Paris is a city for dreamers, for gazing out over grey-slate rooftops and strolling along storied boulevards. Yet the hotel scene used to be anything but dreamy — beyond the ritzy above-five-star palace hotels, France’s capital was known for its stamp-sized rooms and old-fashioned decor. Where to stay is of course still the million euro question, but happily the hotel scene has been transformed in the past few years. Beautiful boutique sleeps now abound, fun rooftop hotel bars are popping up and icy service has thawed. While pools and super-king beds are still rare, the latest openings have injected colour and style, from the Marais to the Left Bank.
Best for modern luxury: Hôtel Madame Rêve
An old post office is the unexpected setting for this luxe five-star, already deeply enmeshed in the city’s fashion scene despite being open for less than two years. Corridors are heavy with a custom cedar and rosewood scent from Olivia Giacobetti, the lights are low and the colours rich. Each of the 82 rooms mixes walnut woodwork with touches of leather and smartly framed artwork. Central to first-time hotelier Laurent Taïeb’s unique vision are the ground-floor cafe, reminiscent of a chateau’s great hall with 26ft-high ceilings; the fancy fine-dining restaurant La Plume; and — best of all — a vast wraparound rooftop with a chic bar and views stretching from the Eiffel Tower to Sacré-Coeur. Solar panels tucked in beside the sunbeds provide 50% of the hotel’s hot water. The small spa isn’t much to shout about, but the pin-drop quiet rooms and location near the Bourse de Commerce and Louvre have real wow-factor.
Rooms: From €530 (£470).
Best for the playful: Chouchou
With a name inspired by a French term of endearment similar to ‘sweetie’, it’s no surprise this hotel puts fun first. Located near the Grands Magasins in the 9th arrondissement, the tone is set at Chouchou’s reception, with a mini-boutique selling ‘anti-asshole’ candles and ‘send nudes’ socks. Beyond, there’s a glass-roofed bar/restaurant, where business lunches lead into comedy nights and DJ sets (dancing on the tables is encouraged). Rooms have a contemporary palette of deep blue, white and cream, offering a calming counterpart to the high jinks downstairs. Instead of a spa, there’s a series of private bains (baths) — each with a huge sunken whirlpool bath and daybed, decorated in 1970s style — which can be booked for romantic moments or parties.
Rooms: From €250 (£220).
Best for budget weekends: CitizenM Paris Opera
Affordable luxury chain CitizenM has continued its Parisian expansion this year with a new super-central outpost. Set between Bourse and Grands Boulevards, it’s an easy walk a few minutes east to the buzzy bars around Sentier or south towards the Palais Royal and the banks of the Seine. Rooms are small but perfectly formed, following CitizenM’s identikit formula, with pod-like bathrooms, king-size beds and colourful choose-your-mood lighting. This isn’t the spot to cosy up on a romantic escape but, rather, to throw yourself into Parisian life. However, there are still cool, design-led communal spaces with comfy, brightly coloured sofas to curl up on with a book, and a bar in which to grab a cocktail when you need to recharge.
Rooms: From €170 (£150).
Best for bragging rights: Cheval Blanc
A night at Cheval Blanc might redefine the meaning of pushing the boat out, but this Seine-front residence from luxury group LVMH has been one of the most talked-about hotels in Paris since its exclusive doors swung open in autumn 2021. The building — part of the meticulously renovated Samaritaine department store, built in 1869 — is a true Parisian landmark. Behind the unique facade, which fuses art nouveau and art deco design elements, there are 72 luxurious rooms and suites — some with balconies onto the Seine or views of the Eiffel Tower — plus four restaurants, including the three-Michelin-star Plénitude, helmed by chef Arnaud Donckele. There’s also a Dior Spa to unwind in after a night on the town and, a rarity for Paris, the hotel has a 100ft, mosaic-lined indoor pool.
Rooms: From €1,900 (£1,680).
