Welcome to the first of my Paris City Guides! I’ve had many requests for recommendations for Paris, and can’t wait to share some of my favorites with you. Please note that these lists are by no means intended to be comprehensive, and reflect my own experiences gleaned on our visits over the last decade. There’s still so much I want to see and do in Paris, and will continue to update as I find more Paris treasures.
Where To Stay….
I’m often asked “where should I stay in Paris?” It’s a tough question to answer, as each arrondissement has its charms and it really depends on your preferences, budget and travel style. The right and left banks have different vibes. We’ve stayed in the 3rd, 8th, 16th arrondissements on the right bank and in the 6th and 7th arrondissements on the left bank. Some considerations*:
- what sights and activities are you most interested in? Map out your points of interest, and see if there is any particular concentration in one area. If so, it may make sense to stay nearby.
- how far is the nearest metro or bus stop? While most locations in Paris have a metro stop every few hundred yards, there are some neighborhoods where the stops are less concentrated.
- do you prefer a quiet area or one with a greater concentration of shops, cafes and/or nightlife?
- do you prefer a larger hotel with full amenities, a smaller boutique hotel, or something in between? (Some smaller boutique hotels do have fitness areas, breakfast buffets and other amenities.)
- if you had to choose between charm or convenience with regard to your room, fixtures and surroundings, which is more important? Are lodgings that ooze classic French charm more important than a larger bathroom?
- are there nonnegotiable requirements for you like air-conditioning, room service, laundry service, an elevator, a walk-in shower, a balcony, or a nice view? (Not all hotels offer some or all of these.)
- do you belong to a travel or hotel loyalty program? If so, you may be able to get better rates, upgrades or amenities in specific hotels that outweigh other factors.
Again, I’m not a travel professional, and our stays have been for vacations, not business. We tend to prefer smaller boutique hotels to larger ones. I hope to take many more trips to Paris in the future, and will continue to check out hotel options.
Paris Hotels: My Top 6
Hotel Keppler, 16eme. We’ve stayed here a couple of times now, and really love this place. It’s small, but luxurious, and well situated near the Arc de Triomphe, on a small, quiet street just off Avenue Marceau. They offer a lovely breakfast buffet, and some rooms/suites have balconies and Eiffel Tower views. The decor is a nice mix of modern and traditional. We’ve found the staff at the front desk to be helpful and friendly. There’s a bar in the small lobby/lounge area, and it’s a nice place to meet people or have a glass of champagne before you head out for the evening.
Hotel Powers, 8eme. You can read my full review from our stay in 2014 here. If luxury shopping (or even just window shopping) and high-end people-watching is high on your list, this hotel is conveniently located in the Golden Triangle area. I give it high marks for charming ambiance and helpful staff as well.
Hotel Raphael, 16eme. We splurged on a one-night stay here in 2012, and vowed that we’d do it again in our lifetime. You can read my original write-up here. Even if you don’t stay here, be sure and visit the rooftop bar during the warmer months (bar is open mid-May until early October, I believe) for a glass of bubbly and a wonderful sunset view.
Hotel Sainte Beuve, 6eme. We stayed here in 2015. On a quiet side street just off Boulevard Raspail, this hotel is a perfect blend of comfort and charm. It’s close to Jardin du Luxembourg and several Metro stops, as well as cafes and shops.
Hotel Luxembourg Parc, 6eme. We stayed here in 2011. The location is fabulous, at the north end of Jardin du Luxembourg, and very near the charming St. Sulpice area. Our room had a view of the park. They had a lovely breakfast buffet, and the front desk staff gave us some great dining recommendations. It’s another small but luxurious option. (Unfortunately, my pictures of our room were lost in a hard drive crash a few years ago.)
*Many who visit Paris prefer to rent an apartment. It can be a more economical choice, especially for longer stays, and a great way to experience Paris. We’ve only done that once, so I have no specific recommendations to offer. I hope to have the opportunity to try this again in the future, and will report back.
Where do you like to stay when you visit Paris?
If you have travel planned and find packing challenging, you can see all of my travel wardrobe planning, packing and recap posts HERE.