paris hotel guide

Paris Hotel Guide

PARIS HOTEL GUIDE

Paris is one of my very favorite cities in the whole wide world  (and it's not exactly a secret either, because you've heard me talk about it on the blog before). I've previously done a travel guide that's all about where to eat, where to shop and what to do in the city of lights.  So for the most recent trip I took a few weeks ago, I thought I'd provide some alternate travel tips to help you plan your  trip and speak to the hotels you should visit while you're there. 

For my first two trips to Paris, I stayed at various Airbnb's because I wanted a more "local" experience. On this trip however, I learned some of the most unique stories and interesting history about the city from the time I spent at various hotels (so don't turn your nose up to it like I did).  Regardless of your budget, what neighborhood you're wanting to call home or what type of lodging you choose, I've pulled together some of my favorite hotels you shouldn't miss while you're there. 

 

HÔTEL PLAZA ATHÉNÉE

HOTEL PLAZA ATHENEE PARIS

THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Located at the center of the "golden triangle" (the area of Paris bounded by the Avenues des Champs-ÉlyséesGeorge V, and MontaigneHôtel Plaza Athénée is a stone's throw from the banks of the Seine, Arc De Triomph, Champs-Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower.

 

THE PRICE TAG

$$$$ (average rates start at €1150)

 

THE VERDICT: 

Hôtel Plaza Athénée is arguably the most prestigious hotel in the city (you may also recognize it from Sex and the City when Carrie stays in Paris). Its status comes firstly from its position on the prestigious Avenue Montaigne and the long history it shares with all the haute couture houses there, particularly Dior. In fact, the hotel is home to the Dior Institute. 

The hotel has 154 rooms and 54 suites. Decorated like Parisian apartments in the Classical or Art Deco style, their subtle colour schemes, sharp details and unparalleled views of the iron lady, the rooftops of Paris, Avenue Montaigne and the Cour Jardin provide a unique experience for all its guests. 

Lastly, there is its quality of service. The food is top-class, with Alain Ducasse supervising all the kitchens as well as running his own haute cuisine restaurant where guests can savour his very personal take on the theme of Naturality (and lots of the seasonal ingredients even come from the garden of Versailles!)

Every little detail of the property is impeccable and top of the line. The service provided is incomparable and personalised to meet each guest’s individual needs. There's no doubt that staying here will be the perfect, quintessential Parisian experience you've always dreamed of!

HOTEL PLAZA ATHENEE COURTYARD PARIS LUXURY HOTEL
HOTEL PLAZA ATHENEE PARIS LUXURY HOTEL
HOTEL PLAZA ATHENEE AVENUE MONTAIGNE PARIS

 

EVEN IF YOU DON'T STAY HERE, DON'T MISS:

If Hôtel Plaza Athénée isn't quite in your price range, fear not. You can (and definitely should) still pay them a visit for tea and pastries in La Galerie. Not only will it allow you to soak in the incredible ambiance that the hotel offers, but it will be a serious treat for your tastebuds. Everything Brenna and I tasted was incredible. We learned that some of the pastries take over 24 hours to make (only to be devoured in seconds!) But the intention is to create an experience and a memory that stays with you long after the pastry is gone- I'd say they definitely succeeded. 

PASTRY TASTING AT HOTEL PLAZA ATHENEE
four seasons paris george v hotel

THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Also located along the center of the "golden triangle" (the area of Paris bounded by the Avenues des Champs-ÉlyséesGeorge V, and MontaigneFour Seasons George V allows you to enjoy the banks of the Seine, Arc De Triomph, Champs-Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower.

 

THE PRICE TAG

$$$$ (average rates start at €1199)

 

THE VERDICT: 

Four Seasons Hotel George V offers 244 luxury hotel guest rooms, an exquisite art collection and decadent fine dining just off the Champs-Elysées. From the moment I walked in, I knew it was a truly incredible place. The entire lobby was covered in decadent flower arrangements and the staff went above and beyond to greet you us. 


