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Trip report: Esprit st. Germain - a luxury stay in paris without intimidation

Trip report: Esprit st. Germain - a luxury stay in paris without intimidation

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Old Oct 29, 11, 5:17 pm
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Esprit Saint Germain

Map| 2 Reviews | 100% Recommended

Esprit Saint Germain

22 rue Saint Sulpice Paris, FR 75006

Esprit Saint Germain (0 Photo)

Esprit Saint Germain

Mr. Ericka and I have been to Paris before and were lucky enough to stay at the FS GV. We loved it. But when we knew we were going to be traveling to Paris with people who don’t normally stay at hotels of that level, we started to look at the property (and all others like it) a little differently. Suddenly the spaces were too grand, the service too formal, and the price of a Coke Light offensively high.

The people we were traveling with were Mr. Ericka’s parents. 50 years ago, his father promised his mother he would someday make one of her dreams come true by taking her to Paris. Well, time flew and the trip never happened. When asked about it in recent years, his mother would reply, “Why would I want to go somewhere where the people are so rude to you.” Well, Mr. Ericka and I knew in her heart she still wanted to go, and believed she had simply talked herself out of it thinking she would never get the opportunity. As his parents have aged, the idea of international travel has become more intimidating.

Loving Paris as much as we do, we decided to invite his parents to go with us on this trip, and we agreed that we needed to turn the “rudeness” notion on its head; we know this perception isn’t true. We came up with a list of criteria for the right hotel that would make his parents feel at home in Paris. This is the list that ultimately sent us to Esprit Saint Germain.

  • Kind and friendly service
  • Safe, welcoming neighborhood
  • Comfortable and not too fancy
  • No “grand dame”, no gilt (their taste is contemporary)
  • Luxurious, but not $1300 for a closet-sized room
  • Reasonable incidental charges (In Paris? Ha!)
  • Staff with excellent English

Virtuoso

We approached DavidO about Esprit Saint Germain and he told us that while he had heard great things about the property, he was very concerned about room sizes. There was a lot drawing us to this hotel however and upon inquiry, he was able to secure us guaranteed upgrades if we booked into the upper room categories. That’s how we ended up in a suite (upgraded from a prestige room).

The Virtuoso amenities included the upgrade, daily full American breakfast, a bottle of red or white wine, and a very large French cheese and baguette presentation for each room.

The Hotel

Esprit Saint Germain was a boutique hotel designed along the lines of a private residence.

It was located on a quiet street in the delightful left bank neighborhood of Saint Germain, just kitty-corner from the famed church of Saint Sulpice (Da Vinci Code). The area was upscale with a mix of residences, small high-end boutiques, and many cafes and bistros that all just screamed local character. It was highly walk-able, surrounded by the cobblestoned narrow one-lane streets and the slate rooftops that have made Paris famous. We found everyone in the neighborhood to be utterly charming, and they accepted our Frenglish with humor and appreciation.

The Esprit Saint Germain decor was just the right mix of Paris chic and homey comfort to please our group’s conflicting contemporary and traditional tastes. We loved the warm colors, deep cushy furniture, and rich fabrics. And there was complimentary wi-fi available from any room in the hotel.

The hotel had two inviting rooms to relax….truly relax. There was one sitting room with a fireplace, and the more popular bar/breakfast room where snacks were served all day and guests lingered and socialized with one another. But the best part was the 24-hour complementary bar with French red and white wines, Champagne and liquors. No, I take that back. The best part was the complimentary chocolat chaud (homemade hot chocolate) that the staff made on request. No nickel and diming here!

Suite 101

Suite 101 was on the first floor, so it lacked the charming rooftop views of some of the rooms on the higher floors. And it didn’t have any of the original 18th century beams that we’ve seen in property pictures. But what it did have was very smart dor and a great layout. There was a sitting room, a bedroom, two full bathrooms and a walk-in closet. It was just Mr. Ericka and me in this room, but it would be ideal for a couple with a child.

