My Paris City Guide: Hotels

Paris Hotels, Hotel Powers 8eme

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

Right Bank:

Paris balcony, Eiffel Tower view

Hotel Keppler 16eme

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.

Paris Hotels, Hotel Powers 8eme

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.

Paris Hotels: Raphael 16eme

Eiffel Tower view

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.

Left Bank:

Paris St. Germain

K&K Hotel Cayré, 7eme. You can read my full review here. A very comfortable hotel with a superb location. They offer an extensive breakfast buffet, staff was friendly and quite helpful.

Paris 6eme

Hotel Sainte Beuve room

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.

Paris jardin du luxembourg

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.

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29 Comments

  1. Patricia
    February 7, 2017 / 4:08 am

    How timely! Making reservations for a May trip is on the top of my to do list today. (I hope I haven’t delayed too long.) Thank you, Susan.

  2. February 7, 2017 / 4:36 am

    You do a good job of listing the considerations when choosing a hotel. I was lucky for years, having a friend who let me stay at his apartment on weekends when he was out of town. He was in the 7th, near the Assemblée Nationale, then moved to a bigger place near Pigale at the foot of Montmartre. So one was just steps from everything and the other considerably farther. In both, I would leave first thing in the morning and come back just to change for a night of dancing. No matter the weather. The only problem was the times I couldn’t get a taxi in the wee hours and ended up walking back to Pigale.

  3. Meg
    February 7, 2017 / 5:18 am

    We toured Paris with a group a few years ago and were booked into the Radisson Blu Le Dokhans in the Trocadero. It had a great vibe, very Old Paris. Champagne tastings, a nice breakfast , charming if small rooms. OUr room was wall to wall toile and ticking stripes! The elevator was a one- person- with -bags sort, and on the slow side. My husband went up with the bags and I walked up 3 flights. Our room was near the narrow tip of the triangular shaped building so the bath was a narrow room. Two couples in our group were so distressed by the accommodations that they insisted on being put up at another hotel and they wound up at the convention center in a ‘big box’ hotel. Both couples complained bitterly about the small rooms and the fact they could not ‘fit’ in the bathrooms. Larger and or less mobile tourists might do well to avoid this hotel. My hubby and I had NO trouble and preferred to stay put in the Le Dokhans rather than be relocated. One can walk everywhere from here and we did! MInd you, neither of us can be mistaken for anything BUT Americans, we are both active but larger than average. Hubby is 6’3″ and 240 lbs, and I am a sturdy midwestern size 12, which makes me officially VERY BIG in France. We had no trouble with the room or the bath.
    We had a very charming staff to help us with directions and advice for our time off. One gentleman marked our map with a ‘wonderful cafe, very charming and the host owns it, so very good service, please tell him I sent you!” and off we went. However his directions and the cartoonish map were so hard to follow we never did find it until it was too late. After wandering in circles for a half hour, we gave up and had lunch at Cafe de Flor ( not too shabby! ) . After refueling and rest, we set out again only to find that ‘charming cafe’ RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!

  4. Anne Brill
    February 7, 2017 / 5:19 am

    Love your blog! Any chance you will do a post on travel to Japan? We are planning a trip there this spring. Thanks!

  5. Hilary
    February 7, 2017 / 5:27 am

    We stayed in an apartment in 6eme rented through the agency Ville et Village so you may want to check in with them when you do your research on renting. They were very helpful and had lots of choices. However, even booking a year in advance, we only were able to book our fifth choice so apparently it is necessary to plan far in advance to get the best apartments in popular arrondisements. We traveled in October.

  6. February 7, 2017 / 5:31 am

    I have rented apartments in Paris for longer stays. I have used both Paris Address and Paris Attitude agencies as well as VRBO. I travel alone with occasional visits by friends so I always need accommodation for 2+. I like to be in a centrally located area so I especially enjoyed Le Marais where I was near the Place des Vosges and Rue St. Jacques near Val-de-Grâce. A local restaurant and a grocery store are requirements for a pleasant stay.

