If any city in the world were oversaturated with hotels, it’d be Paris. From revamped pensions that once lodged some of the city’s most notorious down-and-out bohèmes to more recent five-star openings catering to a wealthy international crowd, there are innumerable fun (and very glamorous) places to bed down in the French capital.
So how to decide? The choice is pivotal – we all know a crap or poorly located hotel can rain on any vacation parade. That’s why we at Time Out have been through the lot, picking out the absolute best luxury, boutique and cheap hotels in Paris for your holidaymaking pleasure. Whether you want to splash the cash or tighten your belt, you’ll find all your needs catered to with this wonderful selection of Paris stays.
Best hotels in Paris
Hospitality at the Shangri-La is a serious business. More than half of the rooms – elegantly and carefully decorated by renowned craftspeople – have breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. The spa is just as dazzling, complete as it is with a 15m-by-6m pool bathed in natural light thanks to huge bay windows. Take a breather in the Asian-inspired gardens, with exotic plants like the Trachycarpus fortunei (Chusan palm) and even rarer species such as the Firmiana. Expect to feel inspired by the harmony between nature and urbanism, but don’t leave without dining in one of the three restaurants (two of which have Michelin stars).
The new face of the Ritz, which underwent four years of epic renovation work, reaches new heights of luxury. While VIPs can slip into the hotel through a private tunnel designed to maximise discretion, most guests enter through the iconic entrance at 15 Place Vendôme. The atmosphere remains intact, with a majestic staircase, the legendary Hemingway bar at the end of the gallery, signature blue curtains, gilded wood furniture, period carpets and lyre-shaped switches. The courtyard, complete with a magnificent fountain, now boasts a garden terrace that must be one of the most beautiful in Paris. The hotel is also home to a huge Chanel spa with five treatment rooms in the basement.
This century-old building is full of history and was once The Majestic, another luxury hotel. Many famous guests lodged in the drawing rooms – think Picasso, Stravinsky, Marcel Proust and George Gershwin, who wrote ‘An American in Paris’ here in 1928. The site was later Unesco’s headquarters until 1958, before being turned into the International Conference Centre, where the treaty which ended the Vietnam War was signed. Pass an imposing pair of lions as you enter the white stone building, before descending into an grandiose main hall: think Versailles-style ceilings, with an enormous Lasvit chandelier – then even more handmade crystal glass, sophisticated mouldings, marble and woodwork.
An extravagantly gorgeous hotel with a location and backstory that are hard to beat. The converted 19th-century mansion is set in the grounds of what used to be the world’s first hot air balloon field, and design references to this buoyant past are everywhere. There are sweeping staircases and individually designed rooms, plus oceans of space in the private gardens (which gives the impression you’re nowhere near central Paris).
This former brothel is hidden away from the world and keeps the spirit of Belle Époque Pigalle alive. Jacques Garcia’s orientalist décor has got a serious Arabian Nights vibe: 1895 Cordoba leather on the walls, Moorish earthenware, porcelain, copper and bric-à-brac furniture – everything is magnificent. Plunge into the other dazzling commodities: a bar serving delicious cocktails and the spa, with a swimming pool you can rent by the hour. Upstairs, the 20 rooms and six suites are upwards of €450 but will certainly make you rethink the meaning of ‘chic’. Each one is named after a different courtesan and embraces a particular foreign culture (Japanese, Indian, Chinese).
Okay, so the 7th arrondissement may not be a popular location for Paris’s high-class hotels. But Le Cinq Codet has proved itself one of the finest five-star hotels in the capital. Walking along the discreet Rue Louis Codet, you can’t help but stare at this huge, 1930s building, its incredible architecture (curved outside with strong lines and huge bay windows) reminiscent of an ocean liner’s bow. Expect to be struck by the serenity of the place, as well as Jean-Philippe Nuel’s décor: a wealth of modern artworks and photography, contemporary furniture and sculpture. All 29 of the rooms are comfortable and full of light, blending wood, white and warmer colours. There’s also a gym, spa and hammam, plus a restaurant which opens out on to a patio.
Majestically located between the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides, the Narcisse Blanc Hotel-Spa observes the city through its grand windows, but remains far from the bustle of the city. Never flashy, always discreet and luxurious, the rooms play upon delicate, light, cream-coloured tones. Art Deco, Art Nouveau and ultra-modern furniture come together in perfect harmony with ravishing fabrics like velour, tweed and silk. To truly indulge in some R&R, there’s a spa complete with pool, jacuzzi and elegant relaxation beds, plus a sauna, hammam and massage room. Other extras include terraced gardens and rooms for hire.
The opening of the MGallery Molitor made quite the splash. The famous Art Deco swimming pool was defunct for 20 years after closing its doors in 1989. However, after two years of colossal work, this mythical establishment in the 16th arrondissement has reincarnated as a luxurious complex complete with five-star hotel, restaurant and spa. Straight through the main doors, visitors are faced with an open-top Rolls-Royce Corniche tagged by graffiti artist JonOne. Behind this, a bay window reveals the famous Molitor pool surrounded on all sides by the hotel building with rooms looking out on to the pool.
