Someone asks us almost every day: Can you recommend a stylish, well-located—and inexpensive—place to stay in Paris?So we polled the most fashionable Francophiles we know, to find out their secret hideaways. Not all of them were forthcoming about their favorites. "No way," one writer said. "And I'm not going to feel guilty, either!" We'll keep pushing him for details, but in the meantime, here are 17 other finds.
Hôtel de l'Abbaye For a Left Bank hotel that started life as a 17th-century abbey, this cloistered gem inspires surprisingly unfettered romantic yearnings. A tiny cobbled forecourt buffers the hurly-burly of modern Paris, and while several of the 44 rooms are small enough to be monastic cells, four two-story suites (from $310 a night) have French windows that overlook the medieval church of St.-Sulpice. Riotous Pierre Frey and Brunschwig floral fabrics echo the fresh arrangements in the lobby and the conservatory garden, a leafy bower equally suited to contemplation and surreptitious smooching. 10 Rue Cassette, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/45-44-38-11, fax 33-1/45-48-07-86; www.hotelabbayeparis.com; doubles from $170.
Hôtel Buci Latin Dodge the shoppers crowding the cheese and baguette stalls in this lively area and duck into the 27-room Buci Latin, whose wacky neo-industrial look is spiced up with bleached wood and zebra stripes. The façade resembles a flying saucer sliced in two; the staircase has a vibrant graffiti mural; the lobby is dominated by itinerant artist Pierre Leloup's abstract wall hangings. But it's all offset during the drama of fashion season, when the hotel is mobbed with editors, photographers, and designers. 34 Rue de Buci, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/43-29-07-20, fax 33-1/43-29-67-44; doubles from $166, including breakfast.
Hôtel Duc de St.-Simon Don't talk to the famously exigent Lauren Bacall about the Ritz: when she descends on Paris, it's the St.-Simon or nothing. And who would blame her?A stay at the 34-room hotel is like living in the 18th-century town house of your dreams. Students of decorating will want to examine the dazzling way bolts of printed cotton have been folded in hundreds of knife pleats to cover the walls in the salon. Others are enchanted by the entrance courtyard, pansy-filled window boxes, and female staffers in their sharp uniforms. 14 Rue de St.-Simon, Seventh Arr.; 33-1/44-39- 20-20, fax 33-1/45-48-68-25; doubles from $175.
Hôtel Luxembourg Parc Filling the gap in Paris between palace hotels and character-filled pensiones that can be "quirky" to the point of distraction is the year-old Parc, which benefits from the peace of the nearby Luxembourg Gardens. With its classic Louis XV style, fine linens, and generous bathrooms, the 23-room hotel is a small-scale version of the Hôtel de Crillon. The rooms themselves are equipped with modem ports, bathrobes, and—a rarity in value hotels—plenty of hangers. The only eccentric feature is the "24-hour room service," which, when available, is actually takeout from nearby restaurants. 42 Rue de Vaugirard, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/53-10-36-50, fax 33-1/53-10-36-59; www.hotelluxparc.com; doubles from $176.
Hôtel Le St.-Grégoire There are so many glacial design-driven hotels in Paris that it's easy to think there's no place left that still believes in old-fashioned values and niceties. Which is why the 20-room St.-Grégoire is so precious. The couple who run the place do so like accomplished maîtres de maison rather than bean-counting hotelkeepers; they look as if they don't need to work, and what better way to pass the day than fluffing pillows, arranging flowers, organizing bibelots, and whipping up breakfast in a stone cellar festooned with baskets?43 Rue de l'Abbé-Grégoire, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/ 45-48-23-23, fax 33-1/45-48-33-95; www.hotelsaintgregoire.com; doubles from $153.
Hôtel des Saints-Pères When Edna St. Vincent Millay went to Paris in 1921 as a foreign correspondent for Vanity Fair, she took a room at the Saints-Pères. The hotel met all her needs: it was affordable, yet distinguished (it had once been the private residence of Daniel Gittard, Louis XIV's architect), and its Left Bank address ensured plenty of material for her series of articles on French society. Though the 39 rooms now have high-speed Internet access and well-stocked mini-bars, many of the services Millay enjoyed have been preserved: the attentive staff delivers petit déjeuner to writers who work in bed till noon; afternoon tea is offered in the palm-filled winter garden. The high-ceilinged Chambre à la Fresque—with a stunning 17th-century fresco—remains the most coveted guest room. 65 Rue des Saints-Pères, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/45-44-50-00, fax 33-1/45-44-90-83; doubles from $122.
