Operation Hotel Part I – the search for the right Accommodation

A very short walk from the hotel

When planing to travel especially when you are on a budget one of the biggest costs is going to be on accommodations. The types of considerations that are made also depend on the circumstances of the traveler. For example if you are a young person or you are the only one traveling, then surly a hostel or other similar accommodation would be perfectly suitable for your trip. However if you are a little older and, shall we say, have a few miles packed on then a more comfortable  accommodation would be the order of the day.
For my family and I we wanted to find a good balance for our money. Another factor for us with this trip was the fact that there were three of us traveling rather than just two. A fact of traveling is the more of you there are, the more expensive it is going to be. So what do you do? You make darn sure that the hotel you’re  going to stay at is exactly what you are looking for.

The search for the right hotel was exhausting, but really worth the effort in the end. If your like me you don’t like to spend money on junk. What we did was we took a hard look at what our travel abilities actually were, especially when we were traveling with a 16 year old girl.
We wanted a hotels that were  close to the sites, but yet not overly touristy sections of the cities we were going to visit. We were looking for places that would accommodate three people in a room, as well as include breakfasts in the cost of the room. We looked at accessibility from transportation hubs in and out of the city, and different forms of transportation that would be most cost effective.

We literally read hundreds of reviews on expedia.ca and tripadvisor.ca. and narrowed our search from there.
We did have some criteria in mind when we started looking. We wanted  to be close to what we wanted to see, so a central location was key for us. Included breakfasts were a must and descent restaurants within walking distance. We wanted WiFi and our own restroom, It is not uncommon to have shared restrooms in some of the hotels in Paris.

In Paris we settled on Hotel Astrid, It was a beautiful little boutique hotel situated right down the street from The Arc de Triomphe in historic part of Paris…then again what part of Paris isn’t historic. The room was small, but well kept, It was really a double room with three single beds. However it suited our purposes, the beds were comfortable and there was a very adequate restroom.
On one of the evenings the street below was a little loud due to the fact that there was Football game being watched in the cafe that was below. However, being a soccer fan, this was not an issue for me. We just got up and closed the window and everything was fine.
The breakfast was well appointed with juice, coffee and  tea. There was all manner of breads croissants, spreads, fruit, cold cuts and cereal…we did not start the day hungry to say the least.

View from Hotel Astrid

Two steps out the door, to the left there was little cafe,  L’ Arc Cafe Paris, This little place had a well rounded menu from pasta to fine french fair, My wife Suzanne found a new  favorite in the Beef Bourguignon, she had it two nights in a row! The hotel was well located by two cafes, a pastry shop and corner store that had a great selection of beer, wine and spirits.

One major thing that can make or break a hotel stay is the staff that works at the hotel. On this occasion for this hotel the staff were absolutely wonderful. From arranging our stay to assisting with taxis, they all went above the call of duty. When were leaving the hotel we had to check out early to catch a flight to Rome. The night clerk prepared some coffee juice and Croissants prior to the normal times that breakfast was served, and he verified our taxi to ensure that it would arrive on time to take us to Orly airport. To top it off they all spoke english very well so it made the stay that much more comfortable.

This is just part one of Operation Hotel, I will be posting the next portion in a little while so please stay tuned.


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