Thursday 7 December 2017

UK-Paris Day 13: La Vallée Village & Explorers Hotel

We finished breakfast and got ready to check out and head to our Disneyland hotel.

I explored 2 transport options to Disneyland:
  1. Taxi (1 hour, cost €95)
  2. Train (1 hour 45 minutes, ~€10 per person)
    • Take Paris Metro from Grand Boulevards Station to Opera Station
    • Walk from Opera Station to Auber Station
    • Take RER A from Auber Station to Marne-la-Vallée Chessy Station (~€7.50 per person) - Make sure not to buy RER ticket from yellow machines (more info here)
    • Take the free shuttle to the hotel
We decided to go with Option 1 as our experience with lugging our luggage via the Paris Metro on our first day at Paris was enough to deter us from taking the train! Even though the taxi costs almost 3 times more than public transport, it was worth it for the convenience.

The taxi was large enough to accommodate 8 persons and at least 4 extra-large luggage so if you've got a lot of people in your group, it's even more worth it.

Our taxi to our Disneyland hotel

We arrived at Explorers Hotel, one of the official hotels of Disneyland Paris. The hubby chose this hotel for its kid-friendly facilities and family rooms.

Explorers Hotel
(Address: 50, avenue de la Fosse des Pressoirs, 77700 Magny Le Hongre)
Explorers Hotel Christmas scene for phototaking
Clockwise from left: An impressive water fountain near the lifts;
Waiting area at the lobby;
The Check-in counter is a pirates ship!

As our room will only be available at 3pm, we locked our luggage at the hotel's lockers (this service is provided FREE) before heading out to do some shopping at the nearby malls.

Easy to use self-locking system.
The lockers were also large enough to put even our biggest luggage (and we had A LOT of luggage!).

We took the hotel's FREE Shuttle Service (Bus HVFS) to Marne-la-Vallée Chessy Station, which is also located next to Disneyland Paris.

Explorers Hotel's shuttle bus to and from Marne-la-Vallée Chessy Station/ Disneyland Paris.
(Frequency: Every 15-20 minutes;
Time: 8am - Midnight)

At Marne-la-Vallée Chessy Station, we tried to buy our RER train tickets from the machines, as we have always done. After queuing for 20 minutes, we realised that the machines didn't have English instructions! Thankfully some French teenagers were queuing behind us and they helped us buy the tickets! They were really sweet and helpful! So thankful to them!

We took RER A to Val d'Europe Station (just one stop away) at €1.90 per person per way. Unlike the Paris Metro, you'd need to keep your RER ticket as you will need it to exit.

I must be some frog in the well to be so amused by double decker trains as I've never seen them before!
First time seeing stairs in a train.
Really smart idea!
Arrived at Val d'Europe Station

We had lunch at Restaurant Pizza Di Roma because as usual, the hubby had a good feeling about this restaurant even though it looked to be rather empty. And as usual, he was right because the restaurant was full just 15 minutes after we sat down.

Restaurant Pizza Di Roma
(Address: 17 Place d'Ariane, 77700 Chessy, France)
We ordered beef steak and salmon spagghetti.
The restaurant was, of course, also famous for their pizzas but we're not pizza people. 

After lunch we walked through Val d'Europe shopping mall to get to the outlet shops at La Vallée Village.

Val d'Europe
(Address: 14 Cours du Danube, 77700 Serris, France)

It's a really huge mall with a lot of shops and restaurants! We walked for about 20 minutes before we reached the other end, which is linked to La Vallee Village.

La Vallee Village
(Address: 3 Cours de la Garonne, 77700 Serris, France
Outlet shopping along this street!
Shopped and bought stuff at Michael Kors and Longchamp! So much cheaper here.
Too bad the queue at Gucci was too long and it was raining so I didn't get to shop there.

Although I managed to buy bags here, I was disappointed that there weren't other brands I love such as Prada, Tods or LV! So sad that I didn't manage to buy a new wallet for myself.

After shopping, we stopped by Paul at Val d'Europe for, you guessed it, our favourite croissants!

Chocolate croissant is my favourite bread

We bought our dinner to be eaten at our hotel and headed back.

Our room was definitely ready for us by the time we reached back to our hotel. We booked the Quad Room at S$169.67 per room per night via Agoda. The room accommodates 4 persons and includes breakfast (more details in the next post, link at the end of this post).

Double decker bed at the entrance
Queen size bed decorated in Pirate theme
The TV and tiny table
(there's a connecting door so you can have connecting rooms if you are a large travelling party)
Very tiny but usable closet space at the side of the bed
The toilet and bathroom is once again separated.
The bathtub is a good size and perfect for warm baths in the freezing cold weather. 

The hubby and I booked Explorers Hotel for the many kid-friendly activities that they offer!

Activities for Kids at Explorers Hotel:

1) The Secret Lagoon Swimming Pool 

The Secret Lagoon Pool
(Opening hours: 8am - 11pm)
This pool is indoor and heated so that everyone can have fun, even in winter!

The huge pirate ship and 3-storey dragon slide are the highlights of this pool! My girl had sooo much fun! 

Do note that NO TOWELS will be provided and you are NOT allowed to use your hotel room's towel! Please remember to bring your own towels or you would have to buy one from them or the Disney Shop.

And most importantly, don't forget to bring your swim wear! You would not want to miss checking out this pool!

2) Wreck of The Seven Seas Criminal Playground

Huge pirate ship playground next to the pool and restaurant
Has an entrance for the kids to explore below the ship
Climbing up the octopus beside the ship
Steering the ship at the deck

The girl had a lot of fun playing here before she went to bed every night!

3) Scally Wagg's Jungle Adventure Indoor Playground

Sally Wagg's Jungle Adventure

This is an indoor playground that is FREE for all guests! The girl was really looking forward to playing there but unfortunately, it was closed for maintenance when we were there! Super SAD!

4) Sir Archibald's Ship Outdoor Playground

Sir Archibald's Ship

Following the pirate theme once again, the outdoor playground is yet another pirate's ship! My girl really wanted to play there too but it was simply too cold in the winter!

5) 6D Cinema 

6D Theatre
(Opening Hours: 6pm - 10pm)

There's also a 6D Theatre within the hotel but each show costs €5 per person. However, with so many free activities to do in the hotel, hardly anyone pays to watch the 6D show!

6) Video Arcade

Video Arcade
(Opening hours: 8am - Midnight) 

There's also a video arcade and even pool tables (pool tables located outside the Disney Shop) to entertain the older kids.

7) Shop at the Disney Shop 

As an official Disneyland Paris hotel, Explorers Hotel has a Disneyland Paris Boutique within the hotel's premises

Lastly, you can also shop at the official Disneyland Paris Boutique without squeezing with everyone else. They may not have a lot of variety but I'm sure that you would be able to find something you'd like. I found a beautiful Minnie and Eiffel figurine that fits perfectly in my collection!

As you can see, a stay at Explorers Hotel is a highlight for the kids in itself, even before you set foot in Disneyland Paris! I strongly recommend staying here, unless you're staying at Disneyland Paris Hotel 😄

Can't wait to visit Disneyland Paris tomorrow, woohoo!

Continue to >> UK-Paris Day 14: Disneyland Paris
<< Back to UK-Paris Day 12: Eiffel, Arc de Tromphe, Lourve & Moulin Rouge


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on UK and Paris, France
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