Hôtel Verneuil The search stops here for a hotel that's blushingly romantic, bathed in history, and stylish in a way that weds the past (miles of printed fabrics from France's old-guard textile houses) to the present (iron cube tables with a deliberately rusted finish). Some of the 26 guest rooms are a bit tight, but with a heart-of-Rive-Gauche location—the Flore and Deux Magots are your local cafés— complaining seems like bad manners. Discreetly housed in a handsome 17th-century building with hand-hewn beams, the Verneuil is owned and run by Sylvie de Lattre, a gifted latecomer to the business whose most recent venture—the revamped Hôtel Thérèse across the Seine—has put Paris on notice about her dynastic ambitions. 8 Rue de Verneuil, Seventh Arr.; 33-1/42-60-82-14, fax 33-1/42-61-40-38; www.hotelverneuil.com; doubles from $118.
Hôtel La Villa St.-Germain-des-Prés Fashion-forward La Villa attracts an artsy crowd to a serpentine street lined with big-ticket antiques shops. Designer Jean-Philippe Nuel has put together a pleasing palette—sage green, soft brown—to complement canvases by Parisian painter du jour Valérie Raymond-Stempowska. Leather headboards, brushed- steel lights, angular sofas, and red marble bathrooms make a statement in the 31 guest rooms. Swoop down the spiral stair to the breakfast room for a brioche and chocolat chaud before hitting the stores; afterward, hang in the soigné lounge with a champagne cocktail. 29 Rue Jacob, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/43-26-60-00, fax 33-1/46-34-63-63; www.villa-saintgermain.com; doubles from $197.
For more hotels in St.-Germain, Paris, check out T+L's Guide to 6th Arrondissement.
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.
Hôtel Le Ste.-Beuve Location is one advantage of the Hôtel Le Ste.-Beuve: Walk north, and in three minutes you're in the Luxembourg Gardens; head one block south for the immortal literary cafés on Boulevard Montparnasse. But the hotel has attractions all its own, including a wood-burning fireplace, wide couches in the lobby, and rich breakfasts of fruit-packed jams and fresh pastries from St.-Germain's famous Gérard Mulot bakery. And there's nothing cookie-cutter about the 22 rooms, mostly large and all impeccably decorated by David Hicks, who has given the hotel a surprising freshness by combining paisleys and stripes. 9 Rue Ste.-Beuve, Sixth Arr.; 33-1/45-48-20-07, fax 33-1/45-48-67-52; www.paris-hotel-charme.com; doubles from $107.
Hôtel La Manufacture In a gracious 19th-century Haussmann building on a tiny street near the Place d'Italie, this little treasure is near the famous Gobelins tapestry workshops (worth a tour) and a short hop from the Latin Quarter. The 57 rooms are done up in pastels and printed fabrics, with satellite TV's and Internet ports (book room No. 74, for its view of the Eiffel Tower). Spacious bathrooms are tiled in spotless white and some have thoughtful extras—like a scale that allows you to monitor the effects of all that fromage. But the Manufacture's best asset has to be its warm staff, who think of everything, like varying the breakfast pastries each morning—chausson aux pommes one day, pain au chocolat the next—so that guests don't get bored. 8 Rue Philippe-de-Champagne, 13th Arr.; 33-1/45-35-45-25, fax 33-1/45-35-45-40; www.hotel-la-manufacture.com; doubles from $112.
Hôtel Bourgogne et Montana French prime minister Lionel Jospin and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld live nearby, so you know the location is very grand indeed: right next to the aristocratic Place du Palais-Bourbon, and a short stroll from the Musée d'Orsay and Boulevard St.-Germain. As befits the neighborhood, this refined hotel has 32 recently renovated rooms furnished in the Louis XV and XVI È styles (including a top-floor suite with a drop-dead view of Place de la Concorde). Delicious bonus: Rollet Pradier, one of Paris's best pâtisseries, is across the street. 3 Rue de Bourgogne, Seventh Arr.; 33-1/45-51-20-22, fax 33-1/45-56-11-98; www.bourgogne-montana.com; doubles from $131, including breakfast.
Hôtel Le Tourville Just behind the dome of Les Invalides, near the Musée Rodin and the Eiffel Tower, the Tourville has long been one of the best-guarded secrets among the residents of the Seventh Arrondissement, who keep it filled with visiting family and friends. And though the Neoclassical façade dates from the end of the 19th century, the 30 bright rooms are anything but stuffy, all done in pale hues, with lovely marble bathrooms and a tasteful mix of contemporary furnishings and antiques, some from the Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt. 16 Ave. de Tourville, Seventh Arr.; 33-1/47-05-62-62, fax 33-1/47-05-43-90; www.hoteltourville.com; doubles from $127.
