* Prices may differ from that shown
After securing a ticket for the Champions League final and then getting a rather expensive return flight to Paris my next objective was to secure somewhere to stay for the three nights of my visit and I only had a few days to sort something else. After a couple of days on the internet visiting every hotel booking site I could find I eventually came to the conclusion that even a knocked up woman on a donkey had no chance of getting a hotel room let alone a handsome young Arsenal fan. My mates had all had the intelligence to book hotels weeks ago and these were now full and so it was that I looked through my copy of the Rough Guide to Paris and came across a bed and breakfast booking agency called Good Morning Paris (GMP from now on)
GMP is a French owned business which operates in Paris and specialises in placing people in accommodation and has over 100 rooms on its books. It is a fully registered Travel Agents and members of the Professionelle de Solidarite du Tourisme and the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Booking Process
You can contact them direct by phone which was how I made my initial enquiry as I had limited time before my departure however the easiest way is to go to the website. This is well set out with a choice of English or French language which you select by clicking on a flag.
On the homepage there is a table that sets out the prices dependant upon the type of room you opt for. For one person with you own bathroom the cost is 64 euro and 54 euro if the bathroom is shared. For two people the prices are 76 and 66 euro respectively with it rising to 94 and 84 euro for three people. It is also possible to arrange an apartment for 2-4 persons and prices start from 104 euro. All of these prices include breakfast which makes it a cheaper option than staying in a hotel. When I enquired about whether they can accommodate children (I was thinking about a return visit with the ankle biters) I was informed that they do have a small number of family rooms available or the apartment option may be preferable.
In addition they do have a range of what they call charm and character rooms which are a little more up market and prices start from 106 euro per night for two people which again includes breakfast. Overall the range of rooms provide a good choice and they have rooms all across Paris so that you can select an area to met your needs.
There are a number of pictures on the website showing the types of rooms available and a small map of Paris split into sections so that you could narrow down your search to specific areas.
Once you have decided to proceed there is a simple form to complete stating your length of stay and what you are looking for. The agency will then e-mail you a list of available rooms from which you can make your selection.
I found the response time to be very quick, from my initial phone call where it was confirmed that they did have some availability an e-mail arrived in my inbox within the hour. The person I spoke to on the phone spoke far better English than my CSE level French and was very helpful.
Each room had a brief description of it including the area that it was in and was accompanied by at least one photo. Now I was at the stage where I would have taken pretty much anything as the alternative was a park bench in the Bois de Bolougne and anyone who has seen the movie Diva will know it is not a place to go at night, so I was really please to see that the four choices I had all looked clean and were in fairly central locations.
Once I had made my choice a simple e-mail back was all that was required. Once GMP confirmed that the host would accept the booking they sent through a couple of forms, the first was the terms and conditions of my booking which was all fairly standard and included an expected standard of conduct that I was required to sign up to. The second form was the payment form which hey asked that I fax back along with a copy of my passport. The reason for a fax request was that they felt it was more secure than e-mail however you can e-mail the form if you want to.
Once the payment has been processed which in my case was later the same day that I sent the fax then a final e-mail is sent which includes directions to the property, contact details for both the host and the offices in Paris as well as a guide to events happening in the local area and also a feedback form.
The booking process does sound a little long winded however in reality it was all done over a two day period and was pretty much hassle free with quite a few update e-mails to confirm the progress of the booking.
The room I had opted for certainly lived up to the quality of the photo; it was large and spacious in a third floor apartment in the Montparnasse area and close to both metro and RER stations.
One of the reasons I selected this particular room was that on the description it said that the owner spoke English, German and Swedish as well as French so an educated guess told me that they were probably Swedish. Certainly the welcome I got was very friendly and I was made to feel very much like I was actually an invited visitor rather than a paying guest. It became apparent that my host Anne Christine was new to the landlady business and was treating it more as a way to meet people, both her and her partner were very welcoming and quite happy to hand out beers and wine for me to consume. In fact at times they were almost too overbearing especially when I wanted a quick siesta however such was the friendliness of their actions I could not really be annoyed.
I was concerned initially that the hours I was likely to keep would see me coming home in the early hours or not at all but this was not a problem for them, I had my own key and was assured that I would not wake them no matter how much noise I made. They were also blissfully unaware that a major football game was taking place in the city however once they knew I would be there they actually watched the whole game and were more disappointed at the result than I was. They were quite surprised at how upbeat I was until I explained that a lifetime of being an Arsenal fan prepares you for disappointment, especially in cup finals, with the odd exception.
The rest of the house was very neat and tidy with a large spacious bathroom and plenty of clean towels. A particular nice touch was the supply of a bathrobe and slippers as well as fruit and bottled water in my room.
The breakfast consisted of croissants, fresh baguette, a selection of preserves and fresh coffee. All of these were purchased fresh each morning and were delicious.
I would certainly be prepared to use GMP again if I was visiting Paris. This type of accommodation provides a personal touch that is different to the soulless nature of a big hotel. The operation is very professionally run and very friendly as well; I even received a personal response when I returned the feedback form which acknowledged a couple of my points. If I could improve one thing it would be the provision of a map with the directions as the book I had did not cover the area I was staying in but to be honest if I had picked up a tourist map at the airport I would have been ok.
Definitely one to consider in the future if you fancy something a little different.
For more information check out the website
Thanks for reading and rating my review.