Libertel Quartier Latin Everyone knows about the neo-Rothschild excesses of Jacques Garcia's Hôtel Costes and the fin de siècle Modernism of Christian Liaigre's Montalembert. But only the deeply design-aware are plugged in to Didier Gomez's 29-room Libertel Quartier Latin, which its creator describes as "contemporary, with historical and cultural references." The Libertel's location—near the Sorbonne, at the crossroads of literary life in Paris—has inspired walls stenciled with passages from Victor Hugo, photographs of Colette and Gide propped on picture rails, and a lobby furnished with floor-to-ceiling bookcases. While slipcovered headboards are a fixture these days in hotels from Milan to Milwaukee, this is where they were first spotted, when the hotel opened in 1997. 9 Rue des Écoles, Fifth Arr.; 33-1/44-27-06-45, fax 33-1/43-25-36-70; www.libertel-hotels.com; doubles from $168.
Hôtel Victoires Opéra On a white-tiled pedestrian street in the heart of the shopping district, you'll find a chic combination of old and new Paris—a glammed-up crowd glides past butcher shops and organic markets, nouvelle monde wineshops and classic cafés. Rooms at the Victoires Opéra have a chocolate palette of velveteen and dark wood; ask for one with a view of the never-ending street life (double-glazed windows block out most of the noise). The hotel caters to the style-conscious: room prices rise slightly during the fashion shows, and even the maids are sometimes dressed to kill in short skirts and red patent-leather sandals. 56 Rue Montorgueil, Second Arr.; 33-1/42-36-41-08, fax 33-1/45-08-08-79; www.hotelvictoiresopera.com; doubles from $186.
Hôtel Axial Beaubourg For years, this 39-room hotel had little in common with the cutting-edge galleries and funky bars around it. The charming Véronique Turmel, whose family has owned the property since 1918, came to the rescue last year. Retaining the original exposed beams— and—stone structure, Jean-Philippe Nuel created a medieval-minimal look: white walls, bronzed sconces, wenge-wood furniture. The breakfast "cave" is anything but—with smart mocha slipcovered chairs and sea-grass matting on È the floor. Though it reopened barely eight months ago, fashionistas who wouldn't have been caught dead here before are now fighting for reservations. 11 Rue du Temple, Fourth Arr.; 33-1/42-72-72-22, fax 33-1/42-72-03-53; www.axialbeaubourg.com; doubles from $114.
Hôtel du Bourg Tibourg Paris hotels with half as much style can easily cost twice as much. A giddy, nearly over-the-top Orientalist fantasy with a slightly brooding Gothic edge, the Bourg Tibourg was designed by the Costes' Jacques Garcia. Management here is often obliged to hang out the No Vacancy sign, thanks to the property's high profile with the style tribe and an unimpeachable Marais setting. Still, any amount of wrangling is worth it to secure a room: you won't find more visual bang for your euro anywhere else in the city. 19 Rue du Bourg-Tibourg, Fourth Arr.; 33-1/42-78-47-39, fax 33-1/40-29-07-00; www.hoteldubourgtibourg.com; doubles from $166.
Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais Named for the playwright who lived up the street at No. 47 while he wrote The Marriage of Figaro, the Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais makes the most of its 18th-century origin. Chandeliers hang above a rare 1792 pianoforte in the lobby, whose uncluttered luminosity is reminiscent of the Louis XVI era, when Scandinavian simplicity tempered French extravagance. Gustavian-style beds and chairs and original engravings from antique editions of Beaumarchais's plays outfit the 19 rooms, along with beamed ceilings, gilded mirrors, and rich French fabrics. 12 Rue Vieille-du-Temple, Fourth Arr.; 33-1/42-72-34-12, fax 33-1/42-72-34-63; www.carondebeaumarchais.com; doubles from $112.