17 of the best hotels in Paris


The French capital is “always a good idea”, according to Audrey Hepburn. The City of Light has all the knockout sights you’d expect from one of Europe’s storied capitals: the Eiffel Tower, the Marais and the romance of the Louvre at dusk. What is not in the storybook version of Paris is the livelier, grungier side: escape to the Buttes-Chaumont park in the 19th for eye-popping views over the city; to Oberkampf to party; or to grotty-turned-gritty Pigalle. Here are some of the best hotels in Paris.

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Video credits: Director/producer — Liam Woolmer-Thompson / Videographer — Ronan Eneas O’loughlin / Executive producer — Min Sett Hein

1. Hôtel Lutetia, 6th arrondissement

Hôtel Lutetia

£££ | SPA | POOL | Best for grand Parisian history

Originally opened as a pied-à-terre for the suppliers of the grand Le Bon Marché department store, which is still its elegant neighbour, this five-star hotel has been the backdrop to every layer of modern Paris history. Inside, ultra-luxe touches blend with local haunts, like the terrace of the brasserie and the buzzy upscale Bar Joséphine with its creative cocktail menu. Rooms have high-end amenities, marble-clad bathrooms and Eiffel Tower views.

2. Le Meurice, 1st arrondissement

Le Meurice

£££ | SPA | POOL | Best for a sense of history

Since it opened in 1835 in its stellar location facing the Tuileries Gardens, Le Meurice has regularly made history: hosting Queen Victoria and Salvador Dali among many others, and becoming the first hotel in Paris to have telephones and individual bathrooms for guests. The bars and restaurants have most recently been masterminded by Alain Ducasse on the culinary side, and Philippe Starck for the design. It’s Versailles with 21st-century mod cons, priced accordingly — with the odd surrealist touch in homage to the eccentrically moustachioed Spanish artist who was a regular visitor.

3. Hôtel des Grands Boulevards, 2nd arrondissement

Hôtel des Grands Boulevards

Hôtel des Grands Boulevards

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££ | Best for cosy cocktails

A classically Parisian hôtel particulier set back from a leafy boulevard, this venture belongs to the Experimental Group, which first launched in Paris as a club dedicated to craft cocktails. Designer Dorothée Meilichzon has produced a signature look that blends the streamlined curves of late art deco with canopied beds that hint at the building’s 18th-century origins. Friendly staff can advise on the locale, midway between Montmartre and Notre Dame, but given the hotel’s original mission — and a warm evening — the temptation might be to lounge on the cushions at the rooftop bar.

4. Hôtel La Nouvelle République, 11th arrondissement

Hôtel La Nouvelle République

Hôtel La Nouvelle République

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£ | SPA | Best for value

From the on-trend location in the 11th arrondissement to the wall of plants as you enter, La Nouvelle République is a hotel with its finger on the Parisian pulse. Thankfully, though, the prices have stayed proportionate. There’s much to love here: the mid-century wingback armchairs in the lounge; the well-thought-out breakfast buffet; and the restaurant that’s always reinventing itself, with a different resident chef every three months. The area is low on big-ticket tourist sights (apart from Père Lachaise Cemetery, 15 minutes’ walk away) but full of interesting shops, art and bars.

5. Le Bristol, 8th arrondissement

Le Bristol

£££ | SPA | POOL | Best for luxury

Luxury hotels in Paris don’t get much more decadent than this, so hold your breath and reach deep into your wallet if you want to book into one of the rooms and suites here. You’ll be almost neighbours with the president of France. Once inside Le Bristol, look out for the hotel’s resident cat Socrate as you stroll the marbled halls. Ponder whether to dine at the three-Michelin-star Épicure restaurant or go casual at the brasserie with just a single star. And, as you do laps of the sixth-floor swimming pool, imagine that you are on a wooden yacht sailing over the rooftops of Paris.

