Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Hotel Concorde Montparnasse

27 Nov 2006 by business traveller

What's it like? This is the seventh property to join the Concorde collection in Paris, which includes the famous luxury Hotel de Crillon. The Concorde Montparnasse was formally the Bleu Marine and opened as a Concorde in June 2004. It was designed by Ricardo Bofill, the Catalan architect best known for Barcelona airport, Tokyo's Ginza Shiseido Building and the National Theater of Catalonia, in Barcelona.

Concorde Hotels and Resorts is expanding rapidly. Lyon Metropole, a new-build, opened in November and Villa Massalia, Marseille will open in July 2007. Concorde is also planning to create a new brand of luxury hotels around the Crillon name.

Where is it? La Place de Catalogne on the Left Bank in Montparnasse, in the 14th district. It is close to Montparnasse Station and a 10-minute taxi ride into central Paris. It is closer to Orly than CDG airport.

How many rooms? 354, comprising standard "classic" rooms (18-20sqm) and superior rooms (22sqm). All guestrooms have the same modern decor; the only difference between categories is in their size.

Room facilities All rooms have air conditioning, free wired internet access, a laptop-sized safe, tea and coffee-making facilities, a minibar and room service from 0600-2300. My room was a superior room, located on a corner, and was consequently an odd shape. The bed was at an angle in the corner, but the TV on the desk swivelled so that you could watch it from the bed as well as the sofa. My desk overlooked the railway tracks and, if I leaned to the right when looking out of the window, I had a view of the Eiffel Tower. Bathrooms are small and modern, with speakers for the TV, a combined bath and shower, and Annick Goutal toiletries. I noticed the towels still had small labels with the old hotel name, and in the morning there was no hot water; this may have been because it was the day after the opening night and the hotel was at full capacity.

Restaurants and bars There are two restaurants, one on either side of the reception area. Restaurant O'40 serves international cuisine with meals averaging around E34 per person. This is where breakfast is also served. There is also Bar Le Wenge, which seats 80 people and is less formal than O'40. It serves a buffet, with seafood and traditional countryside fare. The bar has live music on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Business and meeting facilities There are three meeting rooms and 11 smaller committee rooms, which can cater for up to 160 people. Wifi access is free throughout the hotel. There is a business centre, open 24 hours, which is equipped with two computers and printers.

Leisure facilities The fitness centre offers free access to hotel guests, and has saunas (one for men and one for women), a gym, and a massage room.

Verdict I was staying on the opening night, so the hotel bars and restaurants were a flurry of activity as the chefs prepared a huge spread. The hotel is well situated for the Left Bank and Montparnasse, but felt a little far from all the action Paris has to offer in the evenings.

Prices Internet rates for a midweek stay in early December were E160 for a standard room and E236 for a superior.

Contact Hotel Concorde Montparnasse, 40 rue du Commandant Mouchotte, 75014 Paris, tel +33 1 5654 8400. concorde-hotels.com.

Felicity Cousins

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