Subject: re: Paris decisions
I'm going to go against the conventional wisdom here and recommend a chain of two-star hotels. When I'm in Paris (and not staying at a co-worker's apartment, lucky me) I stay at one of the Ibis hotels, of which there are at least a dozen in Paris. They are all modern, clean and moderately priced (the most expensive is about 525 francs a night; most are about 400 francs or so). The rooms have little character, but are, unlike the rooms in many two-star hotels, comfortable. The mattresses don't sag or have lumps. The plumbing works. The decor is bright and pleasant. All rooms have TVs with cable (including CNN, Sky News or BBC for us English-speaking news junkies). And the hotel staff people are invariably polite and helpful.

The hotels are generally conveniently located near Metro stations, so even if you don't stay within a short walk of the Eiffel Tour or the Louvre, you can get to those and other tourist spots in a few minutes. One Paris Ibis I can recommend is the Ibis Bercy Expo. It's at the eastern edge of Paris in the new Bercy neighborhood, is located across the street from a station on the new Metro Meteor line, and there are a couple of good restaurants, as well as a multiplex cinema, across the street.

I have stayed at several Ibises in France and England and have never been disappointed. Lack of character, sure, but they offer something often lacking these days: value for money.

By the way, you can reserve rooms online. Go to (Accor is the parent firm), and then click on hotels and then Ibis (it then is all in French, but you should be able to navigate it).

Bons voyages!

Evan in DC