arrived in Paris on July 22, 1999. This is the
Hôtel de Nesle, where I spent three nights. I arrived
after a sleepless night on the plane, dutifully showing up around
10am as I had been instructed, because the hotel doesn't take
reservations. The reception area featured a very large woman
named Renée, sitting behind a battered antique wood table,
speaking an odd mix of French and English, and asking for payment
in cash for one night at a time plus a deposit of 100 francs
for the room key. The reception room itself was dimly lit and
full of bookshelves piled high with old, old books; big, overstuffed
chairs; and Art Deco travel posters. The ceiling had dark wood
rafters and was covered in hanging bouquets of dried flowers.
Mmm. Even better was the hotel's location: it was right around
the corner from Pont Neuf.