Vive Le Grand Amour In The City of Light

For a to-the-manor-born feel, there is no topping Hotel de Crillon, for its palatial opulence, its top-notch recent redecoration and its classic French regalness. That it dominates the Place de la Concorde, makes it that much more dramatic. This is, of course, where the famous photo was taken of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks together on the balcony when they honeymooned here. Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies also sojourned here in their day.

For an altogether different experience, book yourselves into the hideaway that is the Hotel Particulier Montmartre, which also offers the complete package but in a very discreet way. Here you find sumptuous rooms designed with an homage to a true aristocrat's shabby-chic flair, an on-premise restaurant, the bar that is just downstairs and adjacent to the garden, the interior courtyard garden and the super-secret entryway. This is a haven unto itself that has been designed for ultra-exclusive enjoyment.

Need anyone an excuse to languor in romance? And even more to the point, need anyone an excuse to indulge in romance in Paris? Since the answers to the above are Non! and Non! Here are just a handful of delightful love nests in which you can stay while doing both. The Hotel Esmerelda is probably the most modest of romantic hideaways on this list, but it is also one of the most storied. This is, after all, where Serge Gainsbourg first encountered the love of his life, Jane Birkin.

A  gem on the Left Bank landscape is this universe unto itself in one of the oldest of Parisian neighborhoods, the Quartier Latin. This boutique hotel is themed after writer and naturalist Alexandre Dumas' chefs d'oeuvre, hence the name the Hotel Monte Cristo. The property is exudes quiet luxury, boasts a downstairs heated pool, and has you right at the foot of the oh-so charming rue Mouffetard. 

For more Left Bank chic, stay in the famous L;Hotel just near the Ecole des Beaux Arts where Oscar Wilde spent his last days. The restaurant here, Le Restaurant, has earned its Michelin star and the bar, in which still hangs pictures of former regular clients such as Johnny Depp and Mick Jagger, gives you that not-so-subtle reminder of 'only in Paris.' 

Le Roch Hotel & Spa is one such luxury property that offers the enticement of an experience. Two more romantically-themed hotels that you'll find here on this list are Hotel de JoBo (JoBo standing for Josephine Bonaparte, the woman who symbolizes French romance) and Da Vinci Hotel and Spa, dedicated to the Mona Lisa. Each property offers a cocoon-like experience and deliver on your expectations when you book a hotel getaway. 


6th Arrondissement - Rive Gauche

Opulent, rich and luxurious, that is the only way to describe the overall impression you get when you enter into this delightful luxury Left Bank boutique Paris hotel. Dedicated to the theme of Da Vinci, the rooms are decorated and named as such hence you have the Mona Lisa room and the Medici deluxe room and, well, you get the idea. The lobby sitting area, overlooking the fine antique shop-laden rue des Saints-Péres is a window onto the Parisian passersby. There is a spa on the basement level. It must be reserved in advance for your exclusive time slot. The location here couldn't be more convenient as you are across the Seine from the Louvre - where the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit is currently underway; you are a stone's throw from the Pont des Arts and just 5 minutes' walk to St. Germain-des-Prés church.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: The hotel is housed in a traditional 6 storey Parisian townhouse. Two fireplaces under the atrium window offer guests the charm of a private home.

Read more about Hôtel Da Vinci & Spa →

6th Arrondissement - Rive Gauche

This hotel is the Left Bank's little secret. It has been the favorite spot of not just literary giants like Oscar Wilde fleeing his torrid past, but also fullfledged rock stars like Mick Jagger and rockstar-like film icons such as Johnny Depp. They seem to be attracted to the opulent vibe laced with that hint of daring. The Oscar Wilde suite is the one that comes with a sizeable terrace, every inch private. The Mata Hari room is just as you would envision, all damask silk wall-covering and fringed lamp shades. The bar serves as a chic, if pricey, watering hole for the resident artists, writers and celebrities who call Saint-Germain home. Just underneath, there is a private pool that is reserved for guests only. Le Restaurant serves both lunch and dinner and the newly ordained Michelin-starred chef is all too ready to serve up his light as air creations.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: This is the Saint-Germain des Pres best-kept secret. A model of discretion, it's where George and Amal once stayed when they were visiting Paris.

