Travel

The best boutique hotels in Paris

independent– Once upon a time a trip to Paris meant an overpriced stay in a tourist-trap hotel, a trip up the Eiffel Tower and an omelette by the Arc de Triomphe, but as travellers’ tastes for the unique evolve, so does the French capital’s characterful hospitality offerings.

These days there’s no shortage of idiosyncratic boutique hotels on offer. Those looking for Instagram-ready vintage décor will find their bonheur at one of the crop of design-led addresses clustered in the trendy Sentier area in the centre and hip Pigalle in the north of the city. Meanwhile, there are some sumptuous boutique hideaways on offer for luxury lovers, as well as lower-cost, high-character options for travellers on a tighter budget.

The Independent’s hotel recommendations are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and book, but we never allow this to affect our coverage.

Best for sexy-meets-luxury weekends away: Sinner

Neighbourhood: The Marais

So sexy that guests may require a cold shower five minutes after stepping through its discreet entrance in the trendy Marais district, Sinner is a newly opened five-star like no other.

Décor takes inspiration from Catholicism with an added seductive twist – think wooden panelling that resembles a confessional booth in the lifts, stained-glass windows (that definitely don’t depict the life of our Lord) in the darkened corridors, and incense wafting from the in-house restaurant at night.

While ecclesiastical drama rules the roost in communal spaces, the rooms themselves offer a softer, more genteel, airy vibe. But make no mistake, sex is still very much on the menu: bespoke lube sits discreetly among the luxe toiletries in the bathroom, book titles on the shelf include the Marquis de Sade’s “The 120 Days of Sodom”, and those beds were definitely made for sin….

There’s also a spa, plus a concept store, The Crypt, in the lobby.

From €550 for a deluxe room 

sinnerparis.com

Best for living like a Parisian scenester: Le Pigalle

Neighbourhood: Pigalle

Located in the heart of the area historically known for its cabarets (Moulin Rouge included) and sex shops – more recently reborn as a hipster hub – this low-key address mixes laid-back cool and bawdy kitsch touches to create one of the most stylish accommodation options in Paris. Guests can relax and sample the small but tasty seasonal menu in the elegant open-plan lounge and admire the curated local art selection in their rooms – or else head out to one of the many neighbouring bars for cocktails and live music.

From €142 (£131) per room
lepigalle.paris/en/

Best for an opulent city hideaway: Le Nolinski

Neighbourhood: Louvre/Centra

This boutique five-star may sit in the beating heart of Paris, but guests can enjoy serene, quiet seclusion in its chic blue-hued salons and opulent rooms and suites. The address stands out for its slinky subterranean spa, with its beautiful pool area and indulgent La Colline treatments.

When guests are ready to soak up the buzz of the city, the restaurant Brasserie Réjane offers palate-pleasing seasonal dishes and tasty cocktails in a chic but relaxed setting amid the thrum of Avenue de l’Opéra.

From €430 (£386) per room
nolinskiparis.com

Best for literary-themed luxury: L’Hôtel

Neighbourhood: Saint-Germain-des-Pré

If you have a penchant for literary history and an appetite for luxury, L’Hôtel cannot be beaten. Though today’s hotel is unquestionably swish (indeed it is Paris’s smallest five-star hotel), it was once the more modest Hôtel d’Alsace, where a penniless Oscar Wilde spent his last months – guests can opt to stay in the Oscar Wilde room where the author died in 1900, famously fighting a “duel to the death” with his wallpaper. Beyond its historical credentials, the hotel also offers Michelin-starred dining at Julien Montbabut’s Le Restaurant and eccentrically opulent décor from Jacques Garcia.

Best for eccentric Ancien Régime character: Le Caron de Beaumarchais

Neighbourhood: The Marais

Be prepared to be transported back to the 18th-century at this eccentric and lovingly looked-after little hotel in the heart of the lively Marais area. The hotel’s owner, a keen collector, has arranged the lobby as an exquisite Ancien Régime drawing room, complete with silk wallpaper and Louis XVI-style furniture. The old-fashioned charm continues into the rooms, some of which feature pretty balconies overlooking the lively shopping and café district.

Closed until further notice

From €130 (£117) per room
carondebeaumarchais.com

Best for London cool in a Parisian setting: The Hoxton, Paris

Neighbourhood: Sentier

This beautiful hotel’s setting, a grand 18th-century mansion house that once belonged to an adviser to Louis XV, is quintessentially Parisian, but the boutique chain’s London roots are in evidence with a laid-back feel and eclectic design touches. Soak up the local atmosphere with your morning coffee in the plant-decked courtyard. In the evening, retire to Jacques’ Bar – decorated with a playful mix of English eccentricity and Moroccan influence – and pick from a range of custom cocktails. Travellers on a budget can plump for dinky, but Instagram-friendly, “Shoebox” rooms.

From €169 (£152) per room
thehoxton.com/france/paris/hotels

Best for charming design at a reasonable price: Hotel Henriette​

Neighbourhood: Gobelins/Latin Quarter

This cosy address located on a quiet road on the charming Left Bank offers excellent value for money with its homely but chic rooms (think natty rugs and vintage light fixtures) and gorgeous winter garden. The historic Latin Quarter, as well as the Luxembourg Gardens and Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens are all within close walking distance. Expect a low-key, friendly welcome, a charming hotchpotch of décor from designer Vanessa Scoffier and a tasty breakfast served in a sunny room overlooking the garden.

From €69 (£62) per room
hotelhenriette.com

Best for a bar with a view: Terrass Hotel

Neighbourhood: Montmartre

The view of the rooftops and Eiffel Tower from the hotel’s terrace bar are hard to beat, while the location allows for easy exploration of the bucolic slopes of Montmartre, with its windmills, vineyards and art museums, as well as swift access to the bars of Pigalle. Meanwhile, the hotel offers on-site cultural events and yoga lessons, as well as treatments at the in-house Nuxe spa.

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