Hotel du Petit Moulin

Hotel du Petit Moulin

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6. Hôtel du Petit Moulin, 3rd arrondissement

££ | Best for eclectic design

The gilded lettering on the vintage shopfront reads “Boulangerie”, but something is altered inside. This former bakery in the close-set streets of the Marais is now a boutique hotel comprising 16 rooms and one suite, with fashion designer Christian Lacroix let loose on each. From arabesque decorations to zebra print, via candy stripes and toile de jouy fabrics featuring bucolic scenes, the decor is a combustible mix barely contained within the cosy space. There is spa access at local sister hotel Le Pavillon de la Reine and, yes, you still get decent croissants with your breakfast.

7. Hôtel Scarlett, 20th arrondissement

Hôtel Scarlett

Hôtel Scarlett

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£ | Best for a walk in the park

Just off the long, sloping Rue de Belleville, heartland of working-class Paris in Édith Piaf’s day and also the city’s main Chinatown, Hôtel Scarlett is a three-star choice with plenty of design flair. Salvaged furniture and objects bring an eclectic touch to the ground floor, while blow-ups of vintage maps adorn the bedroom walls. The hotel is just steps from Parc de Belleville, and five minutes’ walk (with most of the uphill already taken care of) from Parc des Buttes Chaumont, which has one of the most magical views in Paris.

8. Le Roch Hôtel & Spa, 1st arrondissement

Le Roch Hôtel & Spa

Le Roch Hôtel & Spa

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£££ | SPA | POOL | Best for seclusion

On a discreet backstreet between the Louvre and Place Vendôme, Le Roch (pronounced “rock”) is among the most desirable of Parisian boutique hotels. Local interior designer Sarah Lavoine has created a serene and liveable space with an aesthetic that might well have come from the glory days of ocean liners. The rich blues on many of the walls and the lightwell through which restaurant diners can look up to the terrace courtyard only add to the submerged effect. Le Roch even has a swimming pool — rare for a small hotel in the historic centre.

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Hôtel La Comtesse

Hôtel La Comtesse

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9. La Comtesse, 7th arrondissement

££ | Best for Eiffel Tower views

Looking for a hotel with that perfect view of the Eiffel Tower? This Left Bank hotel occupies the sharp angle between two avenues, and is pointed like an arrowhead at the city’s icon, meaning that all rooms get to see the greater part of the French capital’s iron lady. The hotel itself is sparing in its decor, with aristocratic touches; inspiration for the café came from the literary salons of 18th-century Paris.

10. Hôtel Monte Cristo, 5th arrondissement

Hôtel Monte Cristo

Hôtel Monte Cristo

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££ | POOL | Best for multicultural flavours

Dépaysant is a fine French word, describing something that takes you out of your country and transports you to another. Though the Monte Cristo lies deep in the Left Bank, the stylishly eclectic room decor might make you feel like you’re in 1930s Shanghai. The pool, surrounded by tropical plants, places you somewhere in Bali; the sauna perhaps in Finland. Head to the bar, with its 700 expressions of rum, for a night in the Caribbean. If proof is needed that you are indeed in Paris, just exit this seductive hotel, turn left, and in three minutes you’ll find yourself at the foot of Rue Mouffetard, the foodie hub of the Latin Quarter.

11. Hôtel des Arts Montmartre, 18th arrondissement

Hôtel des Arts Montmartre

Hôtel des Arts Montmartre

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£ | Best for classic Paris style

The name painted in fin-de-siècle letters on a red shopfront, on a cobbled street in Montmartre, begs the question: will this be a pastiche of bohemian Paris? Well, this small hotel has been in business since 1901 and in the current family since 1966. In its past it played host to painters and dancers at the Moulin Rouge, which is a short walk downhill, and designs on the lift doors shout out to French icons of yesteryear (Toulouse-Lautrec, Le Petit Prince). At heart it’s a good-value find in an often-hyped part of town.