    • February 7, 2017 / 12:06 pm

      I much prefer renting a self-catering flat. When I’ve stayed in hotels it was for work-related travel, so I never really chose them. My choices are edgier, farther east where most of my friends live. Note that there are very few slummy or dodgy areas within the ring road, in Paris anymore. There is another option of hotels with a kitchenette. I need internet access and a place where I can work.
      Indeed food shopping and some kind of small restaurant or bistro are essentials.

  7. Ariss
    February 7, 2017 / 5:52 am

    Thank you for the information and reviews, it’s very helpful. Do you have any hotel recommendations by any chance?

  8. Ariss
    February 7, 2017 / 5:54 am

    Edit: hotel recommendations for London?

  9. Lori
    February 7, 2017 / 6:24 am

    Wonderful list…will bookmark your page for future Paris travel planning…Mahalo!

  10. Joan
    February 7, 2017 / 7:25 am

    My husband and I just returned from our annual winter trip to Paris and always stay in apartments. It’s usually much cheaper than a hotel, is roomier and we like to have breakfast or aperitifs, and sometimes simple meals, at home. We love to go to the markets and stock our kitchen. Last week we used Paris Perfect and can recommend them. Parisbestlodge is another good agency for lower priced apartments, many in le Marais.

  11. Sue K
    February 7, 2017 / 9:13 am

    On our last visit we stayed at the Hotel Lumen in the 1st. A great mix of old and new décor. Small balcony with a view of the Louvre and the Tuileries. Great location if plans include museums and of course people watching in the park. Helpful staff and fun atmosphere.

  12. Katie
    February 7, 2017 / 11:16 am

    When we stay anywhere for a week or more, we prefer to rent an apartment. The last time we were in Paris we stayed in a property in the 7th arrondissement that we found at “France: Homestyle.” They, and the property manager, were wonderful to work with, and the location was ideal ~ close to Musée d’Orsay, Boulevard St. Germain, the Seine,… And for the past two years we’ve used an apartment in London’s Covent Garden managed by “Home from Home.” I enjoy this temporary opportunity to feel more like a native and less like a tourist. One of my favourite travel moments was mastering the controls of a French washer/dryer with the help of Google translate.

  13. bonnie
    February 7, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    I too am hooked on apartment living in Paris. But if one is staying 4 or fewer days, I’d suggest a hotel. There is more effort and schedule coordination with an apartment. I’ve used Rent Paris Now for about 5 years and have been happy with their offerings. They are more modest in price than some other agencies. I’ve looked at AIRB&B but have heard of too many last minute cancellations. However, the younger set uses them a lot. I like the upper 3rd or right in the heart of Paris, near the Louvre. When one walks north,away from the Louvre the tourists magically disappear. The location gives one access to both the left and the right bank in an instant.

  14. February 7, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    Seconding Ariss’ post from above: any London recommendations would be appreciated. We are going in August for our first vacation. Although I traveled to Europe for business, I stayed in non-descript hotels with little charm and inevitably close to airports or business parks.

  15. Lee Cavanaugh
    February 7, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    I can second the apartments from Paris Perfect. We have done them twice and have been more than satisfied. We like the feeling of living among Parisians and seeing everyday life happening around us.

  16. Brit
    February 7, 2017 / 2:49 pm

    We are renting an apartment for the first time this summer, and using Paris Perfect. Previously we always stayed in hotels but will be there longer this time. It’s surprisingly affordable. On past trips we have usually stayed in the 6th or 7th, but one time a few years ago we did a bargain package and ended up in the 17th. You were able to see a very different slice of Paris, but just as wonderful because….it’s Paris!

  17. Christine Tiley
    February 7, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    For a good little economical boutique hotel I love the Best Western Premier Louvre St Honore. Five minutes walk from the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame and surrounded by great cafes and bars. The Concierge John Baptiste is so friendly and helpful – nothing is a trouble and he has a great sense of humour. I never stay anywhere else.

