The last several weeks have been crazy busy due to the usual back-to-school frenzy and a rather gigantic kidney stone that had to be removed. One of the things that I had wanted to share with you after my trip to France was a recommendation for an inexpensive, yet very pleasant hotel in Paris. And no, those two words don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
I usually look for small, charming hotels, independent properties that are run by their owners. This year, when I searched on TripAdvisor, I sorted the thousands of options by highest rating first. Among the hotels that cost $1,000 or more a night was one that cost a tenth of that price. Since the name was Hôtel Joke, I thought this couldn’t be serious, but all the customer reviews were glowing, so I took a chance. The hotel is located in the 9th Arrondissement, south of Sacré Cœur. I haven’t spent much time there over the years and I wanted to check out a new neighborhood before my summer job started.
I arrived earlier than the scheduled check-in time. After a short wait in the breakfast area (where snacks are available free of charge all day long), I was given the keys to a bright, modern room that was decorated in the hotel’s witty style. There was a fridge that was fully stocked with free water bottles and soft drinks and it was restocked every day. The bathroom had a tub and shower combo to help soak away my jet lag. My only complaint was that there was a spot of mold on the grout that should have been zapped away. A continental breakfast was included, complete with yogurt, fromage blanc, cheeses, cold cuts, fresh and dried fruit, cereal, eggs, breads, pastries, coffee, tea, juices and probably several other things I’m forgetting. Best of all, the room was really quiet and AIR CONDITIONED during a heat wave.
In addition to all the in-house freebies, Hôtel Joke is one of a group of sixteen Paris hotels owned by Astotel. Guests have the right to use the refreshment area in any of the other properties. All of the 3- or 4-star hotels are on the Right Bank of the Seine. They gave me a card with all of the addresses and I did pop into one on a particularly hot day when I had run out of water. It was a nice perk.
Even though it wasn’t my usual type of hotel, I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again or recommend it to others. Et ce n’est pas une blague (And that’s no joke.)