There are no shortage of glorious hotels in Paris. Some are famed: Hôtel de Crillon, the George V… And flush hip folks love L’Hôtel (Anthony Bourdain’s a devotee; Oscar Wilde died there). And there’s that little Christian Lacroix-designed Hôtel du Petit Moulin. And the completely swank Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome even won a 2010 TripOut Travel Award (that’s our old sister site!) for the world’s best “Ultimate Luxury Hotel/Resort.” Ooh-la-la’s all around!
But how about a few fantastic lodging options in Paris that you don’t already know? Let’s mix it up!
Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero, 16th Arrondissement
Yes, I had the good fortune to bunk here on a quick one-night swish through Paris last month. And I couldn’t have been happier. The hotel is located in the quietly posh 16th Arrondissement, which probably wouldn’t have been my first pick location-wise. The area is lovely, but it’s kind of the affluent Paris equivalent to NYC’s Upper East Side or L.A.’s Bel Air. Very nice, but snoozy.
But hang on… The Parc Trocadero is tucked on a lovely stately street that runs precisely between the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, so landmark-wise it’s a grand spot. And being one who usually stays in the Marais or the 5th or the 6th, I appreciated getting to strike out and explore a new ‘hood during my Paris pit stop.
But back to the hotel: It’s lovely. My room was a BIG and very attractive haven at the front of the hotel. And the updated swank meets hip meets comfy style of the Renaissance Parc Trocadero is what won me over. The vibe is posh, but playful. Luxe but youthfully stylish. (I loved the big leafy garden courtyard tucked in the hotel’s center; perfect for breakfast during warm weather.) And the staff, from the front desk through the bar on to the breakfast service and the bellhops were all lovely and welcoming. Yes, it’s a Marriott brand hotel, but that’s not a bad thing when overseas. Anyway, trust me. The Parc Trocadero is a great address in Paris. If you’re traveling and want a foxy/fancy address that’s private and practically posh, you’ll be very much at home.
Le Pavillon des Lettres, 8th Arrondissement
My other fave discovery as I breezed back through Paris for a night at the end of my trip last month was the stately and stylish Pavillon des Lettres. Nestled on a quiet corner in the 8th, just a block off the chic Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, this is a 26-room boutique hotel in which every room (from A-Z) is named after a classic writer. I was in Room B for Baudelaire, which was a top floor mini-suite complete with memorablye and charming dormer windows, a vast bathroom which boasted a massive tub, a separate steamy shower, and gorgeous glass and surfaces everywhere.
And the room itself was a spacious and romantic getaway (and yes, there was a copy of Baudelaire’s Le Spleen de Paris (en francais) waiting for me on my pillow. Here too, the decor was swank and stylish, hip and haute at the same time. The hotel provides free WiFi and even an iPad for each room. Thusly, I didn’t even bother opening my own laptop. Love that little touch!
The staff at the Pavillon des Lettres were efficient and welcoming, and the bookish/arty/cozy literary vibe which permeates the place was smartly sexy. It was like bunking in the world’s foxiest library! “Book” yourself a study carrel here.
Hôtel Amour, 9th Arrondissement
Just a quick note on this one. Turns out that the 9th Arrondissement, tucked slyly between the posh bustle of the 8th, the very touristy/historic core of Paris (the 2nd and 1st) and just below the careening hillside of Montmartre of the 18th, is one of the current “Bobo” havens in Paris. Shorthand for “bourgeois bohemian” — which is sort of like yuppies meet arty hipsters with kids, perhaps? — when it comes to restaurants and hotels, Bobo means stylish and cool, trendy meets cozy.
And Hôtel Amour in the 9th, opened by a graffiti-artist-turned-savvy-entrepreneur named Andre, is an inviting “Bobo” bunkhouse. Set up in a former bordello, the attractive rooms and spaces boast cool contemporary art, and a tasty restaurant serving up “of the moment” fare like burgers (yes, gourmet burgers are hip in Paris, mes amis) and roast chicken. And as the New York Times’ T Magazine notes, Hotel Amour is surrounded by foxy new restaurants and shops. Another off-the-usual-beaten path option to consider among the limitless Paris accommodations.
Hôtel Sévigné, 4th Arrondissement
Now back to the more frequently trod environs of the Marais (which I love). For years, friends and I relied on this wee little no-frills/inviting two-star hotel perfectly tucked on the Rue Malher just behind the Hotel de Ville on many Parisian visits. Rooms would typically go for less that $100 per night, and sometimes you could even score a top-floor corner room with postcard-perfect views down the Rue de Rivoli facing the rustically gorgeous Eglise Saint-Paul and the Hotel de Ville.
But FYI, the Hôtel Sévigné is currently closed for renovations until April 2012. Which on one hand is exciting; the old gal was due for a touch-up! But, I just hope the newly renovated rooms will still be somewhat affordable. Beauty and maintenance can be pricey! We’ll have to wait and see… Good luck, Madame Sévigné!
Sleep well in Paris! And stay tuned here for news about the next big buzzworthy/cool little Paris inn: Hotel Jules et Jim. Coming SOON.
PARIS HOTEL RUNDOWN
Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero
55-57 Avenue Raymond Poincare, 75116 Paris; tel. +33-1-44-05-66-66
Doubles from about 279 EUR per night.
Le Pavillon des Lettres
12 Rue de Saussaies, 75008 Paris; tel +33-1-49-24-26-26
Doubles from about 255 EUR per night.
8 Rue Navarin, 75009 Paris; tel +33-1-48-78-31-80
Doubles from about 155 EUR per night.
2, Rue Malher, 75004 Paris; tel +33-1-42-72-76-17