
- All beds in the hotel are queen size, even though it’s advertised as a king size bed.
- All hotels in Paris are small and any hotel in Paris would have the same bed size.
#1 may be the most accurate – some research on Wikipedia indicates that a king bed in Western Europe is closer to a queen bed in the US (though it felt more like a double to us). The conflicting explanations and the language barrier left me both confused and feeling like an obnoxious American – especially since @IHGService called the front desk after I spoke with them, resulting in an awkward phone call to my room reiterating the points that we’d already gone over. I sort of avoided the front desk after that.
I forgot to take a photo of the bathroom, but it had an interesting layout – a rainfall shower right next to the sink, with no doors/curtain or even physical separation between the shower and the rest of the bathroom. There was also a mirror with a fog-free center, which made for a nice effect. The water pressure was solid.
Internet: Internet at IHG hotels is free for IHG rewards members. The speed and reliability was generally unremarkable, which is a good thing. Their system requires reauthentication every 24 hours, which was slightly annoying.
Food: The room had a teakettle, coffee maker, and mini fridge, and there are several grocery stores nearby. We also found an Asian buffet/takeout restaurant nearby (Yummy Asian Food) that marks down all of the items in their cold case an hour before closing, so we took advantage of that deal and their bubble tea happy hour from 3-6pm. The hotel offers a breakfast buffet or room service continental breakfast for €15/person, but we didn’t feel like paying that much for breakfast.
Service: I appreciated that the staff made sure the room was cleaned and serviced every day, even when we didn’t leave until late afternoon due to a bad case of jet lag. However, I was surprised and annoyed on our second morning when despite the do not disturb sign, staff knocked on the door twice in the course of a half hour – waking me up to give us a new bottle of water and can of Perrier, and then trying to enter the room for servicing. I’m really not sure what happened there, since I confirmed that the do not disturb sign was still on the door after they tried to enter. I probably should’ve said something to the front desk – maybe I’ll send them an email.
Verdict: Although small, the hotel was comfortable, conveniently located, and very reasonably priced. The service issues I experienced were relatively minor, and I would definitely consider staying there again.
Have you stayed at this hotel in the past? Did you have a similar experience? If so, please let me know below in the comments section. Bonsoir everyone!