If you are going to Paris this summer, there might be a way for you to score a reasonably priced hotel room. I just read an article on CNN about a program called payez ce que vous voulez or pay what you will that’s being promoted at several hotels in Paris from July 21 to August 10. This is the first time I’ve heard of the notion of “honesty rates”. It’s a novel idea, letting the guests decide on the fair rate they would like pay for a night stay in the hotel. I know from past experience that hotels in Paris can be very expensive, so the opportunity to decide on what you want to pay in the peak summer season seems too good to be true.
Being curious I decided to check out the link for this promotion. After two attempts, I was able to get to the page where I can fill in my information to request a reservation (there is a booking fee of 17 Euro). It’s worth noting that the website is in French, so unless you have a strong grasp of the language, make sure you have Google Translate open as well, so you understand all the fine print. On that page, you can select a hotel of your choice out of the five participating hotels, located in the 9th and 11th arrondissements. The hotels all looked spacious and modern. I didn’t go through the whole process to actually request a room so I don’t know if there is any availability left. Checking out the website of the actual hotel, I can see that rates run about 150 Euro per night.
I don’t know if the experiment will crash and burn or if people will play fair and actually pay the market price. At the very least, it is generating buzz and may increase tourism to the city of light and to the hotels specifically, not that Paris needs any help in that department. Do you like this idea? If you have a choice, what would you pay for a hotel in Paris? Comment and let me know if you think this is the future of hotels and if you’ve seen this being done before, elsewhere.