  18. Turner
    February 7, 2017 / 11:48 pm

    As I started to read your post I was thinking about a lovely hotel we stayed in last time we went to Paris (for my birthday a couple of years ago) and wishing that I could recall its name. Guess what?! It’s the Keppler! Thanks for reminding me, and yes, I highly recommend it too!

  19. Alison M.
    February 8, 2017 / 8:09 am

    I second the recommendation for “France Homestyle” apartment rental agency. I have used them twice, once for a place in the 6th and once for a tiny studio near the Sorbonne. The best part of renting an apartment is that you can shop at the local outdoor markets and patisseries for breakfast pastries, snacks, prepared foods, etc. You get to experience daily life and have the kind of interactions that locals do. It can also be more economical.

  20. Bonni
    February 8, 2017 / 10:01 am

    we have stayed at two of your hotels. The first, Hotel Luxembourg Parc was indeed special. I have pictures of my room when we stayed there in 2012, if you would like to add to your collection. I had forgotten how perfect the stay was and the restaurant recommendation right across the little side street was wonderful even though it severely taxed my high school french.

    We have also stayed at the K&K Hotel Cayre and loved everything about it. We had a room on the top floor with slanted ceilings but big windows with an unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower.

    I look forward to trying some of your other recommendations if I can tear myself away from the above two!.

  21. Tess
    February 8, 2017 / 10:20 am

    Good post and discussion. I have just one point to add to your suggested criteria: What types of “amenities” do you want close to your hotel–pharmacy, Monoprix, markets and shops that have food and other things to stock your room, restaurants and cafes (especially useful for breakfast or dinner). Some neighborhoods like parts of the 16th and 1st have areas without much of this.

  22. Belinda Manley
    February 8, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    For stays longer than 3 days and traveling with friends rather than spouse i highly reccommend an apartment. Have rented 2 from Vacation in Paris ( out of NJ) both in 7th.

  23. bonnie
    February 8, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    Have to add – a great hotel is Duc de Saint-Simon in the 7th.

  24. Anonymous
    February 9, 2017 / 4:35 am

    If staying for a week or more an apartment is a much better option. Paris hotel rooms are notoriously small. If you’re used to Asian hotels – they will come as a shock. Many bathrooms in Asian hotels are bigger than hotel rooms in Paris.
    Apartments are usually much cheaper, even small apartments have more space than most hotel rooms, there’s usually a kitchen (small) and often a washing machine in the bathroom and sometimes even an air conditioner. There’s usually free wifi, and cable television. Some apartments are up on higher floors in older buildings, 4th or higher and not all apartments buildings (or small hotels) have lifts. If you don’t want to climb four flights of stairs at the end of the day, this is a problem. It’s always worth checking this out before booking. Even if the building has a lift it’s not uncommon for it to be out of order so if staying in a hotel we always request a room no higher than 2nd or 3rd floor.
    We always stay in a friend’s apartment for a month each year in the 1st, very well located, while he’s away. But finish up at a hotel for a few extra days. Usually the Hotel Recamier on Place Saint Sulpice, just across the road from the church. Also a wonderful location and fairly quiet. Staff are fabulous! Best wishes, Pamela

  25. Veronica
    February 9, 2017 / 11:15 am

    We spent a great weekend at Hotel de Jobo in the Marais. Newly renovated with terrific funky vibe, plus who can resist a hotel room upholstered in leopard fabric? We shall return!

  26. Jane2
    February 10, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    I always stay in the 17eme close to Villiers Metro – I like a familiar starting point, and I now know the area. There’s a market street (Rue de Levis), great restaurants, bakeries, etc – and the best street accessories booth I’ve run across in my travels. It’s also within walking distance to many attractions, and the RER station to Versailles etc. There are several excellent VRBO/Airbnb accommodations, as well as a boutique hotel (Hotel Duette) or a Holiday Inn Express.

  27. sarah ross
    February 10, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    I second Le Duc de Simon–very small, charming, fair-sized room by parisian standards, great location.

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