Paris hotels avec character

We are often asked for addresses with at least a whiff of genuine, Gallic charm and character - for hotels with Paris charm. Sadly our gurus report that such hotels are a dying breed, with some of their favourites now too elderly to recommend whole-heartedly.

Place des Vosges

And while Paris retains its character as France retains its language, you can still see global brands creeping into the small crooked, medieval lanes of Le Marais and the raked streets of Montmartre. But while our gurus can't plot a guide for you through Paris avoiding sight of all Starbucks, they can still recommend some great hotels with Paris charm.

Historic Hotels with Paris Charm

Paris has many beautiful and historic townhouses, some of which have been converted into hotels with Paris charm. The vast squares and grand boulevards are lined with discreetly marked hotels, and even within village-y Montmartre and the medieval lanes of the Marais, which was only saved from being converted into more grand boulevards by WWI, you'll find tiny, yet charming places to stay.

Hotel d'Aubusson

  • Parisian charm at its most authentic, L' Hôtel was once Oscar Wilde's bolthole in Paris. Louche and decadent in the 60s and 70s, L'Hotel has been flamboyantly re-imagined by Jacques Garcia, and its opulence has been gloriously restored. Think jewel-box rooms and themed suites (if you can bear the tristesse you can sleep in the room in which Oscar Wilde expired beyond his means), and a candlelit plunge pool.
  • Hotel d'Aubusson predates Wilde's Paris, to the 17th Century and it offers exposed beams, huge double doors and grand proportions. Arranged around a large courtyard, this honey coloured townhouse is romantic, atmospheric and close to the river. And it's been attracting the literati and glitterati since 1690.

Parisian Charm on the Left Bank

Hotel Duc de Saint Simon

  • Hotel Les Degrés de Notre Dame, with its views over Notre Dame and the river, is a sought after base in the Latin Quarter. A steep staircase, decorated with murals, leads guests up to distinctive bedrooms, where exposed beams, wood furnishing and vintage decor can be found in spades. The cheaper rooms are priced from £96 per night, so this is one of the most reasonable hotels with Paris charm, but the best room is in the attic - it's got great views and it's also suitable for families.
  • For hotels with Paris charm and a private house feel you can't do much better than the Hotel Duc de Saint-Simon in St. Germain. Plush, romantic, traditional, elegant and intimate are all good ways to describe this hotel - think overstuffed furniture and clever conceived paint effects , TVs only on request and room service instead of a mini-bar.

Luxurious Parisian Character

Hotel Daniel

  • Hotel Daniel turns its back deliciously on the current trend for all white luxury. Here you'll find Khotan carpets, hand-painted and highly decorative Chinese wallpaper or toile de Jouy, silk sofas in a range of jewel box colours and plenty of handpicked Oriental objet d'art.
  • One of the finest of the hotels with Paris charm on the list. Hotel San Régis, just off the Champs Elysees is another fine example, with a neoclassical facade and more wondrously decorative wall paper. San Regis has an elegant country house feel in the heart of haute couture. Its popularity with fashionistas proves that traditional elegance and character are always en vogue.
  • The Hotel du Bourg Tibourg in Le Marais, has taken luxury in a different direction again, this time the compact townhouse has been transformed into a Moorish palace.

Conveniently Located Parisian Charm

Hotel Mansart

  • Having a charming location counts, as Hotel de Saint-Grégoire, a warmly decorated 18th Century townhouse just minutes from the Luxembourg Gardens knows. Family run, this is a cosy, personalised place where you feel every care has been taken to make this hotel as lovely as possible.
  • The Hotel Brighton, which overlooks the Tuileries and is about two minutes stroll from both the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, has the same view as the famous Hotel Le Meurice, but at a fraction of the price. Yet it's got a a quiet, B&B charm.
  • Behind Sacre Coeur, Le Relais Montmartre is one of several hotels with Paris charm in village-y Montmartre. Here chintz and dainty period furniture welcome you in to the intimate feeling hotel. A good one for romantics as well as people who want a base in Montmatre.
  • Between the Louvre and Notre Dame, Le Relais du Louvre is squeezed into an old house right on the river, with some windows within touching distance of the pinnacles of St Germain-l'Auxerrois. The rooms aren't large, but the family suite is very comfortable, and priced from £147 per night Le Relais duLouvre is one of the best value hotels with Paris charm.
  • Hotel Mansart is another, priced from just £116 per night. This time you're on place Vendome, and can expect individually decorated, unfussy rooms with a lovely collection of antiques.

