On our recent three-generations family trip to Paris, we kicked off the trip with a bang on an award stay at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome.  However, we needed to move over to a Club Carlson property for two nights of the trip primarily in order to make my mom’s point balances stretch for the duration of their larger trip across Europe.  There are a few Club Carlson properties to pick from in Paris, but we went with the Radisson Blu Champs Elysees primarily thanks to its location and decent enough looking photos and reviews.  This post is dedicated to our experience at that property, but you can catch up some of the rest of our Paris family fun in these posts.

Planning a Family Trip to Paris

United BusinessFirst in two-cabin 767-300 With a Kid

Grandma’s First Business Class Flight

Review of the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

Disneyland Paris in a Day

The Lobby and Check-In:

My daughter and I took a cab from the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome with all of our bags to the Radisson Blu Champs Elysees, and found it a bit hard to find at first as it kind of blends in with all the other buildings on the street (which is a good thing), but eventually we were able to spot the sign.

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Upon pulling up, we were a bit surprised that there was no bellman to assist with bringing in bags, opening the door, etc.  That sort of thing isn’t crucial, but would have been helpful as we were also schlepping my mom’s and aunt’s bags while they were out sightseeing.  Coming from the Park Hyatt, we immediately realized this was going to be a bit of a downgrade in terms of service.  That wasn’t really new information, but this was a real and tangible reminder to reset expectations.

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Lobby bar area

We were there before noon, and a few hours before check-in time, so we weren’t too surprised when our room was not yet ready.  The hotel did store our bags for us so we could head out to the park, which was helpful.  Of note is that my mom was upgraded to a Business Class room thanks to her Gold status, and we were upgraded to what I assume was an Arc de Triomphe View Room, which is essentially…a room with a view.  The best perk of the business class room is typically the free breakfast, but my mom was told she didn’t get the free breakfast since her business class room was an upgrade and she didn’t pay for it.  In other words, Gold status likely kept both of us from getting the worst rooms in the house, but it didn’t result in anything super helpful like free breakfast.

The Room:

The room was not big, but was an adequate size for the two of us on a short stay – especially in a city like Paris where rooms are notoriously small. There was a bed, a small office desk, and a sitting chair that both my aunt and I fell out of as it sort of tipped you forward unless you were seated all the way at the back.

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There were wood floors and lots of natural light thanks to the glass balcony door.  There was also a mustardy-brown colored comforter that I very much did not like.  I think hotel bedding does much better when it is all white, but maybe that’s just me…

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The bed itself was pretty flimsy, and if I sat down on one side the other side sort of came up.  This didn’t really impact sleep too much since we were so freaking tired at bedtime, but it wasn’t very comfortable.  It felt more like a futon I probably slept on in college than a bed in a nice hotel.

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However, the view was something that was quite enjoyable.  Below are the views from the (very small) balcony if I looked left, and then of the Arc de Triomphe if I looked right.  Also visible from the balcony to the left was the top of the Eiffel Tower.  Being able to see the  twinkling lights at night from the room was pretty neat.

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The bathroom consisted of one sink and a shower/tub combo.

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At first glance the room and bathroom appeared not impressive, but not terrible.  However, it felt like a real downgrade coming from the Park Hyatt, which suddenly seemed like a palace now that we had changed hotels.  When you started to look closer you noticed things that didn’t appear to be very clean or well maintained.  Things were a bit rusty, leaky, dirty, scuffed, etc.

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The view was nice, the location was great, and the price on points was good, but the room was not my favorite.  I think that they could and should put some effort into updating and maintaining the rooms better than the current situation.

Dining:

We didn’t eat breakfast at the hotel since it was not included in the rate, but we did have dinner there one night as we were simply all too tired to venture elsewhere in the rain.  In fact, my daughter passed out on the couch in the lounge/bar area downstairs so we ate there instead of walking to the other side of the hotel to the actual restaurant.

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There were two menus – one for the bar and one for the restaurant, and they let us order off both of them.  My daughter had a burger and fries that I also munched on and I had this delicious concoction below.  Given our exhaustion level, and trying to take care of a dead tired four year old, I manged to end up with no notes of what we ate or other photos from the meal, but I do know that we enjoyed it more than expected and were grateful for the convenience.  I believe for the four of us ordering modestly it was around 100 Euros for dinner, and remember you can save money on your bill at restaurants in Club Carlson hotels in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific based on your elite status (15% for Gold members).  You need to ask for the discount and show your card when you request the bill.

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Also due to having Gold status we were given a bottle of water and some macarons the first night of our stay.  They weren’t quite as good as the food we had in the restaurant, but the water was much appreciated!

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Local Area:

The location of this hotel is just fantastic.  You are one side street away from the Champs Elysees, a short walk to several metro stations, and basically in the heart of Paris.  Anything you want to do is either within walking distance, a reasonable cab ride away, or accessible via a metro station.  There was even a cab waiting area close by on Champs Elysees, so catching a cab was quite simple.

