The place to stay in the 9e arrondissement.
We've spent the last few days at the Alba Opera Hotel, an interesting place. It is the embodiment of the historic, cultural, and architectural charm of the 9e arrondissement.
Alba Opera ...
Many artists and musicians have stayed here over the years. In the 1930s, Louis Armstrong lived here for a year. In the days that we've been here, there have been two interviews and a photoshoot. One of the interviews was with Race Horses. They performed live at the hotel. While we couldn't watch the performance, we enjoyed listening it through the walls.
Speaking of rooms, they are simple but clean. My first night, I really wondered how I was going to be able to sleep here as every noise seemed to echo through my room. The noise from the lobby, the streets, the other rooms all seemed to filter through my room. Maybe I had some weird jetlag or maybe I just got used to it; either way I've had no problems sleeping. The room has a nice dressing room with wardrobe. The three-piece bath is adequate, but I still haven't figured out how to take a shower without flooding the bathroom!
The staff is very friendly, with just the right amount of French aloofness, enough so that we really feel like we are having a nice France experience. They encourage us to speak French and come to our rescue when our language skills failed. They are very helpful and easily accommodated my 6-hour early check in. The main concierge (I think he must be the owner/manager) has been present since day one and he is great.
The hotel is located on a cul-de-sac just off the rue de la tour d'Auvergne accessed by rue des Martyrs. We've spent a lot of time on the rue de Martyrs. There we've found great restaurants and shops. This road has been our main road on our walking journeys. From this road we can see the Montmartre.
This area seems pretty safe, during the day anyway. There are a number of homeless people and their dogs curling up on the streets. They are mostly quiet and sit their with a cap. Night, we were out later than usual and a man, who appeared to be homeless, called out, hey, hey, hey. He then followed us and waited for us outside a store.
Every day we wake up to this view. I could get used to it.