We have been to Paris many many times before. I don’t know what has happened to Paris but I was shocked to see how it deteriorated since our previous visit.
Countless of homeless people on the streets and very dirty (and smelly) sidewalks. This is the Paris we found.
Paris was like this: Everywhere we looked there was a homeless sleeping or asking for money. Besides, they usually use the gardens and the sidewalks to do “everything”, including pee. We saw homeless people peeing on the most upscale street sidewalks more than once while we were there.
We arrived in Paris coming from Bayeux. We made reservations to stay at Radisson Blu Hotel Paris Airport because we were traveling by car (with our bikes hanging on it), and we thought it would be easier to stay a little bit further from the downtown area and go to the city center by train carrying our bikes with us.
Radisson Blu Hotel was a total deception. We would consider it to be the “worst hotel in the world”, if we didn’t know Hotel São Gotardo in Brazil, as this one is, for sure, our finalist for “the worst hotel ever”.
Her only words to us were: “Can I see passports and credit cards?”. Nothing else.
Radisson Blu Paris Airport Hotel is awful. The bedroom is awful. The carpet had many stains and the sink had a big crack, making it totally anti-hygienic!
Radisson Blu Paris hotel is supposed to be a 4 stars hotel but I can assure you that this classification is totally wrong there.
The hotel claims to be located “at” Charles de Gaulle Airport but it is not. It is a 10 minutes ride by the hotel’s van (that departs from the hotel every 15 minutes).
After taking the hotel’s van to the airport we had to wait almost half hour for the Roissybus (the bus that takes people from CDG Airport to downtown Paris) .
The hotel had a problem with their central air conditioner and it was BROKEN. The windows don’t open. They “managed” to bring a portable air conditioner to our room and there was NOWHERE to exhaust the hot air, so, we stayed one night awake, like staying IN HELL. We did not sleep for 5 minutes and spent the whole night on the internet looking for another place to stay.
In the morning, I told the manager that we were MOVING and it took a long arguing to convince him to RETURN our money for the nights we were not going to stay. In fact, he should have not only returned our money for the next nights but also for the night we stayed there in a “sauna”. TERRIBLE customer service, I will NEVER put my feet in a Radisson Blue Hotel in the future. Never. Ever.
This is the “solution” adopted by Radisson Blue Hotel for an air conditioner: As the central system was not functioning, they brought this thing to our bedroom but the hot air had no way to go (they put the vent tube to the cupboard!). The bedroom was hot like hell.
Another awful thing at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport was the elevator! We used the elevator at Terminal 2 (where the van from the Hotel pick up the guests) and it was terrible to notice that the elevator is used as a bathroom! The smell of URINE was enormous! This inside a PARIS airport elevator??? Terrible!
When something goes wrong I guess everything else goes wrong as well. In the past, we had a “secret place” where we enjoyed to have lunch while in Paris. It is called “L’Ecluse”. The duck (canard) there was simply amazing (in the past).
We went to “L’ Ecluse” only to discover that it is not the same anymore. Everything has changed: Decor, food, service. It is a waste of time (and money).
Due to the problem with Radisson Blue Hotel, we moved to Hotel de L’ Harpe.
This hotel is located at St Germain neighborhood, Paris Rive Gauche. The location is good as the hotel is close to the main attractions. Paris prices were absolutely ridiculous: Almost 200 € / night for a shabby room.
I also had a huge concern: Paris old buildings are “remodeled” in order to be transformed in hotels. The staircases and corridors are very narrow, with a lot of carpets, old dry wood, fabrics etc. I can’t imagine what happens if a hotel there gets on fire. No one will survive.
There is no doubt that the buildings used in Paris as “charming hotels” would never get the firemen approval in the USA or Canada.
In Canada and in the USA there are several rules to protect citizen’s safety. I would like to see a Canadian or American fireman looking to a cramped hotel in Paris and wondering how the fire inspection is done there…
Anyway, if you think about security while staying in a Paris hotel, for sure you will be awake the whole night…
Exhibition: After bad hotel, bad food and bad sidewalks, something had to be good, he? We went to an exhibition at Musée d’ Orsay that was “good” but not wonderful.
I tried to focus on “good things” but after one night sleeping in hell (Radisson Blu) and three other nights sleeping in a shabby hotel that cost more than 200 USD by night, plus, seeing dirty streets and people asking for money… I was not able to see the “glorious side” of Paris anymore…
I have no idea why Paris is suffering of this decadence, but one thing I know for sure: I am not returning to Paris till I have solid reasons to believe that the city is shining again.
If you want to see (few) pictures I took of Paris landscape give a look at my page on Flickr. Don’t go with a lot of “expectations” because my mood has not good while I was there.