There are three Golden Tulip hotels in Paris. The Little Palace one is across a very short street, Salomon De Caus (a French engineer from the early 17th century who at one time was thought to have invented the steam engine) from a park (locked at night) named for De Caus in the third arondissement, between the Marais and Beaubourg neighborhoods.
The hotel is a five-minute walk from the Centre Pompidou, the garishly colored monstrosity that houses the national collection of modern art, a fifteen-minute walk from the Ile de la Cite (the island in the Seine most famed for the Cathedral of Notre Dame, along with Saint Chapelle and the police headquarters from which George Simenon’s (fictitious) Chief Inspector Maigret worked).
And it is a block and a half from two different Metro stops: Arts et Metiers and Faubourg Saint Denis. We got from the hotel to Charles De Gaulle Airport on the Metro, changing trains at Gare du Nord, in half an hour. (Above ground, it takes longer.)
The Golden Tulip Little Palace is centrally located. It is also a pleasant place in which to stay with friendly, helpful desk staff who are fluent in English.
With 53 rooms and four suites, I think it qualifies as a boutique hotel. The building is roughly a century old with wrought iron and marble balconies. The decor is less Belle Epoque than Vienna Secession, with large reproductions of Klimts in the lobby. I didn’t recognize the woman whose image was over our beds (see the second photo) or who rendered her two-dimensional, and found the reflection of her in the mirror over the desk somewhat unsettling. The ceiling lights focused on her and the bedside lamps were too weak to read without having the ceiling light turned on.
The rooms are small — as are those in the grand apartment buildings of central Paris. When they were remodeled, the use of space was better planned than is the case in the hotels in which we stayed in the south of France that were somewhat larger in terms of square meters.
A pentagonal bathroom was in the corner of the room. It was too small to have a tub (or a bidet). The translucent shower doors did not seal, so that water easily got out if the detachable showerhead was aimed at the doors rather than the walls, plus there was space under the shower doors. The doors between the bathroom and bedroom also did not seal and also had space underneath, though water did not get out of the bathroom.
The bathroom sported a modern hair-dryer (in contrast to the 1960s-vintage ones we were getting used to seeing in the south of France) and a large shaving/makeup mirror. One bottle of very blue shower gel and one of a more reassuringly golden-colored shampoo were provided, along with large and thick bath towels.
The twin beds were shoved together in the European manner. Each had a duvet — rather than a sheet and blanket. I invariably find a duvet too warm, but was grateful that the French do not seem to favor the extra-long pillows that are standard in Germany.
The mattresses were firm. The inadequacy of the low-wattage incandescent light bulbs, I’ve already mentioned.
I was delighted that there were places for two bags to be opened. One of my pet peeves with most hotels (American or Asian or European) is that most often there is only one luggage rack. The room in the Golden Tulip Little Palace had wooden extensions of the desk on which to place suitcases.
There was a real closet (not an armoire) in which there was a safe. In addition to a padded desk chair, there was one armchair).
The cable tv included BBC world news. There was free high-speed Internet access provided by the City of Paris rather than the hotel.
The included breakfast buffet included fresh fruit (bananas, apples, kiwi fruit) and the usual cold meats and cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, several kinds of breads and baguettes and pain chocolate (sometimes called “chocolate croissants”here, though never croissant shaped in my experience), yogurt, orange juice, tea or caf au lait.
Our mini -balcony had shutters (which, even more than the shower and bathroom door, did not seal). With thick curtains, there was no light from outside (though the television had an unusually bright red light glowing or glowering).
The single, tiny elevator worked fine. We did not have either heat or air-conditioning, but at least there was some ventilation (in contrast to our frustrating experiences in hotels in the south of France in the preceding weeks). A Frenchman who had lived some years in the US told us that the French are not good at elevators and air-conditioners, an assessment with which I readily agree.
The rate for a double room, including the breakfast buffet was 150 euros.