The Le Meridien Etoile Paris, a Starwood property located in the 17th arrondissement and not far from the Champs Elysees, was a pleasant surprise for me. I had stayed at the hotel about a decade ago and had been wholly unimpressed with the service and room (It didn’t help that I had started the stay by tripping down their lobby stairs.). This time around, though, they got it right. My stay was in October for a conference.
Le Meridien Etoile is about a 45 minute drive from the airport and reasonably well-placed in the 17th arrondissement. A quick walk around the area revealed several restaurants, shops and a small farmer’s market. The hotel is less than a mile from the Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe, but many of the most famous sites of Paris are within a few miles of the property. If it’s a nice day, consider walking to the Champs Elysees and follow Paris’s most famous street to your destination. If it’s not, hop in a cab and observe the time-honored tradition of watching your “Joe le Taxi” yell at everyone around them. It’s even better if you speak French so you can participate.
Efficient and friendly. The lobby certainly has more character than the last time I was here and it was nice to have so much open space. The check-in area was off to the left. I speak passable French but, even if you don’t, it’s not a problem, because everyone at the desk spoke flawless English. Many were native French folks but there was also a mix of foreigners, in particular, Americans, working at check-in. I arrived at the hotel shortly before 11 am but they had a room ready for me. Even better was that they had upgraded me to a small suite.
Small but functional. My suite was a standard room with a living room attached, and I’m not sure that I even used the living room while I was there. The bed itself was quite comfortable and there was a small desk in the corner. The bathroom was also nice, but I dislike the “half-door” showers that they have.
The only real issue I had with the room was the poor lighting. As is the case with many European hotels, you need to stick your key card into a slot on the wall before the lights and air conditioning go on, but truthfully, I could have left the card out and not been much worse off. I spent a lot of time in the room with all the lamps on.
Le Meridien Etoile is a city hotel, so the facilities were built to maximize the use of space. The gym was small, but there was rarely anyone in it, so that didn’t present a problem. I only ate breakfast at the hotel, which was a chaotic experience of navigating a buffet with fruit, cheeses, bread, etc. (and the orange juice was freshly squeezed). Even though it was a buffet, the food was of reasonably good quality – the French know how to do breakfast. With everyone eating at the same time, there were people running everywhere, but I rarely had to wait more than a few minutes.
The amenities weren’t necessarily the strength of the hotel, but you should be able to get whatever you need.
Very good. Everyone whom I met was friendly and helpful. It was definitely a different Meridien Etoile from the last time that I had visited.
Strong. I paid a little over 200 Euros for the room, including breakfast, and was very happy overall. I would definitely return to the hotel. It provided an excellent combination of a functional room, great service and a fine location. And the extra SPG points didn’t hurt, either.