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Affordable Small Hotels in Paris

The ideal Parisian hotel is like a macaron—small, colorful, and bursting with individual flavor. But in reality, too many boutique properties here miss the mark. We sent our reporters across the city—testing mattresses; climbing staircases; sampling petits déjeuners—to come up with this list of intimate bolt-holes, in styles from traditional (a Neoclassical retreat near the Panthéon) to contemporary (an art-filled hangout by the Louvre). The sweetest part: all have rates starting under $250 a night.

Right Bank, Fourth Arr.: Hôtel Saint-Louis en l’Isle

The Île St.-Louis is picture-book Paris, its narrow, cobblestoned streets lined with cafés, boulangeries, and the original Berthillon ice cream shop. The Hôtel Saint-Louis en l’Isle, 20 rooms in a handsomely renovated 19th-century building, sustains the sense of well-polished nostalgia. A twist of your fleur-de-lis-shaped room key reveals stone floors, tufted velvet headboards, and custom bathroom fixtures. Other thoughtful details—such as the loaner iPads with weather, currency, and translation apps—belie the reasonable price. So does the central location: the Latin Quarter, the Marais, and the tangle of flying buttresses at the rear of Notre Dame are all just a bridge span away.

75 Rue St.-Louis en l’Île; 33-1/46-34-04-80; saintlouisenlisle.com; doubles from $225. Métro: Pont-Marie; Cité

Note: Prices listed are the lowest for a double room in April 2012; these may rise or fall depending on exchange rates, season, availability, length of stay, and other factors. All hotels have elevators, 24-hour reception, en suite bathrooms, and, with one exception, in-room TV’s and phones.

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