With its enormous golden dragons on the walls, lacquered furniture and Chinese wardrobes, the Buddha-Bar Hôtel is the mirror image of its famous restaurant, which is enough to fill anyone with wanderlust for the Eastern climes. 4 Rue d’Anjou invites guests to travel back in time to 1930s Shanghai. Illuminated by 100 cinnabar lanterns, the entrance of the hotel is like an Asian temple. It earns every one of its five stars; in this magnificent 19th-century mansion, now classified as a historic monument, a labyrinth of corridors leads to the 37 rooms and 19 suites decorated by architect François Wapler (DWA). Imperial yellow pleated silk in the corridors, prunus branches with flowers along the bar and delicate amber-coloured silk suspensions in the rooms make for a guaranteed change of scenery.
Place Vendôme is a fiefdom of Parisian luxury: it’s the city’s bling-bling jewellery area, after all, and is also home to many of its five-star hotels. But there’s one charming bolthole that’s slightly harder to find than most. Housed in a bourgeois home dating back to 1685, the discreet frontage of the Hôtel de Vendôme conceals a lobby that’s all charming varnished wood and marble, and the 29 rooms are just as glam. Take the Deluxe suite for example, overlooking Rue Saint-Honoré: a vision of sky blue and pale pink with a period chandelier hanging over the king-size bed (with an entirely marble bathroom). It’s heaven in a room. Don’t miss the gourmet restaurant on the first floor.
Watch out – this might be love at first sight. In the 8th arrondissement, just a few steps from the Champs-Élysees, the Royal Monceau-Raffles is one of the most beautiful hotels in Paris. The modern and refined décor is by (now household name) Philippe Starck and is predictably stunning. Art is omnipresent throughout – expect a bespoke concierge art service, an art gallery and a majestic central piece in the lobby. We particularly enjoyed the garden by landscape designer Louis Benech – a wild jewel at its best in summer. What’s more, the hotel’s very own 99-seat cinema regularly hosts previews and private screenings.
Surrounded by haute couture fashion houses and jewellers in the middle of Rue Saint-Honoré, the Mandarin Oriental is inspired as much by its surroundings at its Asian origins. Shades of grey, purple, mauve and ecru, sculptures and works of art by the likes of Nathalie Decoster, a ceiling decorated with golden leaves and a garden resembling a mini jungle-island. More impressive still are the bedrooms: luxurious without being ostentatious, filled with silk embroidered cushions, ochre taffeta curtains, silks and pearls. The furniture has its own distinct, contemporary style, in dark, polished wood. The Royale Mandarin suite (€20,000 for one night) deserves its own mention: 350 square metres of pure luxury: a gym space, large bathrooms with a jacuzzi and bath, and a glorious view of the Eiffel Tower.
Completely renovated and redecorated by Jacques Garcia in 1967, the hotel has a lot to be proud of – not least its storied past and famous guests. It was here, at 13 Rue des Beaux-Arts that Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau once frolicked, where Serge Gainsbourg composed ‘Melody Nelson’ and played ‘Je t'aime moi non plus’ for the first time, and where Jim Morrison bought the drugs that killed him. But what l’Hôtel is really famous for is Oscar Wilde, who lived here for two years before he died. In a mythical 35-square-metre room, complete with green peacock wallpaper (his favourite animal) and packed with trinkets. The first-floor Oscar Wilde suite opens on to a private terrace where guests can enjoy their breakfast in peace and quiet.
The latest member of the Starwood Group, the W is at your beck and call – and that’s not just a code of conduct, but a trademark: Whatever-Whenever. The unique concierge service, for example, organises gourmet picnics or shopping sessions in luxury boutiques. The W’s aesthetic is strong: contemporary art everywhere, ranging from photography to furniture, fusing perfectly with the building’s original details (think ornate columns, vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows). The rooms and suites are an elegant blend of historical detail and ultra-modern design, but some may find such open spaces overwhelming.
Just a few metres from the Comédie-Française theatre you’ll find Nolinski, a luxury hotel founded by Pierre Bastid and Emmanuel Sauvage with the help of interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot. Spread over six floors, Nolinski and its 45 rooms (including nine suites) offer a taste of Paris sophistication… at rather steep prices. Immersed in the golden extravagance of Opéra, this luxury five-star hotel is designed to ensure a relaxing experience for all. Wedged in between the busy Rue Saint-Honoré and Palais Garnier, guests can enjoy calm, quiet nights with quilted bed sheets in striking blues and greens – the very definition of elegance. The haute-couture décor works to breathtaking effect, from the magnificent green Carrara marble reception to the beautiful bespoke furniture.
Set in the middle of theRue Saint-Honoré, close to Concorde and the Jardin des Tuileries, Hôtel Costes offers one of the capital’s trendiest, most elegant stays – a marvel of subdued lighting and powdery velvet drapings. Built by Jean-Louis Costes in 1995 and decorated by Jacques Garcia, whose style in evident in the sumptuous décor, the place is designed with guests’ comfort in mind, even if you are just passing through. So whether you want to relax on the sublime patio, dine on mythical dishes like ‘The Crying Tiger’, enjoy tea by the fireplace, bathe in the pool, listen to music chosen by Stéphane Pompougnac or dance to DJ sets until the early hours, Hôtel Costes offers a 360-degree spread of activities.
