Friday, December 4, 2009

Paris Bargain Hotel: Hotel Marceau Bastille

There is, for me, a type of hotel that exists in the perfect middle-ground... the type of hotel that is trying to be a boutique hotel, but is the bargain version. What do I need, at the end of the day, in a hotel? I need a nice, comfortable bed with bedding that doesn't make me feel paranoid, in a bright, attractive room. It can be simple, but usually I find the corporate-business-hotel version of simple to be depressing. Anyplace that uses poly comforters or any other comforter that may not have been washed is depressing. Carpet is often depressing. Recently renovated helps a lot in terms of freshness and brightness. Cheaper, new furnishings are often better than well-used high quality ones. I, personally, don't need to stay someplace that has the world's most cutting-edge renovation or design...the jackass-award winner, you know what I mean. Sometimes those hotels are beautiful, and I've certainly stayed in plenty of them. Often it's even easier to find a hotel in the trendy category than the kind I'm talking about, which offers the same basic amenities--clean, modern design; nice bedding; freshness--without the prices/attitude/goofy mustachioed bellhop.

So, thus, voila, the Hotel Marceau Bastille in Paris. . I offer the enormous caveat that I haven't stayed here since 2006, but I love this hotel. I just did a search, and for one of the nicer "ecolo" rooms (which I highly recommend), at short notice in December, it's 150 Euros ($225) for 2 people for a night. For this time of year, at these exchange rates, that is a great deal. This hotel is in the humbler Bastille neighborhood, a short walk from the trendy-hip Marais, and doesn't have room service, but it's always been just right for me. It's not a "destination hotel," but who wants their hotel to be the 'destination' in Paris!

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