The rich fabric and warm color theme carried through from downstairs in the form of buttery linen wallpaper, brown and muted purple chenilles, plush furniture and whimsical leopard carpeting. To appeal to our traditional side, the suite had very high ceilings, black distress-painted tables and solid oak wainscoting. The more modern touches included fun little star lights above the bed, two flatscreen TVs and the bathrooms; which were done in mossy chocolate tiles with coordinating stone countertops, under mount sinks, contemporary chrome fittings and deep soaking tubs. The larger of the two bathrooms also had a rain shower.

And of course there was a mini-bar, this one being complimentary. It was filled each day with sweet and savory snacks, beer, soda, juice and yes, even the Evian flowed….well….like water.

Service/Meals

Service at this hotel was genuine and efficient. The maids were in and out of our room without our notice, providing excellent cleaning and turndown service. The concierges (front desk staff) however, were not perfect. They certainly knew the local area, which was great, but for any advice regarding other Paris restaurants, they referred guests to their copy of the Zagat guide. One staff member unfortunately sent us to the wrong restaurant (this is a long story related to multiple restaurants owned by the same person). This wouldn’t be such a problem if the one we were accidently sent to wasn’t so awful. We don’t recall seeing any Les Clefs d’Or keys on the “concierge” lapels, which was fine for us because we weren’t interested in chasing Michelin stars, but for others who take dining more seriously, this could be a problem.

It’s interesting that while there was no restaurant at Esprit Saint Germain, there was 24 hour room service. Breakfast in the breakfast room was wonderful, with the continental dishes presented on a buffet, and eggs and other hot items cooked to order. Considering this was not actually a restaurant, there was a lot of effort given to presentation with white linens, silver, lovely china, etc. The continental portion of the breakfast menu included wonderful baguettes, French cheeses, smoked meats, fresh squeezed juices, fresh fruits, French yogurts, local butter and croissants (which were surprisingly not as good as they could have been).

Local Area Highlights

Yes, we had fun! Here are a few of our neighborhood highlights.

  • Organ Mass at Saint Sulpice
  • Private guided tours of the Louvre and Notre Dame with Paris Muse
  • Violet religieuse (cream puff on steroids) from Laduree
  • Jardin Luxembourg picnic prepared by Gerard Mulot
  • Creperie Des Canettes
  • Boeuf Bourguignon at Chez Fernand

Overall

Our stay overall was very good and we accomplished what we set out to do….to make Mr. Ericka’s parents feel comfortable, un-intimidated, and delighted by this more simple, unassuming version of Paris. By choosing Esprit Saint Germain, we also spared them from what they would have felt was unnecessary nickel and diming that some of the better hotels are guilty of.

When our Notre Dame guide told us about the legend of the stone slab in front of Notre Dame (where anyone who taps their foot will someday return to Paris), we were tickled by how quickly Mr. Ericka’s mother had her foot on that stone!

Esprit Saint Germain

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Last edited by IBgkim; Nov 13, 14 at 6:00 pm
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Old Oct 29, 11, 5:55 pm
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informative as always
Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
24-hour complementary bar
from ~300 euros, at an urban property (in paris no less) with 31 rooms
Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
No, I take that back. The best part was the complimentary chocolat chaud (homemade hot chocolate) that the staff made on request. No nickel and diming here!
frothed milk etc? after my first one at the lodge, i had a bunch more
Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
legend of the stone slab in front of Notre Dame (where anyone who taps their foot will someday return to Paris), we were tickled by how quickly Mr. Ericka’s mother had her foot on that stone!
success!

private steam room and sauna "on reservation"
breakfast service without public restaurant PLUS 24 hour room service
conference room
(wonder if they allow nonguests, and how that works)

unfortunate the fireplace lounge isnt more of a living room
but some of the other boutiques have smaller common areas than Esprit st. Germain
dont think la reserve or hotel particulier pourtales have any

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Oct 29, 11 at 7:14 pm
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Old Oct 29, 11, 6:09 pm
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Ericka, thanks for a wonderful report. The hotel sounds quite inviting and I love the neighborhood. I'm so happy that your in-laws had a good time in Paris.
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Old Oct 29, 11, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by obscure2k View Post
Ericka, thanks for a wonderful report. The hotel sounds quite inviting and I love the neighborhood. I'm so happy that your in-laws had a good time in Paris.