Best for Left Bank cool: Hôtel Dame des Arts
This hotel is part of a new wave of openings aiming to re-establish the Left Bank as the city’s literary and artistic hub. It’s sleek, with bronze accents and curved furniture that plays against the straight lines of the art deco exterior. The Rive Gauche’s heritage is honoured in books, sketches and objets d’art. Even the gym, kitted out with design-led equipment like NOHrD water rowers, is the epitome of elegance. The in-house restaurant serves a stellar Mexican-inspired menu from chef Othoniel Alvarez Castaneda (don’t miss the mezcal list), while the expansive rooftop terrace has hands-down the best 360-degree panorama over Paris. Some of the 109 rooms are small, but 31 have lovely balconies — many with Eiffel Tower views.
Rooms: From €380 (£335).
Best for ambience: Hotel du Sentier
Above the Passage du Caire, the oldest covered arcade in the city, this charming hotel is a Parisian postcard come to life. Gorgeous double windows open onto a pretty square and, behind them, the 30 rooms are bright and sunny, with crisp white bedding, marble bathrooms and a room-service menu of cocktails and spritzes. Sentier is a true family-run hotel — and a secret too good not to share. The best rooms have private terraces, but all guests benefit from service that is as bespoke as it is warm. Highlights include the all-day breakfast menu available in the adjacent restaurant and private natural wine tastings in the hotel’s wine cellar down the road.
Rooms: From €265 (£235).
Best for escapism: La Fantaisie
Oases are hard to find in Paris — especially right in the centre of the city — which just makes La Fantaisie’s tree-shaded garden even more special. Set to open this June, it’s easily the most anticipated new hotel in Paris this year. Close to the bohemian Pigalle area, it was designed by Swedish architect Martin Brudnizki, who’s blended floral frescoes with colours evoking the gentle warmth of a summer’s day. The restaurant will be led by Dominique Crenn, the only French chef to be awarded three Michelin stars in the US, with a commitment to zero plastic and zero waste. Guests also have access to a kitsch rooftop and a holistic spa developed in partnership with the Holidermie vegan cosmetics brand.
Rooms: From €550 (£485).
Best for a bargain: Mama Shelter Paris West
The outer reaches of the residential 15th arrondissement might not be the most obvious spot to choose as your Paris base, but Mama comes with enough attitude to make it worth the trip. For barely more than £100 a night, if you book early, you can expect super-smooth service, quirky design (we’re talking Darth Vader light shades) and luxurious beds, as well as a pizzeria and rooftop bar. Close to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, the only real nearby attraction is the Vanves flea market, but you’re on the edge of a sleepy residential neighbourhood where you can truly immerse yourself in day-to-day Parisian life. The Metro, a five-minute walk away, will whisk you to most major sights in around half an hour.
Rooms: From €120 (£105).
Best for eclectic luxury: Le Grand Mazarin
After years of anticipation, Maisons Pariente’s first Paris property is finally set to open on 4 September, with an interior reinterpreting French classicism. Expect touches such as wall tapestries and leopard print upholstery mixed with Grand Siècle-style slipper chairs. With just 50 rooms and 11 suites, the hotel promises to offer an intimate experience right in the heart of the Marais. It will have an indoor pool and a restaurant from Israeli chef Assaf Granit. If you want to experience contemporary Parisian design theatrics, this is the place to come.
Rooms: From €650 (£575).
Best for sightseers: Pley
The area around the Champs-Elysées isn’t the coolest place to stay in Paris, but it’s easy to get to the big landmarks from here — and this hotel is a real find. While refurbishing the building from top to toe, Pley’s team took inspiration from the quartier’s famed radio stations, long headquartered nearby. Radios chatter as you walk into each room, which are styled with dusky pink crushed-velvet headboards and lots of midnight blue. Almost the entire ground floor is given over to a buzzy bar, restaurant and lounge, plus there’s a fun rooftop cocktail bar.
Rooms: From €220 (£195).
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