Read more about L'Hotel →

4ème Arrondissement
Hôtel de JoBo
Photo courtesy of hotel de jobo

One of the first things that strikes you when you enter this in-the-heart-of-the-Marais hotel is the replica painting of Josephine Bonaparte wearing a pair of dark sunglasses as she lounges insouciantly. The Bambi Sloane interior also makes full use of leopard print throughout the property - not a random choice. Madame Bonaparte, wife of Emperor Napoleon, was the first in her day to order a couture dress made fully of leopard fur - quite daring at the time. This is a singular hotel in Paris whose every inch of charm has been thought through and carried out. The rooms feature both a Nespresso machines with complimentary madeleines provided. Fragonard is their bath amenities brand of choice, damask rose is the scent, homage to Josephine. The location of this family-owned hotel is prime and puts you steps from Musee Cognacq-Jay, cafes, shops and galeries. The on-site bar rocks Fridays and Saturdays.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: One of Paris' newer boutique hotels, this stylish, Bambi Sloane interior designed property enshrines the Napoleon and Josephine love story as a legend still alive.

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7th Arondissement - Eiffel Tower and Invalides
Hotel Thoumieux
Photo courtesy of Hotel Thoumieux

This private boutique hotel within minutes' walking of the Eiffel Tower was splashed onto the scene several years ago by none other than interior design maven India Mahdavi. It remains a favorite with celebrities and other incognito-types because its entranceway bypasses a traditional lobby and takes you directly to a second floor sitting lounge. This luxury boutique hotel, four stars, whispers quality from every corner. Bedding, beds, marble showers, iPads in each room and mobile telephones have you all provided for. Bath amenities are the all-organic Aesop's in scents that range from smoky bergamot to grapefruit rind. Breakfast is offered in their on-premise gastronomic restaurant, helmed by 2-star chef Sylvestre Wahid. It consists of homemade yogurts, freshly squeezed lemon and orange juices, salmon, ham and fresh croissants/pain au chocolat. This is a discreet and soothing hotel that exudes rock-star chic in the quiet haven of an Eiffel Tower neighborhood.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: This discreet rock-star-chic-love-nest/India Mahdavi decor of marble showers and heavenly bedding only just begin to tell the story of many luxurious details that await you.

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5th Arondissement - Latin Quarter

In this new Latin Quarter luxury boutique hotel you will find a touch of the exotic at every unexpected turn. It is a tribute to author Alexandre Dumas' father who was born in Haiti and died when this genius to whom we can be grateful for The Three Musketeers as well as the Count of Monte Cristo, was only four years old. Raised by his grandparents in the cold northern part of France (Aisne) he launched his career in Paris first by falling in love with the theater. The extras here at this property are what make it extra-inviting: a heated pool with a sauna just next to it; Top-floor suites that offer charming and cosy sitting rooms; bespoke bathroom amenities and a breakfast buffet that won't leave you wanting more. The luxurious comfort will keep you both happy and the proximity to famous rue Mouffetard offers plenty to explore.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Themed hotels have become de rigueur, so one devoted to the memory of the author of The Three Musketeers would seem a Parisian natural.

Read more about Hotel Monte Cristo Paris →

Known as the very particular 'hotel particulier' this rambling 19th c. mansion tucked away along a private gated pathway toward the top of the Butte Montmartre transports you to some secluded hillside in Transylvania the instant you're ushered behind the tall, locked, iron gate. The handful of rooms are spacious and upholstered in that style we Californians call shabby chic. Meaning, the staff will readily point out that the slightly worn feel to the silk wall coverings and chaise longues is all a studied affair. The fairly new bar on the downstairs garden level, Le Tr????s Particulier, is a superb place for enjoying a creative cocktail, generously poured. The restaurant, which is just off the lobby entrance, is the kind of intimate dining experience that made Montmartre famous in its heyday.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: You can keep to yourselves here in this gated off world apart then venture forth on foot into the charming and quite lively Montmartre village.

