Stayed at the Grand Hôtel de l'Europe in July 2003 (Sorry for the delay !) with my teenage son, and we were very satisfied. Is is situated a stone's throw from Gare de l'Est with that special cosmopolitan atmosphere that exists around big train stations. The metro-entrance is literally at the doorstep of the hôtel. We had a double room at the 3rd floor with a view to the boulevard. There's a small slow elevator as in most other 2-star hotels.
The furniture and decoration of the room could do with a face-lift, but the bathroom, the sheets and towels were clean, and the towels were changed every day and the room also made up every day. The receptionist Yann is extremely nice and helpful - I have been e-mailing with him several times this week to inquire about availability of rooms this summer.
A single room with WC and shower is only 52 euros.
Surroundings ? Well, if you ask Rick Steves he'll pass out in terror (!) - but I find the 10th arrondissement exciting, especially on a summer evening around the beautiful Canal Saint Martin which is one of the "secret" gems of Paris: people dining "al fresco" at the banks, playing guitars, cafés filled with people chatting having a nice time, parents with small kids in strollers.
A walk down the rue du Faubourg Saint Martin is also one of the most colourful experiences you can have in Paris - I don't know how many nationalities are represented in shops, groceries, cafés, restaurants - but they are many ! At the end of this street you'll find some of the Passages Couvertes and the Grands Boulevards.
About 300 meters down Blvd. Magenta there is a small supermarket (Francprix, I believe it was) and there's a bakery to the right of Gare de l'Est (the breakfast in the hotel is not exactly something to write home about).
And yes - the area is perfectly safe. Behave the same way as in all other big cities - which means don't be unnecessarily naïve.
So if you go to Paris to see Paris and only to use your hotelroom to sleep in, this is definitely an option to consider: Very helpful and nice staff and super-practical location.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Paris