Eastern Paris has finally laid claim to its very own five-star hotel. Located in the trendy Charonne district, not far from the Place de la Bastille, Le Boutet ticks all the boxes. Previously a cabinetmaker’s workshop dating back to 1926, it subsequently became a chocolate factory. Now its beautiful façade has been reworked in the style of a factory with mosaics and added Art Deco touches. The use of materials such as concrete, wood and polished metal also harks back to its manufacturing history. The most daring aspect of this hotel is the rooms (designed for the most part by two students from École Boulle).
Originally built as a private townhouse for the Count of Paris, Pershing Hall took on a new role in 1917 when it served as the HQ for John Pershing, the commander of the American Expeditionary Force. Keeping the majestic original façade, renowned architect Andrée Putman has redesigned it in a subtly chic style with bright colours and bespoke materials, using elegant clean lines and contemporary artwork and furniture in the rooms. The 26 rooms blend beautiful design with extreme comfort, featuring king-size beds, huge mirrors and expansive bathrooms, plus a large bath mounted on white marble balls.
From the top of the immense nine-floor Hôtel Renaissance République, you look straight down on to the Marianne statue in the middle of the Place de la République. The location is ideal – just a few strides from Canal Saint-Martin and the Grands Boulevards. Inside, there’s everything a traveller could need and more: 121 cosy rooms, a bar and an ultra-chic restaurant, plus a superb terrace with a 254-metre living wall, meeting rooms and drop-off parking. In the basement, the fitness room (open 24 hours) and a wellness area (which closes at 8pm) provide all you could need to truly relax: a hammam, sauna, jacuzzi and a Sothys treatment centre.
With its extravagant Louis XVI decor, mosaic floors and modish restyling by Philippe Starck, Le Meurice is looking grander than ever. All 160 rooms are done out in distinct historical styles; the Belle Étoile suite on the seventh floor provides panoramic views of Paris from its terrace and you can relax in the Winter Garden to the strains of regular jazz performances. For more intensive intervention, head over to the lavishly appointed spa with treatments by Valmont; or give your taste buds a whirl on chef Yannick Alléno’s refined three-Michelin-star cuisine.
Grace Leo-Andrieu’s impeccable boutique hotel is a benchmark of quality and service. It has everything that mode maniacs (who flock here for Fashion Week) could want: bathrooms stuffed with Molton Brown toiletries, a set of digital scales and plenty of mirrors. Decorated in pale lilac, cinnamon and olive tones, the entire hotel has Wi-Fi access, and each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV. Clattery two-person stairwell lifts are a nice nod to old-fashioned ways in a hotel that is otherwise tout moderne.
Le Pigalle is the direct opposite of impersonal: it was built to be a neighbourhood establishment and still functions like a local business. The place is filled with groups of friends meeting up to put on records and spend hours chatting on the sofas. Always filled with a hubbub of laughter and clinking glasses, the hotel’s reception melds into the restaurant and the conviviality will have you staying longer than planned. Designed by two inspirational architects, Charlotte de Tonnac and Hugo Sauzay, from the Festen agency, décor is inspired by the neo-classicism of the Nouvelle Athènes micro-neighbourhood. Think marble basins, curved bay windows and leopard-print detailing (a nod to the hostess bars on the same street).
In the corridors of the Grand Pigalle Hotel, it seems as if time has stopped. Decoration by Dorothée Meilichzon, the hotel designer from the Experimental Group (which includes Romée de Goriainoff, Olivier Bon and Pierre-Charles Cros), reflects its intimate atmosphere and attention to detail: brass lamps, fireplaces and mouldings, fluffy Martini-shaped pillows and in the bathroom, light earthenware. And in the middle of the room, a king-size bed crying out for someone to flop on to it. A night-blue colour palette with touches of gold gives the hotel and its 37 rooms a classic Parisian atmosphere. From the fourth-floor balcony, you can see silhouettes in the Villa Frochot gardens and envelop yourself in the white satin sheets post-bath. What with all the cosy bedding and softened light, you’ll rarely have felt this comfortable.
Located in the heart of SoPi (South Pigalle), just a few streets from Pigalle and its sex shops, this boutique hotel was opened by the prolific Costes brothers and La Clique (the team behind renowned Paris club Le Baron). The theme of the hotel is love and eroticism, an old-school recipe that appeals particularly to couples on holiday (especially fashionable ones). The décor is eclectic, slightly ramshackle and influenced by a wide range of styles. All the objects are vintage – from unusual trinkets to furniture – and more risqué pieces (including erotic magazines) are verging on antique too. Each of the 20 rooms (from €155 per night) is unique and seven feature art installations, while two have a private bar and spacious terrace.
There’s no denying that the George V is serious about luxury: chandeliers, marble and tapestries; glorious flower arrangements; divine bathrooms; and ludicrously comfortable beds in some of the largest rooms in all of Paris. The Versailles-inspired spa includes whirlpools, saunas and a menu of treatments for an unabashedly metrosexual clientele; non-guests can now reserve appointments. It’s worth every euro (from €130).
The Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal is a lot like the street it resides on: discreet and down-to-earth. But once you’re inside it’s all classical gilding, Disney princess-style staircases and high ceilings. This is also the place to drink in the shadow of the city’s most beautiful monuments, from the Sacré-Coeur to the Eiffel Tower, via the Tour Montparnasse and sprawling Haussmannian roofs. If the ludicrous view from the Panoramic Suite wasn’t enough, you’ll also get a private elevator. Although not all rooms get this picture-perfect vista, you’ll certainly get a view over the area around Palais Royal or the secret courtyard. Linen, wood, marble and period furniture make everything the height of comfort.
Mama Shelter is a step in a new direction for any Paris fan. The vast room on the ground floor is modern and warm, and from the outside, the place is impressive – but you only really experience the full impact of the massive building once you’ve entered reception. Its spot-on decoration and book collection will make you feel at home straight away. The rooms rock, too – they’re both functional and well equipped. The night is all yours to test out the well-balanced mattress, unless you’d prefer to take time to enjoy the rooftop for dinner or drinks. Make the most of the gargantuan breakfast and all the quality produce, including Dammann teas, succulent cakes and savoury dishes.
La Maison Favart might be as close as you’ll get to heaven on earth. Nestled in the 2nd arrondissement, on the discreet Rue de Marivaux, the hotel has been neighbours with the Opéra-Comique since 1824. Staff are warm and smiley, while the décor is clean without being puritanical, refined and elegant with its pastel tones and plaid carpets. Upstairs, rooms are a perfect combination of discreet charm, atmospheres of yesteryear and more contemporary details. There’s some serious romanticism in the cascade bath, fitness room, sauna and massage devices – ensuring the most relaxing of experiences to bat away everyday stresses. Our advice? Put your phone in aeroplane mode and glide off into the clouds.
Cross the Champs-Elysées, pass Saint-Philippe-du-Roule and on a small hidden street, you’ll find Hôtel Daniel. Inside is a meeting of East and West: Kazakh carpets, Chinese wallpaper, Syrian trinkets, Turkish silver platters, ebony countertops come together harmoniously in this elegant cocoon. The 36 rooms are styled on 18th-century Parisian apartments and a special mention has to go to the sublime views of the Eiffel Tower from certain suites. Ensconced in one of the classic armchairs, choose which region of the world you want to visit (via your taste buds) for the afternoon tea. The well-stocked bar is well worth a visit, too – intimate and cosy, it’s a great spot for a date.
This remains the most ‘haute-couture’ of the Paris luxury hotels, both in its proximity to the city’s fashion houses and for its shared history with Christian Dior. This Avenue Montaigne spot pays serious tribute to its rich heritage and spectacular past. All details are tasteful and tailor-made, thanks to their dream team of expert designers. The restaurant is the glittering highlight – think show-stopping presentation and a stunning décor of Swarovski chandeliers, polished stainless steel bells and solid oak tables. But in truth, everything at the Plaza is infinitely beautiful: fresh flowers bursting from every vessel, bronze furniture, marble and brushed oak in the lobby, foliage-like chandeliers in the gallery, a skate rink in the courtyard, red carpeting and a bar with a dream-like, cinematic atmosphere.
Located on Avenue Gabriel in the heart of the 8th arrondissement, this classic Haussmannian building is more than 150 years old, with views on to the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais. La Réserve Hotel and Spa is the absolute height of luxury, yet remains in keeping with the strict tradition of Michel Reybier’s other La Réserve hotels in Geneva and Ramatuelle. As is to be expected, the hotel’s interior is uniquely chic. Luxurious but never over-the-top, it certainly merits its status as a luxury hotel. The rooms feature dentilled cornices, carved frieze mouldings, fleur-de-lis tapestries, marble bathrooms and plenty of antiques. Master goldsmith Jacques Garcia’s touches give the place a serious private boudoir vibe.
This boutique made a serious impact on the hotel landscape. Its exceptional location is complemented by ubiquitous hotel designer Pierre-Yves Rochon (who also worked on the Prince des Galles). Expect flamboyant art deco with ’50s touches and contemporary accents. The 97 rooms (of which 15 are suites) are simple but elegant, with some even boasting a balcony view over Parisian rooftops. On the lower ground floor, discover the relaxation area and the 11 by 4-metre pool, lit by all-natural light. There’s also a gym, library, cosy bar and an enormous breakfast buffet. The restaurant is ‘in progress’ but one thing is for sure – it’s sure to wow.
It may be housed in a classic 19th-century Parisian building but Hôtel le A is rooted steadfastly in the present, with a contemporary, artsy New York loft vibe. On a quiet street between the Champs-Elysées and Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, guests are greeted by a beautiful abstract watercolour painting, a slick open fire and an enormous wall of books (on everything from Bauhaus to ballet). Owned by Châteaux & Hôtels Collection, a company with hundreds of haut-gamme establishments all over the world, the sleek arrangement comes as no surprise. The 26 rooms, ranging from 15 to 35 square metres, are designed minimally for the ultimate chic experience – with plenty of light, calming watercolours by Fabrice Hybert and striped monochrome carpeting.
