Can you assign a dollar (or euro) value to a private toilet?

Grand Hotel LevequeAs I begin to plan for my solo trip to Paris, one of my first tasks is to choose and book lodging. I am leaning towards the left bank neighborhood in the 7th we’ve stayed in three times – Rue Cler. We found this almost too Parisian to be for real neighborhood in 2001 like many other travellers did — with the help of Rick Steves. We loved it though, with its street markets, small dogs and abundance of frommageries, patisseries and bistros. We’ve only stayed elsewhere on one trip, and that was because we had tens of thousands of Marriott point to blow over on the Champs Elysees.

So when I go on my own, I want to stay in the neighborhood I know and love. I know my way around, know the nearby metro lines, and will feel like I’m in my Parisian home away from home. And I figure I’ll stay in the Grand Hôtel Lévêque where we’ve stayed twice.

Here comes a challenge of travelling solo. Were it both of us, we’d have the double room by default, which comes with a ensuite facilities — toilet, sink and shower in our own bathroom. But on my own, I can’t see how I should spend the additional 30 euros a night to bump up from a toilet-less single to a double. One week at 30 euros difference rings in at $297. That’s a pricey private toilet.

Travel is all about compromises — deciding what’s worth paying for, and which costs will just delay our return. As much I would prefer not to toddle down the hall in the morning for my shower and, umm, other needs, that $300 could well be my sightseeing and entertainment budget for the week, or a couple copper pans from La Bovida that will last a lot longer than my memories of discomfort at queuing up for the bath.

What would you be willing to pay for an in-room toilet?


8 responses to “Can you assign a dollar (or euro) value to a private toilet?

  1. Remember, you are asking the germaphobe. I don’t think I’d ever consider a room without one. I’ve never compared the price or thought about that option. I’m not near the brave soul you are.

  2. If I were in my 20s I’d go without my own. Since I’m not, for me the price would be worth it – absolutely. But, have you thought about renting a studio apartment, where you would have all the comforts of home? That’s what I did on my solo trip to Paris two years ago. Mine was in the 2nd, half a block from rue Montorgueil which is the most fabulous market street, and I absolutely loved it. Just a thought, but I highly recommend apartment over hotel!


  3. I’m kinda happy to be back traveling on my own, because I don’t care about en suite one bit. I’d rather save the cash and stretch my stay a few days.

  4. I guess I’m showing my age, but after sharing a bathroom down the hall for years, the idea of ‘ensuite’ facilities is still such a treat! For the two of us I’d gladly save a few bucks, and if it was just me solo, I’d absolutely go for the cheaper room!

    And yes, we too love Rue Cler…and the Hotel Leveque! Do they still serve that wonderful hot chocolate in the morning?

  5. Melody, as far as germs, I guess I don’t figure there are any more in a bath down the hall than in a bath in my hotel room. ;) After all, either way, plenty of strangers have used it. But we’ve stayed in a good number of shared bath places since our first trip, so I’ve been used to it from the beginning.

    Donna, I’ve thought about it,but haven’t found anything in the 7th for 60 euros a night which is what I’d spend at this hotel.

    Barb, last time we stayed (this June) they had redone their breakfast room and were serving American-grade coffee :( I think I’ll breakfast down the street when I’m there.

  6. For me, it increasingly depends on where I’m feeling on the fortitude vulnerability spectrum. If work has been crazy and I’m feeling worn down from very non-PC mostly male colleagues, I’d pay an extra hundred a night to give my nerves a chance to recuperate. This makes it a challenge to predict whether satisfying material lust (e.g. Hermès scarf: 255 €) with the $-difference will make the compromise feel small.

    I used to live in a tourist-free corner of the 7th, and right now, just the thought of running into tourists in a Paris hotel makes my skin crawl. Life as an integrated expat is so bloody non-vacation, chirpy visitors who feel at home can be unbelievably annoying. Gosh – nothing against you! But if someone’s really rude and gives you wrong directions in a strong accent, chances are it’s an integrated American having a bad day.

    Yeah, I’m having a bad day – but no worries, I’m not presently in Paris. >;] Just jealous as heck of anyone who gets to live a pleasant U.S. life and periodically enjoy Europe’s surface, remaining blissfully ignorant of things like crucial subtleties of civil procedure for appealing rulings on conflicting tax laws.

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