Finding a Hotel In Paris

red hotel sign

Here’s a listing of a few notable hotels in Paris that you might want to investigate if you’re planning to come for a visit. I’ve been traveling to Paris for many years before moving here, and some of the hotels listed I’ve stayed in, while others have been recommended by guests and friends. There’s a pretty good selection, including one located on the top of the public hospital! Some are in the budget category, while a few are nicer if you’re looking for more comfort.

There has been a spate of hip, hi-design hotels opening in neighborhoods outside of familiar areas and these hotels offer design-oriented rooms at reasonable prices. MamaShelter and Hi Matic are examples of them, and they are becoming more and more popular, especially with travelers looking for something more off-beat.

There are a few caveats to remember, which I’ve listed below, since everyone has different standards and concerns when staying in a hotel. Only you know if you’ll be comfortable in a ‘budget’ hotel with few services, possible street noise, and standard bedding. Price makes a big difference and a hotel that’s less than 100€ per night is likely to offer few amenities, while one in the higher range is, of course, going to be a nicer place to stay. Prices listed are just to give readers an idea of how much the hotel was at the time when I created this list. They are subject to change so do check the hotel websites for the most up-to-date information.

Oops! Budget Hotel
50, avenue de Gobelins
Tel: 01 47 07 47 00
Fax: 01 43 31 17 74

Contemporary, hip hostel, with shared or private rooms, with baths, WiFi, A/C. and very economical prices.

MamaShelter
109, rue Bagnolet
Tel: 01 43 48 48 48
Fax: 01 43 48 49 49

Philippe Starck-designed budget hotel (rooms start at €79/night) in off-beat neighborhood. Quirky and interesting, but beware that dining in the hotel isn’t as affordable as the rooms.

Hôtel Saint Pierre
4, rue de l’Ecole de Médecine
Tel: 01 46 34 78 80
Fax: 01 40 51 05 17

Good budget option in the student-oriented Latin Quarter, free hi-speed internet in the rooms and television. Rates start at €63 per night. Just down the street from my favorite hot chocolate place in Paris, Pâtisserie Viennoisserie, where you can take breakfast too (closed weekends.)

Hôtel Bourgogne-Montana
3, rue de Bourgogne
Tel: 01 45 51 20 22
Fax: 01 45 56 11 98

In the relaxed seventh, very popular, good quality for the price. Good breakfast buffet and excellent staff.

Hôtel Amour
8, rue Navarin
Tel: 01 48 78 31 80

This hip hotel is well-priced, with rooms starting at about €100, especially considering its proximity to the rue des Martyrs. Rates are low, and the popular dining room is known for good fare, with the locals as well as guests. The artist-designed rooms are popular during fashion week, hence rates go up 20% when the fashionistas are in town.

Hôtel Hospitel
1, Place du Parvis Notre Dame
Tel: 01 44 32 01 00
Fax: 01 44 32 01 16

Located on the top floor of the historic Hôtel Dieu Hospital! It’s just next Nôtre Dame in the center of Paris. AC and WiFi.

Hi Matic
71, rue de Charonne
Tel: 01 43 67 56 56

Offers stylish “cabanes” with an ecological bent, designed by Matali Crasset. Rooms start at around €145/night.

Hôtel Bourg Tibourg
19, rue Bourg Tibourg
Tel: 01 42 78 47 39
Fax: 01 40 29 07 00

In a lively area, the Marais, but on a quiet street. Chic rooms designed by Jacques Garcia. Rooms that start at 190€. Wi-Fi (pronounced wee-fee, in French), interior garden, and air-conditioning.

Grand Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc
3, rue de Jarente
Tel 01 48 87 62 11
Fax 01 48 87 37 31

In the Marais, close to the Place des Vosges, this hotel is an outstanding value for its location (and it’s just a short stumble from (Vert d’Absinthe) Consequently, this hotel books quickly. No air-conditioning or fancy services. Doubles are around 79€.

Hôtel Castex
5, rue Castex
Tel: 01 42 72 31 52

Air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Well-located on a quiet side street near the Bastille.

Hôtel Chopin
46, Passage Jouffroy
Tel: 01 47 70 58 10
Fax: 01 42 47 00 70

In a passage near Montmarte. Inexpensive, lively area near the major department stores. Upper rooms have more light; request the forth floor.

Hôtel de la Place des Vosges
12, rue Birague
Tel: 01 42 72 60 46
Fax: 01 42 72 02 64

Rooms 100-140€ per night, with Wi-Fi No air-conditioning, but perfect location on small street leading into place des Vosges.