Read more about Hotel Particulier Montmartre →

1er Arrondissement

The midnight-blue that greets you in the apartment-like lobby opens up into a naturally-lit dining room that has already become popular with the film, fashion and recording-artist crowd. Parisians consider this a 'confidential' and trés chic address. The rooms feature equally bold color schemes that harmonize under the measured touch of the designer's eye. Surprising details such as a glass fourth wall connecting the bathroom to the bedroom that can be shuttered with wooden panels, or left open, lend themselves to this at once both demure and buttoned-up hotel that oozes sultry secrets. One of those secrets is the generous-sized pool in their Codage spa. The spa manager, Caty Cissoko, is no less than the champion of France for massage. This is reason alone to book this hotel. The central neighborhood is exceedingly safe with the Tuileries Gardens at your doorstep.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Enjoy an intimate lunch, drink or dinner in their 'suspended interior terrace.' It transforms into a desert Oasis during winter. Now, that's romance!

Read more about Le Roch Hotel & Spa →

8éme Arrondissement

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. 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. Upon arrival, children are gifted a treasure map to search for the hotel's mascot, a ladybug (which, everyone knows, brings good luck). 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.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: The Club Barriére Paris, just adjacent, brings a Monte Carlo feel to Paris. Play a game of acey deucey before retiring to your luxury cocoon.

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What's more romantic than living a character in a Victor Hugo novel, while staying at the footsteps of the timelessly majestic Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris? Esmeralda, the namesake of this hotel, is, of course Victor Hugo's gypsy character in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Right next door to these very affordable, simple accommodations is the famous book shop, Shakespeare & Co. But having Notre Dame and Shakespeare as neighbors isn't the only allure this modest hotel offers. It has also given shelter to famous politicians such as Pierre Trudeau and also celebrities, like Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. In fact, the story goes like this: Serge Gainsbourg was in a bit of a funk when he had been cast for a film. The producer introduced him to the nymph-like Jane Birkin here, at this hotel, and they proceeded to make history together for years to come.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Sleeping next to Notre Dame and Shakespeare, in the hotel where Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg began their romance, c'mon, what can be more romantic?

Read more about Hotel Esmerelda - Notre Dame Paris →

Hotel de Crillon A Rosewood Hotel
Photo courtesy of Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel

This is one of the most ancient, historical luxury hotels not just in France, but in the world. Built first under King Louis XV's patronage in 1758, it was inaugurated as a luxury hotel, now a palace, in 1909. It is the only hotel that graces the Place de la Concorde. Over the past century, celebrated couples have sojourned here: William Randolph Hearst with Marion Davies and Douglas Fairbanks honeymooned here with his Mary Pickford, who famously waved from their balcony overlooking the Place. Staying at the Hotel de Crillon, now a Rosewood Hotels property, will mark a page in your Life's Best Moments book. But even having a drink on the newly opened Concorde Terrasse, at the iconic Les Ambassadeurs, or having your nails and hair done or a facial/massage for two at the Sense Spa with Sisley products is assured to be the highlight of any Paris vacation.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: The Crillon is in full swing after its head to toe restoration. Its tasteful modern retouches don't detract one iota from its regal, statuesque history.

Read more about Hotel de Crillon A Rosewood Hotel →


Meet Paige Donner

Paige's guidebook Paris On 4 Paws, A Dog Lover's Guide To The City of Light , her cookbook, Le CBD Cafe Coockbook and novel, I'll Take Paris are all available on Kindle and Amazon. .

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