My husband and I were in Paris the first week of June, arriving on a very cool cloudy day which quickly turned into 5 days of the first heat wave of summer.
We arrived early on Wed morning and the hotel is easy to get to (RER train from CDG to St Michel, then a 10 minute easy walk). The room was not ready, which was fine, so we made a few calls in the lobby, left our bags and went out until about 3 pm. But I should have heeded the words of 2 couples who came down to the lobby that morning, telling the receptionist that their air conditioning was not working very well.
When we got back Wed afternoon, we were shown to our room -- very small (expected) and pleasantly decorated (pretty colors, a stone wall, nice furniture, very clean, modern bath). We thought we had the right place! We managed to nap with the air conditioning blowing and the window open; between street noise and the TV (French open), the noise was more like background buzz. That night, we closed the window (for quiet) and let the a/c run....but woke up at 5 am in a stifling hot room. We opened the window, which helped tremendously, but left us with a lot of street traffic from 6 am onward...cars, motorcycles, talking, walking etc.
On Thursday morning, we mentioned to the receptionist that our a/c was not working well either. She said that the mechanic had been there and the system needed new filters, which were ordered. At that point, we declined to eat breakfast in the basement breakfast room (which was stifling also) and began the ritual of eating breakfast at nearby cafes on Boulevard St. Germain -- lovely people watching, fresh air, and about 6 euros per person for cafe, juice, baguettes and butter, and croissants. Just right since we wanted to have room for a long Parisian lunch every day.
On Thursday night, we had the same problem -- had to open the window at 2 am, then suffered from noise starting around 6 am. No one updated us on the status of the a/c that day. On Friday, as the daytime temps increased, same thing -- and no progress on a/c
On Saturday morning, I had to dress in front of the window because I was starting to sweat, just getting dressed. We went downstairs and asked if they had any fans for the room -- the receptionist checked the utility closet, but found only heaters, no fans. She didn't offer to ask anyone or find one for us, so we went off to breakfast. At that point, we agreed that we simply had to change hotels because we were not getting any sleep.
We had seen a nice looking, small Best Western property (Best Western Left Bank)around the corner, stopped in and found a big sign for air condtioning -- the real thing! The lobby was attractive and cool, the managers quickly took us to see a room (a very large, "superior" room on an interior courtyard, quiet and cool!), and we booked it. Since the rate included continental breakfast, the total cost was maybe 20 euros more than the Prince de Conde --but with a/c, quiet, a free computer in the lobby, free wireless -- frankly a better value but with equally charming decor.
We went straight back to the Prince de Conde and announced we were leaving -- there was no concern, no apology, nothing.....except a 10 minute wait in a stifling lobby to pay the bill.
I'm not saying that the Prince de Conde is bad, or not worth the money, but you do have to think about how you like to sleep. If you keep the window open, you'll have a lot of noise -- if you want it cool, I don't believe the a/c ever works properly. (My husband knows facilities and it is unlikely that new filters will suddenly make the a/c work properly.) What probably caused me the most concern is that there is no presence of a manager at the property -- there is a receptionist at all times, but they don't seem to be able questions or handle problems -- and they don't offer to speak to a manager, nor is anyone else present. I love small boutique hotels, but only when there is some leadership shown by the management.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Prince de Condé is housed in an 18th century narrow town house and has only 11 bedrooms, making it one of the most exclusive secret hotels in Paris ! With only 11 rooms, the Prince de Condé is an exclusive address in a 13th century old street, where the Queen Margot and D’Artagnan lived. Located in the heart of the secretive part of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, guests find themselves surrounded by art galleries in the shadow of the famous École des Beaux-Arts. An antique bookshop desk, woodwork floor, Zuber traditional wall papers blend singularly with modern art from Marco Del Re by Gallery Maeght in Paris. A Louis XVI style bench reworked by artist Magali Jeambrun for the Prince de Condé hotel encapsulates the soul of this exclusive Parisian address. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Prince De Conde Paris