Having stayed at Best Westerns throughout the world, but mainly in America, and have always found them to be excellent value for money and the staff very pleasant and helpful, we thought a Best Western in Paris would be perfect.
Sadly, none of the above could be said for the Empire Elysees.
On the morning of 17th June, we went down to breakfast at 7.30am and found the breakfast to be very pleasant with plenty of choice. At that time, only one other guest was in the restaurant. However, I did want another cup to put hot water in as the coffee was too strong for me, this proved ridiculously difficult for the restaurant staff to understand, so I pointed to a cup on another table to show them what I meant, to which the staff member snatched the cup up and pushed it into my hand, gave me a nasty look and walked off.
On the morning of 18th, we didn't go down to breakfast until 9.30am because we'd had a very late night, only to find, no bread for toast, no fruit salad, very little pastries and no milk, in fact there was nowhere to sit because all the empty tables were piled high with dirty dishes. I asked if they would clear a table for us to sit, and again this was greeted with a very nasty look. We were told that breakfast continued until 10.30 so were very surprised that nothing was being replaced.
The following morning we were in the restaurant by 8.30am and there were plenty of supplies. However, the scrambled egg was green, which was a little worrying and we noticed lots of finished plates with plenty of green egg still sitting on them.
On the night of the 19th, we didn't get back to the hotel until well past midnight. As it was very hot (the air con didn't really work properly, even though we had spoken to them about it) so we laid on top of the bed covers to cool down. 30 minutes or so later, there was a horrendous crash, the electricity went off and the fire alarm started. Luckily I had a torch with me so was able to use it to find our clothes to get dressed. We vacated the room and went downstairs but weren't given any information as to what the problem was.
We were told the fire brigade were on their way, but as there was no smoke and no sign of fire, we were a little confused. We did notice lots of dust in the air and it was only when my husband opened the door to the restaurant, he came across an unbelievable scene. The whole ceiling in there had collapsed. At this time we were still sitting or standing in the reception area. When the fire brigade arrived, they immediately evacuated us from the building. They then advised that another team had to check out the hotel in case the gas pipes were damaged and also to see if the rooms above the restaurant were safe.
They arranged for us to go to the Mercure Hotel just around the corner, so that we could get out of the heat and also if there was going to be a problem with the gas, we were safer away from the narrow road the hotel is in.
At no time did staff members from the hotel arrange with the Mercure to provide us with refreshments. After a couple of hours, the police advised that the hotel was safe for most of us, but rooms 10, 11, 12 and 13 weren't and the guests had to be relocated. Luckily we were in room 14.
I am totally aware that the circumstances of the ceiling collapsing was not the hotel's staffs' fault, but no staff member advised us what to do. No staff member offered us vouchers to get breakfast that morning and no staff member apologised for the inconvenience we had suffered.
When we checked out that morning, we were told how much city tax they wanted, but not a single apology was made. All we wanted was a little "we are so sorry for all the inconvenience you went through, and as a gesture of goodwill, here are some euros so that you can get some breakfast."
We did notice as we were checking out, that a pile of uncovered pastries and bread were sitting in the reception area, but as men were working on ladders creating dust in reception, we really weren't that keen on taking any.
I just feel that this hotel lacked the friendly nature we are used to with Best Westerns, but I'm more disgusted by the lack of interest shown by the staff.
I have attached some photos of the collapsed ceiling. Please be aware that there are at least 12 tables underneath the rubble, and if this had happened about 6 or 7 hours later, the consequences could have been dreadful!! less