The amenities they offer are on another level. Not only do they have all the usual suspects (health club, pool, saunas etc.) but they even offer babysitting services and on-site recreational activities for families. Every Four Seasons experience I've ever had has been memorable, and Paris was no exception. If you're looking for top of the line service amenities, location and luxury- you'll find it at Four Seasons George V. 

four seasons paris george v hotel
four seasons george v paris

EVEN IF YOU DON'T STAY HERE, DON'T MISS:

One of my favorite things we did in Paris on this trip was eat lunch at L'Orangerie restaurant at Four Seasons George V. It's an extension of La Galerie in an intimate atmosphere that overlooks their famous Marble Courtyard (which you've likely already seen from my Instagram or Snapchat- because I was obsessed with how beautiful it was!) L'Orangerie offers a new culinary experience that's in perfect harmony with the four seaons of the year. We chose the chefs tasting which allowed us to try a little of everything, and it was seriously impressive. Our wait staff extremely attentive and knowledgeable, our sommelier managed to pair a wine with every course to compliment it perfectly, and the food blew me away. Not only was it delicious, but the presentation was incredible. I was overwhelmed by all the delicious flavors and incredible beauty. If you visit for a meal, I promise you won't regret it. 

l'orangerie restaurant paris four seasons george v hotel
four seasons l'orangerie dessert paris france
four seasons paris george v hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

TERRASS HOTEL PARIS

 

TERRASS HOTEL MONTMATRE PARIS

THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Located in the heart of romantic Montmartre, Terrass Hotel is walking distance to Sacré-Cœur and Moulin Rouge. You’ll love exploring all the cafes, boutiques and dreamy narrow streets to get lost in. 

 

THE PRICE TAG

$$ (average rates start at €195)

 

THE VERDICT: 

I've always loved visiting Montmartre when I come to Paris, but this was my first time ever staying in the neighborhood. I've previously chosen to stay right by the Eiffel Tower, because watching it sparkle is my very favorite thing to do when I visit. But thanks to the incredible rooftop view at Terrass, I was still able to do that right from the comfort of my hotel. Given that I didn’t have to sacrifice what I love most, it was so fun to stay in a different area- especially one as romantic as Montmartre. 

 

Terrass is the perfect combination of a chic boutique hotel while still being affordable in price. The design is contemporary, sleek and "Parisian chic.   We were highly impressed with their breakfast buffet (while not included in the room rate, its only €16 for an incredible selection of food and is served in their rooftop restaurant with Eiffel Tower views). The staff speaks perfect English and was extremely helpful to ensure we had everything we needed to enjoy our time in Paris. 

TERRASS HOTEL PARIS MONTMARTRE
TERRASS HOTEL BREAKFAST
TERRASS HOTEL ROOFTOP MONTMATRE PARIS

 

EVEN IF YOU DON'T STAY HERE, DON'T MISS:

The view from the 7th floor of Terrass Hotel restaurant and bar boasts panoramic views over Paris and has been designed in the style of an artist's loft. The leather and wooden decor creates an industrial chic feeling and the atmosphere is reminiscent of a bustling Parisian bistro. I recommend going for dinner or a drink and sitting outside to watch the Eiffel sparkle (which, depending on when sunset is, happens every hour on the hour for 5 minutes each night). 

 

 

HÔTEL WILSON-OPÉRA

hotel wilson opera paris

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Wilson Opéra is located in a quiet street in the heart of the business district in Paris's 8th arrondissement. Just a short walk from the Gare Saint-Lazare train station + Metro stop, the WO will surprise you with the convenience of it's location between the Champs-Élyseees, Opéra, Madeline and Paris's famous department stores (like Galeries Lafayette).

THE PRICE TAG

$ (average rates start at just €107)

 

THE VERDICT: 

I was pleasantly surprised with our experience at Hotel Wilson Opera. I’ve had some personal experiences where a more affordable hotel option with “less frills” can end up being a really poor value for the experience I received, but that certainly wasn’t the case with Hotel WO. The staff was warm, helpful and spoke perfect english. Our room was clean and comfortable (we even had a balcony with a view of the Eiffel Tower!) The breakfast was fantastic, and the location wasconveniently located right next door to Gare Saint-Lazare train station + Metro stop. If you’re looking for something that’s clean, comfortable, convenient and affordable - Hotel WO is a great option.  

hotel wilson opera paris
hotel wilson opera paris
sofitel paris le fauborg hotel

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Centrally located along the Seine, Sofitel Le Faubourg is walking distance to some of the most prestigious museums in Paris, including: Musée de l’Orangerie, Musée d’Orsay, and of course-the Lourve. Additionally, they’re right by some of my very favorite parks (Tuileries Garden and Jardin du Palais Royal). Another perk? They’re right next door to the US Embassy-just in case you need them. 

 

THE PRICE TAG

$$$ (average rates start at €399)

 

THE VERDICT: 

If you’re wanting to take a step down in price from some of the earlier hotel options Ive provided but still splurge a little, look no further than Sofitel Le Faubourg. 

