Paris price check: Does the $80 hotel still exist?

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Today I'm resurrecting a great article from the BT vault which in 2002 recommended 19 "Secret Hotels" with rooms for less than $80. Wondering how prices may have changed in the six years since Margie Lynn sang their praises, I selected three hotels and checked prices for 2009. The difference is rather shocking.

Hotel Langlois, 63 rue St-Lazare, 9th arrondissement, 011-33/1-48-74-78-24

BT review: "Formerly the Hotel des Croises, it has proudly taken the name it was given as a setting of this year's upcoming Jonathan Demme film The Truth About Charlie… You won't find many hotels in this price range with inlayed armoires and Art Deco ceramic fireplaces.… You are minutes from the Opera and the grands magasins…" (full review)

Price for a double in 2002: €83–€90 ($73–$80)

Price for a double in 2009: €140–€150 ($199–$214)

Hotel Eldorado, 18 rue des Dames, 17th arrondissement, 011-33/1-45-22-35-21

BT review: "Batignolles is one of Paris' more happening neighborhoods these days, and this fanciful place fits right in with the artsy scene…. Interesting architectural details like onyx mantelpieces and wood moldings have been preserved…" (full review)

Price for a double in 2002: €54 ($48)

Price for a double in 2009: €60 ($85)

Hotel des Grandes Ecoles, 75 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 5th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-26-79-23

BT review: "Set off the street, you enter the lobby through a peaceful garden, as if you have just walked out of the city and into a country residence.… It's hard to believe you're in walking distance of the hectic Latin Quarter and just a few steps from hopping rue Mouffetard…" (full review)

Price for a double in 2002: €90–€115 ($80–$102)

Price for a double in 2009: €115–€140 ($163–$199)

As you can see, the price in dollars has nearly doubled for all three of these "budget" hotels. Look closer, however, and you'll see that only one of them—the Hotel Langlois—has significantly raised their prices in euros. The filming of a sexy Hollywood thriller there may have something to do with that hike.

For the other two hotels, the dollar-based difference is mainly down to the exchange rate. In 2002, the dollar was worth more than the euro. Today, it's worth a whole lot less. Look at the prices for Hotel des Ecoles and you'll see that a €115 hotel room cost only $102. Today that same figure in euros costs $163.

The $80 hotel room may well be on its way to extinction. But we've found stylish lodging at a fair price at 14 Paris hotels.

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