My favourite hotels in Paris

Safety and refuge is what I seek in a hotel. In turn that implies that the décor is aesthetic, the staff welcoming, and the very act of walking through the main door drapes me with a feeling of calm.

Here I share my favourite places to stay in Paris, ranging from cheap and basic to luxury, from the east to the west, from the Left Bank to the Right Bank.

Babel Hotel Belleville – to the east

This is my go-to hotel in Paris. It’s near some great restaurants (see my post on Belleville); it’s around the corner from the metro station; and it’s quiet, despite the hotel having its own radio station, Babel Radio

The décor and the food is inspired by the Silk Road, in homage to the waves of immigrants from different cultures who have lived in Belleville over the decades.

Ingredients are fresh and seasonal, and the coffee good (La Brûlerie de Jourdain), while you’ll also find some welcome pistachio and almond delicacies from nearby La Rose de Tunis on arriving at your room.

Above all, the people at Babel are friendly, and reflect the Babel values of ‘simple and real‘ . For my next stay – and there is always a next one – I’ll be asking for the same room, No. 404. Like most Parisian hotels, there’s not enough space for a yoga mat. But the sun shines through the windows (which can be quite rare for a Parisian building), the view is over the rooftops – and the walls are heavy with silence.

Babel Belleville view across bed to window
The sun shining through my window at Babel Hotel Belleville

Usually I grab a pastry for breakfast round the corner at Le Petit Grain and have a coffee in my room, but very often, if I don’t feel like going out in the evening, I am more than happy to have a dish or two in the hotel restaurant, preceded by a cocktail… the Haïfa whisky cocktail is good – Israeli whisky infused with black and white sesame, zaatar syrup and lemon. And while there is no spa, you can organise a massage in your room.

Price range (taken from TripAdvisor): €

Amastan near Le Grand Palais in the 8th

I stayed at Amastan Paris (images below) in 2019. It’s a perfect location for anyone needing to get to Le Grand Palais or the luxury shopping street of Avenue Montaigne, home to the new Dior store.

Amastan Paris is a small, discrete, stylish hotel, with no lobby clogged with tourists in caps and shorts and large suitcases. The one person I met, over breakfast at the shared long table, was a Canadian living in London. He stayed at the Amastan every week for work.

And I just loved the blue bar. Artist Idris Khan, who has a series called Blue Rhythms, sees blue as a colour which has an immediate effect on emotion. For me, blue makes me happy. I too could stay at Amastan Paris every week.

Price range: €€

Luxury at Hotel Brach in the 8th

Another option in the 8th is Hotel Brach, near the Bois de Boulogne, so more like a 40-minute walk from Le Grand Palais.

This five-star hotel, in a refurbished post office building, is designed by Philippe Starck as ‘relaxed luxury’.

I went there for dinner in November 2021. It was a lot of fun. A hot ticket in town. This is the place for people who like design to whack you in the eye.

Look out for other hotels in the Evôk Collection.

Price range: €€€

Where to stay near the Eiffel Tower in the 7th

Hotel du Champs de Mars is a small, family-run hotel in the 7th arrondissement, just off rue Cler, a pedestrianised street lined with foodie places. Each morning, I nipped round the corner to Café Central for breakfast of coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice and croissant.

The hotel rooms, like most in Paris, are small. This is old style hospitality – no hotel radio, sustainability manifesto or links with local businesses here. The one downfall of this location is that it is on just one Metro line… Belleville feels far better connected.

Price range: €€

The view from Room 56 at the Hotel du Champs de Mars
Rue de Clerc in the 7th arrondissement
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