During our long lovely holiday in Bulgaria and France last summer, there were three occasions on which we stopped in Paris on our way from one place to another. Each time we spent an overnight on Saturday going into Sunday, and stayed at the Hotel Astor Saint Honoré in Paris’s eighth arrondissement, not far from Place Saint-Augustin.
In the Saint-Augustin Metro stop, the closest stop to the hotel, there is a plan of the area that shows why we thought this hotel would be very convenient for us.
You can see at the top of the map, just right of center, the Gare Saint-Lazare, which is where the train to and from Rouen arrives/departs. The open white area just to the left of the center of the map is Place Saint-Augustin, and our hotel was just two blocks south of there (the hotel is unfortunately not noted on the map).
On our first visit to the hotel, on Saturday June 25th, we had flown into Paris from Sofia, Bulgaria rather late in the day, and wanted to stay overnight to get our bearings before taking the train to Rouen the next day. We stayed in a room on the 4th floor that was very cramped. The television was on top of the desk, leaving little room for work space, and the refrigerator was underneath the desk. In addition, this room looked rather tattered and in need of some love. The bathroom door did not lock. I couldn’t figure out how to make the air conditioner work, and neither could the hotel clerk who came to look at it, so our only method of getting air was to leave the window open. On the other hand, we liked the lobby of the hotel immediately, and the breakfast served in the breakfast room off the lobby was a good one, but our room was just adequate.
On our second visit, Saturday, July 9th, we did much better. This time, we were in Paris to meet our friend Faith, who was traveling to France for the first time in her life. So we had booked two rooms, and both were on the fifth floor (which seems, unlike the fourth, to have been renovated). Faith’s room was very nice, definitely larger than the one we had stayed in the previous time, and ours was larger still.
Unlike the first room, this one had a separate table for the television and refrigerator. There was a separate sitting area, and a small balcony with a pair of chairs and table where we could sit to relax. And there was a view of sorts from our window.
On our third overnight, Saturday July 16th (which was the last night of our vacation before leaving for home the next day), we were once again on the fifth floor, but in a small cramped room again. Once again, the air conditioning control was impossible to figure out, so it was open window again. We were tired and just chilled with a last meal of falafel sandwiches and some local beer while searching for English language programs on the tv. There was a nice view of the courtyard with its unusual shape and many tiny balconies.
After we had initially booked this hotel (which was months before our trip), we discovered that there is actually another Hilton hotel that is closer to the Saint-Lazare train station, called Hilton Opera Paris (actually it is just across the street from the station). We thought about changing at least one of our overnights to that hotel, but decided against it for two reasons: that hotel was more expensive than Astor Saint-Honore, and we thought that by staying three times at Astor Saint-Honore, we might get better rooms and better service. Well, that might have worked for the middle stay with Faith, but I think next time we stay overnight in Paris, we will probably try the Paris Opera hotel.