In the 7th arrondissement’s bustling Rue Saint-Dominique, the Thoumieux family have made a big impact. At number 58, there’s the pâtisserie (and it’s exquisite sesame Paris-Brest), then at 79, with the ground-floor brasserie, Sylvestre Wahid’s gourmet restaurant on the first floor and the 15-room hotel. Taken over in 2009 by Thierry Costes and the Beaumarly group, Hotel Thoumieux comprises 15 contemporary, chic rooms by architect and designer India Mahdavi and the M/M Studio Paris. Graphic wallpaper, flowery curtains and geometric carpets make everything throb with life. Expect a meticulous sense of style from the ground up. Bathrooms are stocked with Aesop products, magnificent marble and enough space for you and the magnificent Devon&Devon-designed plumbing.
A few minutes from the Champs-Elysées, the Hôtel du Collectionneur’s pure art deco styling recalls the splendour of ’30s pre-war Paris. Expect to be wowed as soon as you enter, as noble period materials are majestically combined with more contemporary fabrics. Across from the lobby, the magnificent garden designed by landscaper Olivier Riols is serenity embodied. The luxurious rooms retain an elegant art deco spirit, while the restaurant, Safran offers modern, delicate French cuisine. Bay windows open on to the flowered terraces of the retro-chic Purple Bar, with a creative cocktail list to be sipped in one of several cosy alcoves. For more relaxation, head up to Spa Mosaic – a 400-square-metre earthly haven.
In Saint-Ouen, tucked behind a leafy red-brick wall, you’ll find not only a hotel but an entire ecosystem. Welcome to MOB. Opened by Cyril Aouizerate (who alongside Serge Trigano co-founded the Mama Shelter hotel group), MOB Hotel is comprised of 92 bedrooms but is also a place to read, roam, lunch and dance. At MOB you can feast on excellent organic pizzas, take a rooftop yoga class, watch people cultivating their cabbage patches, or take in an open-air film.
There’s no doubt that style is of utmost importance at C.O.Q. (‘Community of Quality’). Expect Memphis lamps, Zanotta furniture, Farrow & Ball paint on the walls… Designed by Pauline d’Hoop and Delphine Sauvage from Favorite agency, Michel Delloye’s C.O.Q can be truly proud of its trappings. This is a cosy hotel made up of 51 contemporary rooms which mix solid wood design furniture with ’50s pieces and bric-à-brac. While the rooms are comfy and the bathrooms decked in eye-catching black and white chevrons, it’s the dining room that’ll really blow your mind. It’s somewhere between cabinet of curiosities and a Scandinavian living room filled with artefacts: kilim carpets, globes, art books, pharmaceutical jars and insects pinned under glass.
The Bourg Tibourg has the same owners as Hôtel Costes and the same interior designer – but don’t expect this jewellery box of a boutique to look like a miniature replica. Aside from its enviable location in the heart of the Marais and its fashion-pack fans, here it’s all about Jacques Garcia’s neo-Gothic-cum-Byzantine decor, at once impressive and imaginative. Scented candles, mosaic-tiled bathrooms and luxurious fabrics in rich colours make for the perfect inner-city escape.
Less than five minutes’ walk from the centre, the Anne d’Anjou is more than a little bit special. Set in a gorgeous 18th-century mansion, its location on the riverfront seems almost too good to be true. Inside, an enormous sweeping staircase spirals up beneath a lavish trompe-l’oeil ceiling, painted by an anonymous Florentine artist in 1730. Bar, breakfast lounge and divine book room complete with fireplace all complete the picture-perfect set-up. The large rooms are individually decorated, some with their own paintings by local artists. If you can, get one of the rooms that overlook the quiet inner courtyard.
Disneyland Paris is surrounded by hotels. But if we could choose only one, it would be this majestic Victorian-era palace, with its pale pink walls and eye-popping salmon-pink roof. Its five-star rating is well-deserved (it’s also the most expensive of the Disneyland options) and you’re sure to be welcomed with open arms. Before you throw yourself into the park, though, head to the spa, complete with indoor pool, hammam, sauna and fitness centre – this is about as luxury as it gets. Toddlers can expend some energy in the games room, under the supervision of qualified instructors. Rooms are low-key (with only a few Mickey Mouse symbols to be found) and comfortable, but not dazzling.
Not far from the Moulin Rouge, with plenty of cocktail bars in the vicinity, the Trinité Haussmann is the perfect lively neighbourhood hangout. There’s nothing dodgy about this four-star Pigalle hotel, especially after its complete renovation in 2016. Owned by Maranatha hotels, Trinité Haussmann hired Laurent Maugoust (First Hotel) to design its interiors and its 34 rooms (ranging from 12 to 25 square metres). With immaculate white walls, wooden parquet flooring, rectangular mouldings and marble in the bathrooms, the décor is easily warmed to.
Enter through the discreet Rue de Helder, running perpendicular to Boulevard des Italiens, to find this mysterious spot. Ring the intercom and cross a huge corridor which opens on to a lift. The reception is on the first floor, pitched 100 metres or so from the hubbub of Opéra below: a unique view with the calm broken by a soundtrack of electronic music. Contrary to its name, there are no chess games but black and white is the order of the day here: on the checkered floors, the walls, furniture and in the restaurant. This elegant monochrome universe is the work of Philippe Starck and Christian Liaigre, who combine chic traditional French design with a more innovative contemporary vibe.
