Hospitality at the Shangri-La is a serious business. Over 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 with a 15m long, 6m wide 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 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 beautiful garden terrace which must be one of the most beautiful in Paris. The hotel is also home to a huge Chanel spa in the basement with five treatment rooms.
This century-old building is full of history and was once The Majestic – another Parisian luxury hotel. Many famous guests lodged in the drawing rooms – Picasso, Stravisnky, Marcel Proust, and George Gershwin wrote An American in Paris here in 1928. Subsequently, the site was UNESCO’s headquarters until 1958, before being turned into the International Conference Centre, where the famous treaty which ended the Vietnam War was signed. Pass an imposing pair of lions on entry to the white stone building, before descending into an imposing grand hall: think Versailles-style gigantic ceilings, with an enormous Lasvit chandelier – then even more handmade crystal glass, sophisticated mouldings, marble and woodwork. Everything is grand and infinitely beautiful.
This former brothel is hidden away from the world and keeps the Belle Epoque Pigalle of yesteryear alive – at least in spirit. Through the discreet frontage, don’t be fooled by Jacques Garcia’s Belle Epoque meets orientalist decor. It’s got a serious Arabian Nights vibe: 1895 Cordoba leather on the walls, Moorish earthenware, porcelain, copper and bric-a-brac furniture – all of it is magnificent. Plunge into the other dazzling commodities: a bar serving delicious cocktails and the spa, complete with a swimming pool you can rent by the hour. Upstairs, the twenty rooms and six suites are upwards of €450 but certainly define the meaning of ‘chic’. Each one is named after a different courtesan and embraces various global themes (Japanese, Indian, Chinese).
An extravagantly gorgeous hotel with a location and history that is hard to beat. The converte19th-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, individually designed rooms and oceans of space in the private gardens, all seducing you to believing you’re not just 20 minutes from the Champs-Elysées.
Okay, so the 7th arrondissement may not be a popular location for Paris’s high-class hotels. But Cinq Codet has proved itself as 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) is reminiscent of an ocean liner’s bow. Expect to be struck by the serenity of the place, as well as Jean-Philippe Nuel’s choice of 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 onto a patio.
Majestically located in between the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides, the Narcisse Blanc Hotel-Spa watches the city through its windows, but remains far from the hustle and bustle of the city, in absolute calm. Never flashy, always discreet and luxurious, the rooms play upon delicate, light, cream-coloured tones. Art Deco, Art Nouveau and modern furniture come together in perfect harmony with ravishing fabrics like velour, tweed or silk. To prolong the peace, there’s a spa complete with a pool, Jacuzzi and elegant relaxation beds, plus a sauna, hammam and massage room. Other added extras include terraced gardens and rooms for hire. The attentive and welcoming concierge is discreet but always on hand to help. Protected from the world outside, the Narcisse Blanc is a veritable cocoon.
With its enormous golden dragons on the walls, lacquered furniture and Chinese wardrobes, the Buddha-Bar Hotel is the mirror image of its famous restaurant, which 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 a hundred cinnabar lanterns, the entrance of the hotel is like an Asian temple. It earns every one of its five stars; in this magnificent eighteenth-century mansion, which is now classified as a historical monument, a labyrinth of corridors leads to the 37 rooms and 19 suites decorated by the 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. A guaranteed change of scenery.
Place Vendôme, a fiefdom of Parisian luxury, the bling-bling jewellery area and home to many of the city’s five-star hotels, but there’s one that is harder to find. Its frontage is discreet and housed in a building dating back to 1685, you’ll find a bourgeois house with bags of charm. The lobby is all varnished wood and marble-clad and the 29 rooms and suites are just the same. Take the Deluxe suite for example, overlooking rue Saint-Honoré, it is a vision of sky blue and pale pink with a period chandelier hanging over the king-size bed, while an entirely marble bathroom is the cherry on top of this super-luxe arrangement. Don’t miss the gourmet restaurant on the first floor.
