If Paris is famed for its luxury palace hotels with splendid salons and legions of staff, the places I generally like most are its small, individual hotels, often in beautiful historic buildings. In fact, the "boutique hotel" - long before the concept even existed.
With 2,000 hotels in the French capital you're spoilt for choice. Be your style contemporary or Louis XV, high-tech or beams and romance, I should be able to find something for you. Happily, many Paris hotels have been renovated recently, meaning that good-quality beds and modern bathrooms are now the norm. Though this sometimes means prices have gone up, it is still possible to find charming, inexpensive options even in central Paris. More and more places now have small spas and gyms; only grander hotels generally have restaurants. Wifi internet access is widely available and often free, though payment policies vary.
Things to consider before booking
The official star system has recently been revised, adding a fifth star in line with other countries. However, ratings consider factors such as room size, lifts and room service but don't necessarily take into account welcome, cleanliness or tasteful decoration. While a five star undoubtedly means luxury, space and countless services and a one star will be extremely simple, there is often a blurring of the categories in between.
Most hotels welcome children and where possible can add a cot or an extra bed or provide interconnecting rooms. Another good option for families can be "aparthotels" with kitchenettes that allow the possibility of self-catering.
The city can get pretty booked up during important trade fairs and salons, such as fashion week or the motor show. On the other hand, you may find good deals in August and at Christmas (see When to go to Paris).
Prices are usually quoted for a double room not including breakfast and can vary greatly within one hotel depending on room size and season. For the hotels selected here, rooms at budget hotels will generally cost under 150 euros, mid-range 150-350 euros, money no object from 350 euros upwards.