“ Paris hotel located close to the Moulin Rouge and Montmartre. „
I booked the Paris Ibis Montmartre when we needed a crash pad for a short trip. My brother-in-law wanted to fulfill his wife's dream of visiting the Eiffel Tower and we agreed to accompany them. As they only stayed in the UK for a short time the trip had to happen right before Christmas and we would only have time to stay for one night. There was no need to search for special comforts, we really only needed a bed for the night and a shower at an affordable price.
I knew the Ibis hotels from the past and was aware that they are nothing special . They are not really geared for the family market (we were travelling with two children), but they are usually contemporary, clean and run by young and friendly personnel.
A few days before our trip the big snow set in and news that the Channel Tunnel would be either closed and/or journeys be severely delayed came up. The brother-in-law decided that we should still try to go on the trip and so I called the hotel one day before our departure to confirm our arrival.
The young lady on the phone spoke excellent English and I found out that Paris so far didn't have any snow at all, and that we shouldn't worry about parking as there was a large public indoor garage directly under the hotel which always had capacities available. The later was a huge relief as parking in Paris can be a nightmare.
Either we were plainly lucky or the news about the tunnel delays were exaggerated to keep travellers away, our trip went smoothly and we made it to Paris more or less as planned.
The hotel is located directly at the Place the Clichy, which makes it easy to find no matter if you are using public transport or your own.
To find the garage was easy, it was exactly where the receptionist had told me, under the hotel, and signed out well too. Check in went equally smooth and within minutes after arriving we were on the way to our rooms on the second floor.
The Ibis hotels don't offer rooms for more than 3 people and the plan was that one of our girls would sleep in our room and the other with their aunt and uncle.
Nice plan, unfortunately it didn't work as both of our kids were tired from the journey, in a foul mood and refused to stay with anyone else but us. A change of plan was needed and we decided that the older daughter would get the spare bed and the little one would have to sleep in the middle. This was a decision we regretted as soon as we entered the room and saw the size of the bed ! As I said earlier, they don't do rooms for four and the reason why was all too obvious - there simply wasn't enough space and the bed would have been just about fine for two but not for three. Oh well, we survived it and can't really blame the hotel - they never wanted to rent this room to a family of four - but comfortable it wasn't.
The spare bed was a nifty construction under the window that could fold away totally and be turned into a workspace. The wardrobe is just a small hanging rack and a few shelves (in which we also found the chair that would have usually stood in front of the workspace-now-bed)
The plasma TV is fixed at the wall opposite the main bed but showed only French programmes (not too surprising if you are in Paris) but managed to keep the girls entertained with some cartoons while we each took a quick shower and got changed for dinner. There is a menu for room service which might be fine if you are travelling alone or as a couple but for us, with the only table in the room turned into an extra bed, no option. After spending hours cramped into the car the last thing we wanted was a picnic on the bed in an overcrowded room.
The bathroom is compact with a shower, basin and toilet. Everything was compact, not really big enough to swing a cat, but also everything was spotlessly clean. The only niggle I have is that the shower gel in the shower cabin was almost empty, which was a shame as it actually smelled very nice and I would have liked to use more than just the few drops I managed to squeeze out of the spender. Good thing we brought our own or we would have had to ask the reception desk for a refill.
About an hour later we were ready to go out and the receptionists were more than happy to give us directions towards the Moulin Rouge and Sacre Coeur. Given the fact that there was so little time we wanted to put some more sightseeing, apart from the Eiffel Tower, into the trip.
It had started to rain by now and we dismissed the walking directions we were given and went straight for the metro, which was around a two minutes walk from the hotel. In no time at all we were at the Place Blanche and from there made our way up to Sacre Coeur. So if you want to opt for this hotel, attractions are plentiful nearby and connection to the public transport is not an issue.
However, the neighbourhood of this hotel is about as family friendly as the hotel itself and I wouldn't necessarily stay in this area of Paris if travelling with children.
After a lovely dinner near the Place du Tretre we opted to walk back, the rain had stopped, and this took just 10 minutes, so you don't even have to spend money on the metro if you want to see around Montmatre.
Back at the hotel we decided to go for a drink in the bar. We were the only guests and served quickly but didn't feel like hanging around too long. The place was just too quiet and rather brightly lit. The restaurant, which is located on the same level, was already shut although it was just 8.30 pm.
By 9 pm I took the kids upstairs while the husband and his brother ordered another drink. Being awake since 4 am we were very tired and the bed was really comfy - until the husband appeared half an hour later and space became an issue. This queen size was really not made for 2 adults and a 7 year old and it wasn't the most comfortable night of my life.
By 5am I was very awake and decided to check out the 24-hr bar they advertise, hoping for a cup of coffee and a newspaper. Surprise, surprise the bar was closed and there also wasn't a newspaper. Not that they advertise the papers but they do state that the bar is open 24hrs a day. Not on this day though ...
A can of orange juice from the vending machine in the reception and a tourist information magazine would have to do and I managed to pass an hour before going back upstairs. I guess I would have managed to get a cup of coffee if I'd made a fuss and bothered the night receptionist but at 5am I'm not the most talkative person in the world, and just wanted some peace without a forever turning little girl kicking me every few minutes.
I don't remember the timetable for the breakfast, we went at 8am and all was set. There is a small reception in front of the breakfast area where you need to show your room card and then you are ready to go.
Breakfast in French budget hotels can be a sad affair consisting of just a piece of baguette and some jam but the Ibis offered a real proper buffet with a nice selection. You won't find a Full English breakfast, not even a boiled egg, but they had a variety of cheeses and cooked meat, several types of jam and honey, yogurts and fruit. There were croissants and a really very good selection of different types of bread, and, what was a really nice extra, pancakes and tortillas.
For drinks there is a variety of fresh fruit juices, milk, several types of coffee and a good selection of teas.
After breakfast we were ready to make our way to the Eiffel Tower and, when we finally entered our room to get our luggage and saw it for the first time in full daylight, realised that our room overlooked the Montmatre Cemetery - no noise disturbance to be expected from those neighbours !
A cheap and cheerful option for all who aren't looking for too many creature comforts but want an affordable hotel in an area that is not only near to some of the main tourist attractions but also offers great connectivity to the public transport. Being so close to Place Clichy means that there are plenty of restaurants and bars around, so getting bored in the evening is not something you need to be afraid of.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful and the garage beneath the hotel was a great plus. Personally I probably wouldn't use this hotel again. Not because we were disappointed but plainly because we need a bigger accommodation for the four of us to be comfortable. I'd recommend it for single travellers and couples - for families, even with only one child, it is rather cramped, especially if you'd like to stay for more than just one night and are planing to bring more than just a small bag .