For this tour, we will be staying in two different hotels. We start by staying in Paris for 4 nights. Actually, most of us will be there longer than that, since we will be arriving early, but the tour portion is four nights. After that, we will move on to Mont Saint Michel for a night, then come back to Paris. In this post, I thought I would introduce you to our hotels.
Hotel St. Petersbourg
Our time in Paris will be at the Hotel St. Petersbourg Opera. I picked this hotel because it is a very nice 4-star hotel in a great location. It is highly rated by all the travel websites you know:
- 4.5 stars (out of 5) with 1662 reviews on Tripadvisor.
- 4.4 stars (out of 5) with Excellent rating on Expedia.
- 8.8 rating (out of 10) with Fabulous rating on Hotels.com.
Most important, from my standpoint, is that I have personally stayed with on a prior trip with my family, and found it to be a great place to stay. I wanted to the hotel we are staying in the longest to be one I was personally familiar with. Out of the 8 or 9 places I have stayed in Paris, this has been my favorite.
The building is old, so it has some character. It pre-dates 1870, which is referred to as the Second Empire (under Napoleon III). At the same time, it has all the modern touches. It underwent a complete 7-year restoration process between 2013 and 2020.
One of the best aspects of this hotel is the location. Here’s why:
Metro Stations: One of the best ways to get around Paris is by the Metro, widely considered the best public transportation system in Europe. We will make liberal use of it. There are four stations covering 6 lines of the system within easy walking distance of this hotel. They are:
- Auberg Station (RER line A): 600 feet away (3 minute walk)
- Opera Station (lines 3, 7, and 8): 800 feet away (4 minute walk)
- Havre Caumartin Station (lines 3 and 9): 900 feet away (4 minute walk)
- Madeline Station (lines 8, 12, and 14): .3 miles away (6 minute walk)
Walking: Paris is a walking city. The center is compact and there are so many things to see that a walk will usually let you see many things (and some great things you didn’t expect). This hotel is easy walking distance to many things you will want to see and places you will want to hang out. Some of those are:
- Opera Garnier: 700 feet away (3 minute walk)
- Printemps: 900 feet away (4 minute walk)
- Galleries Lafayette: .3 miles away (7 minute walk)
- Place Vendome: .3 miles away (8 minute walk)
- Place de la Concorde: .6 miles away (14 minute walk)
- Tuileries: .8 miles away (17 minute walk)
- The Louvre: 1 mile away (24 minute walk)
Cafes: No visit to Paris is complete without some time spent in Paris’s cafes. Our hotel will be very close to many cafes as well. Within 50 feet of our hotel are 3 cafes:
- Paris Auber: Across the Street
- Cafe Viandes de Qualite Restaurant: 2 doors down
- Le Clos Bourguignon: 3 doors down
Within 2 blocks of our hotel there are easily 10 other places to eat and drink.
La Mere Poulard
Next up is our visit to Mont Saint Michel. Because I believe that the best part of Mont Saint Michel is after the tourists are gone (and before they arrive), we are going to pack up and change hotels. Our hotel will actually be on the island, within the walls of Mont Saint Michel.
There are only 3 hotels on Mont Saint Michel, all of them 3-star places. All are part of the historical structure of the Mont, so be prepared for some peculiarities. There will be some stairs, it will be a bit cramped, and the layout will be unusual. Remember we are staying in a 1000-year old structure!
La Mere Poulard is the closest hotel to the entrance of Mont Saint Michel. This is important because we will have to walk a bit with whatever luggage you bring with you.
You cannot drive all the way up to Mont St. Michel. The parking facility is about a mile away, which you can walk, but there is also a shuttle bus. This bus will drop us off on the causeway to Mont Saint Michel and we will have to walk a few hundred yards to the entrance. The good news is that our hotel will be right at the entrance, which keeps you from having to drag your luggage up the cobblestone paths.
La Mere Poulard presents the best location for photographers on the island. The hotel itself offers some great views of the surrounding landscape. The stairs to the ramparts are very close. Perhaps most importantly, the location near the entrance makes it easy to get outside the walls for photo opportunities when you see the best conditions.
Finally, while there is certainly nothing Michelin-starred on the island, La Mere Poulard does place an emphasis on food, particularly its breakfasts. The omelets are supposed to be famous.
Return to Hotel St. Petersbourg
When we return to Paris, we will go back to the Hotel St. Petersbourg. The good news about this is that you can leave some of your luggage there, and won’t have to lug it to Mont Saint Michel. You can check in with the front desk, or we will actually maintain a room there so you can leave it with us.