Contributors: Maggie Alderson, Richard Alleman, Victor Barcimanto, Laura Begley, Elizabeth Garnsey, Kristin Hohenadel, Shane Mitchell, Christopher Petkanas, and Hannah Wallace.
Hôtel Le Tourville
For Paris first-timers, the English-speaking staff at this property goes out of its way to accommodate tourist clientele. Open since the 1930s, this Neo-classical hotel offers thirty tiny rooms reminiscent of a bed and breakfast, each decorated with antique furnishings, pastel walls, original art, and floral prints. Suites offer whirlpool baths. Amenities are basic, but include breakfast served daily in the room. Hôtel Le Tourville is well-suited as a Parisian home base, especially with its proximity to the Eiffel Tower, the famous dome of Les Invalides, and the Metro, which is right up the street.
Hôtel Bourgogne et Montana
Situated in the Seventh Arrondissement, the four-star Hôtel Bourgogne et Montana is next to the Place du Palais Bourbon and National Assembly building, as well as within blocks of the Musee d'Orsay and Rodin Museum. Within this 18th-century building, the hotel's decor includes a mix of antiques, Empire furniture, and oil canvasses alongside modern Le Corbusier armchairs and brightly colored rugs and bedding. Though sleeping quarters are on the small side, the clean, white-tiled bathrooms are more spacious than average. Ride the forged-iron elevator down to the breakfast buffet each morning and later relax with a glass of wine in the public lounge or order room service from Bernard Loiseau's Tante Margureite Restaurant, located next door.
Hôtel La Manufacture
The Hôtel La Manufacture is located in Paris’s 13th Arrondissement next to the city’s famous Latin Quarter. A small, boutique hotel, the Hôtel La Manufacture offers 56 guest rooms equipped with wireless Internet access and flatscreen televisions. The public areas and guest rooms feature modern décor. Walls are painted in warm neutrals and are accented by brightly colored furnishings and artwork. Guests enjoy continental breakfast in their rooms or at the buffet, and adjoining rooms are available for families or groups.
Hôtel Caron de Beaumarchais
Named for the 18th-century playwright (he wrote The Marriage of Figaro) and revolutionary who did some of his best work up the street—now one of the main shopping drags of the Marais—this 19-room retreat incorporates plenty of historical charm. Archival fabrics cover walls, and the rooms have exposed beams and real antiques. Granted, even the top-rung rooms are cozy to the point of tiny—more so than other hotels on this list. And those facing the street may prove noisy. But there is sweetness and light, from the tinkling little chandeliers to the patient staff.
Hôtel du Bourg Tibourg
Located in the Marais area of Paris, the Hôtel du Bourg Tibourg features 30 guest rooms, including one suite. The rooms are small, but they are known for their lavish décor courtesy of designer Jacques Garcia. Garcia’s aesthetic includes a plethora of design elements, such as stripes, fringe, and animal prints. Despite their size, guest rooms are equipped with the requisite modern amenities, including air conditioning, wireless Internet, and cable/satellite television. Breakfast is served in the lounge and the guest rooms.
Hôtel Axial Beaubourg
Hôtel Victoires Opéra
The Hôtel Victoires Opera is situated on Paris’s pedestrian-friendly Rue Montorgueil, near the city’s top attractions, including the Musée du Louvre and the Latin Quarter. The hotel features 24 guest rooms and 18 suites decorated in warm neutrals with accenting stripes. Each room is outfitted with wireless Internet access, air conditioning, and marble bathrooms. Guests enjoy access to a nearby health club, as well as the on-site lounge, featuring comfortable chairs and sofas for reading and drink service. The multilingual reception staff is available to assist with directions and reservations.
Hôtel La Villa
The Hôtel La Villa is situated in the Saint Germain des Prés neighborhood of Paris. This modern, upscale hotel is a short distance away from top Paris attractions, including the Musée du Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. The hotel’s guest rooms and public areas feature a sleek, contemporary design in contrast with the stereotypical Parisian opulence. The 31 guest rooms and 4 suites are decorated in warm, neutral tones with dark wood furnishings and feature marble bathrooms. In-room amenities include flatscreen televisions and wireless Internet access.