Watch out – this might be love at first sight. Located in the 8th arrondissement, just a few steps from the Champs Elysees, the Royal Monceau-Raffles is one of the most beautiful hotels in Parisl, justifying being awarded its status as a luxury hotel in 2013. The modern and refined decor is by the (now household name) Phillippe Starck and is stunning, as usual. 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 which is at its best in the summer. What’s more, the hotel’s very own 99-seat cinema regularly hosts previews and private screenings.
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 is everywhere, ranging from photography to furniture and fuses 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 details and contemporary design, but some may find such open spaces overwhelming.
Surrounded by haute couture fashion houses and jewellers in the middle of rue Saint-Honoré, the Mandarin Oriental is inspired just 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 metres squared of pure luxury: a gym space, large bathrooms with a Jacuzzi and bath, and a stunning 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 history and its famous guests. It was here, on 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’Hotel is really famous for is Oscar Wilde, who lived here for two years before he died. In a mythical 35m2 room, complete with green peacock wallpaper (his favourite animal) and packed with trinkets. Nestled on the first floor, the Oscar Wilde suite opens onto a private terrace where guests can enjoy their breakfast in peace and quiet.
Just a few metres away from Paris’s Comédie-Française theatre you’ll find Nolinski, a luxury hotel created by Pierre Bastid and Emmanuel Savage with the help of interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot. Spread over six floors, Nolinski and its 45 rooms (including 9 suites) offer a taste of the calm, sophisticated Paris sweet life. Immersed in the golden extravagance of Opéra, this luxury five-star hotel is designed to ensure a relaxing experience for all. An oasis of calm, wedged in between the busy rue Saint-Honoré and Palais Garnier, enjoy calm, quiet nights with quilted bed sheets, all bathed in striking blue and green – the very definition of elegance. The haute-couture décor works to breath-taking effect, from the magnificent green Carrara marble reception area to the beautiful bespoke furniture.
Set in the middle of the famous rue Saint-Honoré, close to Concorde and the Jardin des Tuileries, Hotel 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 decor, the place is designed with guests in mind, even if you are just passing by. So whether you want to relax on the sublime patio, dine on mythical dishes like ‘The Crying Tiger’ in the much-hyped restaurant, enjoy tea in front of the fireplace, bathe in the pool, listen to music chosen by Stéphane Pompougnac or dance to DJ sets until the early hours, Hotel Costes offers a 360-degree spread of activities.
The opening of the MGallery Molitor made quite a splash. The famous Art Deco swimming pool was defunct for twenty years after closing its doors in 1989. However, after two years of colossal work, the mythical establishment of 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 the artist JonOne. Behind this, a bay window reveals the famous Molitor pool surrounded on all sides by the hotel building with the rooms looking out onto the pool.
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 facade, renowned architect Andrée Putman 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 exemplify the focus on comfort and divine beauty, with king size beds, huge mirrors and majestic bathrooms, complete with a large bath mounted on white marble balls.
From the top of the immense nine floor Hôtel Renaissance République, you can watch skaters and look straight onto the place de la République statue, which is increasingly becoming known as the heart of the city. The location is ideal – just a few strides from Canal Saint-Martin and Grands Boulevards. Inside, there’s everything a traveller would need and more: 121 cosy rooms, a bar and a design restaurant, plus a superb terrace with a 254m living wall, meeting rooms and drop-off parking. The building has nine floors and three car park levels amounting to 3500 m2. In the basement, the fitness room (open 24 hours) joins to a wellness area (which unfortunately closes at 8pm) provides a great base for relaxation: a hammam, sauna, jacuzzi and a Sothys treatment centre.
With its extravagant Louis XVI decor, mosaic tiled floors and modish restyling by Philippe Starck, Le Meurice is looking grander than ever. All 160 rooms (kitted out with iPod-ready radio alarms) are done up in distinct historical styles; the Belle Etoile 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 3-star Michelin 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 with which to keep an eye on their figure. 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.