L’Echiquier is a four-star luxury hotel just around the corner from the iconic Grand Rex and Folies Bergère. Owned by the Sofitel group, it’s part of the MGallery boutique hotel collection ‘dedicated to lovers of life, literature and culture’. The sumptuous building was once frequented by Gustave Flaubert, Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac and was, before that, a hunting lodge and a convent, before becoming a hotel in 1850. It was meticulously renovated in 2015 by Lecoadic-Scotto, but look out for remarkable clues as to its history: an awning bordered with lightbulbs, an iron lift cage, the mosaic brasserie floor and stained-glass windows along the stairs.
Hidden between the Golden Triangle and the Place de l’Étoile, Hôtel Vernet has maintained its splendour and elegance for almost 100 years. The entrance and lift are a vision of wood and glass, surrounded by beautiful stained-glass windows. The corridor to the rooms is bright with light carpets and graphic-style furniture – tasteful luxury at its best. The apartments are very zen, with Carrara marble basins, glass mosaics and brass fittings. In the evening, rendez-vous under the sublime stained-glass dome designed by Gustave Eiffel at the V, the hotel’s restaurant, with an open kitchen providing a window on to the skilled chefs working their magic. Expect classic French gastronomy with an ultra-modern touch.
Between Place de Clichy and Gare Saint-Lazare, in the Saint-Georges area, the Hôtel Design Secret de Paris is a total show-stopper. There are 29 rooms and 21 with a private jacuzzi, with décor that offers a surreal six-stop tour of the city. Prepare to plunge into Palais Chaillot at Trocadéro, an artist’s Montmartre workshop, an indispensable visit to the Eiffel Tower, Opéra Garnier, the Musée d’Orsay or even a racy night at the Moulin Rouge. The Hôtel Design Secret de Paris also has everything on hand to help unwind after a hardcore day of pavement-pounding: we highly recommend the wellness area, complete with massages, sauna and hammam.
This building was once a private townhouse but became a hotel in 1905 and, following a welcome makeover in 2015, it now boasts 80 rooms and 21 suites. Venerated designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has kept the spirit of the past alive, with stately crystal chandeliers, marble fireplaces, period console tables and vintage clocks. Michelin-starred restaurant Le Céladon has an equally bourgeois style. Go for the tender venison or subtle langoustine, and expect a range of gourmet flavours you won’t forget in a hurry. The traditional Duke’s Bar and its 1930s cocktail menu also make for a delightful experience. The place oozes class – think green leather seats and 150-year-old mahogany panelling.
Just opposite Square Montholon, in the Poissonnière area, the Hôtel du Temps offers rates similar to other three-star chains – but with a lot more soul. The super-talented fashion designer Alix Thomsen and Laura Léonard (architect and scenographer) are responsible for the elegant, timeless decor – think beautifully kitsch green, vintage furniture and some very Haussmannian details. All 23 rooms are perfectly executed and start from €120. Not forgetting the spirits bar on the ground floor, a basement room for private rental and afternoon tea, complete with sweet treats from star pâtissier Christophe Michalak. Enough to keep you occupied without even leaving the hotel.
Opened in 2006, the Five Hôtel was the first boutique in the French capital and its reputation has blossomed, thanks to the creative and passionate team behind it. Close to Jardin des Plantes, Vincent Bastie and Marie Paule Clout’s design conjures images of romantic adventures and enchanted other worlds. Five is overlaid with the colour of passion – red. And although business clientele may fill the rooms during the week, at weekends, it becomes a playground for couples. The 25 rooms are divine: the design works, but it’s the atmosphere that’s really special. Each one plays on the senses with colours, luxurious fabrics and subtle lighting.
Located on one of the most beautiful squares in Paris, the Pavillon de la Reine seems like it’s always been there. Staying the night at this luxury hotel is a real treat, like a slice of paradise in the middle of Paris’s beating heart. Expect to feel at ease as soon as you walk in; with an entrance between two art galleries and a cosy private terrace, the building gives off an alluring charm. It would be easy to while away the hours here, just taking in the surroundings. Or in the ground floor library, sipping fine wine or whisky while flicking through one of many antique books. The team hired decorator Didier Benderli to give each room its unique character, modernising it without detracting from its original elegance. This is the ideal stay for travellers in search of discretion and luxury in the Marais.
An iconic Saint-Germain-des-Prés building, La Belle Juliette hotel tells the story of Juliette Récamier, a 19th-century local who hosted a literary salon and was able to counter most of the intellectuals and politicians of her time. Each floor of the 45-room hotel corresponds to a period in Juliette’s life: exile, Italy, her relationship with Chateaubriand, her time in the salons, her friendships and her suitors. The rooms are decked out in a contemporary Scandinavian style, which contrasts with the period pieces. The spa is tinged with poetry and romance, too – it’s a proper boudoir escape (and allows for total relaxation).
