Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2013: Staying Off Site at Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe

So I have covered the driving there part of this trip report, and now comes where we stayed. For the first time in 14 trips, we were going to stay off site, as in not in one of the Disneyland Paris resort hotels. I’d priced it all up before but never seemed to find a price which was cheaper than staying on site. That was until I explored more than just the partner hotels, and also annual passports.

In the past I had heard people talk of how cheap it was to stay off site and so now it was time to put that theory to the test. I wanted to go as cheap as possible and in doing this I booked, after just a few hours of deciding we were going to actually go on this trip, a room at the Premiere Classe Marne la Vallée – Bussy St Georges. We are a family who spend little time in the hotel, so what could go wrong with a hotel that only cost £154 for the 4 nights? First of all were the reviews, which I should have read a few more of before I booked, which talked of it being very noisy and not very comfortable. That’ll teach me to sort by price and book the one at the top.

The second problem was that the second bed, which would be for my 5 year old son Lucas, was attached to the wall and hung over the main double bed at a right angle to it. As much as that seemed like it could be an adventure at first, I wasn’t sure I’d get any sleep knowing he was suspended above me, and I wasn’t keen on him being stuck up there so high during the night. One problem – I’d booked using a lower no cancellation price…oops. I did a bit more hunting around and found that someone had stayed there just recently with a 5 year old child, only to find the bed had a label on it saying that the hanging bed was for children of 6 and above. Could this be my way out? I hoped so and emailed Booking.com to request a cancellation based on the room not being suitable and the information on the website not being complete.

To their credit they got back to me very quickly, on a Sunday, and within an hour my booking had been cancelled at no cost to myself. Less encouraging is that their website still doesn’t let you know that the bed is not for anyone under the age of 6. As efficient as they were with my refund I’ll never again book with Booking.com, not now I can see that even with updated information they haven’t changed their website and subsequently people will continue to book what could be unsafe sleeping conditions for children under the age of 6.

Next I read a lot of reviews on Trip Advisor and also on several Disney forums. This led me to the Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe apartment hotel (aparthotel). It seemed well placed with only a short walk to both the RER station and the shopping centre, which contained among many other shops, a big supermarket. I went ahead and booked an apartment with a main bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and lounge with a sofa bed. It was more expensive at £225, but I had peace of mind that it was more than likely going to be a far more pleasurable experience than staying in the hotel with the hanging bed.

I found it very easily, after driving past it, and one of the first things I had to do was sort out the parking. I’d read a review which mentioned having to book parking so I did just that, and my email was replied to very quickly with confirmation that my reservation had been received and confirmed. Check in was very quick and efficient, and I was soon driving through not one, but two, remote activated security doors and into the underground parking area. Not only did I feel safe in the knowledge that my car would be out of harm’s way for the duration of our stay, but there was another entrance into the aparthotel from this subterranean level. The parking was an extra cost of €8 (£6.79) a day. Well, I say per day, they could quite easily have said my car was there on 5 different days and charged me €40 (£33.95), but they instead charged me for 4 days at €32 (£27.16).

Once inside the apartment I was surprised at how big it was, and delighted to see a walk in wardrobe in both the hallway and the bedroom. The bathroom and bedrooms were both roomy and the kitchen was small but functional, and didn’t need to be any bigger for its intended use. Everything was clean, from the linen to the furnishings, to the bathroom fittings and the crockery & cutlery in the kitchen. To say we were delighted with the apartment would be an understatement – why had we spent a decade paying more to stay in hotel bedrooms with far less space, and with no lounge and kitchen?

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d'Europe Lounge

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe Lounge

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d'Europe Bedroom

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe Bedroom

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d'Europe Sofabed

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe Sofabed

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d'Europe Hallway

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe Hallway

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d'Europe Kitchen

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe Kitchen

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d'Europe Bathroom

Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe Bathroom

All unpacked we made our way to the train station, after getting directions from the very friendly lady behind reception. In around 5 minutes we were there, already. The area around the apartment and en route was very nice, and being a commercial district was populated by very decent looking people. Train tickets cost just €1,40 or €10,90 if you bought a batch of ten, €5,45 for children aged 4 to 10. I bought all the tickets during the trip from an automated machine which had an option for instructions in English, but there were also manned booths.

