10 Best Paris Hotels for Any Mood and Excellent Taste
By Paige Donner
Paris Local Expert
The range of what you can find in Paris is staggering; From dens of luxury and opulence, truly befitting Kings and Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers, who often do stay in them, to cozy, very private boutique hotels nestled away on quiet side-streets that welcome celebrities on their annual Paris shopping trips, as well as people like you and me. You can also find hotels with babysitting services and activities designed for the kids for that date-night with your spouse or the afternoon at the spa.
Paris is the city that coined the term Palace for its ultra-luxury hotels, of which there are a handful. Then there are the five-star hotels, becoming more numerous each year, with the biggest slice of the Paris pie taken by the three- and four-star hotels. Together they accommodate 36.9 million overnights per year. And yes, there are times when all the rooms in the city are booked, so be sure to choose your hotel and make reservations well in advance.
Nearly all have flawless WiFi and other standard amenities and the classic hotels often have a dedicated breakfast room where you can sneak a peek at your fellow travelers. Honeymooners may opt for a hotel with a good concierge, for those must-have dinner reservations or concert tickets, and room-service, as there is nothing like a breakfast in bed of croissants and café au lait while overlooking the Eiffel Tower from your balcony, dressed simply in your silk peignoir and slippers.
10 Hotel Le Bristol Paris
When you're here you're family. True, others have used this slogan but at Le Bristol Paris it's what you can rely on throughout your stay. The historic building, located off the Champs-Elysées, is far enough away to feel secluded. Your neighbor is the French President, literally, as the Elysée, France's "White House," is just a block away. Le Bristol lies at the very heart of the most glamorous of shopping streets, the rue du Faubourg St. Honoré. The garden courtyard is the largest of the Parisian Palace hotels' and its under-the-eaves swimming pool offers views over Paris's rooftops. A 3-star and a 1-Star Michelin restaurant as well as an on-premise spa offer you options. Le Bristol provides family friendly amenities like babysitting and comfy beds for Fido. Keep a lookout for Fa-Raon and Kléopatre, the friendly feline residents. Magical best describes this Parisian Palace bijou of the Oetker Collection hotels.
9 Hotel Fouquet's Barriere
A dedicated butler sees to your every whim, round-the-clock, from the moment you check-in. Amenities also include one of Paris's largest hotel swimming pools, which adjoins the one-of-a-kind Shiseido USpa. Upon arrival, children are gifted a treasure map to search for the hotel's mascot, a ladybug (which, everyone knows, brings good luck). Dignified Luxury. This term refers to Fouquet's Leading Green Certification ethics and its philosophy that the environment need not be abandoned in the quest for luxury. Step foot inside this historical icon located where the Avenue George V meets the Champs-Elysées and you would never guess that the sumptuous gold-and-velvet Jacques Garcia designs surrounding you are sustainably certified. Fouquet's is synonymous with French film stars. Each year the winners of the Cesar's, France's "Oscar's", are féted here with a gala dinner. But back in horse-and-buggy days, it was simply the chosen watering hole of the Champs-Elysées carriage drivers.
8 Pavillon de la Reine
If on your travels you ever feel like a ship in want of a safe berth, look no further than the enchanting Le Pavillon de la Reine. Nestled into a private courtyard whose entrance is on the magical Place des Vosges, this hotel offers tranquility and peaceful rest in any one of its 54 rooms and suites. Particularly peaceful are the rooms that look out onto the interior Japanese garden. Its name, according to the Chevalier family-owners, is derived from its history as residence to Anne of Austria just prior to her marriage to King Louis XIII. The intoxicating Marais district today is full of small shops, boutiques, cafés and bustling restaurants, not to mention the Picasso and Carnavalet museums. A Carita Spa with jacuzzi, Molton & Brown soaps, free WiFi, English-style breakfast and an Honesty Bar...Small wonder that this hotel is so popular with the movie star set.
7 Le Burgundy Hotel
Just on the other side of Chanel's first Parisian boutique, Le Burgundy Hotel's modern and elegant interior, with its cream and white leather reception desk and Carare marble floor beckons with its soothing seductive 5-star charm. A little gem tucked into the heart of the Fbg. St. Honor?-- shopping district, it's just a few minutes walking to La Madeleine, the Tuileries or Place Vend?--me. The spa below offers a lap pool, steam and sauna rooms and gorgeous gold-mosaic tiling. The color schemes differ from room to spacious room to suite and ranges from grey and cream to fuchsia, blue, bronze and green. There's charm in knowing that you are staying in a privately owned hotel, one where the owners themselves have invested so much of themselves and their own taste in the decor. Oh and did I mention their cognac bar?