Hotel des Chevaliers
30, rue de Turenne
Tel: 01 42 72 73 47
Fax: 01 42 72 54 10

Great location a stone’s throw from the place des Vosges in the Marais. Air-conditioning, WiFi, and safes. Rooms begin at around €105/night.

Hotel Duo
11, rue du Temple
Tel: 01 42 72 72 22
Fax: 01 42 72 03 53

Very nice, modern hotel in the heart of the Marais, near lots of cafes and nightlife. Can be noisy during summer months if you leave windows open due to the neighborhood. Mid-priced.

Hôtel Britannique
20, avenue Victoria
Tel: 01 42 33 74 59
Fax: 01 42 33 82 65

Located near Chatelet. Clean and soundproofed rooms. The rooms are a tad on the small side but located overlooking a nice square in the center of Paris. Rooms start at 139€.


A few tips to keep in mind when researching hotels…


  • I never travel anywhere without my Tempur-Pedic Eye Mask. It’s simply the best travel product ever! Super-comfy, it blocks every bit of light so you can get a good night sleep in hotel rooms or airplanes.

  • You get what you pay for. Any hotel under 100€ per night is likely to be a bit flimsy, the décor a bit tired, and the rooms may not be a quiet as you’d like.

  • More and more hotels in Paris have free Wi-Fi. It does pay to ask when reserving if that is a concern.

  • In general, rooms on the inside are far quieter than rooms overlooking the street. Take note, especially if you plan to come in the summer. The downside is that inside rooms can face neighboring apartments, and often garbage cans rumble around in the early morning.

  • Don’t judge a hotel by the lobby. Many places have a gorgeous lobby, which can be deceiving. It’s cheaper to make the lobby look amazing rather than the rooms. Look at the room before you accept it.

  • The ‘star system’ can be misleading. Hotels pay taxes based on how many stars they have, so places are reluctant to accept four-stars. So don’t let stars be the sole judge. Two-stars or less generally means there are shared bathrooms, however.

  • Print out and bring your confirmation. I’ve had friends staying in lower-priced hotels in Paris who were told their room was booked and had to leave.

  • Does the hotel have an elevator? Although most do, some older ones may not, which is something to consider if you pack ‘American-style’ (which I am guilty of sometimes) and have a lot of heavy suitcases.

  • If you like your hotel, befriend the manager and go back. They’ll remember you and you’ll get better treatment each time. Bring them some chocolates on the last day or make little gesture of thanks if you ask them for special favors, such making restaurant reservations.

  • Most of the time, breakfast is extra; it may be expensive and can make your budget hotel not such a great deal. You can have a croissant and coffee at a local café for a couple of euros, although sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself the hotel breakfast once in a while. Many places charge up to 15€ per person (or more), so it may or may not be worth it to you.

  • Air-conditioning in France is not like American air-conditioning and can be weaker than you’re used to, which is something to consider in the summer. Normally the air-conditioning in the lower-priced hotels can be weaker.

  • If you’re staying for around a week, it can be more interesting to rent an apartment, and there’s lots of them out there. Some are professionally-run places with services and concierges. Others are privately-owned apartments that the owners either rent out habitually, or rent when they’re not there. Prices are similar to many of the hotels I’ve listed. The advantages are you can do your own cooking after you’ve explored the markets and wine shops and you can save on meals (although you have to do the dishes…) The downside is no one is there to help you, and if you rent a private apartment, often they’re smaller than what you may be used to.

  • Lastly, there’s a whole other world outside of the Left Bank. Many guests think they have to stay there, and are comfortable surrounded by lots of tourists and English-speakers. But other neighborhoods in Paris are great to explore and staying in one for a few days can give you a better sense of what Paris is about.

  • The French hotel chain Citadines rents ‘apartment-hotel’ suites with mini-kitchens. Although the décor is rather Ikea-like and lacking in Parisian charm, the rooms are clean and well-kept, but if you want housekeeping or extra towels, you’ll pay extra. You can get find deals if you stay in a neighborhood that’s not-quite centrally-located (but it’s so easy to get around with the métro, who cares.) Search their site, or other travel sites, to find deals, especially off-season.

