Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hotel Review: Le Scribe Paris

Location: Opéra, Paris
Rating: ** (2 out of 5)

Managed by the Sofitel hotel chain, Le Scribe touts itself as a luxury five-star hotel in the bustling Opéra district. It is housed in a 19th Century building where, in 1895, the Lumiére Brothers screened the first motion picture in history. To preserve the historic building, the hotel completed a full renovation in 2007 and added a new spa, sauna and fitness center.

Le Scribe, Paris

It all sounded very good. But when my taxi pulled up in front of the supposed five-star hotel, instead of being greeted by a bell boy, I found myself elbowing my way through a narrow foyer packed with annoyed tourists. Neither the small lobby nor the understaffed front desk is equipped to handle a high volume of guests. And so I waited, while a small village of Arab women in full headdresses argued with hotel staff in broken French and sign language. A few steps away, an Italian tour group started singing children’s songs in protest.

The undersized, understaff reception

The next shock was the room. It was so small that the only way to open my suitcase was to place it on the bed. As if to re-create the ambience of a 19th Century prison cell, the only window to the outside world was a round hole 18 inches in diameter overlooking the noisy hotel restaurant on the ground floor. It made me want to turn around and check in somewhere else. It also made me wonder about the hotel rating system in Europe.

A room without a view

The only thing going for Le Scribe, and the only reason why I didn’t give it a one-star rating, is its location. In the heart of Paris, it is walking distance to shoppers’ paradises like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps -- the Harrods and Sak’s Fifth Avenue of Paris – as well as must-see tourist sights such as Le Palais Garnier, Musée du Louvre, Place Vendôme  and Champs Élysées.

If you want to get a real five-star experience in the Opéra district and are willing to pay for it, you should know that right across the street from Le Scribe is the renowned Intercontinental Le Grand, where the who’s who of Paris can be seen getting dropped off by their limousines. Now that’s a luxury hotel.

A much more welcoming room at
the Intercontinental Le Grand across the street

3 comments:

  1. Such gorgeous architecture! Oops, 2 out of 5 only...

    Tara

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  2. Being in a Hotel is somewhat we looking for when we were in our vacation, after all the activities, were looking for a place to relax for the night. The most unforgettable experience i had is when I'm in Five Star London, very convenient and relaxing. ^^

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