Eastern Paris has finally laid claim to its very own five-star hotel. Located in the trendy Charonne district of Paris, just a stone’s throw from the Place de la Bastille, Le Boutet ticks all the boxes. Previously a cabinetmaker’s workshop from 1926, it subsequently became a chocolate factory. The beautiful façade has been reworked in the style of a factory with mosaics and Art Deco flair. The use of materials such as concrete, wood and polished metal also harks back to its manufacturing history; all of which can be attributed to the talented duo, architect Vincent Bastié and designer, Astrid Dieterlen. The most daring aspect of this hotel is the rooms; designed for the most part by two students from école Boulle.
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, decor is inspired by the neo-classicism of the Nouvel Athènes micro-neighbourhood. Think marble basins, curved bay windows and leopard-print detailing (a nod to the hostess bars on the same street).
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 the renowned Paris club le Baron). The theme of the hotel is love and eroticism, an old-school recipe that seduces couples (especially the fashionable ones), to discover the side of Paris for lovers. The decor is perfectly eclectic and ramshackle, influenced by a wide range of genres. All the objects are vintage – from unusual trinkets to antique furniture – and more risqué pieces (including the erotic magazines) are vintage too. Each of the twenty rooms (priced 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).
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 onto it. A night-blue colour palette with touches of gold gives the hotel and its thirty-seven rooms a Romantic classic Parisian atmosphere. From the fourth floor balcony, you can see silhouettes in the Villa Frochot gardens and envelope yourself in the white satin sheets post-bath. With the cosy bedding and softened light, you don’t get more comfortable than this.
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 classic facades, large Disney princess-style staircases and high ceilings. This is also the place to drink in the view of the city’s most beautiful monuments; from the Sacré-Coeur to the Eiffel Tower, via the Tour Montparnasse and the 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, but you’ll certainly get a view onto 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 – the massive building faces the Flèche d’Or and you see the full impact once you’ve entered the reception area. Its spot-on decoration and book collection will make you feel at home at once. The rooms rock too – functional and well equipped, a special mention must go to the iMac which is both a radio and TV. The night is all yours to test out the well-balanced mattress, unless you'd prefer to take time to enjoy the rooftop for a drink or dinner. Make the most of the gargantuan breakfast and all the quality produce, including Dammann teas, succulent cakes and savoury dishes.
Cross the Champs-Elysées, pass Saint-Philippe-du-Roule and on a small hidden street, you’ll find Hotel Daniel. Inside is a meeting of the East and West; Kazakh carpets, Chinese wallpaper, Syrian trinkets, Turkish silver platters, ebony countertops – a mix of styles which 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 on one of the classic armchairs, just 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, this is a great spot for a date.
This remains the most ‘haute-couture’ of the Paris luxury hotels, both in its proximity to the fashion houses and for its shared history with Christian Dior. This avenue Montaigne spot pays serious tribute to its heritage, codes and spectacular past. All details are tasteful and tailor-made, thanks to the dream team of experts, each of whom excel at their speciality. The restaurant is the glittering gem - show stopping presentation and stunning décor (think 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 skating rink in the courtyard, red carpeting and a bar with a dreamlike, cinematic atmosphere.
Located on Avenue Gabriel in the heart of the 8th arrondissement, this classic Haussmannian building is over hundred and fifty years old, with views onto 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 a unique style of 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.
La Maison Favart might be as close as you’ll get to heaven on earth. Nestled in the confines of the 2nd arrondissement, on the discreet rue Marivaux, the hotel has been neighbours with the Opéra-Comique since 1824. Staff are warm and smiley, while decor is clean without being puritanical, refined and elegant with its pastel tones and plaid carpets. Upstairs, rooms are the perfect combination of discreet charm, atmospheres of yesteryear and more contemporary details. All suites are different, with their own accent. There’s some serious romanticism in the cascade bath, fitness room, sauna and massage device – ensuring the most relaxing of experiences to bat away everyday stresses and strains. Our advice? Put your phone in aeroplane mode and glide off into the clouds.