Other Links and Resources

Secrets of Paris

Paris 35 (Hotels around Paris for 35€ per night)

Paris Trip Tips

Eurocheapo: Paris

Air BnB (Vacation Rentals)

Messy Nessy Chic Paris Hotel Guide

Frugal Paris (NYT Frugal Traveler)

Renting an Apartment in Paris (My Tips)

Cheap & Chic Hotels in Paris (New York Times)-Annotated List

25 comments

  • I completely agree with what you say about the lobby of a hotel and trying out the right bank for a change.
    I have brought groups of tourists to Paris many times, and I am always amazed by what they complain about: small rooms (even though I’ve warned them about the small rooms in these very old Parisian buildings), no eggs and bacon for breakfast (even though I’ve told them that the French eat a lighter breakfast than Americans), small elevators, no room service, etc…To me, these things are not really important, they don’t add charm to a hotel. Also, the folks that stay at the larger chain hotels will miss out on all the charm and character of the smaller boutique hotels.
    Love your list. I would add Caron de Beaumarchais in the 4th and Hotel Henri IV RIve Gauche in the 5th to it!

    Lesley

  • Whenever people complain about the small elevators, I always say, “Well..you’re welcome to walk. I’ll meet you up there!”

  • David,

    I am working on a talk about Paris for the Mensa World Gathering to be held in two weeks in Orlando, FL. Do you mind if I direct people to your comments? Also, any other tips you think people might be interested it that you want to share? I will give you full attribution, of course. :) My email is above and I will check back here as well.

    Thanks!

    –Lisa Kelley
    US Mensa WorldConnect Coordinator
    http://wg06.us.mensa.org
    http://tinyurl.com/s5zfx

  • I beginning to believe that you are not only a brilliant chef and lover of all things chocolate but a tremendous resource for those of us planning trips to Paris.

    Do I smell a “David’s Guide To Paris” book any time soon? Please say oui?

  • Thanks for a great article. Just in time to add a few hotels to the list of those I will inspect in September. My all time favorite is the Bel Ami in the 6th. A friendly place, so close to Metro, Monoprix, rue Jacob, etc. But alas, it’s popularity has driven the price too high. 300 euros!!! So the search is on for a replacement! Thanks again!

  • Not sure if this still applies today. The last time I was in Paris was a few years back. I learned the hard way that hotels didn’t supply wash cloths. Are they an American thing? I was pretty surprised and everyone was like “Oh yeah, they never have wash cloths. You have to bring your own.” Maybe I’ll save someone else the shock.

  • Hi David!
    Great notes about Paris; for me going soon is unfortunately not planned, but even reading about it is very nice!
    I really look forward to your new book!! I absolutely loved The Great Book of Chocolate (especially the Double Chocolate Espresso and Cashew Cookies – YUM YUM! indeed quite close to heaven…!)I’ll post of course a review on Amazon.
    I’ve just started my own foodblog actually; hope you’ll check it sometime!

  • I like the Villa d’Estrees; HUGE beautiful rooms in the 6th; gorgeous.
    http://webscapades.com/france/paris/hotels/villadestrees.htm
    -e

  • My personally biggest annoyance is getting to and from the airport. In my case, CDG. I have used a shuttle (worked out great 5 years ago, phone number no longer in service) and 2 car services recently in 2 trips in the past 6 months. Both were “nearly” disastrous. Translate: Even with my added minutes to the pick-up time, they arrived nearly too close for comfort to get to CDG on time. I will say that I took the RER B into Denfert upon arrival, but had 2 big bags (one was empty — for goodies), but my friend met me at CDG and her extra hands were very helpful in my schlepping. So — if you’re too cheap for a taxi and you use 2 car services that were recommended but failed to satisfy, and you are traveling alone with more than 1 bag, how would you recommended “my” dreaded airport issue? And, I do claim this to be an issue for MOI. Merci.

  • Lu: I used to take the shuttles once in a while, but last time I waited 1 1/2 hours at DeGaulle, in the parking lot, in the van, for other passengers. Needless to say, after a 12+ hour flight, I was not a happy traveller.

    I often take the Air France bus into Paris (although last time I did, the driver wouldn’t give me a receipt…I think he pocketed my 10€ ! Still, I got to Paris rather quickly with no stairs to contend with, but sans receipt.)

    I recommend a great driver who meets you in the terminal, who’s really funny as well. Jean-Pierre Oliva. He is about 80€ but if you’re a big family (or have a lot of suitcases) it’s not so expensive. His email is: [s-v-p@libertysurf.fr]

  • david, is this guy jean-pierre oliva a single person operating one single car or does he own a fleet of vehicles? I will be back in Paris with some first timers in November and am considering your suggestion.

    add Hôtel de Varenne to the list. good sized rooms for about €147 per night.

  • Thank you so much for all of your tips. I’m defintiely printing this out!

  • Hi Anne:

    Jean-Pierre is a single person but he has a large mini-bus that can seat up to 8 people (I think.) I like him very much and recommend him highly!

