Traveling has always been one of my passions. I love the excitement of seeing new places and the thrill of experiencing different cultures.
I don’t often write reviews of our travel accommodations. When I do, it’s usually a bed & breakfast, agriturismo, or some other non-hotel type of accommodation. Our recent visit to France, however, provided me with a couple of exceptional and noteworthy places that deserve some accolades. In actuality, we do a fair amount of research and planning prior to traveling. The research often pays off as we have stayed in some absolutely wonderful places in our travels. This time around, we found ourselves in the heart of the 8th district in Paris at the charming New Orient Hotel.
So what is it that makes the New Orient Hotel so exceptional? Well, it’s really everything and then some. The "then some" is the very attentive and helpful staff, owners Catherine and Josef Wehrle, and the delightful evening staff. The Wehrle's, having owned the New Orient Hotel for twenty years now, have discovered the recipe for success. It really comes down to the things that make travelers happy: a clean and well-maintained room, a safe and attractive area, a knowledgeable and helpful staff, a fair and reasonable rate, and easy access to the sites of the area. The New Orient Hotel hits a home run on all of these.
By any standard, the rooms in Paris are generally considered to be on the smaller side. I would say that our room (307) at the New Orient Hotel was a pretty good size when compared to the standard. We never felt like we were living out of a closet. The bathrooms were roomy and we had a tub with a spacious shower and good water pressure, which was nice. All of the rooms that face the Rue Constantinople have a small balcony with a table, two chairs, and those beautiful red geraniums. We also enjoyed the opportunity to sit outside. The quiet street means there is very little in the way of noise to worry about. If you are visiting Paris during the summer months, the hotel is entirely air-conditioned and there is also very fast Wi-Fi service available to guests. All rooms also have a wall-mounted flat panel television as well as a handy safe for locking up valuables.
The New Orient Hotel has five floors and there is a convenient elevator for getting luggage and guests to the upper floors. The hotel lobby is a comfy spot to sit and wait for friends, with plenty of reading material on the sites of Paris. A handy map of the city and the metro is available to guests. This was very much appreciated each morning before heading out. If there is any doubt about where you are heading or the best way to get there, Catherine, or the staff, will be more than happy to assist you and point you in the right direction. I can’t say enough about the owners and their willingness to go the extra mile to make our stay a pleasant one.
Also located on the first floor, is the breakfast room. We did opt for breakfast at the New Orient Hotel during our stay. It seems to be a common feature throughout Paris to offer this option. While it might be a little pricey at 13 euro, breakfast seemed to be the standard price at other comparable hotels that we checked out. But, I will say, the breakfast was delightful. Each morning consisted of fruit, croissants, breads, jams, meats, cheeses, cereals, and an assortment of beverages. It was nice to know that the option of breakfast was there, but if you decide to venture out on your own, there are plenty of cafes and bakeries nearby.
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The New Orient Hotel is located in the 8th Arrondissement or district of Paris. Located on the right bank of the River Seine, the 8th district is known mainly as one of Paris’s business districts. You will find Rue Constantinople to be a comparably quiet neighborhood without the hordes of tourists and with a minimal amount of city traffic. There is a market located directly across the street from the hotel and just around the corner is our favorite Parisian Bistro, Le Coin, a simply marvelous place. New Orient Hotel is located just a few blocks from the Gare Saint Lazare Station. The Villiers and Europe Metro Stations are just a short walk, which makes this a very convenient location. If you are arriving into Paris at the Saint Lazare Train Station you could walk to New Orient if you travel lightly, but if you opt for a taxi, the fare will run you just a few euros.
From Hotel New Orient it is possible to walk to the Montmartre area for a visit to Sacra Cour, the Opera House, the Arc de Triomphe, La Madeleine Church, and of course, the Champs-Elysees. All of the other wonderful attractions of Paris are walkable, but also an easy metro ride away. Expect a 45-minute walk from New Orient Hotel to the Eiffel Tower, about a 30-minute stroll to the Louvre, and approximately 50-minutes to Notre Dame. When visiting Paris, don’t be afraid to utilize its great public transportation system as Paris is a large city. The metro is an efficient and clean method of travel, and there are numerous bus routes that will take visitors to pretty much any destination within the city if you prefer to ride above ground.
The peak season rates for New Orient Hotel range from 135 euro for a single room up to about 220 euro for a triple. The average double room rate is about 175 euro, which is pretty reasonable for Paris. When booking, look for any promotional offers on their website, which they run periodically. Keep in mind that the shoulder and off-season rates drop considerably. The advertised rate for a double room with shower for the November to December time frame is just 125 euro.
As a general rule, accommodations in Paris are considered to be quite expensive. Hotel rates can easily climb to 250 to 500 euro or more per night so you will want to do your homework before committing. If you are looking for a charming boutique hotel in the Haussmann style then, by all means, the New Orient Hotel should be given serious consideration. It's clean, comfortable, in a safe and convenient area, has reasonable rates, and has the friendliest staff you will find in Paris
I hope you enjoyed this review of one of Paris’s hidden gems. The New Orient Hotel exceeded all of our expectations, and we look forward to returning to the "City of Lights" and our new friends at the New Orient Hotel.
© 2014 Bill De Giulio