Novotel Paris Gare de Lyon Review: Modern rooms, good value and great access to public transport

The Novotel Paris Gare de Lyon offers a location convenient for public transport right next to the train station, modern rooms in the latest Novotel design and a gym and pool that are rare in the center of Paris. While the service wasn’t great, with prices much lower than elsewhere, this is great value and worth checking out for you next trip to Paris, the City of Love!

Location: The Novotel Paris Gare de Lyon is located next to the train station serving trains to the South. The Gare de Lyon train station offers easy access to the RER trains as well as the Metro subway. The RER train from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport takes approximately 1 hour and is the easiest way to get there. The trains and buses will take you to all the important sights of Paris. While the area around the train station is not ideal, you’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants for daily needs. You’ll also have fewer tourists around here, so if you are a return visitor, this location works pretty well! The Place de la Bastille and my favorite Le Marais neighborhood are a short ride or 20 minute walk away. You are also just a few minutes walk from the river Seine for a romantic stroll – or good workout run!

Service: While the Novotel is a full-service hotel, there was no bell service available at check-in – not a problem for me as I was traveling light. The front desk staff was professional, if not especially friendly and checked me in quickly. As an Accor LeClub Platinum member, we were upgraded from a Superior Room to an Executive Room of the same size and layout, but with additional amenities.
Housekeeping did a solid job cleaning the room each day, refilling amenities each day and replacing towels on request. The timing was a little difficult, so it helps to request cleaning with the front desk when you want it to make sure the room is cleaned in a timely fashion.
We had a drink at the bar one night and staff was professional, yet again not especially friendly. With so many restaurants around Paris, we didn’t give the hotel restaurant a try!

Room: Our Executive King Room followed the latest Novotel prototype, which is one of my favorite room designs. It features a very comfortable king bed in the center. The headboard is very high, padded in the lower part with a lighted frame. The small side tables have power outlets for your phone and light switches, making it one of the more functional designs.

Near the window is a sofa with small table and against the wall is a desk with task chair to get work done, as well as the wall-mounted TV for some entertainment. The wardrobe and a bar closet are near the entrance.

You’ll find a laptop size safe and a mini fridge. The Executive Rooms have Nespresso coffee machines (yay) in addition to a regular kettle for tea and coffee.

The room has a modern decor in warm beige/brown tones and a soft carpet. The sofa, chair and artwork provide some touches of color to liven up the decor.

My favorite feature of the room is the glass wall to the bathroom, which makes is more light-filled and feeling larger. The “magic glass” can be frosted for privacy.

The bathroom itself has the sink in the center with plenty of space for your toiletries. The shower is towards the bathroom, separated by a glass wall, and outfitted with a rainfall shower head and a second, wall-mounted, handheld shower head. On the other side is a separate toilet cubicle with a frosted glass door for privacy, making the bathroom very functional for two people as well!

The bathroom amenities are standard Novotel Fair Trade and the towels were of good quality.

Restaurant & Amenities: The Novotel Gare de Lyon has a large and well equipped gym by European standards. You’ll find cardio and weight equipment for a basic workout. I liked the high ceilings and bright lights that make for a better workout than the low basement rooms you’ll often find in European hotel gyms.

There is also a large indoor pool, great for swimming lanes or families. There are some chairs, but no loungers to invite for a more relaxing stay by the pool. There were a lot of people, so the photo is from the Accor website for privacy.

The Novotel also has a small business center with two Apple Mac computers and a printer, so you can print those boarding passes or tickets.

Value & Rewards: We booked the Novotel Paris Gare de Lyon during the winter season at a price of $130, which I consider very good value for Paris. Finding a comparable upscale hotel with similar amenities in the center of the city for less is difficult!
As Accor LeClub Platinium members, we received a minimal room upgrade. While it does offer a Nespresso machine, it’s not a true upgrade to an available suite. There is no lounge at this Novotel. We did receive a welcome drink, but no welcome amenity. The elite treatment isn’t remotely as good in Accor’s home country as I have experienced it in Asia!

Bottomline: The Novotel Paris Gare de Lyon offers a location convenient for public transport, modern rooms in the latest Novotel design and a gym and pool that are rare in the center of Paris. The price of only $130’/night is great value. You’ll have to live with professional, if not very friendly service, that I’d call on par with other hotels in Paris. I wouldn’t mind staying here again and I’d recommend to check it out, especially when prices are sky high elsewhere in Paris! You can check current prices for the Novotel Paris Gare de Lyon here!

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