The Seven Hôtel, in the middle of the Latin Quarter, is sure to wow. A bevvy of French designers, architects and decorators have created seven different ‘universes’ – suites – aimed at romantics. There’s ‘Lovez-vous’, the main suite with stone, wood, fur, leather, plus a round bed, gorgeous fireplace and a private terrace with spa, or the cloud-like ‘Sublime’, with its illuminated cotton-draped bed, a sofa seat, super-thick carpeting and marvellous cocoon bath. ‘La On/Off’ is without a doubt the most mysterious room in the hotel, offering a parallel universe in a purified atmosphere – where a simple click of a switch will conjure strange objects, colourful wallpaper and books. Macho types will love the testosterone-fuelled ‘007’ suite.
In the quiet area of La Motte-Picquet, just around the corner from the Eiffel Tower, the Champ de Mars and the bustling Rue du Commerce, this is a hotel with all the advantages of living in a city’s touristy centre (without its inconveniences). The 1913 building has been restored but its precious period cement tiles continue to entice travellers from the world over. Opposite the reception is the cosy and bourgeois lounge which could be straight out of an interior design magazine, with its zebra carpets, alphabet mugs and leather sofas. Every detail exudes taste and refinement: the Bang & Olufsen TV, Versace tiling, Hermès products and Michel Cluzel chocolates on the bed. The 7th-floor suites look on to the Eiffel Tower, too.
This cramped yet charming 24-room hotel goes all guns blazing to celebrate the master of the Renaissance. Nods to Leonardo are everywhere, from the entrance to the rooms – room 204, for example, includes the indigo found in ‘Madonna with the Carnation’ and the angelic sweetness of ‘The Virgin on the Rocks’. Exposed beams and antique lamps in each fragrant room give the place an atmosphere of yesteryear. A small sign in the lift says that in 1911, a certain Vincenzo Peruggia hid in room 603 after stealing ‘The Mona Lisa’. And so, the Hôtel Rive Gauche became the Da Vinci. There are modern, digital comforts, an honesty bar, a small patio, a large relaxation bath in the basement with water jets, and hot tea and fresh fruit at reception.
The Seine has its clubs, barge-restaurants and other cruise ships moored on its banks, but now it finally has its own floating hotel at Quai d’Austerlitz. Designed by Gérard Ronzatti, Off Paris Seine is drawing the crowds to its enormous wood, zinc and glass structure. This has to be one of the most impressive hotel locations in the world. A budget between €150 and €450 will get you one of the 58 ultra-modern 14-square-metre rooms. However, those wishing to splash out can enjoy one of the four suites sized between 28 and 30 square metres. The rooms are beautifully designed with a clean but warm aesthetic and, needless to say, the Right Bank views are spectacular. The hotel also boasts a marina and a bar-restaurant (for non-guests, too) with a panoramic view and a 400-square-metre terrace.
Until a few years ago, 11 Rue des Gravilliers was a precious metals factory. Now it’s home to the lush duplex rooms of the discreet Jules & Jim Hotel. Concrete, wood, stone, glass – these simple materials make for a super-refined aesthetic. But a touch of high-tech is added with the backlit Hi-Macs shells, solid bubbles which encircle the bed, giving your room the feel of a proper cocoon, priced at €169-€400 a night. But we’d come to Jules & Jim just for the bar (which can only be reached by entering through reception and the secret garden courtyard). The gallery-like main entrance plays host to work from some of the most established photography galleries in Paris.
The aptly named Hidden Hotel is nestled at the bottom of the Rue de l’Arc de Triomphe, a few steps from the monument of the same name. The first of Elegancia’s ventures boasts décor that will trump all the tired clichés. The style is somewhere between the Flintstones and an old-style cottage; a beautiful blend of wood and stone, with brick walls, warm lighting, super-cosy sofas and large Nordic tables. Rooms are in the same tones (white, grey, black and wood) while the bathroom is full of surprises, opening on to the living room without a shower curtain. So probably best for couples... For those who like to balance their vices, look out for the smoking room and a yoga wall (not in the same space, of course).
As well as being in one of the ‘fleur bleue’ areas of Paris, this establishment is also a little corner of paradise for lovers, thanks to the subtle décor by Sandrine Alouf. With 24 bedrooms (in three categories: classic, superior and deluxe), this chic and intimate hotel is perfect for romantic getaways. Each room has its own combination of colours (gold, red, powder pink), giving each a unique style. Illustrations of famous and mythological couples and their quotes adorn the walls – so prepare to feel inspired. The mornings are just as sensual as the evenings here, what with their generous breakfast of pancakes, dried fruit, eggs, grilled bacon, yoghurt and even heart-shaped waffles.
With Opéra on one side and the Tuileries on the other, the four-star Le Pradey offers 28 bright and well-appointed rooms recently renovated by architects Vincent Bastie (who also worked on the Burgundy and the Costes). It’s refined with some seriously elegant touches, such as the mezzanine lounge above the reception area. There are fine books and magazines to pore over with a drink from the honesty bar, which boasts a D-vine, a sophisticated machine to aerate and prep the wine for tasting. There are four types of room available: 15 authentic rooms, three traditional, four Paris suites and six confidential suites.
