Travels With Child : http://www.travelswithchild.org

Distant Lands

Thursday, 25 October 2007

A Message from Paris

This morning, atop my email stack, I found a friendly bonjour from the Hotels Paris Rive Gauche, with photographs attached.  I hate a lot of the email I receive from stores I've shopped in (Pottery Barn, this means you. … er, But don't stop, please…) and chain hotels I've stayed in for a night.  But this is different - no big sell attached, no Weekend Deals! Just a photographer's view of Paris from the perspective of someone new.  It's a classy way of staying in touch, and, by our experience with the Residence Henri IV, very much par for the course. 

We arrived at the Henri IV near the very end of one of the hottest weeks in Europe in 2006.  We'd been in Germany, for a wedding, and had taken the train from Aachen to Paris. 

The attraction was the Henri IVs location - in the 5th district, close to Notre Dame, but set back from the main street - and its  rooms-with-kitchenette.  The room was small, but beautiful, with a soaring ceiling, a very comfortable bed, enough space for a pack-n-play, and an enormous bathroom, with a full bathtub.  The kitchenette was amazing - tucked where a closet might be somewhere else, with a sink, a fridge, a stovetop, and microwave all sharing the smallest space possible.  It all worked beautifully.  Somehow, even without A/C, the room was comfortable - and when the rains began, we opened up the floor-to ceiling windows, closed the shutters, and listened to the downpour hit the leaves of the trees in the garden just outside. 

Each morning, we woke to fresh coffee, chocolate croissants, and fresh fruit outside our door.  We shopped at the neighborhood grocery for milk, yogurt, diapers, and juice.  And chocolate - lots of chocolate.  And cheese.  With those in the fridge, it was easy to go out for most of the day without worrying about not having a place to eat for lunch or dinner - there were always backups. 

The staff was friendly, but not intrusive, and they were delighted and amused when she came down the second morning and said "bonjee!" They had several families staying with them, and showed us how to fit the stroller in the small luggage escalator so that we didn't need to struggle with it on the (gorgeous) staircase.

We didn't spend a lot of time in the hotel - there were too many places nearby to walk to.  It was a perfect home away from home.  How kind of them to remind me that we want to return soon.

Posted in All Ages : Europe : June-Aug. by Fran W. at 2:06 PMPermalink

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