How to Find the Best Hotel in Paris via @TravelLatte.net

How to Find the Best Hotel in Paris (or Anywhere!)

Booking a hotel in Paris? Prepare to be overwhelmed.

Travelers are spoiled for choice when looking for lodging in the City of Lights. We’ve read there are 2,000 hotels in Paris. From AirBNBs to global brand-name hotels, budget hostels to swanky spa resorts, some of the best in the world can be found in Paris. Why, then, does hotel shopping seem so hard?

Trying to find the best among 2,000 hotels, considering budget, location, and amenities, is something like quantum calculus. Trust us, that’s hard! On our last visit to Paris, we found several contenders. Each was almost perfect! Almost, but not quite. That’s when we figured it out. The light bulb lit up like the Eiffel Tower at night. There is no “best” hotel in Paris. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t one that’s perfect for you.

How to Find the Best Hotel in Paris via @TravelLatte.net

There is no shortage of hotels in Paris. Somewhere is a pin for the hotel that is perfect for you! (Image: Google/Hotels.com)

Start with your itinerary

How to Find the Best Hotel in Paris via @TravelLatte.net

Paris is a city of neighborhoods, or Arrondisdements. Choosing a hotel in the right area can make sightseeing a breeze, but can add to the cost.

Why are you going to Paris, anyway? Are you a sightseer, or are you interested in one particular place? Is there a function to attend, or people you need to see?

Paris is huge. The city and her suburbs, called the Metropole of Grand Paris, cover 314 square miles (!!!), and those questions can help narrow down the choices, geographically. Our recommendation is to find a map, and mark the locations on your itinerary. Soon, you’ll have a “search zone” that may have a hundred hotels instead of a thousand.

In most European cities, many of the iconic attractions are in the historic city center. In Paris, that’s the Vieux Cite. It could be the highest concentration of cultural and historic attractions in Europe and, thankfully, it’s very walkable. You may notice most of your sightseeing will be in a smaller area; focused around the Latin Quarter, for example. It makes sense to narrow your search even more. You may be down to a dozen hotels now! That can still be pretty daunting, but we’re making progress.

Tip #1: Let your itinerary show you where to look for a hotel.

How to Find the Best Hotel in Paris via @TravelLatte.net

A night at the 5 Star Four Seasons Hotel George V might make our budget cringe, but that won’t stop us from taking a look! (Photo: Four Seasons Hotels Ltd.)

Budget

The price tag might not be the first thing you consider when shopping for a hotel, but it could be the most important factor. You will spend more for the privilege of being a stone’s throw from the biggest attractions, even if it’s not at a Five Star hotel. At the same time, you are saving expenses on rental cars and parking, which add up fast.

We like to think we have a Five Star style, but we know we have a decidedly middle class budget. Sure, we’ll look at the Four Seasons Hotel George V because, #5StarParis! But when we’re ready to book, we filter out hotels beyond our means. (And cry a little.)

Our best advice is to check a site like Business Travel News’ Corporate Travel Index, which shows the average hotel rate for cities around the world. That can help you establish a reasonable budget. Once you have that number, you can filter out all of the more expensive hotels. In Paris, the average nightly room rate in 2016 was $232. Not so bad, when you consider you’re in one of the most popular cities in the world!

Tip #2: Use your budget as a search filter.

Style, Amenities and Je ne sais quoi

It probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that Paris has tied Macau for having the most Forbes Five Star hotels. It is Paris, after all. This is the city that practically invented sophistication and sublime service. Despite that, you may not be moved by elite hotels or exclusive resorts. You may be more comfortable at a small boutique hotel, or an AirBnB on a barge on the River Seine. That’s your style and, whatever it is, that can help narrow down the myriad of choice, too.

What about amenities? Is a pool or gym mandatory, or just nice to have? Is “breakfast included” a deal breaker? Do you like a particular style or theme? Do you want to wake up every morning and see the Eiffel Tower? Yes, yes, and YES! That scratches even more hotels off the list.

Many hotel search sites let you filter by amenity and location, so by now you should be down to a handful of choices. Look carefully at each one, and imagine how you would feel waking up there. Does it have that “something special” that speaks to you? Can you see yourself relaxing in the lobby, or unwinding at the bar? Does it check all – or at least, some – of your boxes?

These are the important questions that can make or break your stay. You probably won’t remember how much you paid for your hotel. You may never know just how many steps it was to Musee Orsay. But you will remember that boutique hotel that made you feel like a real Parisian.

Tip #3: Hold out for a hotel that appeals to you, and promises to be one to remember.

