Grand Hôtel du Loiret is a classically Parisian budget hotel -- small, quaint, locally owned, and centrally located. After checking out the official website and reading mostly positive reviews on Trip Advisor, I decided to give this hotel a shot. I booked over the phone and then emailed the hotel to request a confirmation. Below is a translated and heavily abbreviated version of that email exchange:
~ Dear Monsieur, I recently called and booked a room for April 8. Twin beds, private shower/toilet. Please confirm. Sincerely, moi.
~ Dear American Girl, confirming twin room with private shower/toilet for April 6. Sincerely, Alex.
~ Dear Monsieur, April 8, not 6. Did you book me for April 6? If so, it's 8, not 6. Sincerely, moi.
~ Dear American Girl, LOL! Typo. Totally meant April 8, not 6. Sincerely, Alex.
~ Dear Monsieur, merci! Sincerely, moi.
Alex seemed like a nice dude. This would work out.
April 8 arrived, and my friend Kellie and I trotted into our little Parisian hotel to be greeted not by Alex, but by the grumpiest old Frenchman ever. I politely said bonjour and soon found myself in a heated war of French words with Monsieur Le Grump. Here's the blow-by-blow:
Moi: Bonjour, Monsieur.
Monsieur Le Grump: Bonjour.
Moi: We have a reservation for tonight.
Monsieur Le Grump: How many?
Monsieur Le Grump: Two? No no no no no!
Monsieur Le Grump: Where are the rest of you?
Monsieur Le Grump: The musical group.
Moi: Muscial group?!
Monsieur Le Grump: Don't change the subject! You can't just reserve for all these people, then come here telling me two. Two? Humph. Away with you. No rooms, I say.
Moi: Am I in the twilight zone? Look, monsieur, I don't know who you're talking about, but I booked a room for two. I spoke to Alex. Here's the email confirmation. I confidently whip out my printed copy of the email exchange with Alex.
Monsieur Le Grump: Don't bother showing me whatever it is you're showing me, mademoiselle. I said good day!
Moi: But look here! It clearly shows that I booked a room for ...
Monsieur Le Grump: Enough!
Moi: Practically shoving the paper in his face now. READ. THIS. I point at the paper and then lean back, looking at him like I mean business. He sighs in annoyance but actually reads this time.
Monsieur Le Grump: Ah, you're not them.
Moi: No, monsieur. We're not them. I feel like throwing in "To be or not to be" and "I think therefore I am" just to throw things into a hysterical state of confusion again.
Monsieur Le Grump: My apologies. Let's see here. It looks like you've booked a twin ... hmm ... that room isn't available.
Moi: W... T... F. Whatever do you mean, monsieur? And where the hell is Alex, anyway?
Monsieur Le Grump: I can give you two separate single rooms for the same price as the double.
Moi: Oui, okay, sure. Let's all get on with our lives here.
The above conversation was even more bizarre and disorienting in French, but I learned a useful travel lesson from Monsieur Le Grump that afternoon -- never assume that booking a room guarantees you ... well ... a room.
The following morning, I found Alex in the lobby. "You're the person I spoke to on the phone," I said. "Yesterday, Monsieur Le Grump was very confused and ..." Alex understood at once. "Oh, that guy. Yeah, sorry about him." He shrugged his shoulders in that oh-so-French c'est la vie sort of way, and that was that.
Although Grand Hôtel du Loiret was a good value, I don't expect to book a room there again because Monsieur Le Grump would probably mistake me for a member of a traveling circus or something. That said, I don't regret my stay for the following three reasons:
1) I can say that I once slept on Rue des Mauvais Garçons (Street of Bad Boys).
2) I captured this picture from my hotel window:
|View of Paris rooftops and the Notre Dame on a rainy day|
3) I argued with a grumpy old Frenchman and won (sort of).
For more pictures of my trip to Paris, visit my photo gallery.