Paris hotels

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expert-rated hotels in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

A suave new design hotel and spa in Montparnasse with the emphasis on comfort.

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Price from: £166
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expert-rated hotels in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.3 (out of 5)

Colourful and breezy, Paris's original budget design hotel.

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Price from: £110
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expert-rated hotels in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

A relaxed arty hotel keeping up the creative tradition of Montparnasse.

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Price from: £131
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expert-rated hotels in Paris
Expert overall rating:4.1 (out of 5)

A small welcoming hotel near the Luxembourg gardens.

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Price from: £108
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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.

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I have visited hundreds of hotels since I moved to Paris, whether for the guidebooks and magazine articles I write or for family and friends who are coming to visit. They do not all get into this guide. Those that do have to have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes them stand out. It may be the decoration, the trendy bar, the comfortable beds or the location, it may be that the staff were exceptionally welcoming, that it felt gorgeously Parisian or was that elusive home from home.

Location is often an important criterion because the district where you stay can make a real difference to your holiday. A couple I have included are in unlikely parts of town but stand out for their design or buzzy atmosphere. It may be that a hotel is great value.

I don't look for the same things in a budget hotel as in a luxury one (if you are going somewhere cheap, expect smaller rooms, not much service and probably no air conditioning). I have discovered, however, that you can find charming, well-tended, inexpensive hotels in beautiful parts of town – just as you can still find seedy places with flock wallpaper and sagging beds right next door; it is the former that get in.

Simonseeks has given star ratings out of five for all accommodation recommendations. With hotels, these will tally with the hotel's official star rating where it exists. Where a hotel has no official star rating, and in the case of b & bs and hostels, the experts have made a judgment as to how many stars the accommodation deserves, in terms of comfort, level of facilities and so forth.

If you would like to suggest a hotel to the community that I haven't recommended, then click here.