Character filled rooms with a view

For the ultimate experience of hotels with Paris charm try to book well in advance and ask for the best rooms.

Le Meurice

  • If your idea of Parisian perfection includes the best view in Paris, then the very best view our gurus know about is from the terrace of the Belle Etoile suite at the Hotel Le Meurice.

If this list of hotels with Paris charm feels a bit frou frou for you, and your idea of real Gallic character is more like traditional family-owned-and-run simplicity, then check out our guru's list of Budget charmers: Paris Budget Charm. If you thought this list wasn't quite fancy enough, then try our chic list: Chic Paris Hotels. Alternatively take a look at all our Paris recommendations.

  • L'Hôtel


    Iconic, small, five star hotel where Oscar Wilde once lived on the Left Bank. Flamboyant interiors by Jacques Garcia, Michelin starred Le Restaurant and the popular Le Bar. Comfortable and romantic rooms are dark and intimate - the perfect luxurious bolthole in the heart of Paris.

    20 rooms from $365
    Gourmet  -  Famous Michelin starred Le Restaurant and the chic Le Bar.
    Sights nearby  -  Just across the river from the Louvre.
    5* Luxury  -  The smallest 5* hotel in Paris.
    Swimming Pool  -  Small plunge pool.
  • Hotel d'Aubusson


    17th-Century honey-stone townhouse turned luxury hotel. Ideally situated on the Left Bank of the Seine, this period-style hotel is smart and well run. Comfortable rooms are decked with quality furnishings and exposed beams. Enjoy a drink at the Piano Bar or on the quiet patio.

    49 rooms from $415
    Writing a novel  -  Café Laurent has been the gathering place for literary giants (Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus) since the eighteenth century.
    Total relaxation  -  Shed the stress of the Paris streets with a massage in the comfort of your plush room, or read a book in the leafy courtyard.
    Local exploring  -  The heart of cultural Paris, surrounded by famous cafes frequented by all the greats, museums and show stopping shopping!
    Sights nearby  -  A scenic ten minute walk towards the river brings you to Notre Dame Cathedral, a Paris must see!
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Fodors
  • Hotel Les Degrés de Notre Dame


    Charming bedrooms for great value make this a sought-after base in the Latin Quarter, with views over Notre Dame. Large attic room has best views, suitable for families. Traditional French breakfast to kick start the day of exploring. A local find full of character and antiques.

    10 rooms from $122
    Sights nearby  -  Notre Dame is within walking distance.
    Views  -  Of Notre Dame, best from attic suite.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
  • Hotel Duc de Saint-Simon


    This romantic and intimate, formerly private, Parisian home is decked with plush fabrics, stylish interiors keeping tradition and elegance the main focus. Wallpapered rooms are small but delightful in their unique and comfortable charm. Prime location near St Germain and the famous Rue du Bac.

    34 rooms from $314
    Sights nearby  -  Musee d'Orsay within walking distance.
    Lively area  -  In the heart of the Left Bank.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Hotel Daniel


    East meets West in a most glamorous fashion at this charming central Townhouse. Individually decorated rooms are dripping in Oriental treasures, fine fabrics and modern comforts. Fine dining at the cutting edge restaurant and cocktails in the lounge. Sublime location, with a rooftop suite to boot!

    26 rooms from $387
    City Style  -  A chic and central townhouse adorned with 18th century French bespoke hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper and Syrain antiques.
    Romantic Break  -  An ideal spot for discerning couples with its central location, plush Oriental silks, marble bathrooms and sumptuous beds.
    Sights nearby  -  You can see the Eiffel Tower from the fifth and sixth floors.
    Views  -  Rooftop suite has Eiffel Tower views.
  • Hotel San Régis


    Small and intimate 5 star luxury hotel with a smart address in the 'Golden Triangle', much loved by fashionistas. This 19th Century townhouse is classically decorated in country house style making a beautiful finish throughout. Fine dining and an intimate bar for meetings, great location.

