The first time I went to France I stayed in the 16th arrond., at the Auteuil Tour de Eiffel Paris within a ten minute walk of the Eiffel tower. Last week, I went back to Paris but this time I was able to experience Paris in a different way. Nestled within the French countryside and just beyond Disneyland Paris, is Marriott's Village d'Ile-de-France resort, where Charlotte (my 5 year old) and I stayed for our most recent Paris adventure.
Staying outside of Paris posed some transportation obligations that I did not have my previous trip when I was within easy walking distance of everything, but they were easily mastered and I will write a separate post on transportation another day. For today, I wanted to share with you some of the photos I took of our accommodations. Seriously, I felt like a movie star's wife, all week.
The Downstairs...consisted of a kitchen, small laundry room, 1/2 bath, dining room and large living room.
Charlotte made herself right at home...
The kitchen had modern amenities...
The upstairs featured two bedrooms and two full baths...
The second bedroom, upstairs
The resort featured French flair with the villas designed as houses in a row and the main "street" complete with faux French window scenes.
The main street at the resort, across from the main Lobby
The property included both relaxing areas for reflection, including gardens and duck ponds
and a gorgeous pool area complete with an infinity edge pool.
My top 5 favorite things about this resort were:
1. The resort now has a shuttle that runs to and from the Marne-la-Vallee Chessy train station (this is also where Disneyland Paris and Disney village are located) every 1/2 hour starting at 8:30am and going until 7:50pm for 3 Euros/person. Miss the shuttle do to later activities? You can take public bus #34 from the train station and get dropped off right in front of the property for 1.90 euros a person, up till 1am.
2. The activities personnel. The employees working the activities desk are both friendly and knowledgeable. They were paramount in my being able to coordinate transportation for our trip into Belgium. Their English was perfect, their manners impeccable.
3. The bar. The bar in the resort also serves as the resort's only restaurant offering "bar snacks". But these "bar snacks" included fabulous pasta, homemade personal pizzas, and more. After a long day of site seeing, it was wonderful to come back to the resort to eat for three reasons:
I. It was reasonably priced. Much cheaper than the meals we ate in Paris Proper.
II. I was travelling with a child who was not impressed with escargot or crepes. Charlotte loved their pasta, pizza and chicken nuggets and when we ate there, she cleaned her plate...each time.
III. It was a 5 minute walk from our villa and open until 10pm.
4. The amenities. Amenities included the Marketplace shop (groceries and some souvenirs), a bicycle rental, spa, kid's club, infinity edge pool and more. We only took advantage of the Marketplace, but the resort did offer something for everyone.
5. The villas are decorated in French provincial decor. From the fabrics to the curtained closet doors, you feel like you are in France, even before you get out site seeing, making for a memorable experience from start to finish.
and one more...
6. Having a kitchen allows you to save money via being able to eat some meals "at home" instead of every meal out in a restaurant. We stocked up on waters and snacks the first day so we had provisions (especially for Charlotte) on long travel and site-seeing days and this way I was always able to offer her breakfast before each day's journey started
The Disadvantages (if there can ever be disadvantages to being in Paris...):
1. Location. The idyllic setting in the French countryside is beautiful but also means that you will be embarking on a combination of shuttle, bus, RER (train) and Metro) subway to get to and from your destinations. While not difficult, some can find this daunting.
2. Getting there from the airport by taxi will cost you about $120 euros. To get there cheaper, call the resort to schedule you a shuttle for pickup prior to arriving, which will drop the cost to $79 euros, or to save even more money, take the train from the airport which will take you as far as the Marne-la-Vallee Chessy train station and then from there take a cab the last 3 miles to the resort (19 euros) or cheaper yet, take bus 34 from the station to the resort (it drops you off in front of the property) which will only cost you 1.90 euros a piece, but you will be transversing your luggage for one more "leg" of your journey.
3. Expense. Can be pricey. However, if you are going with other people, some of the villas, like the one Charlotte and I had, are large enough to sleep 6 comfortably, with two bedrooms, a pull out sleeper-sofa and 2.5 baths. They also offer smaller villas as well as 3 bedroom villas which can accommodate up to 8 people.
4. This is not actually a disadvantage; just keep in mind that staying in a suburb of France is a different "feel" than staying within the energy of the city...and you are 30-45 min commute into the city center each day and back "home" each evening.
As I mentioned earlier, Charlotte and I felt completely spoiled the whole week and I told my husband that he made me feel like a movie star's wife the entire week. Who could ask for more? Charlotte said every day "Mommy, we are so lucky". Yes, Charlotte, we surely were.
For more pictures of the property, click here.