The Thoumieux empire has excellent taste. In the 7th arrondissement's joyful shopping haven, rue Saint-Dominique, the Thoumieux family have made a big impact. At number 58, there is the pâtisserie (and it’s exquisite sesame Paris-Brest), then at 79, the ground floor brasserie, Sylvestre Wahid’s gourmet restaurant on the first floor and the fifteen-room hotel. Taken over in 2009 by Thierry Costes and the Beaumarly group, Hotel Thoumieux comprises 15 contemporary, chic rooms by the architect and designer India Mahdavi and the M/M Studio Paris. Graphic wallpaper, flowery curtains and geometric carpet make everything throb with life. Expect a meticulously groomed 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.
This boutique hotel made a serious impact on the hotel landscape. Its exceptional location is complemented by the ubiquitous designer Pierre-Yves Rochon (who also worked on the Prince des Galles). His rubric? Flamboyant art deco with fifties touches and contemporary accents. The 97 rooms (of which 15 are suites) are simple but elegant, with some even boasting a balcony view over the Parisian rooftops. On the lower ground floor, discover the relaxation area and the 11 by 4-metre pool, lit by flattering 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 is sure to wow.
It may be housed in a classic 19th-century Parisian building but Hotel le A is planted steadfastly in the present, with a contemporary, arty New York vibe. Set 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 35m2, are designed minimally for the ultimate chic feel – with calming watercolours by Fabrice Hybert, striped monochrome carpeting and light pouring into all the rooms.
A few minutes from the Champs-Elysées, Hôtel du Collectionneur regales the splendour of the thirties with pure art deco styling. Expect to be wowed as soon as you cross the threshold, 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 distilled. The luxurious rooms retain an elegant art deco spirit, while the restaurant, Safran, is guided by the inspiration of its chef and offers modern, delicate French cuisine. Bay windows open onto the flowered terraces of the retro-chic Purple Bar; with a creative cocktail list to be sipped in one of the many cosy alcoves. For more relaxation, head up to Spa Mosaic – an earthly paradise, with 400m2 dedicated to well-being.
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 co-founded Mama Shelter hotels along with Serge Trigano), 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. This immense space opened at the beginning of March and is sure to be the spot for summer. Where better to enjoy a barbecue, evening film or terrace bar? Betting you can already picture yourself on a deckchair with a fresh Aperol in hand...
There’s no doubt that style is of the utmost importance at the 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 hotel can be truly proud of its trappings. A cosy hotel made up of 51 contemporary rooms which mix solid wood design furniture with fifties pieces and bric-a-brac; creating an elegant setting in which you’ll feel immediately at home. While the rooms are cosy and the bathrooms are decked in eye-catching black and white chevrons, it’s the dining room that will really blow your mind. It’s somewhere between a 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 decorator - but don't expect this jewellery box of a boutique hotel 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 – impressive and imaginative. Scented candles, mosaic-tiled bathrooms and luxurious fabrics in rich colours create the perfect escape.
Less than five minute's walk from the centre of town – but far enough to feel safe from the local equivalent of hustle and bustle – the Anne d'Anjou is more than a little bit special. Set in a gorgeous 18th century mansion, its situation on the riverfront, neck-crickingly close to the foot the chateau, 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 trompe l'oeil paintings by a local artist. If you can, get one of the rooms that overlook the quiet inner courtyard and up to the chateau.
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 is also the most expensive of the Disneyland options) and you are 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. Room are low-key (only a few Mickey Mouse symbols to be found) and comfortable, but not dazzling.
L’Echiquier is a four-star luxury hotel located a stone’s throw from the iconic Grand Rex and Folies Bergère. Owned by the Sofitel group, it is 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 the Le Coadic Scotto, but look out for remarkable souvenirs of its history: an awning bordered with lightbulbs, an iron elevator cage, the mosaic brasserie floor and stained-glass windows along the stairs. This architecture inside is inspired by art deco but with some of the purity and elegance of contemporary interior design.
