minor detours


This past Valentine’s day weekend, when my friends Judith from Chicago and Daphne from New York made a quick jaunt to Paris, we decided to have a girls’ night out. To be near them, I booked a hotel room in downtown Paris. I just wanted a place to bunk for the night and the Best Western at Notre-Dame de Lorette offered a convenient place as well the required standards of a well-known chain.

One thing that makes or breaks a trip, along with your budget, is the price of a hotel room. In Paris, a decent hotel room in a central location can cost between 150 to 300 Euros (US $200-$460). My single room at the BW Lorette amounted to a modest 98 Euros (US $130) for one night.

Located in the bourgeois-bohemian ( bobo*) 9th district, the BW Lorette is a brand new renovation that retained the building’s old architecture while infusing it with a romantic freshness. Judith, Daphne and I had stumbled around a bit to find it because I had made us get off at the wrong Métro station with my usual lack of orientation. Once there (at the right Métro station, St. Georges), Daphne immediately recognized the tony neighborhood where she used to babysit as a student in Paris.

After I checked in, we got a free tour of the hotel because Judith had inadvertently pressed the wrong elevator button which took us to the basement. This turned out to be the hotel’s breakfast room, carved out of an ancient cellar with stone vaulted ceilings. The flooring was chateau-grade tiles covered with warm accented oriental rugs. Tables and chairs were light and modern to optimize space and avoid rustic overkill. Mirrors, prints, and undiscernable period paintings graced the stone walls for a pleasing effect.

My room had a courtyard view. It was small but had a relatively spacious bathroom which assuaged my feminine side. Both were bright and clean and equipped with all the amenities of a multi-star hotel. Plus no stinginess with soap and shampoo.

So if you ever need to pop into Paris for a short business trip or plan a family vacation, you may want to consider this chic Best Western. It’s an easy Métro ride (provided you don’t get lost) to the famous department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, Stock Exchange, Opéra Garnier, Saint Madeleine church, and the iconic Louvre, among many other Parisian attractions.

Best Western
36, Rue Notre Dame De Lorette, Paris, 75009, France
Phone: 33 1 42 85 18 81
Fax: 33 1 42 81 32 19

(*) The “bobo” species is generally found in Paris (more specifically in the wealthy 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th arrondissement [district] or in the gentrified 10th, 11th, 14th or 20th); cultivates a seemingly laid-back way of life; fully clad in Hermès, Chanel and Rykiel, he/she tries very hard nonetheless to look scruffy; listens to Thomas Fersen while drinking absinthe… If you don’t believe me, see Wikipedia a more substantiated definition of the bourgeois/bohemian – in French, of course.

Photos from the hotel website:

The Pont des Arts or Passerelle des Arts is a pedestrian bridge in Paris which crosses the Seine River. It links the Institut de France and the central square (cour carrée) of the Louvre museum.

When you stand at the middle of the bridge, you can look at the bateaux mouches gliding below on the water. It’s a lovely place to make memories — as well as getting rid of them…

view from the ponts des arts in paris