Another practical report , makes me want to check it out too. Thanks for pioneering
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Old Oct 29, 11, 6:52 pm
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Ericka, your trip reports are always some of my favorite reads - but it was particularly nice to read this one, in view of the specific reason for choosing this hotel. Big for giving them a wonderful trip!
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Old Oct 29, 11, 7:20 pm
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Thanks so much for the informative report, Ericka. You provided an excellent jumping off point for those of us considering a Paris trip one day.
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Old Oct 29, 11, 7:36 pm
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This is a brilliant report, Ericka; your writing is wonderful and absolutely conveys a great picture of the hotel. Thank you for the time and effort you put in writing your reports!
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Old Oct 29, 11, 9:41 pm
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Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a decent alternative.
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Old Oct 30, 11, 5:36 am
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post

from ~300 euros, at an urban property (in paris no less) with 31 rooms
Just don't book the rooms available at this rate....they are teeny tiny. My understanding is the Prestige category and up is the way to go. We ended up at about $800 USD per night inclusive of the upgrade.
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Old Oct 30, 11, 5:39 am
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Thanks for the kind words everyone. It brightened my morning. We are currently without power horking Internet at Mcdonalds. I sure miss those Parisian breakfasts!
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Old Oct 30, 11, 9:50 am
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Thanks Ericka, great report as always. I stayed here two years ago when I took my niece for her 16th birthday and first trip to Paris. Liked the two living rooms downstairs and we spent a lot of time there while the other person showered and changed in our tiny room upstairs. We called the room with the toilet the punishment room, it was so small but the bath was huge and well done with a window that opened on a classic view of Paris. The room was small but very well designed and staff was very helpful with one or two major mistakes having to do with our lack of speaking French. Location is great!

Last edited by zigzag; Oct 30, 11 at 9:51 am Reason: spelling
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Old Oct 30, 11, 10:58 am
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Thanks for putting this place on my radar screen, Ericka, as I had never heard of it, and would love a nice Left Bank bolt hole. (L'Hotel is the only place I have stayed on that side and it is problematic.) are there any other Left Bank hotels that would rival Esprit St Germain, I wonder?
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Old Oct 30, 11, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by Groombridge View Post
are there any other Left Bank hotels that would rival Esprit St Germain, I wonder?
I have really enjoyed the Relais Christine though it has been some years since I stayed there. Here's a bit more information about it. It's small, intimate, and comfortable.
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Old Oct 30, 11, 11:54 am
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espirit st germain >

(zigzag above)

Originally Posted by wripro View Post
If you don't mind being on the Left Bank (and you shouldn't, it's not far from the Eiffel Tower) check out the Esprit Saint Germain. This is a boutique hotel but very service oriented with parlors that offer complimentary champagne and other drinks and snacks all day long. For 400 euros you should be able to get a deluxe room.
example of another >

Originally Posted by nba1017 View Post
You may want to take a look at Hotel Relais St. Germain. It's more of a four-star boutique than a bonafide five-star property, but I really enjoy it, and have a couple friends who absolutely swear by it. Also, if you're vacationing with a wife/significant other then I think it really hits the whole 'romance and relaxation in Paris' theme well. Great restaurant downstairs, lovely small lobby that feels like a clubby living room. It's also very nicely priced (I've stayed in their terrace suite, which, though not really a suite, was around 400euro and decorated in contemporary style, but not overwhelmingly so). Location is one of the better ones in the city.

Don't book anything smaller than a junior suite though.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Oct 30, 11 at 11:59 am
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Old Oct 31, 11, 7:01 pm
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Pavillion de la Reine in Le Marais (not left bank) is perhaps another small interesting hotel in a unique Paris arrondissement.

Laurence, the owner of Esprit Saint Germain is a wonderful lady with a lot of charm and class. She has built a great team at her hotel. The only thing better than suite 101 is the ones with the small terrace. A bottle of wine out on that deck at sundown is a fun experience.
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