Westin Vendôme – Paris, France

It's day eighteen (for me) in the A-Z blog challenge! This month I'll be sharing all about my Christmas/New Year travels in NYC and Europe – providing insight into the places I went, reviewing the hotels I stayed at, and telling my story. Today's letter is V for Westin Vendôme the name of the last hotel we stayed at in Paris before returning home. Feel free to follow along as I make my way through the alphabet! :)


Destination: Paris, France
Date: January 2016
Hotel: Westin Vendôme
Brand: Starwood
Elite Status: Preferred
# of travelers: 2
nights: 1

Hotel: Making the Decision

If you recall from my Paris hotel stays in December (here and here), I was particularly interested in staying at the Hyatt Vendôme. When that didn't work out, my next choices were: a room with a view or Christmas decorations. Being January, I didn't expect Christmas decorations to play into my choice, so then it became about the view. And, perhaps lessly, the location. The Westin Vendôme is located in arrondissement one which basically put us in the center of town.

Getting There + Location

Justin and I took the train to Paris center and from there grabbed a cab, as we had become used to doing. The cab ride to our hotel was quick, easy, and painless, but I do want to mention that the cab ride from our hotel back to the airport was a bit of a pain.

On the way to our hotel, Justin made conversation with the driver a third in French, a third in German, and a third in English. It was great fun as he was an older man who had only recently moved to Paris and dreamed of coming to the United States; there was a lot to talk about! And a lot of laughter as the three of us tried to work through language barriers …

But our ride from the hotel to the airport was not quite as nice. We had only enough money to get us from the hotel to the airport, and because we had made a similar drive before (to the Intercontinental Le Grand), we had a rough estimate of how much the total should have been. Of course, we were also very tired from staying up waaaaayyyyy too late the night before. (It was our last night in Paris! We had to!) So when the driver picked us up, we didn't confirm that he took credit card; we should have. We got to the airport and were told a fee much higher than we could have ever expected! And, of course, as we pull out the Euros we have to pay it, the driver sees Justin's American dollars in his wallet. :( He then explains that he will take American dollars in exchange for what we don't have in Euros; he's going to the US to visit his brother and they will come in handy. Of course, his exchange rate is far above what the current exchange rate is, so we lost a good chunk of change in that transaction and ended up leaving the country feeling screwed over by the French. :(

But no worries though! I'm not easily diswayed; I will return again!

Anyway, assuming you feel like dealing with cab drivers (who may or may not rip you off), that is always an option. Or you can get lost on the Metro … Ride in a bus … or take a train. There are a myriad of ways to get to the center of Paris! You just have to pick one! :)


Checking In & Porter

As we arrived to our hotel, the porter was there to greet us and take our luggage. He then waited off to the side while we spoke with the front desk clerk. She said there was one room with a view available on a higher floor, but that the room was awfully small; did we maybe want a room on a lower floor? Because we wanted to take advantage of our remaining time in Paris, Justin said that we would go take a look and let her know if we changed our mind after that.

So, that's just what we did!

The porter led the way through a lot of winding halls (the hotel was a maze!) until he got to our room. Holding the door open with one hand, he ushered us in to take a look around.

We decided the room was fit for a king (or us) and decided to stick with it.


Room, View, Amenities, & Lobby

The entrance to the room had very tiny halls that made it difficult to get our luggage into the room. Somehow we managed though! Once you got past the tiny hall with a door leading to a decent sized bathroom (with all of the hygienic goodies you could possibly desire – soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, iron, etc…), the hall funneled out into a larger room leading to … A BALCONY! Woot! :)

And lucky us! We made it just in time to see sunset!

Only, unfortunately, we had to move a large desk to get to our balcony view. (Did the room really need a desk?!)

Overall I'd have to say that the room we received was probably larger than what you would typically find in Parisian hotels, but not nearly as big as the room we received at The Brighton, a hotel just down the street. And the view was very similar to The Brighton as well. For the money, it's possible that The Brighton is a better fit for my husband and myself, but I could see the Westin Vendôme being great for people with status in the SPG program and for those wanting to rack up or use up points. The rooms were very nice and much prettier than anything The Brighton had to offer.

