Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hospital Hotel in Paris

My profession is healthcare. I have always loved being a part of a large care community - ever since I turned 13 and donned my first candy-striping uniform. It motivates and energizes me in meaningful work I am good at. As much as I cherish the one-on-one time with Connor, I miss my profession and my colleagues and the everpresent challenges of healthcare.

With that context, I had been scoping out this Hotel Hospital since my first Paris adventure. It is a top-rated hotel literally located in a wing of a working city hospital, Hotel Dieu. Not just any hospital but the oldest and most historic in all of Paris on the Ile de la Cite. Started in 651. That's old.
Each time I visited Paris I would try to reserve one of the 14 available rooms, more out of curiosity than thinking it was really a plush place. When they finally had space during Granger's stay I signed us all up to cram in the available room and asked permission/forgiveness in hindsight. You read that right - all 4 of us. One room. What sports I had for travel companions!Oh at first glance the interior looked like a hospital - sterile, metal, and confusing signs pointing the way. The Hotel Dieu Hospital today serves Ophthalmology patients and same day surgeries. There were doctors and nurses bustling along the corridors in white coats as we checked in.And yet the "Hotel Hospitel" was in Galerie B2 on the 6th floor. We were a little miffed about the oddity of it all - miffed until we walked out into the courtyard. Ahem. THIS was our hotel for the night. Budget hotel prices in the heart of this amazing city with this as our hotel playground!
Our room did resemble a converted patient room in size and sparse decoration. It was a packed house with the four of us. But we wouldn't have traded it.
The location was out of this world. We could reach out and touch the Notre Dame. Here is the hospital housing our hotel...
...and here is the hospital (left) as seen in relation to the marvelous Gothic cathedral's bell towers! Did the hunchback even have such a view?
The views from our skylights were beyond words...
As was the view out the front doorl... What a treat to wake up to this these mornings! How many people can say they have done that?!?
The central "Cite" metro stop was a stone's throw away so we could hop, skip and jump all over Paris.
Connor even knew it was special.
The only eerie part was walking the corridors alone upon returning once the hospital had been closed for the night. What history these halls must have seen.
Connor and "Baby Paris" loved skampering all around.
Even the hotel breakfast was delivered on trays to the rooms, just as it is for the patients.
This accommodation is not for everyone, but it was right up my alley. The location and price can't be beat. And the community of care was all around...making me feel at home, professionally at least.

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