Hôtel des Saints-Pères
The Hôtel des Saints-Pères is situated near the Le Bon Marché store and the Café de Flor in the Saint Germain des Prés district of Paris. The front of the hotel was built in 1685 by Daniel Gittard, an architect for Louis XIV, and the hotel has hosted such famous figures as painter Francis Bacon. The property features 38 guest rooms, most of which overlook the garden. Each room features a period portrait, as well as modern amenities like wireless Internet access and satellite television. A continental breakfast is available for an additional charge.
Hôtel Le St.-Grégoire
The Hôtel Le Saint Grégoire features 20 guest rooms and interiors decorated by David Hicks. Guest rooms are outfitted with antiques and paintings, lending a comfortable, home-like feel. Amenities include wireless Internet access and air conditioning, and many guest rooms feature private terraces. The hotel is pet friendly, and additional services include a lounge bar and private parking. Located in the Rive Gauche district of Paris, the hotel offers easy access to such top attractions as Saint Michel and the Louvre.
Hôtel Luxembourg Parc
Housed inside a historic 17th-century building, the Hôtel Luxembourg Parc is located in Saint Germain des Prés, a Paris district full of art galleries and high-end shops. Many of the hotel’s guest rooms feature views of the Luxembourg Gardens and décor inspired by such notable French figures as Louis XV, Louis XVI, and Napoleon III. The hotel features a library, complete with a working fireplace and chess set, as well as a fitness center with a Cardio Wave machine, and an on-site bar.
Hôtel Duc de St.-Simon
A jewel box of a hotel, the 34-room Duc de Saint Simon resembles a private Parisian home, with a black-and-white marble hall, graceful staircase, and rooms decorated in richly colored traditional French fabrics like toile de Jouy. Everything is so exquisitely appointed that the 18th-century memoirist and defender of the nobility after which the hotel was named would certainly feel at home here. Some rooms give onto the private garden in back, ideal for quiet contemplation. No wonder it has become a favorite among the famously private: Lauren Bacall, Anjelica Huston, John Irving, and Harvey Keitel.
Room to Book: Any of the rooms that contain the number 7, which are particularly prized for their location on the garden side of the building, or any of the four rooms with a private breakfast terrace.
Hôtel Buci Latin
The stylish Hôtel de Buci is located in the heart of the Latin Quarter in Paris, minutes from the Luxembourg Gardens and the Musée d’Orsay. Inspired by the Enlightenment and Louis XV, the hotel features 24 boudoir-style guest rooms and suites decorated with rich fabrics and vibrant shades of red, gold, and blue. Guests enjoy on-site amenities such as a bar serving cocktails, a daily breakfast buffet, and concierge assistance for reservations and directions. Room service is available from nearby Chai de l’Abbaye.
Hôtel de l'Abbaye
With its garden courtyard, large fireplace in the lobby, and manor-like appointments, this converted 17th-century abbey feels like a country estate in the middle of the Left Bank. Rooms range from monastically small to apartment-like duplexes (some with partial views over Saint Sulpice), but romance is a constant throughout the establishment; floral-printed (but not chintzy) chairs, bedcovers, and drapes echo the lovingly tended blossoms in the Luxembourg Gardens just beyond. As in most Parisian hotels, the rooms are small, but the service is attentive, the ambience homey, and the location ideal—close enough to the action of Saint Germain, yet at a pleasant remove from all the traffic.
Room to Book: Standard doubles 22, 23, 32, and 33, which look onto the courtyard.
The historic Hôtel Verneuil is housed in a 17th-century building in Paris’s Saint Germain des Prés district. Guests of the hotel enjoy convenient access to the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the area’s many shops and galleries. Each of the 26 guest rooms has been individually decorated with colorful, patterned wallpaper, elegant furnishings, and unique artwork. Rooms also offer marble bathrooms and cable television. A continental breakfast is served daily and a business corner is available. The concierge will assist with reservations and transportation.
Hôtel Le Sainte-Beuve
This petite city inn, which takes its name from the 19th-century literary critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, is for traditionalists. In the David Hicks–designed lobby, overstuffed red-checked armchairs and deep couches flank a wood-burning fireplace. And the theme extends to each of the 22 individually decorated rooms, which have delicate antique dressing tables and side chairs, crisp beds dressed in white, and bedside tables furnished, appropriately, with vintage tomes.
Room to Book: The standout among the standard rooms is No. 6, with turquoise walls covered with romantic charcoal portraits. If you’re looking for something roomier, stay in the Chambre Sainte-Beuve; its street- and courtyard-facing windows and small lounge area make it feel like a private pied-à-terre.