Cycling hotel review: Hotel de La Porte Dorée, Paris

Published by Lyn on 30 March 2017

Looking for a Paris hotel whose staff won't blink an eyelid if you drag your bike and panniers through the door? Then the Hotel de La Porte Dorée is for you.

Hotel de La Porte Dorée

Hotel de La Porte Dorée
273, avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris (Île-de-France)
View map
+33 (0)1 43 07 56 97 /
Official website
Freewheeling France readers get 10% off when using the code FREEWHEELINGPARIS on the official site.

It's now been three days since I stayed at Hotel de La Porte Dorée and I'm no less excited about it (and no less excited about the prospect of going back).

In Paris – a city drowning in hotels – finding one that is super bike-friendly can be a challenge. Mostly this is because space is so limited in the city's buildings, but it's also because guests are so transient and there are so many visitors that concentrating on cyclists isn't seen as a priority. Which, frankly, astounds me when so many cyclists pass through Paris to/from Charles de Gaulle, or via Eurostar, or arrive on the Avenue Verte from London, or on EV3, or head off on the Velosccenie to Mont St Michel. So many of us start or end – sometimes both – our journeys in the French capital.

So when Christina, the owner of Hotel de La Porte Dorée, emailed to say she wanted to see more cyclists rolling up to her door in the 12th arrondissement, I just had to go and check it out.

Hotel de La Porte Dorée

Hotel de La Porte Dorée

5 things we liked

1. The cyclist-owners.
What I found was no marketing gimmick. Christina – a native of California – and her French husband Laurent are both cyclists. They ride to work each day having dropped their three mini-cyclists off at school. What's more, Laurent's mum – who lives in the Loire – also rides. In fact, it was after she returned from one of her regular bike tours with reports of foreign cyclists unable to find accommodation in Paris for themselves AND their bikes that Christina and Laurent swung into action. The basement was earmarked for bike storage, and Christina went out on the hunt for hotel bikes. She bought a handful of 
Kalkhoff hybrid town bikes for guests to hire, figuring they wouldn't want to leave their treasured touring steads locked up outside the Louvre. And their enthusiasm has worn off, with Yassine on reception the latest convert to cycling to work. Here's Christina, who took me for a ride on one of the hotel bikes. 

Hotel de La Porte Dorée

Hotel de La Porte Dorée

2. Bike storage.
Bikes come first. That means you have three options. 1) You can store your bike in your room – the hotel lift is quite small, so you just need to carry it up the stairs. A few of the rooms have private balconies, so you can also request one of these for your bike. 2) You can store your bike in the basement store room. It's dedicated, private and either Christina or the hotel receptionist will be guarding the only key. 3) You can use the hotel's gated courtyard during the day if you're just popping in and out and don't fancy taking your bike up to your room or down to the basement. 

But it gets better. If you're starting or ending your cycling trip in Paris and need somewhere to stash your bike box, then Christina will store it for you until you get back. She says she's previously stored bicycles for weeks on end while cyclists have gone off to explore the city or other areas of France on their own. 

Bois de Vincennes

3. Location.
Christina took me out for a pootle through the nearby Bois de Vincennes (above). Just magic. The hotel is so close to the park it's just a bit silly. It's also on the Metro line to the Eiffel Tower, and very handy for trains into Gare de Paris Bercy and Paris Gare de Lyon (from Burgundy and Lyon Part Dieu). The main tourist sites are around half an hour by bike and you also benefit from slightly cheaper rates, being a bit further away from the very centre of the city. 

4. Eco-friendly.
The hotel is an accredited Green Key hotel. Everything that's done here is done with an eye on the environment – from water usage and recycling to using sustainable produce in the kitchen and offering fair-trade breakfasts, the idea is to play a small but vital role in preserving the world around us. Encouraging guests to see Paris by bike plays no small role in the hotel's green policy. 

Hotel de La Porte Dorée

Hotel de La Porte Dorée

Hotel de La Porte Dorée

5. Everything else.
Let's see: there's the delicious breakfast of cereals and breads, yogurts and a never-ending supply of eggs (special dietary requests can be catered for); there's the free wifi; there's the book-sized guest information about everything and anything to do in the area; there's the beautiful shower; there's the kettle in the room (another luxury for a mid-range Paris hotel); there's the excellent, family policy that welcomes kids (Christina and Laurent have three bilingual cyclists of their own); there's the staircase bathed in books in multiple languages; there's the friendly staff. I could go on, but you probably get the picture.

When Christina and Laurent bought this place over a decade ago, it was a rundown two-star hotel with a questionable clientele (yes, that kind – just without the red lights). With a lot of love and hard work, they've turned it into a fashionable, affordable, modern three-star hotel with sparkling environmental credentials. With just over 40 rooms, it's great for cycling groups or solo riders. 

In short, if you're a cyclist and you're after a reliable, stylish, clean, mid-range hotel in Paris whose staff won't blink an eyelid if you drag your bike and panniers through the door, then this is the one for you.

Hotel de La Porte Dorée
273, avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris (Île-de-France)
+33 (0)1 43 07 56 97 /
Official website
Use the code FREEWHEELINGPARIS on the official site for a 10% discount.

Other hotels in Paris + bike hire

See here for cycling in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris.

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