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Nobody wants to go to a hospital when vacationing, especially if you are vacationing in Paris. But what if the hotel you are staying in is, interestingly enough, located in the oldest hospital in Paris? This is the case with l’Hôtel Hospitel… but let’s start from the beginning.
Hôtel Hospitel Dieu is located inside of l’Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris, founded in the seventh century. L’Hôtel Hospitel is on the 6th floor of the hospital, accessible by large elevators that also serve hospital patients, which may be an issue for some, but it didn’t bother two members of our editorial team.
There are 14 rooms, two of which are reserved for people with reduced mobility. Each room has a private bathroom, a flat-screen tv, air conditioning, a safe and WiFi. Rooms are modern and clean; halls are quiet. Hair dryers, fans and irons are available from the reception desk. In addition, the hotel offers a simple breakfast tray for under 5€ (2011 price). Some rooms have views of Notre Dame. The staff is friendly and more service-oriented than many budget options in Paris, perhaps because they are accustomed to doling out TLC to family members staying for extended periods while visiting hospitalized loved ones in the hospital below.
The hospital’s history and beautiful garden below make this an appealing budget lodging option, but its location seals the deal. L’Hôtel Hospitel is literally across the plaza from Notre-Dame Cathedral, less than a 15-minute walk to the Louvre and 5 minutes’ walk to either St. Michel in the Latin Quarter or 5 minutes the opposite way to the Marais. There are views over all of Paris, a rare treat in a budget Paris hotel. And of course the hotel is right next to the Seine.
It’s perfect for budget travelers, but do book early because it fills fast.
After a comfortable stay at l’Hôtel Hospitel, when you return to your home country, you can be one of the few who can say, “When I was in Paris, I lived in a hospital,” which will definitely add to your cool factor.
1, Place du Parvis Notre Dame, Paris 4th
Métro: 4, Cité; 1, Hôtel de Ville
Bus: 21, 38, 47, 85, 96
RER: B, Saint-Michel Notre-Dame
Accessibility: very good and with a hospital below, ideal budget lodging for travelers with mobility issues
2011 room rates:
Extra bed 11€
Marvah Hill Pierre-Louis is a third-year Princeton University student. She’s a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti who moved to the Garden State: New Jersey in her teens. Marvah
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