Hidden between the Golden Triangle and Place de l'Etoile, Hotel Vernet has maintained its splendour and elegance for almost a hundred years. The entrance and elevator are a vision of wood and glass, surrounded by stunning stained glass windows. The corridor to the rooms is bright with light carpets and graphic-style furniture – this is tasteful luxury at its best. The apartments are very zen, with Carrara marble basins, glass mosaics and brass fittings. In the evening, rendezvous under the sublime stained glass dome designed by Gustave Eiffel at the V, the hotel’s restaurant, with an open kitchen allowing a window onto the skilled chefs working their magic. Expect classic French gastronomy with a touch of innovation to wow your tastebuds. It’s close enough to the hustle and bustle of the Champs-Elysees, yet a world away.
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 onto an elevator. The reception is on the first floor, pitched a hundred metres from the hubbub of Opera below, a unique view with the calm broken by the electronica soundtrack. 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, a combination of chic French style and a more innovative contemporary vibe.
Between place de Clichy and Gare Saint-Lazare, in the Saint-Georges area, l'Hôtel Design Secret de Paris will take your breath away. There are 29 rooms and 21 with a private jacuzzi, with decor 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. You can indulge in the city’s finest monuments, with your head still on the pillow. The Hôtel Design Secret de Paris has everything on hand to help unwind after a hardcore day of pounding the pavements of Paris – relax in the wellness area, complete with massages, a sauna and a hammam.
The building was once a private townhouse but became a hotel in 1905 and following a welcome makeover in 2015, it now boasts 101 rooms, comprising 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. The 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 that you won't forget in a hurry. The very traditional Duke’s Bar and its 1930s cocktail menu is a delightful experience. The place oozes class – think green leather seats and 150-year-old mahogany panelling.
Camped just opposite square Montholon, in the Poissonnière area, Hotel du Temps offers rates to the 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 twenty-three rooms are perfectly executed and start from €120. Not forgetting the spirits bar on the ground floor, a basement room for private rental and tea time, complete with sweet treats from star pâtissier Christopher Michalak. Enough to keep you occupied without even leaving the hotel.
A stone’s throw from the iconic Moulin Rouge, with plenty of cocktail bars in the vicinity, the Trinité Haussmann is in the perfect lively neighbourhood spot. There’s nothing dodgy about this four-star hotel, especially after its complete renovation in 2016. Rather, the red velvet and golden cupids at the head of the bed owe more to minimalist, refined style than the fantastic. Owned by Maranatha hotels, Trinité Haussmann hired Laurent Mangoust (First Hotel) to design its interiors and its 34 rooms (ranging from 12 to 25m2). With immaculate white walls, wooden parquet flooring, rectangular mouldings and marble in the bathrooms, the decor is easily warmed to.
Opened in 2006, the Five Hôtel was the first boutique hotel 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 up images of romantic adventures and enchanted spaces. 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 is really special. Each one plays on the senses with colours, luxurious fabrics and subtle lighting. The addition of flower petals on the bed is romanticism personified.
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 entry situated 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 whiskey while flicking through one of the many antique books. Adding to the seventeenth century style, the team hired decorator Didier Benderli to give each room its unique character, modernising it without detracting from any of the elegance. The Queen’s Suite (Suite de la Reine) looks like an hotel particulier, complete with two bathrooms – one for the shower and one for the bathtub and its TV, separate toilets, a living room with sofa, desk and coffee table and of course the bedroom, TV and dressing room. Yes, you read that right – there are three televisions. Everything is designed with comfort in mind – the soundproofed silence is even a little unsettling at first. Then there’s the fruit basket, private parking, spa, wifi, minibar, room service, concierge, valet parking, 24-hour reception etc. This is the idea stay for travelers in search of discretion and luxury in the Marais and with irresistible charm. It would also be an incredible gift fo
A classic Saint-Germain-des-Prés building, La Belle Juliette offers two faces but one story, of Juliette Récamier. A nineteenth-century heroine 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 has a decorative theme corresponding 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, contrasted with period pieces. Opulent fabrics and technology blend subtly – for example, there’s an iMac in every room. The spa is tinged with poetry and romance too – it’s a proper boudoir escape, inviting you to relax in its tranquil atmosphere.