    42 rooms from $365
    City Style  -  Just off the Champs Elysees, individually designed rooms by Pierre-Yves Rocho featuring antiques and 18th-century oil paintings.
    Honeymoons  -  Sumptuous silk and damask fabrics, Eiffel Tower views and romantic dining in the glass roofed winter garden- heaven!
    Sights nearby  -  Just off the Champs Elysees, within a five minute walk of Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile.
    Great walks  -  Head down to the Seine and walk her banks taking in the sights and scenes that unfold.
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels
  • Hotel Bourg Tibourg


    A handsome and compact Parisian townhouse turned sultry Moorish palace. The heavily adorned, compact boudoirs boast rich fabrics, innumerable tassels, dim lighting and scented canals. Enjoy breakfast in bed, lounging in the plush sitting room or stepping out into lively Paris. Wonderfully sensual.

    30 rooms from $325
    Romantic Break  -  An opulent and sultry love nest, think miles of red velvet, subdued lighting and Byzantine alcoves with mosaic-tile tubs.
    Sights nearby  -  Marais is brimming with galleries, historic sights and museums, the most notable, Notre Dame, is just down the road.
    Lively area  -  In the heart of the Marais.
    Designer  -  Jacques Garcia interiors.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Fodors
  • Hotel de Saint-Grégoire


    Elegant and warmly decorated hotel decked with classical antiques. Family run and intimate, a charming choice with good rates. Rooms are stylishly designed. This is a quiet haven, not far from the action and with its own tranquil garden to relax in after a day exploring.

    20 rooms from $270
    Local exploring  -  Spend time exporing this area, teaming with historic cafes, innovative museums and architectural masterpieces.
    Great walks  -  Just two minutes from the famed Luxembourg Gardens, head out for a stroll.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
  • Hotel Brighton


    An art-filled four star hotel on Rue de Rivoli and with views of Tuileries Garden. Classically decorated rooms and suites, insulated from the busy street. Enjoy true French breakfast and the bar with its bay windows and views. A top choice for families and couples intent on sightseeing.

    62 rooms from $302
    Great walks  -  No better place to take a stroll in Paris than the lovely Tuileries, right on your doorstep.
    Sights nearby  -  Just across from the Louvre and the Eiffle Tour, and Place de la Concorde.
    Views  -  Of the Tuileries Gardens and Eiffle Tour.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
  • Hotel Le Meurice


    The epitome of Parisian luxury takes form at this five star, fantastically located, hotel. Old empire style throughout. Large, beautiful and chic rooms vary in size. Michelin star dining, popular Bar 228 and the spa are for guests to truly unwind in the capital. A real treat, when in Paris!

    160 rooms from $1606
    Families  -  Expect pampering for everyone from tots to dogs, with special toys and entertainments arranged at the drop of a hat.
    Foodies  -  Le Meurice Restaurant by Alain Ducasse, with its three Michelin stars is one of the finest restaurants in Paris.
    City Style  -  Opulence in the heart of the city- suites dripping in chandeliers, period furnishings and rich fabrics.
    Sights nearby  -  Opposite the Louvre, and under ten minutes walk from the Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Elysées.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Kiwi Collection, Tablet, Fodors
  • Le Relais Montmartre


    Charming hotel in the village-like district of Montmartre, on a quiet street, just behind Sacre Coeur. Pretty rooms are tastefully decorated and with modern bathrooms. Breakfast is served in-room or in garden. Intimate and romantic (connecting rooms for families) spot to explore Paris at ease.

    26 rooms from $223
    Value chic  -  Great value for its prime location in the popular district of Montmartre, charming rooms, courtyard and modern amenities.
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance from Butte Montmartre, Sacré-Cœur and Place du Tertre.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Frommers
  • Le Relais du Louvre


    An elegant little hotel overlooking the Église Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, in the first Arrondissement. The chic rooms feature individual detail, classic French furnishings and unparalleled views of its historic surroundings. Perfectly reflects the romantic charm of Paris.

    22 rooms from $258
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries, one of the most elegant gardens in Paris.
    Local markets  -  Explore one of Paris’ oldest open air market streets, rue Montorgeuil.
    Sights nearby  -  Located between the Louvre and Notre Dame.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Hotel Mansart


    Absorb the famous Place Vendome from a handsome, antique-filled 4* boutique hotel. Each room possess its own character and is decorated in a quintessentially Parisian style. All this for great rates in the centre of town.

    57 rooms from $241
    Sights nearby  -  Place Vendome is one of the most famous squares in Paris and even the world.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

Written by  Fiona Duncan, posted Friday, 12th February 2010
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