Choosing a hotel for a city trip is fraught with problems. I don’t want something too small, too cruddy, too expensive, too noisy or too out of the way. We hit the jackpot on our recent working trip to Paris, staying at the Sofitel La Defense for five nights.
The Sofitel La Defense is a five star just outside Paris in a business district a bit like Canary Wharf in London, but much easier to get to. The beauty of it is, it is two minutes’ walk from the line one metro line and so ten minutes from George V station.
We booked through Last Minute and got a ‘top-secret 5 star mystery’ hotel. (It’s not that difficult to find out which one it is before committing.)
Since Paris copes with the odd heatwave as poorly as London, we needed good air-conditioning. At our Sofitel, it was whisper quiet and efficient. We had a superior room, with massive and very comfortable bed and excellent bathroom. Actually, it was a shower room – there was no bath – but I prefer a shower on a work trip and a standalone shower to one over the bath. Wi-Fi is complimentary – we had three devices and they were fine. The mini bar is laughingly expensive –as is room service – but we did indulge on our first night and had an excellent freshly cooked pizza, which we shared, delivered on a linen covered tray with glasses of iced water and a basket of baked in-house bread served with quality butter, both salted and unsalted.
The surrounding area consists of a pedestrian zone of high-rise office blocks and apartments with gardens and play facilities for children. Ten minutes walk through the gardens leads to The Arch, where there is also a shopping mall with various fast food outlets. An Auchan store is here too so we stocked up on soft drinks, bottled water and yoghurts that we kept in our fridge.
The metro stop is a very short walk from the hotel. We bought a batch of ten tickets, each one good for a single journey, making each metro trip around £1.
Underneath the hotel are a few fast food restaurants. They are not busy in the evening, but we had a decent meal at both the Lebanese and the American burger bar.
There is a bar downstairs at the hotel and an Italian restaurant, neither of which we visited.
The staff at the hotel are extremely friendly and welcoming. This includes reception staff, housekeeping and the porter. I had to keep reminding myself I was in Paris. We were allowed a late checkout at 1pm that fitted in with our flight time back home.
A cab to the airport was 60 euros, our only extravagance.
I heartily recommend a stay here, especially if you can get a deal.