Published by Andrew on 2 August 2017
Richard Peace stayed at Hotel Campanile Paris 19 while cycling in Paris recently.
The Hotel Campanile Paris 19 is a chain hotel on one of Paris' leafiest arrondissements. It's also on the London-Paris Avenue Verte bike route, making it a good stop on the way into or out of Paris if you're on this route. Freewheeling France has stayed at Campanile hotels before (see Lyn's review here for the Campanile hotel in Bordeaux) and we're yet to be disappointed by the clean, no fuss nature of the chain, which is also generally very bike-friendly. Here's how we got on in Paris.
Five things we liked
1. Spacious, well laid out rooms
For an €80-€90 room in central Paris, the Campanile offerings are reasonably spacious and feature a desk and kettle with free tea and coffee sachets, plus nicely done out bathrooms. There was also free, easily accessible wifi with a good, strong signal both times I stayed here.
2. Helpful multilingual staff + 24-hour check, bar and restaurant
The young staff were kept busy at this large hotel but always dealt with everyone calmly and professionally, and all I came across appeared to be speak good English too (well, you would expect that in Paris but it's not always a given...). Whatever query I had they were willing and able to help.
There is a decent and often very quiet bar area downstairs and the restaurant serves a sizeable, good quality breakfast from 6am (for a surcharge). It also does good value evening meals that seemed popular with the hotel guests (though you don't need to be a guest to eat there).
3. Bike parking
While you might prefer a separate locked room for bike storage there is a double gated underground car park here with entry only possible by ringing the bell. The receptionist checks you out on CCTV and lets you in. There are also cycle locking attachments in the corner of the car park. If I had expressed a very strong preference with the receptionist I’m fairly sure she would have let me keep the bike in the room, but I rather fancied just being able to whizz out of the car park and around town plus space in a twin room with two bikes would have been a bit of a squeeze.
The garage arrangement means you can be out and cycling across town in a matter of minutes rather than having to haul your bike downstairs (the lifts will be too small for most bikes) or relying on finding a Velib available and in working order at one of the nearby free racks. In effect this arrangement gives you your own free transport around Paris at your fingertips.
My only complaint would be they could have put the locking points somewhere lighter and more pleasant than the dank corner under the massive air conditioning unit which is easy to bang your head on while unlocking the bikes!
4. Shops galore
The avenue des Flandres is a busy traffic thoroughfare but it is also densely residential and, as such, is lined with bars, supermarkets and shops offering all manner of services. Extremely handy for stocking up on whatever you need. You have a choice of Monoprix, Franprix and Carrefour supermarkets nearby, plus a good range of cafes and restaurants with a great range of food.
5. Ten seconds from the Avenue Verte
Head down rue des Nantes opposite the hotel and you get to the Avenue Verte cycle route that you can follow south down to Notre Dame and the Seine or north all the way back to the Dieppe and the UK.
The Bassin de la Villette, along which the Avenue Verte runs, is a huge area of water linking the Canal de l’Ourq and the Canal Saint Martin and hosts the Paris plage events (where waterside stretches are turned into mini beaches in summer) and as of summer 2017 you can also bathe there.
I met a cycling colleague there for a chat and enjoyed a couple of beers sat outside a pavement cafe watching life pass by along the water's edge. There are great cycle lanes outside with very little traffic on the roads, so this is a popular hang out spot with Parisians, especially the student crowd who gravitate towards the water's edge of an evening for some group drinking.
Hotel Campanile Paris 19
147/151 avenue de Flandre 75019 Paris
ABOUT OUR REVIEWER
Richard Peace is founder of Excellent Books, specialists in cycle publishing. He has made several tours of France (including on electric bikes and folders). He is the author of Cycling Southern France, Cycling Northern France, and Electric Bicycles: The Complete Guide. He is a regular contributor to A to B magazine, Bike Europe and writes for Eurobike Show Daily.