Located in the quiet area of La Motte-Picquet, just a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, the Champ de Mars and the bustling Rue du Commerce, this is a hotel with all the advantages of the capital (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 little detail has been taken care of with taste and refinement, including the Bang&Olufsen TV, Versace tiling, Hermès products and Michel Cluzel chocolates on the bed. The 7th floor suites look onto the Eiffel Tower too.
The Seven Hôtel, located in the middle of the Latin Quarter, is sure to wow with its originality. The different universes created by a bevvy of French designers, architects and decorators result in seven different 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 “La Sublime,” with its illuminated cotton draped bed, a sofa-seat, super thick carpeting and a marvellous cocoon bath. “La On/Off” room 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 where you can literally play a secret agent.
This cramped yet charming twenty-four 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 the Paris of yesteryear. A small sign in the lift says that in 1911, a certain Vincenzo Perrugia hid in room 603 after stealing 'The Mona Lisa'. And so, the Hôtel Rive Gauche became the Da Vinci. There are digital, modern comforts, plus an honesty bar and small patio, and a large relaxation bath in the basement with water jets, hot tea and fresh fruit at the 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 of the year. A budget between €150 and €450 will get you one of the 58 ultra-modern 14m2 bedrooms. However, those wishing to splash out can enjoy one of the four suites sized between 28m2 and 30m2. The rooms are beautifully designed with a clean but warm aesthetic and needless to say, the view of the Right Bank is spectacular. The hotel also boasts a marina and a bar-restaurant (for non-guests too) with a panoramic view and a 400m2 terrace.
The aptly named Hidden Hotel, nestled at the bottom of rue de l’Arc de Triomphe, a few steps from the monument of the same name. The first of Elegancia’s ventures (of OFF Paris Seine), 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 onto the living room without a shower curtain. So probably best for couples... Look out for the smoking room and a yoga wall (not in the same space of course) for those who like to balance their vices.
Until a few years ago, 11 rue des Gravilliers was a precious metals factory. Now it is home to the bar and duplex rooms at 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 little cocoon (priced at €169-400 a night). But we’d come to Jules et Jim just for the bar which can only be reached by entering through the reception then into the secret garden courtyard. The gallery-like main entrance corridor plays host to work from some of the most beautiful photography galleries in Paris.
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 decor by Sandrine Alouf. With 24 bedrooms (in three categories: classic, superior or deluxe), this chic and intimate hotel is perfect for romantic getaways. Staircases, lifts, walls, leather – red is a recurrent theme here. Each room has its own combination of colours (gold, red or powder pink blended with pink for an amazing contrast) giving each a unique style. Illustrations of mystical 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 fruits, eggs, grilled bacon, yoghurt and even heart-shaped waffles.
With Opéra on one side and 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 floor above the reception area. There’s 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 refreshing renovation. Located in the 10th arrondissement, a skip and a jump from the neighbourhood bars 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 worked on the Bachaumont and the Grand Pigalle. The rooms (38 of which are suites) start at €80 per night – which is nothing when you consider the beautiful design – 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 is 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 peace: 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. Each part of the decor is unique or exclusive, such as the haute-couture curtains with lace by Sophie Hallette – which gives each of Chavanel’s rooms a universal charm. Head to the breakfast room to be greeted by charming waitstaff and tuck into delicious 100% organic dishes, and for those with the dosh, have breakfast in the jacuzzi in one of the two rooftop suites.
This eco-friendly hotel is quite a contrast to the charmingly grubby Canal Saint-Martin. The trademark of the Citizen hotel is its commitment to the environment by reducing all excess waste and overconsumption. The decor 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, warm staff make it feel less like a hotel and more like a guesthouse. Each of the 12 rooms, spread over 6 floors, has a view of the famous Canal Saint-Martin. It's an ideal place 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 will be catapulted into a world of fifties sass with Vincent Bastié, 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 Marily references, from the 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, as well as an original bar where you can make your own cocktails.
