Hello again, more Paris questions for any Francophiles out there. (To skip the narrative, blah, blah, blah, please jump to the bottom of the post where the actual questions are.)
I have been hopping all over the map where my Paris stay in May is concerned, and quite frankly, I am more than a little bit embarrassed that I cannot seem to get our doings and lodgings sorted out. This is because there will be littles (my grandchildren, ages 10 months and 2 years at travel time) accompanying us on the France leg of the trip. We decided we could not afford two rooms for a week in central Paris (Ha! Yesterday when I did a Paris hotel inquiry on the Marriott reservations website for the dates of our stay - last week of May - the Marriott Champs Elysees came in at a whopping 1319.00 EURO/night. Who hoo, baby, Bill Gates I am not! Well, admittedly a one bdrm suite was all that was in the offering there for 3 adults, but still...)
So then, at first we decided on the MVC outside of Paris. We were initially excited about that location, until we found out that 1) the property no longer offers shuttle service to the train station 3 miles away, and 2) with the local bus service to the train and the resulting connection times, the travel time one way into Paris would be a solid hour each way every day. While I would still like to stay at that property someday, we decided it was not the best fit for this trip. So then we opted for a Paris Vacation Apartment rental, which I was excited about, you know, kind of cool and different, but now we just recently found out that my son-in-law will not be able to join us (unforeseen military duties now prevail). Since the apartment is on the 2nd floor (3 flights of stairs, no lift) and the strapping son-in-law - the only male in our party - will now not be joining us, I am questioning these plans as well, as without him, schlepping the stroller and the babies up and down all those stairs less one adult (the strongest adult) is now seeming to be rather much more un-vacation-like in nature. What to do, what to do?
The only affordable options that remain are Rive Gauche (will not stay there again), Courtyard Neuilly (too far to walk to the metro with the littles), Renaissance La Defense (never stayed there). The Courtyards at the Saint-Denis, Arcueil and Paris Bologne locations did not pop up for 3 persons/room inquiry. Note: When I did a google map street view of the Courtyards at Saint-Denis and Arcueil, both areas distinctly lacked charm: rather run down and industrial looking (even unsafe? thinking babies here...), in stark contrast to the charm of central Paris. Perhaps that is why they are the most affordable.
I also got to thinking, maybe we should venture an excursion outside of Paris (I really want to visit Normandie). So here are my latest questions:
Renaissance La Defense - How proximal is it to the metro station? Are there stairs or escalators/elevators to street level where we'll catch the metro? (It's the babies/stroller thing.) I cannot google map street view it due to the nature of the location and all of the tunnels. Do they offer elites free breakfast on weekdays?
Normandie - Is a day trip doable, or should we stay over? (May never make it back there.) If a stay over is in order, is one night enough or is two nights warranted?
Car rentals - I previously received some stellar goods on that (thanks newhiltonmember and jerrycoin!), my question is, does anyone know if car rental companies rent child car seats?
Thanks so much, everyone.