  • I, too, am coming to France and these tips are just wonderfully timed. I’ll be in Bordeaux for a week in March and then my friend and I will be traveling to Nice, Provence and Paris for a few days. This word of mouth recommendation is perfect–now I won’t have to be overwhelmed with the myriad of hotel reviews on the net.

    Everything I need to know is right here: where to stay, where to eat, dont use La Poste, where to find the best choclates and gelatos, where to get drunk quickly (Absinthe), how to find your way around (Guide des Arrondissements), what to wear, where to go for a quick grope by hot young Parisians (Levi’s here I come), what markets to shop and the vendors to seek out, what to do and where to see. So exciting!

  • Great info, thanks for all the tips, one question. I will be arriving via train from Germany, can I ride to Metro to my hotel with one large suitcase?
    Thanks David and all.
    Mary

  • Last time I was in Paris I stayed in a great little hotel… it included breakfast as I recall.
    Hotel de l’ Esperance

    The location was fantastic- right near Rue Mouffetard… especially great for food and markets!
    I looked it up on the net and it still gets good reviews from people on tripadvisor.com:
    Hotel de l’Esperance.

    I found it in this book:
    Hotels of Character & Charm in Paris, 1996, Payot/Rivages – Fodor
    the newer one is here.

    It’s a series of books on places with “Character & Charm.”

    Last time I went was less than 10 years ago, yet so many things have changed. There was no world wide web… I had to fax the hotel for a reservation. And it was pre-Euro. My Mom had not been there since the late 60’s when she first took me there as a young person. She was really struck by some of the changes (I had been back during college and afterwards many times)…
    we thought it really funny when we saw a woman rollerblading holding a baguette and also a guy riding his bicycle talking on a cell phone. Now it’s likely the norm as it is everywhere! The greatest thing was that we could get money from a credit card from a bank machine any time… it sure beat the old days when you had to wait at a bank (if it was open!) and fill out all kinds of paperwork while they confiscated your passport temporarily and made you feel like you were an enemy of the state!
    Great site, BTW, reading it makes me feel like I’m back in Paris!

  • As a French teacher, I have been to Paris lots of times. My favorite hotel is in the 7e and is called Hotel Relais-Bosquet. Its web is http://www.relais-bosquet.com. It is having a summer special now from 110 – 130 Euros but usually starts at 130 and goes to 170. It is super close to the Tour Eiffel and the market that I can’t think of the name but its on Rue Clerc I think. Friendly staff. Climatise (air conditioned) and quiet. Breakfast not included but it is worth the 10 – 12 Euros as a treat.

  • Another option for car/min-van service from the airport to your hotel or apartment is Grey Shuttle. The owner, Jean-Michel Perrot is super nice, completely punctual and keeps the van spotless. Contact information:greyshuttle@free.fr Mobile: 00 33 (0) 673.876.840. For 1-4 people it’s 65€ one-way (10% discount on return trip); we used this service for our family of five in February and it was a total of 142.50€ — which turned out to be cheaper than any of the shuttle services.

  • addendum: Another vote for Hotel de Varenne, which is on rue Bourgogne, near Musee Rodin. There are often specials for about 119-129€, including a breakfast of wonderful rolls and croissants, fresh juice, yogurt and tea, coffee or chocolate. Rooms are nicely appointed and the reception couldn’t be nicer.

  • Anybody ever used http://www.gite.com/gite.com/index.cgi for Paris? We’re planning a trip with another couple and are considering renting an apartment as an alternative to a hotel.

  • hey y’all, i would recommend HOTEL DES GRANDES ECOLES in the 5th… the rates started at 105 euros. it was recommended by the book STYLE CITY: PARIS, another great resource. one word of caution… for those who need a/c…there is none…it was a bit of a swelter this july during the heat wave!

  • Any updated suggestions on hotels? all of the post and comments are from when this article was written in 2006. I am planning to visit Paris for the first time with my wife in July (2009) for our 10th anniversary and I am looking for a romantic but reasonably priced hotel.

  • Hi Kevin: I do go back and update this list frequently, to keep the list as current as I can.

    Prices, however, are subject to change and it’s best to verify those with the hotel directly, via their website or by fax.

  • i am loving your blog david. i must let your readers know:

    i stayed at the hotel jeanne d-arc. it was incredibly affordable simply because i got so bit up by bugs that they tore up my $900 bill. true.

  • Hello !
    I saw a comment on Hotel de Varenne to add to the list. That’s a good choice; very charming, with a little garden. I had as well big room and excellent service from the manager and its staff.