Monday, November 7, 2011

Paris on $50 a Night

Luxury room at the Hotel de Crillon
A recent story over on the Consumer Traveller site got me thinking about travel accommodations. The story by Janice Hough headlined One person’s $1,000 dream hotel room can be another person’s nightmare, describes a clients dissatisfaction with a hotel room booking. Apparently the room didn’t meet her expectations.

Janice writes:
"...their entry level room was €700 a night (about US$1,000), with rooms going up, way up, from there."

The client, who was travelling to Paris for her honeymoon, was so unhappy with her room at the Hotel de Crillon (which may or may not be the one pictured above) , she made a tentative booking with another hotel " €200-€300 more a night."

Assuming this client eventually paid US$1250 per night for their room, one can only hope she and her partner found the new room to their satisfaction. I have no idea how long the newlyweds spent in Paris, but it is fair to say they probably spent more on their room for one nights accommodations than I spent in the whole ten nights and nine days I stayed in the city.

Palace Hotel, Paris, France
Clearly their room would have put my €35/night (US$50) room at the Palace Hotel to shame, but I still think I got the better deal.

Although my room didn’t have a television (I didn’t travel to Paris to watch TV!), bar fridge, hairdryer, complementary shampoo and conditioner, room service or chocolates on the pillows, it did have everything I needed to make my stay in Paris comfortable, warm and safe. I even had access to free WiFi during my stay.

Not only that but the hotel – located in Montmartre and close to the Gare du Nord railway station – was within walking distance of the Pompidou Centre, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Left Bank/Latin Quarter, the Louvre, and many other major attractions.

Ok, I have limited finances available to me, so I am forced to travel on a budget, or to at least spend my money carefully and wisely. But even if I could afford $1250 a night for accommodations I don’t think I would do it. What’s the point? At that price, I would be reluctant to leave my room. I’d want to get full value for my dollars and so spend hours each day doing – what? Watching television? Sleeping? Admiring the d├ęcor? Somehow I don’t think so.

Why spend that sort of money if all you are going to do is sleep there at night? (Yes, I know, they are newlyweds – so they may not be planning to get much sleep, but I’m sure you get my drift).

To be fair, I have to admit that if I was going to Paris for my honeymoon, I would not stay in a $50 a night hotel, but nor would I want to spend $1200+ per night either.

Maybe it’s just me. What about you? How do you like to travel, and what types of accommodations do you seek out? If you could spend one night in Paris at $1200+ or ten days in the city for the same amount – what would you choose? I’d love to hear your opinions.

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