Check the Reviews

Before hitting the Book Now button, check the reviews at a few different sites. Our favorites include Trip Advisor, Oyster, and Expedia. There are bound to be some over-the-top reviews that are hard to believe, and a few scary ones. Look for a positive overall tone in recent reviews and management responses.

Tip #4: No matter how great it looks, read recent reviews on several web sites.

Putting It All Together

Time to practice what we preach! For our #FallInFrance trip to Paris, we had a wish list for our hotel:

  • Itinerary:
    • Most of the places we wanted to see were clustered in the city center, so that’s where we started our search. The Left Bank was the most convenient, in terms of walking or subway access, to most places on our itinerary.
  • Budget: We knew the view we wanted would up the price tag, so we set our sights high. &Euro;350 was the middle of our range, and we pleasantly came in below that.
  • Style & Amenities:
    • Eiffel Tower View – We love that view! That means we should stay in the 6th or 7th Arrondissement, where some of the best views are. They are also on the Left Bank, which suited our itinerary.
    • Breakfast Included – As a “nice to have.”
    • Our style is modern and sophisticated, but wanted a boutique hotel that let us know we were in the heart of Paris.
  • Good Reviews: By the time we were down to three choices, poor reviews steered us away from one hotel. Since the others had equally good reviews, we would have felt comfortable booking a room at either one.

The end result was a comfortable room in a modern boutique hotel. Everything the Left Bank has to offer was within walking distance. For anything further, a Metro station was across the street. We had breakfast every morning, a sidewalk café to watch Paris go by, and views of the Eiffel Tower from our room. In many ways, it was the best hotel in Paris because it was perfect for us!

How to Find the Best Hotel in Paris via @TravelLatte.net

That view, tho! We searched long and hard, and found a hotel that filled our wish list, right down to the Eiffel Tower view!

Look for more on Our Stay at Hotel La Comtesse Tour Eiffel coming soon.

Have you tried these tips for find the best hotel room? What other tips do you use to make sure your hotel is one to remember? We’d love it if you’d share your tips in the Comments.

How to Find the Best Hotel in Paris via @TravelLatte.net

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36 comments on “How to Find the Best Hotel in Paris (or Anywhere!)

  1. I can relate to the sense of overwhelm when booking hotels at some destinations. Definitely #1 is key. And as for budget, try the HotelsCombined website to compare prices once you know where you want to stay.

    Confession: We have been known to take the easy route. When we are pushed for time or can’t decide, we’ll rely on our usual companies. We may miss some boutique ambiance by staying with the bigger brands but we’ll gain loyalty points.

    • Hi Linda! That’s a really good point – or points. Those loyalty points mean more to a lot of people than other things. We were tempted, because we love Starwood and the Westin Vendome is beautiful! This time, though, that view won. Now that it’s out of our system, we may go for the points next time. Maybe…that was a really nice view. 😉

  2. Pingback: Monday Escapes - Mini Travellers

  3. Love this logical post, especially for countries that are teeming with options – just break it down as you have suggested, simples 🙂 I don’t do anything without looking at Trip Advisor so yes, that’s my final tick off for me for sure! #feetdotravel

    • Thanks Angie! I tend to tackle things pretty analytically, for better or worse. That really helps when there are so many choices. And yes, MUST check reviews, for sure! Thanks again for reading!

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  5. I absolutely adore this post and your tips for finding ‘your’ perfect hotel. I love this approach, which like you say can be used when looking for hotels anywhere. I now have serious Paris holiday envy too;) Its been so long since I was there, I may have to leave this article up on my screen as a huge reminder to my husband that we are overdue a wkd away together kid free! Thanks for linking up to #MondayEscapes

    • Hi Lisa! Thanks for the kind words. Let us know if your reminder works…I have a few pictures of far away places I can leave lying around this place. 😉 Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for your comments.

  6. Great tips – I have always stayed in hostels or in small hotels I found through agents. Will use your tips next time I go to find something more interesting! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Lexx! Glad you found it helpful. We tend to take on the hunt for a hotel ourselves. It’s sort of a “glutton for punishment” thing. But we’re getting it down to a science, after some trial and error. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Great tips and wow that’s a lot of hotels. I’ve visited France many times but still not been to Paris yet. I hear it can be expensive but with these tips its sounds like it is possible to stay on the cheap. Will try some of them when I finally get around to visiting Paris.

    • Hi Barry – It can be pretty expensive, even with these tips. But I think it’s possible to NOT be more expensive than it has to be. Of course, deciding that a view of the Eiffel Tower is a must is not the best way to keep costs down… 😉 Hope you get to the City of Lights soon! Cheers!

