on February 25, 2006
Unpretentious, yet elegant, and of the highest quality, the newly renovated Renaissance Vendome (a Marriott property) was the perfect choice of lodging. We used Marriott points for 5 of our 6 night stay, and were upgraded to a prestige room for no extra charge. For our extra night they charged us the same rate as for a deluxe room, €269. The prices vary seasonally, and for certain weekends within the winter season. I have heard that if a lower price is found through another agency, Marriott will honor it.Hotel décor is modern and understated. Bathrooms are glass and marble; in the prestige room it was roomy with a shower separate from tub, and an awesome heated towel rack that came in handy for drying out wet clothes. Toiletries by Bulgari, in large sizes that last a few days. Turn down service included chocolate lollipops from a local chocolatier—yummy! The included a fridge with well-stocked mini-bar, and room service from hotel the restaurant was available.A unique feature of this hotel (and the reason I chose it) is the basement spa, which includes a pool, steam room, and sauna. We wore the robes and slippers provided in the room, and were able to take the elevator directly down to the basement spa area. The pool, though heated, was still a bit chilly for us Floridians, but the space was gorgeous—balmy air, and relaxing meditative music piped in. We used the steam room with the starry ceiling, the sauna, the huge showers down in the spa, and always had the place to ourselves. There are some exercise machines (treadmills, etc.) that looked nice, but who needs these when you're climbing all those stairs in the metro? The hotel staff used discreet separate entrances/elevators from guests—on the upper floors and in the spa they were invisible most of the time, and we felt like we had the hotel to ourselves.The staff was wonderful—friendly and ready with a "Bonjour Madame", or "Bonsoir Monsieur". Staff supplied us with a power converter, and if there was anything we needed in the rooms that maid service had forgotten, it was cheerfully supplied to us "tout de suite"!There is a coffee/cappuccino/hot chocolate machine just off the lobby that makes a delicious hot beverage with frothy milk! No need to have coffee maker in room.The hotel is in a great area—near shops on Rue de Rivoli and close to the Louvre and the Seine. It was the perfect location for our exploration of Paris, and a relaxing place to come back to after a rigorous day of walking and sightseeing!
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