Even the lobby had lots of room to spread out at tables and on couches.

Chandeliers, flowers, and decorative architecture made the hotel seem incredibly grand and perfect for a person who is visiting the hotel on a fancy holiday or for a honeymoon.

Be sure to join the SPG program before visiting this hotel if you want access to the free wifi!

view from room

Checking Out

Justin and I didn't stick around the hotel for too long; we had Paris to explore! We found ourselves back at Galeries Lafayette where we bought Justin a fancy French coat on sale and ate a small dinner of macaroni, a hot tomato and cheese croissant, and … something else (Obviously it wasn't good; otherwise I'd remember what it was!) before going to a show at the Moulin Rouge, getting a late night dessert outside of the Eiffel Tower, and taking in the delicious stars as we made our way back to the hotel.

Packing was less than fun. We had to somehow get all of our newly acquired French souvenirs equally separated among three bags for our flight. Paying an extra baggage fee that we could (not so) easily avoid sounded like a better option… Only as it turns out, we had to pay it anyway. *shrugs*

But overall, the checking out itself wasn't bad. We were in line behind one person and while we were waiting a porter came by to grab our luggage. When our turn came, Justin handed over our key to the front desk, settled our bill, and then we were on our way! There was a cab waiting right outside the hotel to take us directly to the airport. :)

Sidenote: We were told it takes approximately 45 minutes to get from the hotel to the airport, so keep that in mind if you visit this hotel. :)

A big building and a crazy amount of rooms as well!

Overall Review
★★★ (average)

Customer service was handled excellently at this hotel. It was nice being given room options and having the opportunity to view our room choices before we settled on one that we might not be (as) happy with. The rooms were large and spacious, but not nearly as big as what The Brighton offered just a hop, skip, and jump away. Plus, the hallway maze we found particularly confusing; it was like (shock and surprise) their goal was to fit as many rooms as possible into the building to make as much money on guests as possible with less emphasis on room size comfort. (Crazy assumption, right?) The Brighton, for a lower price, provides approximately the same view and a much larger balcony that you don't have to move a desk to get to. (That was frustrating!) However, The Brighton does not offer the opportunity to earn or burn points, does not focus on making the rooms look fancy, nor does it offer an upscale restaurant, pool, spa, or a large lobby with ballrooms for parties and celebrations. So, basically, it comes down to what you are wanting from your money. I have a feeling though, that if you go during an off season (like we did in January), you are more likely to get the customer service you desire and an upgrade that you might during other times of the year.

Your Turn

What is your experience in traveling during the off-season? Have you noticed you are more likely to get upgrades and better customer service? If you've never traveled during what is considered the off-season, would you consider it if you thought you might get better customer service or upgrades?



  1. The Place Vendôme is a great place to stay, and very central so you can walk almost anywhere. People often forget how relatively small Paris is.

    I love travelling in the off season, I almost always do, but August is also a good month for Paris. All the Parisians leave for their own holidays!

    1. I had heard that August was when all of the French left on holidays, but I thought that meant there was less available to do? Like shops and restaurants were closed and such? Was that your experience?

  2. This is a great review, very informative. I think your room looks pretty palatial by Parisian standards, and that view is to die for. Interesting comparison with The Brighton though, if you went back which would you stay in?

    I personally find that even the winter in Paris is high season, and I've never got an upgrade or anything like that. Maybe one day!

    1. If I had points and could stay for free, this would probably win out, BUT, due mostly to cost, I'd probably stay at The Brighton for any other stay. :) Thanks for asking.

      I've only been to Paris twice, and only received upgrades consistently during one of the two stays, the one in winter, so I assumed I was visiting during a low season. But maybe not?

      Are you a member of any hotel chains to help get points and fund your travels? Or do you stay mostly at hostel-type places? I follow a lot of travel blogs (yours included!) and have found that it's pretty easy to get status with a chain and then you are more likely to get upgraded when you stay at the hotels within that chain. The only caveat is that you don't get the same experience that hostels, independently owned hotels and B&Bs, and rental properties (AirBnb and the like) provide.


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