  8. Great post! Not sure I will visit Paris anytime soon, BUT you never know what will happen in the future!! I definitely read the reviews and one thing we have learnt by doing so is that you should look for reviews by your fellow countrymen (so to speak). We have found that reviews by fellow Aussies or Kiwis focus on the sorts of things we want to know, whereas a review by someone Chinese or Russian (just an example) might focus on other stuff that we don’t find so relevant…. I can’t think of an example right now LOL

    • Hi Kelly – That’s a great tip! It makes sense, and I’m going to start paying attention to that. I’m glad you liked the post. You can use the tips anywhere, really, but even better if you can work a trip to Paris out of it! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  9. Super post! love the all the detail and ideas, great idea to start with an itineary! I always find it a nightmare choosing a hotel in a big city!

    • Thanks Garth! After a trip to DC where we chose the hotel first and then had to take a taxi all over town ($$$!), we learned to go the other way around. It’s been smooth sailing ever since. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. This is a great approach to something that can be quite painful really. In those bigger destinations you really can get paralyzed by choice. Definitely recommend checking reviews and looking for common themes. Great work!

    • Hi David – Glad we’re not the only one who felt that way. So many choices that you deliberate forever, or just go for the cheapest…and end up way outside of town. (May or may not be the voice of experience. 😉 Thanks for your comment!

  11. The map looks frightening. Hahaa… I’ve never been to Paris and it all sounds so overwhelming… I think… I would just head directly to Hotel La Comtesse Tour Eiffel if I’m in Paris. #MondayEscapes

    • Doesn’t it??? It was overwhelming without a plan. We will say, La Comtesse has a GREAT location but, if you go, get one of the larger rooms. Even those are a little small (by American standards) but your family would fit. Besides, it’s Paris! You won’t be in the room so much. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  12. I’ll need to remember to check the Corporate Travel Index to get a good idea of what’s a reasonable amount for lodging. When we visited Paris, we stayed in 2 different hotels. The first was an apartment in a boutique hotel near the Jardin de Luxembourg. It had great atmosphere, and I really felt like a faux-Parisien looking out the window. On our last day, we moved to a Hampton Inn near the airport to save money. Looking out the window, we could have been in any nondescript urban city in the world, but the price was great.

    • How nice! We really like the area you were in (le Jardin, not so much the airport!), but it does come at a price, doesn’t it? Moving to a hotel near the airport can be a good way to save money when you’re flying out in the morning. We came close to staying by la Defense, but same problem: it could have been any hotel in any city. And when you’re in Paris, that just seems wrong! Thanks so much for your comment!

  13. Straight off, I had no idea there were that many hotels in Paris! Talk about overwhelming choices!! This is such a great guide though, you offer tons of really helpful tips. And yes, reading reviews are key – we learn a ton just by that simple act! Whenever we return to Paris, I’m pulling up this post to help with the planning!

    • Right? We were a little surprised at the number but, to be fair, that includes accommodations like Bed & Breakfasts. But still, more than 1500 of them are traditional hotels! Makes your head spin. Thanks for reading, Jenn, much appreciated.

  14. Great tips on picking hotels. I didn’t know about the corporate travel index which I have now bookmarked and will be using next time I book travel. Thanks for all of the great suggestions! 🙂

    • Hi Lyn! We do that too – toss out the high and the low. We should have followed that up by encouraging everyone to leave a review, too. Honest reviews really are so helpful. Thanks again for stopping to read our blog – much appreciated!

    • Thank you, Melissa! We feel your pain. More than once we threw our hands up in the air (like we just didn’t care!) because there were just so many choices. At first, it seemed like any one of them would do, until we really narrowed down what we wanted. These are the results – glad you find them helpful!

  15. Wonderful tips for booking a hotel in Paris … or literally anywhere, Rob and Ann. I go through this process myself and am often willing to pay more to be in the heart of the action to save time (is money, right?) and money on transportation. Besides 2,000 lodging options is way too many to sort through without filtering out location, budget and your must-have amenities. A view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris seems like a must-have to me! #WeekendWanderlust

    • Hi Erin! We are totally with you – a spot in the city where you can walk to everything and be right in the middle of it all is worth it to us. So was that view! 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment!

    • Hi Lisa – We were pleasantly surprised at the rate for our room. We actually paid less than some of the big brand hotels around town, AND got the view we dreamt of. #WinWin. (Shoulder season really helped, too.) What really hurts is paying that much and NOT coming away happy. Hopefully, we’ve helped someone avoid that misery. Thanks for your comment!

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