75014 Travel Guide
The Pullman Montparnasse, formerly a Le Meridien, is in an interesting little neighborhood in Paris' 14th arrondissement. Anchored by the Tour Montparnasse (essentially, a sky scraper) and the Gare Montparnasse (train station), the area lacks some of the gorgeous architecture of central Paris but the hotel's location on Rue de Commandant René Mouchotte puts it near the shops and boutiques of Saint-Germain-des-Prés with a Metro stop closeby and a taxi stop out front.
We liked the neighborhood for its non-touristy feel, even though the hotel itself caters to business travelers, thanks to the Pullman conference center next door and the SNCF headquarters across the street. Still we felt more like we were just amongst local Parisians doing their everyday thing.
But the area is not entirely devoid of history or landmarks. Tucked behind the 25-story hotel is the Montparnasse Cemetery, where many intellectuals and artists are buried such as Claude Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre, Susan Sontag and even Kiki, the Queen of Montparnasse. And several of the cafes and restaurants in Montparnasse which were patronized by American expats/writers/artists in the 1920s are still operating today.
While it's not across from the Jardin des Tuileries or the Eiffel Tower, it's a different side of Paris to see, especially if you've been to Paris a few times before. So, if you do decide to stay here, what's the best room to book?
Paris is always a beyatch for hotel prices, but Travelzoo has scouted out a fabulous offer this week if you want to make a quick trip to the city of lurve.
The Concorde Montparnasse has rooms for €109 (£97 or $147) a night at the moment, and even includes an upgrade to a superior room, a glass of champagne, free WiFi and the ever elusive, ever expensive buffet breakfast.
You may be a little worried about hitting Europe this summer. Especially Paris – it’s notoriously expensive at the best of times, but right now, a trip there means you’re pretty much guaranteed a wallet-mauling.
But if Mama Shelter’s full and you don’t want to settle for a hostel or swap Paris for Brussels, there are pretty neat deals at some of the Concorde hotels. If you pay up front and don’t mind a non-changeable, non-refundable deal, you can get a Super Saver rate, which costs from €105 for a double room at the four star Concorde Montparnasse, or €111.50 at La Fayette. Neither of them are very central, but for these prices, you can’t argue too much.
Or if you’re in a group, and staying for four nights or more, you could try their summer offer – you can get a room at the Montparnasse for €140, plus a second one at half price. You’ll also get three complimentary activities with this package – tickets to the Louvre, a boat trip down the Seine, and a picnic basket.
The offers are valid until 13 September and both include breakfast. So if you fill your little tumtums up first thing, you can save even more by doing without le dejeuner. Tres bien.
Marriott has just completed its renovations of Paris' PLM Saint Jacques, turning it into the (extravagantly named!) Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center. According to the PR-speak, the original hotel was "a favorite gathering place for visitors to Paris, as well as celebrities and trendsetters." (Funny, we can think of some other fairly popular spots in the city.) Marriott says it will continue to court the biz travel crowd:
The hotel manages to remain an all-business hotel while also establishing ... the "business chic" vibe. At the hotel's heart is the duplex public space ... its design offers separate yet open nooks for impromptu meetings; casual conversations over coffee, cocktails or cognac; breakfast, lunch and dinner, upstairs or down; and WIFI throughout.
The hotel is in the 14th Arrondissement, but if that doesn't suit, there are seven other Marriotts in the city--with another 118-room property scheduled to open in 2009. Guess Bill can has hotelz!