This small hotel on the left bank is not far from the Manufacture des Gobelins and blends several eras with precision and charm. The nineteenth-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, the former editor of Marie Claire and a complete accessory queen. Think Guariche coffee tables and Platner armchairs. The lovely patio is the perfect hiding place 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 nice view onto the patio too.
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 4* hotel. The size - 24 rooms over 6 floors - is reflective of its intimate style. The rooms are divided between Classic, Superior, Deluxe and Premier - with each designed with bespoke furniture. Rooms include Treca beds, ample wardrobe space, Nespresso machine, bottled water, in-room safe, free WiFi. There’s no mini-bar or room service menu - you simply call them with your wishes. Space is small but maximised, with one long bar and dining area and a secret jewel of a terrace. The Anouk bar with its glass roof and leafy terrace is the perfect place to de-stress, be it at breakfast or with an evening cocktail.
Ideally placed 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 fifteen minutes on foot). Its modern design rooms (complete with cosy bedding) offer stunning views of the famous Parisian roofs, 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.
Design hotel par excellence, the Déclic functions on its own originality. This unique establishment plunges you into visual fireworks for an overnight stay. Design by Sandrine Alouf – an “atmospherist” who combines decor and stories to take visitors on a motionless journey – is truly magical; a telescope that is within reach of the bed, luminous plexiglass furniture and a glowing night sky which 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 – Déclic have made everything 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 decor, 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 the view of Montmartre. The spa is certainly the jewel of the hotel. Nestled in the belly of the hotel, the spa features a hamman, a massage room and a small pool-jacuzzi. It is the perfect place to relax after a long day walking around Paris.
A few steps from rue des Martyrs, in an adorable little Parisian courtyard hidden from the world, is the Alba Hotel. Everything is unique here, with decor that is constantly evolving and fun to discover. Little touches are the highlight, such as a Christmas tree covered in Barbie dolls and gauze veils. The tone is fun and creative, and more than a little tongue-in-cheek. There’s a joyous patchwork of influences spread over the ground floor: top-of-the-range magazines, books, artefacts, velvet and Lui magazine covers jostling for your attention. Vintage kitsch at its best – even in the tiny elevator cage. Amber-scented corridors, superb wallpaper and music playing in the background: nothing is left to chance. But no two rooms are the same so you’ll have to trust us and leave it to chance.
With its designer boutiques, trendy restaurants and concept store bakeries, the streets just south of Pigalle are full of surprises. Nestled away in a courtyard, Villa Bohème's colourful, cosy rooms fall under the 'classic' bracket with some beautiful touches. Starting with the ground floor: the Bo Studio, a 40m2 suite designed for a romantic stay, equipped with an Italian shower, jacuzzi, rose petals and an array of LED lights making a superb starry sky. On the top floor the atmosphere is quite different, with a room designed in the style of a gypsy wagon. Under the eaves, and with a view onto the roofs of Paris, this very colourful neo-hippy room, which easily sleeps four, is perfect for families and groups of friends. And of course, the odd pyjama party.
The bourgeois-bohemian Hotel Panache is on the corner of Poissonnière, one of the liveliest streets in the 9th. Wedged between SoPi (South Pigalle) and Grands Boulevards, Hotel Panache comprises thirty-eight very Parisian rooms decorated by the excellent Dorothée Meilichzon – who also designed the Hotel Paradis. The Panache is all damask, gilded wood, printed carpet and Parisian metro bathroom tiles: neo-art deco design at its finest. Rooms are comfortable, functional and full of thoughtful details like fortune cookies, welcome messages and replica 1931 Ericsson replica telephones.
At the heart of the trendy 18th arrondissement, the same area where hipsters are forever tracing Amélie Poulain’s footsteps, you'll find hotel owner Ilhame and her selection of rooms. As soon as the door is opened, the ‘smile of Montmartre’ in the name makes sense – Ilhame is always beaming. The living room on the top floor is impressive with its high ceiling and endless bookcases – but it feels very homely all the same. Not too busy, nor too minimalist, between photos of Rimbaud and oriental knick-knacks, this communal room has a serious loft vibe and will calm you straight away. Everyone will find their place here – holidaying families, lovers on weekend breaks and workers stopping over during the week.
