This stylish Paris airport hotel offers comfort and value, just a short walk from Terminal 3
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On my recent trip to Paris I needed a convenient hotel near Charles de Gaulle airport for a quick layover; I had stayed at other CitizenM hotels and enjoyed the experience so CitizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle was already on my radar.
Hotels near Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
I would be arriving from Madrid in the evening, and leaving on a flight to the U.S. early the next morning, so wanted to be within a short shuttle ride of the airport. When I looked at the CDG website CitizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle was among a group of brand name choices at the airport, including Hilton, Novotel, Pullman Paris and Ibis. A quick check on Tripadvisor showed CitizenM was ranked first among the Paris airport hotels. Even better, it along with Hilton and Ibis, were within a walk of Terminal 3 – no shuttle required.
I compared a few rates and CitizenM’s was comparable, so I reserved it. I’d figure out exact instructions for walking to the hotel just before I traveled. (Of course, I forgot to do that… luckily it was easy to find. More below.)
Rates at CitizenM Charles de Gaulle Hotel
Rates at CitizenM vary based on location, the season and demand. In early October I paid about €160 including tax, or about US$190. Note that the further out you book the better (almost always). As with most hotels, the reservation could be cancelled until the day before, should my plans change.
CitizenM is a Netherlands-based hotel chain which brands itself as an “affordable luxury” hotel choice. It launched in 2008 with its first hotel at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. Today there are 20 locations with plans for 16 more hotels in the next three years.
Regardless of location, the rooms are identical in size and style, and all with a King bed. And yes, they are small, about 150 square feet. That’s one of the ways they keep the price point low. While most CitizenM hotels are in Europe, it also has locations in the U.S. and Asia.
Navigating Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
I arrived from Madrid quite late, picked up my checked bag and oriented myself. Most flights arrive at Terminal 2 in Charles de Gaulle, as mine did. I determined that I would need to take a short airport train to Terminal 3. From there CitizenM should be a short walk.
Luckily, I find Paris Charles de Gaulle airport quite easy to navigate. The signs are in English as well as French and everything is well marked. The signs to the train were easy to follow, with many also showing the group of Terminal 3 hotels as well, so I was assured I was headed the right way. Once on the train I realized it also makes stops at parking areas, so make sure you don’t get off at one of those
When I arrived at Terminal 3, I took the escalator upstairs and followed the signs to CitizenM, which led me to an exit. After exiting Terminal 3, I saw a walkway immediately outside; it was lit and semi-covered. In the distance the CitizenM Paris CDG hotel was visible (pictured above). It’s a square black building with a mural of “citizens” in mid step, and a large red M at the top. It was a clear night, a short walk, and in less than 5 minutes I was there. If you get confused just ask someone. Many people in Paris speak English
Check-in was smooth and I was warmly welcomed back. I find the CitizenM staff very friendly. Note that your room key can double as a luggage tag, so hang on to it when you leave.
I was given a voucher for a free cocktail (a thanks for booking direct on their website) and asked if I wanted breakfast. I opted yes for breakfast at a cost of 16.95 euros. Not cheap, but since I had a long flight the next day I decided I would want breakfast. I didn’t want to remove my mask in the terminal to eat (I feel safer eating on planes with their excellent air filtration, than in airports). Note: I haven’t seen rates that include breakfast.
I hadn’t eaten since lunch that day so after settling into my room returned to the lobby for a glass of wine, using my voucher, and a light dinner. The CitizenM menu is typically small but offers a nice selection of international dishes; everything I’ve tried has been very good. Entree choices included Fish Curry, Ramen, a vegetarian Pasta al Forno and a very French Boeuf Andalou, priced between €14-18. I had veggie dumplings, quite good and a nice glass of white wine – it would be my last wine in Paris for some time. Yes, I was at the airport, but I was still in Paris, and I savored it.
Back in my room I grabbed the room iPad and started adjusting the room controls. All settings are controlled from here, from temperature (22 C) the automatic blinds (down), the television (BBC World) and the alarm – on! I scrolled through the various colored lighting options before settling on blue. I also enjoy pink.
While the rooms are small, they are like a cute cabin on a ship. Every square inch of space has been used in a clever way, from the open closet to the vanity which is separate from the shower and toilet area. There’s lots of shelving and drawers built under the bed. And a mini fridge, which I always appreciate, especially in France (somewhere to keep the Sancerre chilled).
At breakfast, I was happy to see croissants along with a nice variety of cold and warm foods. Even better, it came with a choice of a made-to-order coffee from the barista (pssst… you can have more than one). I wouldn’t have to choose between an American and a Flat White.
While CitizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle lacks the balcony with show-stopping views, which I had enjoyed in both New York City and at the Paris Champs Elysées location, where I spent one night to try it out, it was enjoyed nonetheless.
There is an outdoor patio are at CitizenM Charles de Gaulle, but it’s on the ground level of the hotel. And the restaurant, bar area known as the living room was comfortable and welcoming in the evening.
Did CitizenM CDG Paris Meet my Expectations?
I am happy to report that yes, I found it was equal in comfort and service to the CitizenM Bowery in New York and the newly opened CitizenM Champs Elysées, in central Paris. As expected I had a compact but stylish room, very comfy bed and soft adjustable lighting that had me dreaming of my flight home.
Other Layover Options at Paris Charles de Gaulle
Closest Hotel to Charles de Gaulle - The Sheraton, Terminal 2
That said there is also a Sheraton at Terminal 2 which would be an even shorter walk. It was more expensive than the CitizenM, when I compared them. And it doesn’t rate quite as well with travelers on Tripadvisor (CitizenM is #1 and Sherton is #6, among CDG hotels.)
I was glad I went with CitizenM, and happy to have a bit of a walk after sitting for hours, but if I was traveling with someone elderly or young children I would seriously consider the Sheraton instead.
Hourly Rates at the YotelAir
If your layover will be during the day, but you will need somewhere to rest, the YotelAir at Terminal 2, Charles de Gaulle, might be a good choice. I haven’t stayed here, but offers well-designed compact rooms with a bed, bathroom with shower and superfast Wifi. YotelAir at CDG requires a minimum 4-hour stay and charges hourly beyond that. They allow 2 adults with 1 child under 5 in a room; additional children would require an adult to get another room. It is located in the transit area of Terminal 2E gate L. YotelAir also has locations at the following airports: Amsterdam Schiphol, Istanbul (Airside), London Gatwick and Singapore Changi.
It is a sister chain to Yotel Hotels with small stylish hotels in 13 cities around the world.
And if you are still contemplating choosing a hotel at Terminal 2 versus Terminal 3, here are links to more information on Tripadvisor: Sheraton CDG at Terminal 2 and CitizenM CDG (a short walk from Terminal 3).