 

As previously stated, the area is incredibly convenient- but they’ve also managed to pick a spot that’s a bit more quiet and allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city- we mentioned multiple times how we didn’t even feel like we were still in Paris because everything was so secluded and relaxing.  The staff is so friendly and went above and beyond to welcome us (and I’m told from other travelers that they did the same for them). 

paris sofitel le faubourg hotel

 

EVEN IF YOU DON'T STAY HERE, DON'T MISS:

Tired of walking around museums? Pop over to Sofitel for a meal at STAY (and if the weather is nice, sit outside in their beautiful courtyard). All the food we ate was delicious- especially the dessert being made fresh by their in-house pastry chefs. 

STAY restaurant sofitel paris le faubourg
STAY restaurant paris le faubourg hotel sofitel

 

 

BONUS TIP

While the focus of this post is to highlight hotel options to consider, I had the great pleasure of dining at Champeaux, the latest project of Alain Ducasse (who I previously mentions has the three star Michelin restaurant at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, among a number of other prestigious restaurants). Needless to say, it deserved to be included as well: 

 

ALAIN DUCASSE'S NEWEST RESTAURANT: CHAMPEAUX

CHAMPEAUX ALAIN DUCASSE RESTAURANT PARIS
CHAMPEAUX ALAIN DUCASSE RESTAURANT PARIS

Champeaux was imagined as "The Brasserie of the 21st Century", located in the heart of the 1st district of Paris under the Canopée in Forum des Halles. Ducasse claims they envisioned this space as an original version of a contemporary brasserie. I'm told by my Parisian friend that the area is a bit "interesting", however it is up and coming  (even if only because it’s where Ducasse selected to open his restaurant- the people will follow suit!)

Champeaux revives the most beautiful brasserie cuisine classics, using the best seasonal ingredients. The soufflé, the restaurant's signature-dish, is absolutely incredible (we opted for the pistachio/salted butter caramel for our after meal sweet tooth). We also loved the Crapaudine-style free range chicken with lemon and mashed potatoes (it's a whole chicken, so it's meant for sharing).

If you’re wanting to experience the brilliance of Alain Ducasse without the Michelin star price tag, I highly recommend  paying Champeaux a visit!

 

 

 

hotels vs airbnb: what you need to know

 

One final thing I wanted to include was on whether to stay at a hotel or Airbnb (I get this question a lot). My honest answer is I think both options are great. I've spoken to hotels a lot in this particular post, but don’t get me wrong- I adore the Airbnb experience. It allows you to feel like a local when experiencing a new culture and if you’ve never done it before, I highly recommend it (especially for you budget travelers!) With that said, there are some key takeaways regarding comfort and convenience to consider before you make a decision one way or the other.  

 

Concierges + Language Barriers

I’ve shared in my "Fall In Love With France (and Avoid Looking Like a Tourist)" post that you should absolutely make an effort to speak as much of the language as possible (even simply Bonjour + Merci) It’s a common courtesy that will carry you far. While lots of people in Paris do speak English, there are still many that don’t. My previous Airbnb hosts have been incredibly kind and speak enough English to get by (and there are definitely some hosts who will be able to give you wonderful guidance!) but there will be less of a language barrier across the board if you choose to stay at a hotel. So if you tend to heavily rely on someone to pick their brain regarding recommendations, airport transfers, or anything else under the sun- a hotel is probably a safer choice for you. 

 

Luggage

I’ve shared this in previous posts, but elevators (or “lifts” as they’re more commonly called in Europe) are rare on this side of the pond. Almost every time I’ve stayed at an Airbnb, it’s required hauling my luggage up and down lots of stairs (not a big deal for some of us, but I realize it is for others). You can definitely find options that have a lift, but I’ve found it makes the selection process a bit more difficult (I know first hand from booking an Airbnb in Florence for an upcoming trip with my family). If luggage assistance and the convenience of an elevator/lift concern you, again- a hotel is likely your best bet.  

 

I hope everyone gets a chance to take a trip to Paris, and that you'll find this guide to be helpful in your decision making process when you plan yours! Still have questions? Check out my other blogs on Paris below, or shoot me an email: theblondeatlas@gmail.com

FALL IN LOVE WITH FRANCE (AND AVOID LOOKING LIKE A TOURIST). 

PARIS TRAVEL GUIDE

paris eiffel tower lawn
PARIS HOTEL GUIDE