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 wholeheartedly.

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 charms.

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.

  • L' Hôtel

    Paris

    Iconic hotel where Oscar Wilde lived, now with flamboyant interiors by Jacques Garcia. Super romantic, dark and intimate, a perfect bolthole with top dining on the Left Bank.

    20 rooms from $287
    Restaurant  -  Michelin star.
    Sights nearby  -  Just across the river from the Louvre.
    Swimming Pool  -  Small plunge pool.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
  • Hotel d'Aubusson

    Paris

    Period feel 4 star hotel in a handsome 17th-century honey-stone house on the Left Bank. Smart and well run, with quality furnishings and exposed beams. Family friendly, spacious rooms, underground parking.

    49 rooms from $304
    Sights nearby  -  Close to the river.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
  • Hotel Les Degrés de Notre Dame

    Paris

    Charming bedrooms and an auberge-style restaurant make this a sought-after base in the Latin Quarter, with views over Notre Dame. Large attic room has best views, suitable for families. Full of character. No a/c or elevator.

    10 rooms from $129
    Views  -  Of Notre Dame, best from attic suite.
    Sights nearby  -  Within walking distance.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
  • Hotel Duc de Saint-Simon

    Paris

    Romantic public areas with a private house feel - plush fabrics and interior design, ultra traditional, elegant and intimate. Rooms are small, so worth paying for superiors. Well located near St Germain and the charming Rue du Bac.

    34 rooms from $310
    Sights nearby  -  Musee d'Orsay within walking distance.
    Lively area  -  In the heart of the Left Bank.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Hotel Daniel

    Paris

    Exuberant decoration with oriental influences in a gorgeous town house hotel. Highly elegant, with a good mix of antiques, fabrics, wallpapers and objets. Well located, with a rooftop suite with views.

    26 rooms from $473
    Elegant  -  East meets West.
    Views  -  Rooftop suite has Eiffel Tower views.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Full of character
  • Hotel San Régis

    Paris

    Small and intimate 5 star luxury townhouse hotel with a smart address in the 'Golden Triangle', much loved by fashionistas. Fine dining, an intimate bar for meetings, and spacious bedrooms in country house style.

    33 rooms from $366
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Sights nearby  -  Just off the Champs Elysees.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels
  • Hotel du Bourg Tibourg

    Paris

    Handsome and compact Parisian townhouse transformed into a flamboyant Moorish palace. More affordable younger sibling of the Costes, the boudoir feel is highly romantic.

    30 rooms from $304
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Lively area  -  In the heart of the Marais.
    Designer  -  Jacques Garcia interiors.
    Sights nearby  -  The Picasso Museum.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
  • Hotel de Saint-Grégoire

    Paris

    Elegant, warmly decorated hotel with 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.

    20 rooms from $224
    Elegant  -  Decor by David Hicks
    Sights nearby  -  Two minutes from the Luxembourg Gardens.
  • Hotel Brighton

    Paris

    A classic three star in a top position with superb views. Good value for the area, some large rooms and suites, insulated from the busy street. Top choice for families and couples intent on sightseeing.

    61 rooms from $174
    Views  -  Of the Tuileries Gardens.
    Sights nearby  -  Just across from the Louvre and near Concorde.
  • Hotel Le Meurice

    Paris

    The epitome of Parisian-style luxury, empire style. One of the 'palace' hotels, with top dining, sumptuous rooms, and perhaps the best position of all the 5 star hotels. Gorgeous public areas, a real treat. Great views.

    160 rooms from $597
    Bar  -  Top Paris bar - Bar 228.
    Suites  -  Gorgeous rooftop suites.
    Views  -  Of the Tuileries.
    Restaurant  -  Michelin star.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Kiwi Collection
  • Le Relais Montmartre

    Paris

    Charming gem of an hotel with pretty bedrooms in villagey Montmartre, just behind Sacre Coeur on a quiet street. Intimate and romantic, with connecting rooms for families and a small garden.

    26 rooms from $208
    Sights nearby  -  Behind Sacre Coeur.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Le Relais du Louvre

    Paris

    Peaceful, elegant town house with pretty, cosy bedrooms of largely floral patterns. Great position close to the Louvre. Good family suite. Breakfast taken in the rooms.

    21 rooms from $197
    Sights nearby  -  Located between the Louvre and Notre Dame.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Hotel Mansart

    Paris

    Handsome, antique-filled rooms in a terrific location on place Vendome. Full of character, and great rates for this right bank position. Ideal for shopping and major sites.

    57 rooms from $207
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.

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