Subject: Re: Paris Hotel
To all, and especially Covadonga who will try the Balcons shortly:

We stayed at the Grand Hotel des Balcons in June 2000. It met our needs for a reasonable price--clean, well-maintained, helpful front- desk staff. The rooms are small, feature bath en suite, rather plain but comfortable. There is an elevator for carrying luggage! The breakfast was a bit more substantial than most Euro offerings, including meat and eggs. The hotel is well-located a few blocks from a metro stop (and several others, including an RER stop, within an easy walk), the glorious jardin de Luxembourg and the main streets of the St. Germain neighborhood quite lively with shops, a street produce &flower market and college kids from nearby universities, but the street the hotel itself is on is fairly quiet and not too busy--we did not experience city noise when trying to sleep. The location is particularly commendable if you are making all of the usual sightseeing stops. This was our kids' first visit to Paris, and I fondly recall our mornings, when we struck out early on foot to Notre Dame and the near-Seine musee....

Covadonga, I do recommend that you print out the small map from the website, and the first time you depart on the subway from the Odeon stop, draw some landmarks on your map so you can return without difficulty! There are some diagonals and odd jags that make it a little bewildering at the end of a long day and dinner with vin!

Note that the website description talks about the hotel's cachet. Well, if it has cachet, it must be a recent addition! My opinion, of course...perhaps I was simply road weary at that point in our trip and overlooked it?! I trust Covadonga will offer her view on her return. Charming or not, I'd stay there again for the value, decent accommodations and location.

As an aside to family travelers, this hotel worked out well for our budget while traveling with two kids--two adjacent rooms were a good alternative to finding the rare, affordable accommodation for 4 in the incomparable cite de lumiere.

Diana Ball near Houston, TX