I too stayed in the Henry IV hotel in Paris – up two flights to the lobby, and then three more to our room (or so it seemed). The door to the room didn’t close properly, the sink had a drip, there was only a broken down ¾ bed. The toilet was indeed across the fire escape in another building, but the room had a window. And if you climbed out the window you stood on your own 5 by 9 fenced in sort of roof setback overlooking the Place Dauphine Park with a good view to the side of Notre Dame in the distance. Utter Bliss!! My companion and I decided we would manage. For that view we’d sleep on the floor if we had to, and as far as being robbed – what thief would want to climb all those stairs? We ate half our meals take out sitting on our setback and soaking in the atmosphere. We traveled to the sights via the Bato boat bus practically at our doorstep – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Toulerie Gardens etc. We climbed to the Notre Dame bell tower, and experienced the Summer solstice when the Cathedral lawn was covered with picnickers celebrating at midnight, some dancing around a maypole.
And it was indeed cheap, maybe $25 Just 12 years ago. Thank you for your article. What a flood of nostalgic memories it brings.
He was gracious enough to reply
“Thanks for your note about the Henri IV. I’ve never known anyone who stayed there, or even had heard of it, except myself. I don’t stay there anymore, but when I ‘m in Paris I’m likely to wander over there.”