Located in central Paris, this hotel is 100 metres from Gare de l’Est Train Station. It has a 24-hour front desk and offers guest rooms with satellite TV.Each guest room is individually decorated and some feature a balcony. Wi-Fi access is available throughout the hotel and all rooms are serviced by a lift.A buffet breakfast is served every morning in the breakfast room at the Grand Hôtel De Paris. A vending machine selling drinks is available at reception.The Louvre Museum and the Latin Quarter are both accessible from Gare de l’Est Metro Station. Grand Hôtel De Paris is a 12-minute walk from Place de la République.
Named after the famous ‘Chat Noir’ cabaret that used to be in its place, this hotel has taken the theme and run with it. It’s about as retro as it gets, but the superstitious might want stay away, as there’s a black cat on every floor. On the first floor you’ll find the common room, which sets the tone of the rest of the hotel – cosy and warm, thanks to large tables, sofas and beautiful natural light. We love the mix of modernity and vintage in each of the 39 rooms and although the cabaret vibe is ever-present, it’s perfectly executed. With this cosy cocoon as a base, you can have fun on the small balcony, watching life go by at a hundred miles an hour on one of the busiest streets in the capital.
This modern hotel is set in the heart of Paris, just a 3-minute walk from Place de la Bastille and Place des Vosges. It offers an on-site bar and brightly decorated rooms with free Wi-Fi access.With an iPod docking station and a flat-screen TV, each of the air-conditioned rooms features a unique, contemporary décor. All rooms are soundproofed and include en suite bathrooms fitted with a bath or shower and free organic toiletries.Breakfast is served every morning at Hotel Original Paris and can be enjoyed in the hotel’s breakfast area or in the comfort of guest rooms. Numerous restaurants are found next to the hotel.
Located between Bastille and the Marais, the latest of Christian Lacroix’s design hotels pays tribute to its former life as an upholstery store. As one might expect from a fashion designer’s labour of love, the three-star L’Antoine is riot of colour in a lively area (it’s a stone’s throw from notorious party strip rue de Lappe so ideal for sampling the nightlife). A mix of the contemporary and the classic, expect Kilim prints, 17th century-style furniture, pared-back wooden fixtures, photo murals and Matisse-esque colour blends. Each of the five floors, with 38 rooms in total, is inspired by a different vibe, from artist’s workshops to the famed fifties Parisian dance hall, Balajo. Interior design nerds will be in seventh heaven: we had to refrain from peeking into every room to glimpse all the quirky details.
The youth hostel Generator put down roots on place du Colonel Fabien in February 2015; a colossal building, it towers at eight floors high and includes 198 rooms and 920 beds, it might as well be a small village. The hostel also has its own restaurant, as well as a bar-club on the bottom floor and a cosy Moroccan room for working, reading or just whiling away the time. The reception is open 24 hours and the staff speak eight languages. Owned by the British group Patron Capital, Generator is a monster in the hotel industry, with hostels in London, Berlin, Rome, Dublin and even Barcelona, each one with a well-established strategy: reasonable prices, in a cool area, decor by up-and-coming designers who mix universal good taste with a local vibe.
Perpendicular to Avenue Montaigne, this four-star hotel is nestled in a Haussmanian building which is just as luxurious as its surroundings: classic and ostentatious are the keywords here. To comply with the demands of their clientele, there are five bedrooms on offer: from the standard to the junior suite. Five of them boast a terrace from which you can glimpse the Eiffel Tower. While the layout of the rooms vary, the style remains the same: luxurious and traditional, bourgeois and comfortable, embellished with great padded armchairs and wooden dressing tables. Good news for those who prefer to spend their holidays horizontal – breakfast-in-bed comes free of charge, and an honesty bar is available to hotel clients who want to make the most of a calm evening at the hotel.