Online Booking Red Flags

Top Ten Red Flags
How to avoid getting suckered!

#10 - If there are more pictures of the parks nearby and the rooftops than the actual hotel. - red flag
#9 - If there are more pictures of the reception hall than the rooms. - red flag
#8 - If they advertise every amenity right down to the telephone and hangers in the closet, but don't mention the toilet and shower... because in provincial Europe they're often in the hallway.
#7 - If they claim multilingual staff, but don't tell you what languages they speak. - red flag
#6 - If they charge your credit card before you arrive. - red flag
#5 - If they only accept cash, or money order. - big red flag
#4 - If they are proud to list their proximity to the "Museum of Eroticism," "Night Life," and "Cabaret." - red flag
#3 - Watch out for "Newly renovated rooms" thinly masking that the room next door is still a construction site, and the paint in your room is still wet. - red flag
#2 - If the agency fees cost more than the price of the room. - red flag
#1 - If they claim close proximity to every museum and monument in the city! -red flag

While you have the manager on the phone don't forget to inquire about the state of their amenities, are the elevator and pool open and functioning? And, in the end, if you get there and you find out your room is next to the ice machine, you can always ask to move.


Place des Vosges

Elegant with a classically French style, the Place des Vosges is a pure and unique example of early 17th century architecture. Inside the gardens, the splendid fountains still have the name of King Louis XIII who was in power when the square was completed in the 1600s.

Le Pavillon du Roi

The Place des Vosges has two major houses constructed in 1604 by King Henry IV. In the middle of the north side is the Queen's Pavillon, dedicated to the former queen of France. On the south side is the King's Pavillon, Le Pavillon du Roi. These houses are not open to the public. King Henry IV then ordered that all 35 other buildings bordering this garden must follow the same design. The result, an early example of urban planning, is a symmetrical square surrounded by buildings with red brick and white stone facades, steep slate roofs and dorm windows, all constructed over arcades.

Place Royale

Originally known as Place Royale, this square was rebaptized after the French Revolution when the region of Vosges in the northeast of France on the border of Luxembourg and Germany was the first to pay taxes to the new French government. To honor them, the most beautiful square in Paris was named after this region.


A flutter of servers will greet you at any of the lovely cafés encased in the arcades (arched hallways) around the square.

Victor Hugo's Home and Museum

Hugo's literary fame rests not only upon his novels, but also upon his poetic and dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des Siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem, and Hugo is sometimes identified as the greatest French poet. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (known in English also asThe Hunchback of Notre Dame).
In hommage to the internationally acclaimed author, the city
of Paris conserves his house to display original manuscripts and memorabilia.
It is now a city run museum, open to the public free of charge, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but closed on Mondays.
Found in the southeast corner of the square at 6, Place des Vosges.

Hôtel de Sully

On the southwest corner of the Place des Vosges, a secret door open only during the day, allows entry to the fantastic Hotel de Sully Gardens. This secret garden is framed by a delightful Renaissance style mansion with Baroque elements was built between 1624 and 1630. Maximilien de Béthune, the first duc de Sully, minister of finance and superintendent of buildings for Henri IV, bought the Hotel in 1634 thereby giving
it the name it has today. The Hotel de Sully continued to be owned by the family until the mid-18th century.
The building is now a photography museum. Housed in the east wing is the
Information Center for the Center of National Monuments, which manages over a hundred national monuments and publishes books on national heritage. This is the place for getting information, free maps and brochures on museums and monuments. You’ll find it open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and from 2 p.m.-6 p.m., and until 7 p.m. on Friday.
A must-see bookshop on the ground floor of the west wing will tantilize you with books about anything French and inspire you with it's painted beamed ceiling, a good example of renaissance design.
Cross through another passage and you’ll find a courtyard with enchanting statues representing the four seasons. This south courtyard, which opens onto rue Saint Antoine and at one time welcomed carriages, separates the mansion from the bustle of the street.


Expedia Scam

A picture on the web is not always the whole story. Expedia has been swindling shady hotel rooms in the red light district with the catch phrases "right in the heart of Paris" or "centrally located on the right bank"

Websites can market hotels that are otherwise unmarketable using shady tricks. For example here's a beautiful photo (left) my friends found on Expedia. They booked the hotel. They should have checked first and they would have seen this (right)...

There's a reason they don't show you the street level view, upon closer investigation it turns out this hotel is sandwiched between two adult shops! Surprise!

The bottom line is this - You get what you pay for.

So if you want to hit the jackpot and find a great hotel for half the price of all the others ... beware, be ready, there's probably a reason.

Please check before you book. Then, look up the respectable Hotel you've found in the online yellow pages, their local number, not the international customer service number. Call them directly to book your room, talk to a manager confirm it isn't their worst room. Treat them like you would a friend, don't be afraid to ask for a discount. If you have already booked online, always call directly a couple days later to confirm your reservation.