WHY YOU SHOULD STAY IN PORTE DE VERSAILLES (with MEDIAN HOTELS)
When planning your dream trip to Paris I can almost guarantee the sheer amount of gorgeous Instagram pics of bloggers staying in hotels or apartments with wrought iron balconies and pristine views of the Eiffel Tower are what will come to your mind. This is the dream for a lot of people, what they want to wake up to in the mornings, and what they hope they can also post on the ‘gram’.
Don’t get me wrong I would have loved to stay in a place like that but when you tend to travel for 2+ weeks at a time that doesn't always work into the budget. If only I was a celebrity...
Being completely transparent I moved around, a lot, in order to maximize the time I had in France while also saving a bulk of my money for drinking and eating (this is France after all). But I'm here to tell you, this was a mistake. I’m all for saving money, but to also save your sanity I would suggest picking one or two places you can justify the price on, over more than moving every couple nights.
This is where the phrase “location, location, location” comes in. Paris is a large city with so many great neighborhoods to explore and the Porte de Versailles district (which is only 20 minutes via the Metro from the Eiffel Tower) was an area I was glad to experience.
About the district
Although there are no major landmarks or sights in the district, this is what makes it easy to slip into the local life. There’s no catering to the tourists here, just good, old fashioned Parisian life. And really this is what you want, isn't it?
Throughout the quiet residential streets and squares you’ll find an assortment of boulangeries, epiceries and cafés. If you’re looking for greenspace you can head to the Seine and relax in Parc André Citroën, or the 8 hectare / 19.5+ acre Parc Georges Brassens on the eastern edge of the district where you can find ponds, climbing stones, beehives, plant gardens and a vineyard! These parks help make the district just a little more “Parisian”.
Whether you’re off to a convention or are looking to take in a sports game, Porte de Versailles has you covered with the Parc des Expositions (which is where most of the conventions, trade fairs and exhibitions are held) and the Palais des Sports.
Rue de Vaugirard is the longest street in Paris running through both the 6th and 15th arrondissements and happens to end in this district. Starting at Luxembourg Gardens and finishing at Chez Clement it’s the perfect way to walk to and from your hotel through Paris (if you make the time). The junction with Rue de la Convention is also the centre of the district, so don’t forget to pick up an espresso and a pastry, by now you definitely deserve it!
TIP TO NOTE: The Balard Metro station will most likely be your local Metro stop and is surrounded by a variety of great shops and food options.
The Median Hotel
When trying to figure out where to center yourself in Porte de Versailles I have two options for you, one is the OKKO Hotels (which I wrote about here) and the other is the Median Hotels. Which with only three locations in the group you know will be a personalized experience.
Catering to both business and leisure visitors the Median Hotels place comfort and convenience at the top of the list for their guests. Not only are the locations ideal when it comes to getting to and from the airport, the Porte de Versailles location was the perfect base for getting to Château de Versailles (aka the palace of Versailles), as it's just a short trolley ride to the Javal station, followed by a 20 minute ride on the RER C train.
The meeting room (located on the 2nd floor) doubles as the perfect space for business and leisure travelers as you can utilize the room for meetings, or for those looking for an activity the hotel offers pop-up fitness classes.
Also airing on the side of convenience, complimentary WiFi is offered throughout the hotel and as they don’t make you use a special password while you’re in your room you can browse freely no matter where you decide to sit down and relax.
A breakfast buffet is offered every morning and includes eggs, pastries, cheese and meat, pastries and an assortment of cold and hot beverages. Anyone who knows me well knows I will never turn down continental breakfast!
And don’t forget, before you head out for the evening you can stop by and enjoy a drink at the hotel’s bar!
Each of the rooms feature a piece of wall art to make your stay a little more unique. My room featured a great photo of a Paris Metro station which made me feel like I was actually staying in Paris and not just another generic hotel room.
The bed was large and perfectly comfortable and there was more storage space in the room than I am used to getting in hotel rooms. I mean if only all of my hotel rooms had a closet!
Finding out the rooms are also completely soundproof was a very welcome surprise. After all there is nothing worse than assuming you’ll get a good night’s sleep only to hear everything your neighbor is doing on the other side of the wall.
Each of the 128 rooms in the hotel feature a decently sized bathroom with a shower or bath, a private safe, flat screen TV with cable and a telephone.
The most amazing touch provided by the staff was a little pink bag waiting for me on my bed as I walked into the room. Upon opening it I found the cutest and most delicious box of assorted macarons! It was a nice touch, and when in Paris you can never have too many macarons!
The personalized customer service I received was top-notch!
Not only do they offer great package deals you don’t even have to leave your room to enjoy the breakfast buffet! Which I discovered after rolling over in bed (post breakfast time) and seeing the flyer next to the phone stating I could have it conveniently delivered to my room. Fail on my part but something I suggest you take advantage of!
Upon arriving Hélène Weiss, the Director of the hotel, gave me a tour of the property, and I was able to really see that they are continually working to improve the experience of all their guests.
Following the tour Hélène and I sat down to chat my first trip to France over delicious glasses of rosé and snacks. This is something by no means a hotel Director is required to do but she was more than happy to.
When Hélène found out that I had never tried pâté, and at that current moment (14 days into my trip) I still hadn’t even attempted to try it she made it her evening mission to give me my first pâté experience.
We walked down the road to a cute little local spot, whose name escapes me now, and I let Hélène take the reins. This was a true local spot that you would never find a tourist in. Small with less than 10 tables and not a lick of English being spoke inside the place (until I arrived, oops!) we continued into the evening trying two different pâtés washed down but an almost 2nd bottle of rosé. When in Paris!
Before I knew it, it was approaching midnight and we were walking back to the hotel. I have never experienced hospitality like this, in the states or any country I’ve traveled to thus far.
Time really does fly when you’re having fun.
BIG thank you to Hélène at Median Hotels for making my stay possible. As always all opinions are my own.
Don't forget to pin one of the images below!