There was a drug store with snacks and waters about three doors down and an Italian joint just next door, that wasn’t amazing, but was affordable and totally decent for an easy dinner.

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You Can Do it Too:

I would not pay the €250.00 – €500.00 per night prices that this hotel often goes for with cash, however I do think the points price can be good even with the current condition of the rooms, as long as you know what to expect going in.  The points rates have gone up since I booked my trip, but Club Carlson points are pretty easy to earn so that isn’t the end of the world.  The Classic Room now goes for 70,000 points per night and the Premium Award of 105,000 points per night will get you a Business Class room.

Radisson Blu Champs Elysees ReviewI have noticed this property playing “peak a boo” with award availability in the past where a basic rooms is available for sale but not available for booking with points.  This actually happened to us as well, so I emailed the property directly and they opened up the award availability.  This should be possible as Club Carlson advertizes “no blackout dates”.

Of course, the real play here is to use points for one night and then get the second award night free thanks to having the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card.  That means you can have two nights in Paris for 70,000 Club Carlson points.  You could then move to a property such as the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel, Paris Eiffel and repeat the process using points for the first night and get the last award night free thanks to having the co-branded credit card.  If you and your partner both get the Club Carlson card you will have more than enough points for four free nights in Paris at Club Carlson properties.

Overall Impressions:

As I have mentioned, the location was very good and the view from our room was great.  The food downstairs was good and the service was totally adequate.  However, the rooms need updating and a good cleaning.  This is not a top notch hotel the way that the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome is, so don’t expect the same level of assistance or service.

If I’m being 100% honest, I very much wanted to leave and head back to the Park Hyatt the first night here as it just seemed silly to fly all the way to Paris and not be totally comfortable in your hotel room.  Ultimately, I didn’t do that, and I’m glad I didn’t.  It wasn’t that bad, it just wasn’t that great of a hotel either.  Since I have a young kid I do spend time in the room during the day for naps and such, and ultimately I simply prefer nicer hotels when I can get them (on points).  You could say I’m a little spoiled thanks to points, and that’s okay.

I would stay here again, and I do recommend it on points with the caveat of managing your expectations appropriately.  If you are sitting on a mountain of Hyatt or Ultimate Reward points then don’t think twice and just go enjoy the Park Hyatt.  However, if you need to leverage all the points programs to make your vacations work the way we do, then I would book this and don’t look back.

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View of Paris from our balcony

If you have stayed at the Radisson Blu Champs Elysees, I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links, as always thanks for your support. 

Posted by Mommy Points | 20 Comments

20 Responses to “Review of Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees in Paris”

  1. Michael says:

    Laduree is just down the street to the right with the greatest pastries, to go sandwiches and those amazing macaroons.

    Also, that drugstore has some great to go sandwiches as well as stocking up for picnics, etc.

    I enjoyed my stay more than you — as a Gold, I got the free brekkie which was good, not great, and the bed was much more comfy than you describe. Status is king in Paris and it really makes a difference in terms of perks/upgrades.

    • mommypoints says:

      Michael, wow! You lucked out! We were both Gold and told we would not get the free breakfast even though the upgraded rooms normally come with breakfast.

  2. Katherine says:

    You probably would have enjoyed Le Dhokan better. The bellman was there to help with the luggage and to open the door every time that we entered or exited the hotel. The breakfast on upgrade is something that has been discussed on FT for the Champs-Élysées hotel. At Le Dhokan, I think that they have finally figured out breakfast going forward ( We did not get it, even though booked business class rooms). I believe that it is now included for gold members, if upgraded.

  3. danny says:

    can you do back to back award bookings where you need 4 nights and you book 1 night get 1 free and repeat?

  4. Dan says:

    It’s interesting about the availability you reference and the link you post to your dealing with the hotel in NYC. I emailed Club Carlson about a similar issue at the NY Martinique on Broadway and they explained that although the websites indicates they don’t have blackout dates, they hotel will release very limited award availability on certain dates and once those are taken, there is no more award availability even if standard rooms remain. I would be interested to know exactly what you told the hotels in NY and Paris to get them to open up space. I still have the email response from Club Carlson where they said no to me. It is possible since I was looking over Xmas holidays in NYC, they really didn’t care what the rules said and wanted to get the 400 bucks per room from a paying guest.

  5. Santastico says:

    You did it the wrong way. Should have left the Hyatt to the end. At least you would leave Paris with a better impression. :) The Radisson looks old and bad. I much prefer to stay at boutique hotels in Paris. Much better service and pampered all the way.

