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Wednesday 10 April 2013

A Paris hotel to cross off the list

In need of a Paris hotel near Gare du Nord for a one-night stay prior to a morning departure on Eurostar, I booked myself into the recently-opened Mercure Gare du Nord La Fayette, just 400 meters from the station. 

So what could possibly go wrong? Particularly as the hotel room was exactly as advertised for  129 a night - and there was free wifi. 

I arrived in a taxi from Gare du Lyon and the driver had no change for a  50 (no surprise) so I popped into the hotel to ask for change. First problem. The only guy on check-in was on a phone call - and he wasn't going to interrupt it for a mere guest. 

I stood for five minutes with the taxi driver losing his patience - and then the dude said he was unable to change a 50. OK, I said. Just give me 10 so I can pay the driver and I'll leave my bags (and phone) here while I go and break the 50. No deal. 

I eventually got change by walking down the road in the rain to a nearby supermarket. So far, so dismal. It then took four attempts at getting a key card for the room that actually worked - and three return trips to level 5 with anger increasing with each one. Zero staff care factor. 

Then, when I checked out, the only staff member on duty in the morning held me up for 10 minutes because he refused to believe I had paid in advance - even though I showed him the confirmation on my phone. 

There is very poor staff attitude here - much more training is needed. Despite the great location and clean, functional rooms I would not use this hotel again.

Mercure Gare du Nord La Fayette, 175 Rue la Fayette  75010 Paris, France. +33 1 44 89 89 10.


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