Adrien Gloaguen (who also owns Hotel Panache) is at the helm here, having given the place a swish revamp. In the 10th arrondissement, near the neighbourhood bar strips of Strasbourg Saint-Denis, Hôtel Paradis comes with a side order of excellent nightlife. The atmosphere is super intimate and full of charm, boosted by the design wizardry of Dorothée Meilichzon, who also worked on the Bachaumont and Grand Pigalle. The rooms (38 of which are suites) start at €80 per night, which is nothing when you consider how beautiful the design is – think marble detailing, on-trend wallpaper and headboards you’ll probably want to take with you when you leave. The lobby lounge is super-comfortable and the XXL buffet breakfast a reasonable €12.
Just the right distance from the chaos of the Madeleine and the main Parisian shopping district, Hôtel Chavanel is the epitome of inner-city calm: exposed wooden beam ceilings and contemporary design, with all the features of a luxury hotel. At the outset, it may seem a little mish-mash but take time to examine the details in the 25 rooms and you’ll see that nothing is left to chance. Head to the breakfast room to be greeted by charming staff and tuck into superb, 100 per cent organic dishes, and for those with the dosh, have breakfast in the jacuzzi in one of the two rooftop suites.
This small hotel on the Left Bank isn’t far from the Manufacture des Gobelins and blends several eras’ eclectic architecture with precision and charm. The 19th-century wallpaper and contemporary coloured tiles in the entrance hall go together wonderfully. The majority of the decorative objects come from the personal collection of Vanessa Scoffier, former editor of Marie Claire. Think Guariche coffee tables and Platner arm chairs. The lovely patio is the perfect spot for reading and relaxing among a plethora of fresh flowers. The beautifully wrinkled armchairs are a pleasant throwback to yesteryear. Each of the 32 rooms is unique, with graphic and geometric wallpaper in navy blue, mustard and white. The cosy dining room offers a decent view on to the patio, too.
This eco-friendly hotel is quite a contrast to the charmingly grubby Canal Saint-Martin. Le Citizen’s trademark is its commitment to the environment (by reducing all excess waste and overconsumption). The décor reflects the philosophy of the establishment with wood, wood and even more wood – mixed with natural materials that give a simple and luminous charm to the rooms. Friendly staff make it feel less like a hotel and more like a guesthouse. Each of the 12 rooms, spread over six floors, has a view of the famous Canal Saint-Martin. It’s the ideal spot to enjoy some sunshine and soak up the atmosphere of an ever-more buzzing part of Paris, renowned for its coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
The spirit of Marilyn Monroe has been kept alive in the 15th arrondissement, where you’ll be catapulted into a world of ’50s sass with Vincent Bastie, architect and renowned hotel decorator at the helm. Think pastel yellow accents, diffused lamps, vintage furniture and black-and-white checkerboard floors – not to mention Marilyn in video and photo form. The 46 rooms and suites have multiple Marilyn references, from wall portraits to round beds in her signature polka-dot print. It’s a retro journey pimped with all the mod cons – there’s a spa guests can use at any time, plus an original bar where you can make your own cocktails.
Amastan’s USP is intriguing: the freedom (if not insistence) to ask for what you want, uniting the convenience of a B&B with the quality of a four-star hotel. The size – 24 rooms over six floors – is reflective of its intimate style. The rooms are divided between classic, superior, deluxe and premier – with each decked out with bespoke furniture. Rooms include Treca beds, ample wardrobe space, Nespresso machines, bottled water, in-room safes, free WiFi. There’s no mini-bar or room service – you simply call them with your wishes. Space is small but maximised, with one long bar and dining area and a hidden jewel of a terrace. The Anouk bar with its glass roof and leafy terrace is the perfect place to destress, be it at breakfast or with an evening cocktail.
Ideally located in the 15th arrondissement, opposite Cambronne metro station, First Hotel will seduce you with its chic monochrome style, comfort and proximity to the Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars (only 15 minutes on foot). Its modern design rooms (complete with cosy bedding) offer striking views of the famous Parisian rooftops, and for some, the Iron Lady. Needless to say, such vistas will bring infinite joy both day and night. This would be the perfect place to hole up for Valentine’s Day, thanks especially to the option of the ‘Lovebox’, which includes: a love game, a feather tickler, a blue satin blindfold, bracelets and other trinkets.
This unique establishment could keep you entertained for weeks. Design by Sandrine Alouf – an ‘atmospherist’ who combines décor with stories to take visitors on a motionless journey – is truly magical; a telescope that’s within reach of the bed, luminous plexiglass furniture and a glowing ‘night sky’ that covers every surface (with the occasional moving shooting star). And the surprises don’t end there: Le Déclic has its own photo studio and the Planche Contact Suite has its own terrace and jacuzzi. We can’t help but feel a little sleep-deprived on leaving – everything here is so damn interesting that sleeping is the last thing you’d want to do.
This four-star hotel has 33 rooms with minimalist and functional décor, such as its kitsch paintings of Pigalle and beautiful brightly-coloured curtains. Rooms on the courtyard side are very quiet and overlook the Sacré-Cœur – ideal for a romantic getaway. These rooms also have a small balcony so guests can enjoy their sweet and savoury breakfast in the sun. Expect to pay €180 for a deluxe double room with a view of Montmartre. The spa is certainly the hotel’s centrepiece. Nestled in the belly of the hotel, it features a hammam, a massage room and a small pool-jacuzzi. It’s the perfect place to relax after a long day walking around Paris.