The train journey itself took about 3 minutes, and trains were very regular, though late in the evening they would sometimes wait for 10-15 minutes at the Disneyland Paris Chessy station before departing. We managed to get a seat on each and every journey, and the trains never got so busy that people were jammed on like a London Underground train during rush hour.

Walking back to the apartment, even as late as 12.30am, we never felt unsafe and the area was very well lit. The apartments were very quiet and we never had any problems with noisy neighbours. Though we never tried it, the aparthotel did have a breakfast room and offered breakfast at €8 for adults and €4 for children under 13 years old. Be warned though, there was no kettle, so if boiling water in a saucepan is too much effort to get your morning coffee then take one with you.

Outside Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d'Europe

Outside Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe

Approaching The Val d'Europe Train Station

Approaching The Val d’Europe Train Station

All in all our experience at Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe was very pleasurable and will not hesitate to stay there again on future trips to Disneyland Paris. The total price, including taxes (€0.99 per adult per night) at £6.72, train tickets at £27.75 and the aforementioned parking was £286.04.

The next thing we needed were annual passports (APs) which thanks to Lynette, who also recommended the aparthotel, I got from CE Multi-Advantages. I paid €20 to register to use the website and then the cost of Fantasy APs was €125 each for my wife and I, and thanks to a deal they were doing, only €35 for Lucas. Converting to pounds sterling that comes to £258.84, and the grand total for the aprthotel option with APs to £544.88. When I looked at booking a package to stay on site in the Hotel Santa Fe, it would have cost me a little over £1,000. That means I made a saving of £455.12, which when you combine that with the saving of £370 we made from driving rather than Eurostar, then this off-site self driven holiday was £825.12 less than staying on the Hotel Santa Fe and traveling by Eurostar. Also worth noting that you get Extra Magic Hours with APs, so you can stay off site and still ride Peter Pan’s Flight with less than a 60 minute queue.

The whole experience was very easy and enjoyable, and when you are saving that much money there’s no real argument against staying off site, is there? I won’t lie, it is nice waking up in a Disney hotel, and I did miss walking along the Rio Grande River and past Lake Disney every morning. However, when you consider that now we have APs, we could book another 3 trips of this kind with the money we have saved. Well, it makes you think.

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As the founder of Dedicated to DLP Steve is a self confessed Disneyland Paris fanatic and has an unrivaled passion for the resort, its history and what makes it work. He has a particular love of Pirates of the Caribbean, which he often talks about as the host of the podcast and the weekly YouTube show.

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5 Responses to “Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2013: Staying Off Site at Séjours & Affaires Serris Val d’Europe”

  1. G says:

    Great review!
    Though I must clarify that normally only the Dream AP’s have access to the Extra Magic Hours

  2. Nikki says:

    @ G.

    That’s not true. You also get Extra Magical Hours with the Fantasy Annual Passport, I have that one myself.

  3. Figgygirl says:

    Useful review and photos. Thanks. I also stayed offsite for the first time in 21 years 30th July – 2nd August, but in Hipark Serris, which I highly recommend, especially in summer for the outdoor pool in hot weather.
    I also have a Fantasy AP, which does allow entry to Extra Magic Hours, but the first Peps bus (free) from Hipark went at 08.50, so for EMH at 8am you need to walk (15-20 mins), RER train from Val DE station, or taxi.

    • Figgygirl says:

      One thing I missed was being able to take my time leaving the park after Dreams and spending some time in the WOD Store and Village, as the last Peps 50 bus for Hipark, Adagio and Hotel Elysee left at 00.15. I wouldn’t have fancied walking back to Hipark in the dark on my own at night.
      I am staying in the Cheyenne again in November for £128 for 2 nts, which wasn’t much more than staying offsite, so always check options and prices.

  4. michel van marrewijk says:

    Stayer there a Monty ago and really didn’t like the hotel. The room was incredible hot and we couldn’t open the window because our room was at the backside of the auchan which was very noisy all night long. I was very tired when I woke up!

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