6 Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris
Home to General Eisenhower during the liberation of Paris, the Four Seasons Hotel George V is a Parisian legend. Maintained in its original Art Deco 1928 building on Avenue George V, in the city's Golden Triangle, it boasts spacious rooms and white-gloved service. To prove it, it offers housekeeping and in-room massages 24 hours-a-day. As one of the most famous hotels in the world, famous faces regularly walk through its hallowed halls. When Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's Warren Buffett, bought the hotel in 1997 he did a full refurbishment. He also added the special touch of the phrase "The more you give, the more you receive," written in gold-lettered Arabic in the lobby entrance. Fresh flowers and lots of them are the hotel's trademark. Guests can even take a flower arranging class with the property's flower designer, Jeff Leatham. Oh, and the George V is pet-friendly.
5 Hotel le Bellechasse
The hotel in Paris that started the whole couture designed hotel craze, this Christian Lacroix Saint-Germain haven screams style and privilege from the instant you walk through its doors. Its wall-length mural of Victorian Era women sipping tea and bathing nude are emblematic, but what really gets me excited is its location. Location. Location. Location. This spot in Paris could actually be the fulcrum point of the city. Technically it sits in Saint-Germain and is just a block from the Boulevard's legendary shopping district. But if museums are on your itinerary, this is your little slice of heaven. In two minutes -- by foot -- you are at the Mus?--e d'Orsay, in 5 minutes at the L'Orangerie in the Tuileries, in 7 minutes at the Louvre. And if you walk out and go the other direction, along Boulevard Saint-Germain there's the Maison de l'Am?--rique Latine and the Mus?--e des Lettres et Manuscrits.
4 Hotel Chavanel
This four-star boutique hotel is a silk cocoon at the Madeleine, in the heart of Paris. For its proximity to Paris's best shopping, Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, Place de la Madeleine and some of its most renown landmarks such as the Église de la Madeleine, Place de la Concorde and Tuileries, this hotel on legendary rue Tronchet cannot be beat. Add to that the superb new design and renovation by heiress-owner and hotel operator, Sophie Charlet, and you have a Bull's Eye. Rue Tronchet was once the street where Parisian Dandies bought their lace gloves, their hats and their silk tie-knots. Drawing from this rich tradition, Madame Charlet, whose father owned the hotel before she inherited it last year, decided to evoke this theme of fine French lace and dandy-ism throughout her boutique hotel. Breakfast is all organic. WiFi is complimentary. 27 rooms including two Suites. Bathrooms are spacious and spa-like.
3 Hotel Saint Vincent Paris
This is the hotel you stay in when you want privacy, confidentiality and some peace and quiet. With no stars attached after its name, the Hotel Saint Vincent is one of those word-of-mouth places that you won't find in many guidebooks. It's that good. Of course, people want to keep it for themselves. The stunning paradox here is that it's right in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, literally. Yet this perplexingly quiet street remains within a sheltered halo of calm. The antithesis to bling, at the Hotel Saint Vincent you will find spacious rooms with high ceilings, free WiFi, and a hotel lobby and salon with all the comforts of shabby chic décor replete with a wood-burning fireplace, a rarity in Paris. Via the breakfast room, this gracious owner-hotelier plans to connect his two adjoining boutique hotels with this one by 2015, creating one common breakfast room.
2 Residence Nell
If I had to choose two words to describe this apartment hotel superbly located near rue Cadet and Grands Boulevards they would be service and ethical luxury. In a city where prices are high and the notion of "service" often is not included, R?--sidence Nell, a member of the Charm & More Group, stands apart. Here the concierge service is the soul of the hotel. Ideal for families who want to feel "at home" while visiting Paris or even businesspeople who prefer the comforts of a pied-a-terre when in Paris, Nell caters superbly to both. Children here are VIPs. For kids up to 3 years old a changing table and high-chair are available free of charge. Playstation 3 is also available for use. And the kitchenettes come completely equipped. Also free WiFi. Rue Cadet is a market pedestrian street and the ultra-hip SoPi(South Pigalle) is just up the street.
1 Le Meurice Hotel Paris
Once Mom and Dad's every needs have been catered to, Le Meurice's excellent staff turn their attention to the little ones. Children's activities include a hunt for Pistache, the hotel's fluffy dog mascot, through the hotel's secret passageways; Sail wooden boats on the fountains in the Tuileries; Enjoy a specially made birthday cake on your birthday with your favorite flavors. For teens there's Le Meurice Scooter to romp around the city on and don't forget to bring along your Meurice Passport which highlights activities to tick off as you discover the city. Ask your kids test questions like The name of the artist who lived here for 30 years? (Dali) DVD players and game consoles are provided on request for you and your kids and before you leave be sure to sign your autograph on the Frosted Mirror in the lobby, it's like making angel wings in the snow.
About Paige Donner
Paige is a transplanted Parisian. She first arrived as a young bride in the early 90s to live in Paris, having uprooted herself from her native California. Since then it has been an on again, off again love affair for her with the City of Lights, one that has grown fonder over time. Paige hosts World of Wine for World Radio Paris. When discovering a new wine region, her dog accompanies her as the little canine has proved to be the ideal vineyard companion. As a journalist, Paige has written for the NY Times, Variety, LA Times, Fodor's, Blackbook...
Read more about Paige Donner here.