Finding a good hotel for a fair price is not the most easy task in Paris, especially if you are looking for a hotel not too far from the Gare du Nord which was the case this time. We’ve stayed in Paris so many times and we try a new hotel every time. I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at ZE Hôtel at the beginning of March and I thought we had found our new regular Paris hotel.
The receptionist was friendly and the decoration in the rooms was very cool. It looked as if it had been renovated a short while ago. We had to take two rooms but the rooms were connecting so that was perfect. The price was average and the hotel was a mere ten minutes walk from the Gare du Nord.
I don’t like staying too close to train stations in large towns in general cause it can look a bit sketchy, but when we travel early we don’t want to be too far either so this was the perfect location. We walked up to Montmartre, a nice walk of less than 15 minutes. You can also easily walk towards the Opera (20 minutes) or even the Louvre (25 to 30 minutes). ZE Hôtel Paris is close enough to be able to walk to the station with our suitcases but far enough to enjoy a lovely area.
We had room 1 and 2 on the ground floor, next to the lounge and breakfast area. As I said, I really loved the decoration in both rooms. It was design and cute, nice colors and the bathrooms (with shower) were very nice. The rooms were average sized which is a plus point in Paris as well, as the hotel rooms are often very small. The Wifi was extremely bad which I still don’t really get as our rooms where very close to the reception.
The music in the breakfast area/lobby did wake us up early in the morning so if I would have returned, I wouldn’t have taken the ground floor rooms anymore. I did not hear any noise from the street though, which is good. It’s a small calm street and the windows are thick. So yes, we were all happy in our rooms until we went to bed in the evening. No problem in one of the two rooms but in the other room, where my smallest son and I were sleeping, we found ants in bed.
I did not see them at first but one of the ants stung/bit (?) my son and he was itching so we put the lights back on and saw there were a few small black ants between the sheets and on our pillows. I looked and could not see an ant trail of any kind so I thought there were just like 3 in the bed. But when I took them away, we saw more ants on the little couch and on the floor. I told the night receptionist who gave me new sheets. He was friendly and took away some ants but then we kept seeing new ones so he did not seem to know what to do.
There were no ants in the other room and my small one didn’t want to sleep in the ‘ant-bed’ anymore. We ended up sleeping/camping on a mattress on the floor in the room of my other kids. We got the matrass and sheets from the receptionist and had to make the bed up ourselves. My other kids were already sleeping. Let’s say it wasn’t very comfortable cause we had to climb over the mattress ss to get to the toilet and we couldn’t close the middle door as the mattress was too large so the automatic lamp kept switching on and off all night. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very well…
Anyway you know, this kind of thing can happen I gather but what got me angry was the reaction of the receptionist the next morning. Oh, and I can’t tell you about breakfast as we decided not to eat there after the ants thing. We got breakfast at a great bakery in Montmartre called Le Grenier à Pain (38 Rue des Abbesses) and ate it on a bench in the sun. It was so good!!
Not very professional
So the next morning, when I went to check out, the receptionist (whom I had not seen before) did not say a word about the whole thing. I ask him “did you hear about the ants last night?”. He tells me that if he sees an ant in his house, he cleans it up and goes to sleep. “well, yes ok, but this is not your house and it was not 1 ant”.
Then he goes on telling me that he would have done things very differently than his collegue. He would have given us another room, he would have closed the room, I don’t know what he would have done, he was rambling on and on. And really, I did not really care, as he was not there and his collegue was. If he thinks things should have been done differently, he should talk about that to his collegue, not to me.
So at that point, I still did not get a small ‘sorry, hope you slept well’ or something like that. And the receptionist says ‘anyway, you will have to pay for both rooms’. I had not asked for a refund and I started getting irritated. He went on about ‘if I had a complaint and wanted a refund, that he could not do anything about it. I had to email the manager etc etc’.
We left and once at home, I wrote the manager an email. Mostly telling him I did not appreciate the reaction of the receptionist and that yes, it would have been the thing to do, to refund part of one one of the rooms – but at least to apologize. However, I did not receive an answer. Radio silence from ZE Hôtel. I find that very unprofessional so I would never go back which is a pity because it’s not because of the ants but because of the reaction afterwards.
So, we’ll just have to try another hotel next time we go to Paris. Any tips for nice Paris hotels not too far from Gare du Nord? I had gotten a tip about Hotel Panache, not far from ZE Hôtel, so we might try that one next time – as it was fully booked this time.