Paris, a capital famous for its fashion, history and artistic culture has numerous hotels. There are splendid palaces that epitomize French-style elegance. In the fashionable districts, luxury hotels cater for the needs of the most demanding clients and are also ideal for the business traveller. In the picturesque Montmartre and Marais areas, and on the Île de la Cité, the hotels are particularly charming. The intellectual Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Près entice visitors with the names of illustrious artists who have stayed there. In the bohemian east of town, you will find modestly priced accommodation.
Palaces in the Golden Triangle
If Paris reigns supreme as the world capital of good living, it is a reputation built not only on the excellence of its cuisine but also on the quality of the accommodation on offer. Some of the most luxurious hotels are close to the Champs Elysées and the very elegant Avenue Montaigne including the palatial Hôtel George V
, the Hôtel Plaza-Athénée and the Hôtel Franklin Roosevelt. These are also extremely convenient for the needs of the business community. Equally distinguished is the Ritz
, a palace once graced by writer Ernest Hemingway, and Coco Chanel, founder of the eponymous fashion house. The Rue St-honouré, one of Paris's most regal and elegant thoroughfares, is close at hand; the Hôtel Costes
puts the Paris of Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent within walking distance. Many of these palaces have revived the luxury and décor of a particular period, with all its attendant grandeur and splendour (the Louis XIII room at the George, the Napoleon room at the Costes and the Louis XVI room at the Ritz). Similarly, some of them have haute couture
on the spot, such as Hotel de Crillon
and the very elegant Hotel Lutétia
, which entrusted its redecoration to the famous fashion designer, Sonia Rykiel. For decades the richest people in the world have frequented these hotels. Should you have the means to stay in one of these palaces, you might well find yourself rubbing shoulders with celebrities in the hotel bar or restaurant.
On the other hand, you might want to try the art of cuisine in the Ritz-Escoffier School of Gastronomy
located in the hotel of the same name. The Hôtel Costes
, centre of the empire belonging to the two Costes brothers from the Auvergne, have followed up their majestic hotel by investing in numerous eating-houses in the capital. On the same spot there is a Costes restaurant, a Costes bar, not to mention a much-frequented sports club with a magnificent swimming pool in the basement.
Picturesque Hotels in the Marais
The older, smaller hotels are concentrated in the most picturesque areas. One of the oldest districts, the Marais, harbours numerous little private hotels, all characterized by their charm, like Hôtel Saint Louis Marais or Hôtel de la Bretonnerie and Hôtel des Chevaliers. This is also Paris' gay quarter. Other establishments located in buildings dating from the same period (17th century) include the Hôtel St Paul-le Marais
and Hôtel des Deux Iles, located on one of the oldest part of the Capital, Île-Saint-Louis. The Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis, where the two arms of the Seine meet, are ideal for a romantic stroll (Notre-Dame Cathedral is on Ile de la Cité).
The Latin Quarter
What can be said about the Latin Quarter? Elegance and intellect combine in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where in earlier times the great names of art and literature were drawn as to a magnet. If you want to immerse yourself in the bohemian universe of philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre you could check in at the Hotel Sully Saint-Germain. Saint-Michel neighbourhood offer further more reasonable options like the Hôtel des Grandes Écoles or the Hôtel Résidence Monge, if you want to soak up the intellectual atmosphere and elite student's lifestyle.
Montmartre, with its Sacré-Cœur basilica and the Place du Tertre, is considered by some to be even more attractive. There, you will find some charming and picturesque hotels with reasonable rates, such as Hôtel Victoria or the Hôtel Caulaincourt Square.
Affordable Lodging in Paris Eastern Districts
In the city centre, only a few establishments are affordable, but a little piece of heaven is to be found in Montorgueil pedestrian district: Hôtel La Marmotte, from where you will be able to find some of the trendiest shop alongside Rue Étienne Marcel. But most of the really inexpensive hotels can be found in the 10th Arrondissement near Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est. These hotels often gather an international and young crowd coming from all across the globe. Among the ones that offer good service and comfortable rooms, are the Hotel Jarry located in the bustling Indian district, the Hotel Le Cambrai and the Perfect Hotel & Hostel. Make sure you ask for a room furnished with shower and restrooms if you wish so, as not all the rooms have both! The trendy Bastille area in the centre of east Paris, once the district of furniture makers also offers some reasonable options, such as the Absolute Hotel or the International Youth Hostel, very popular among hard-up globetrotters.
Modern Hotels in La Défense Business District
Finally, if you want to be sure of comfort and good value for money, there are numerous hotel chains available. Some are within the city, such as the Timhotel Montparnasse near the tower of the same name. Others serve the business area, La Défense, such as the Hôtel Mercure Paris La Défense, Novotel Paris La Défense, Hôtel Ibis Paris La Défense Centre and Hôtel Kyriad Paris La Défense. These hotels fill up really quickly during trade shows, so make sure you book your room in advance if you wish to attend one of them.