Any visitor, especially an English visitor coming to/from Paris and using Channel ports, or locals from Normandy, or Belgian visitors too, can benefit from the green, calm and friendly atmosphere in the Cergy/Pontoise/Courdimanche area, but most especially from Didier's enormous and kind efforts to make a guest feel genuinely 'at home', in a relaxed way. It is a quick run from this N.W. Paris area to/from the Channel, without the hassle, costs and dangers of central-Paris driving! And it is great for central-Paris. So this place should not be overlooked!
- a host who listens and provides lots of kind side benefits, including use of his friendly village garage (20kms away) when the exhaust system fell apart on my car, and a friendly presence and support, when he is at home himself;
- Cergy is a modern development with streets, lighting and buildings in good condition and an appealing style). There are some good shops, supermarket, pizza and Indian style restaurants and local but modern bars, nearby;
- efficient transport to and from the very centre of Paris: €7 one-way on the RER line A from Cergy Le Haut and (for night birds) the comfortable and efficient night bus, the N150, which is actually a coach with reclining seats and attentive staff - leaving Saint-Lazare station forecourt roughly 1am, 3am, 5am (about €8 one way). Cergy railway station is only a 20min walk along well-lit green-type paths. I felt very safe using night transport and local night walks to the station to maximise time in the middle of Paris ! …
- best foot-path route towards Cergy station includes use of Avenue de l'Orangerie, then Allée des Mandariniers and Rue Pégase across to Rue de la Destinée to the cinema and station entrance: once done in daylight the route is easy to follow back, at night! 20min each way, only
- for N150 users: large friendly café, Marco Polo, (URL HIDDEN) at Saint-Lazare - opposite N150 bus bay. Useful as a final 'pit-stop' before boarding the 1am coach
- the host (Didier) taking many steps to tailor-fit his home (including information and support that he gives to guests) to make central Paris seem (and be) close-and-hand, while at the same time a guest then has a good night's sleep in a tranquil environment away from all the noise that will surround most smaller hotels in the middle of town. The bed and rooms are comfortable and I particularly appreciated a 2m-high shower and use of some basic kitchen equipment. Didier's home is made nice by its surrounding small garden and the running-water of the 'Giverny-bridge' feature at the centre of this small enclosed circle of houses: it feels like a 'gated' community, without the gates … in a entirely safe and private way …
Didier is the kind of host who can become a friend and while he rightly needs his own space and fair boundaries, he is obviously taking very seriously what he is offering to visitors