    • mommypoints says:

      Santastico, totally agree but logistics didn’t work to have them in the reverse order. Normally always upgrade on a trip instead of downgrade. ;)

  6. Denise L says:

    Wow. I am surprised at the photos of your room and can completely understand your disappointment. We stayed there a few years ago and had a very nice experience. The room was very clean and I don’t recall any problems with the bed. I hate to hear that this great location is going down hill. We also got free breakfast but it was 2 years ago.

  7. Jason says:

    Stayed there in Feb and wasn’t impressed I was also gold and didn’t get any upgrade, wasn’t going to get the park Hyatt because we came in late and left early after the 2nd day didn’t think it would’ve been worth it to use my previous Hyatt points…..

  8. Jason says:

    Precious Hyatt points…..

  9. Enjoy Fine Food says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m debating Radisson cc right now — which I would only do for a couple free nights in Paris :-)

    Hotels in Paris vary so wildly by what staff is on duty when you visit (and whether they like your high school French accent), but I wonder why you did not select Le Metropolitan Hotel, Paris Eiffel. Took your link and pictures are attractive and it has a couple recent Conde Nast “best” awards — also Katherine’s suggestion of Le Dhokan looks good.

    I’d really appreciate info based on your experience with the program. When I look for award space in October at these Paris hotels, I see nothing. Can you tell me why? Do they have an award booking horizon? Thanks and warm regards!

  10. MSPTraveler says:

    Danny,

    You can’t do consecutive two-night bookings in the same name. However, if you are staying with a partner who also has the Club Carlson card, you can do one two-night reservation in each name. Then when you get there, you can combine the reservations. My wife and I are staying there for four nights in June – the first two nights is one reservation in my name, the second is two nights in one reservation in her name. So, we got four nights for the price of two. In our case, we booked a Business Class room (prior to the devaluation), because of the free breakfast and the fact that it has an occupancy of three. So, we got four night for 150K points – still not a bad deal considering most of the points were earned very cheaply during the BOGO deals and from the credit card signups.

    We did the same last year at the Radisson Blu Paris Opera, doing four consecutive two night reservations switching between myself and my wife every two nights. In that case, we got eight nights for 300K points.

    The Opera property was fantastic, but is sadly now a Marriott.

  11. egwg says:

    I stayed there too (in April). I too noticed that the little things weren’t maintained well. The lighting in my room was also weird in that it was very dark. Still, I enjoyed my stay there. The location was good and the concierge was helpful.

    Le Comptoir de l’Arc across the street is a very popular restaurant.

  12. Marlene says:

    Also did the same trip – Park Hyatt and Radisson Blu Champs Élysées. I second all your thoughts. The location was perfect, but the room really fell short. It was a good use of points (50,000 and a free night when I went), so I would do the same thing over again.

  13. cyhu says:

    Very informative! Thanks for the helpful details on the hotel room conditions.

    BTW, those luscious treats are Macarons, not Macaroons. Two very different beasts, with only a single letter to tell them apart….

  14. mommypoints says:

    Cyhu, ahhh! I swear I had it right in there this time but somehow that edit didn’t stick. Fixed it again. Being from Texas I always tend toward the macaroon usage, but you are totally right, they are different types of treats. ;)
    -Yes you can do back to back awards using the last award night, but you would have to do the second two nights using a friends/spouses/partners account if you were traveling with someone else. Otherwise, you have to switch hotels.
    -I picked this hotel specifically as it was getting pretty decent reviews when I booked it. It was available and looked to be an okay option. One of the other Club Carlson properties may be better in Paris, but I can’t speak from personal experience as this is the only one I’ve tried so far.

  15. Having stayed at much less grander hotels in Paris (Comfort Inn in Montmarte comes to mind) – that is a *huge* room. I haven’t traveled much with the kiddo yet, but when I look for a hotel, I require clean and cheap, and desire a decent location – after all, I’m pretty much watching the backs of my eyelids in the room!

  16. mommypoints says:

    Mom @ 3 is plenty, I agree with you to a point, and do think the room size was good for Paris, but when traveling with my kid we do spend much more time in the room thanks to early bedtime and naps. That said, this was “good enough” for us, but not much more than that.

  17. Jill says:

    We stayed there in March as a family in 2 rooms. While we didn’t just come from the Hyatt Vendome, I found the room perfectly adequate. I thought the bathroom was beautiful. The rest was just a room heaven forbid, but with an arc de triomphe view. I was in Paris within a 1 minute walking distance to the most famous street in the world. The coincidental perk of my friend living within a 15 minute walk also made it pretty awesome.

  18. LauraPDX says:

    We stayed at the Dokhans for 6 nights after 2 nights at the Hyatt Vendome in March.
    They are different beasts. Having said that, the staff at Le Dokhan’s were superbly friendly and helpful throughout our stay. We were upgraded to a business class room and it did include breakfast. We would stay there again, even though the rooms were older with quirks. We loved having a champagne tasting event in the bar and meeting the son of the champagne maker.
    The Hyatt was efficient, spotless, yet felt impersonal (but very comfortable).

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