12. Hôtel Fabric, 11th arrondissement

Hôtel Fabric

££ | SPA | Best for industrial chic

A factory conversion à la parisienne, Hôtel Fabric occupies the old premises of a textile business in the Oberkampf district. If the large warehouse windows, exposed brick and unconcealed industrial-era fittings supply the frame, patterns on tiles and of course fabrics provide the interest in the 33 rooms. The hotel offers decent extras for its price point, including an honesty bar, massage room and hammam. Less than ten minutes’ walk away is the Canal Saint-Martin, one of the capital’s top spots to practise the art of the flâneur, indulging in unhurried wanderings.

13. Hôtel de JoBo, 4th arrondissement

Hôtel de JoBo

Hôtel de JoBo

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££ | Best for imperial vibes

Meet Joséphine Bonaparte, or JoBo as she might have been known if celebrity gossip sites had existed circa 1800. The interior design of this four-star hotel takes free inspiration from the period, with wallpaper stamped with revolutionary rosettes, although Napoleon’s consort might have drawn the line at the liberal use of leopard print. This intimate space in Le Marais can be found between the Place des Vosges, the city’s most treasured historic square, and Rue des Rosiers, the traditional heart of Paris’s Jewish community.

14. Le Grand Quartier, 10th arrondissement

Le Grand Quartier

Le Grand Quartier

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££ | Best for families

Neighbourhoods around major train stations aren’t always the best introduction to a city, but this area is now firmly on the up, and with a creative and recently opened hotel to prove it. The briefest of taxi rides from Eurostar arrivals, and an easy stroll from the Canal Saint-Martin, Le Grand Quartier has a great choice of interconnecting rooms for families in an office conversion that takes many of its geometric design cues from the 1960s. There’s a spacious central courtyard so kids can let off steam, and a rooftop terrace that hosts yoga classes in summer. Staff are super-friendly too.

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15. Le Monna Lisa, 8th arrondissement

Le Monna Lisa

££ | Best for art lovers

There’s something admirably wilful in naming your hotel after the world’s most reproduced artwork, and then ignoring it in favour of other works by Leonardo da Vinci, including wall-sized reproductions of his studies of hands and horses. Happily, the prices are also quite counterintuitive: rather lower than you might expect to find in a four-star hotel just one block back from the Champs Élysées and a 15-minute walk from the Arc de Triomphe. The muted tones of the rooms are offset by colour blocks of scarlet or violet; some simply let the Da Vinci drawings speak for themselves.

16. Kimpton St Honore, 2nd arrondissement

Kimpton St Honore

££ | SPA | POOL | Best for rooftop city views

This elegant property, moments from the Palais Garnier, was the boutique brand Kimpton’s first foray into Paris. The white-and-gold art deco facade on Boulevard des Capucins opens up to a light-filled reception and courtyard restaurant, Montecito. Rooms are equally chic, dressed in white with gold accents, with reassuringly big baths. The showstopper of the property is the Californian-style roof terrace — spot the Eiffel Tower winking in the distance.

17. The Hoxton Paris, 2nd arrondissement

The Hoxton Paris

The Hoxton Paris

THE HOXTON PARIS

£ | Best for hipsters

The Hox brings its singular urban-chic aesthetic to this grand 18th-century building on a quiet street off the hectic Boulevard Poissoniere in the 2nd arrondissement. If anything, it’s an entertainment space with rooms attached: an elegant courtyard, part of all-day Asian-French fusion brasserie Rivie, is in the centre of the hotel, full of good-time guests snapping the mosaic floor and original spiral staircases. A dinky wine bar — Planche — and fun cocktail bar, Jacques’, complete the hospitality offering. Rooms, as is the Hoxton’s way, are unfrilly, simple and on the small side; but with everything you need for a comfortable stay: Roberts radios, a curated selection of books, and breakfast bags. It’s just 15 minutes’ walk from Gare du Nord, where Eurostar trains from London arrive.

Read our full review of the Hoxton Paris here
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Additional reporting by Cathy Adams

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