|Hotels in France
Hotels in France are classified by the French Ministry of Tourism under strict guidance and under the following categories:
First Class hotel *****
Deluxe Hotel ****
Comfortable hotel ***
Tourist hotel **
Tipping is more than acceptable in Paris. In fact, much like in the US, people that are in a service oriented business such as bellhops, waiters and waitresses, drivers and concierges rely on tips as a part of their income. Many restaurants will automatically add a service charge. Even so, it is still customary to leave a small tip (say 5%) to the bill. If no service charge is included, such as for taxi fares, a 10% tip (more or less) is suitable - provided the service is reasonable.
Whatever price range you're looking for, Paris is a hotel paradise for the traveler. If you're out for luxury, Paris has places that make Versailles look like a teahouse. In the middle range, there are the wonderful hôtels de charme, with an air of elegance and large windows to catch the elusive Paris sun. Even if you're lucky enough to find yourself in a room with a lumpy mattress, pipes that gurgle in the night, a defective heating system, and cooing pigeons parked on the window ledge, just tell yourself that it's atmosphere! After all, this is Paris.
Rooms in Paris's oldest quarters are generally much smaller than their American counterparts, and the French double bed is slightly smaller than the American standard. Although air-conditioning has become more popular, it is not always available in every room so if you are traveling during the peak summer months, keep this in mind. Almost all Paris hotels charge extra for breakfast. Though hotels may not automatically add the breakfast charge to your bill, it's wise to inform the desk staff if you plan to have breakfast away from the hotel. Always reserve well in advance and demand written confirmation of your reservation.
Paris is divided into 20 districts. Chances are that you'll spend most of your stay within a few areas. Since it is impossible to define where the "real" Paris is, the best is to choose your destination according to what you'll want to do and which ambiance you want to experience during your trip.
Renting a bicycle or walking are two great ways to discover the city. Another great way to visit Paris - or any other large city for that matter - is to take a bus, preferably one that loops. Ask your concierge for advice in this matter.
Modern art sets the atmosphere for this upscale hotel. Each room's door is inspired by the work of a famous artist recreated by local painters. Rooms are small but the decor, exposed beams, and contoured tables give them a feel. The more spacious duplex suite on the top floor has a small bathroom loft with a shower, makeup table, and freestanding bathtub. 25 rooms, 2 suites, with bath. Room service, in-room data ports, minibars, laundry service. Métro: Mabillon.
34 rue de Buci, Paris 75006, France
St-Germain/Montparnasse (6 Arr.)
The Bristol Hotel's understated facade on rue du Faubourg St-Honoré might be misleading, but the Bristol ranks among Paris's top four hotels and has the prices to prove it. Many billionaires and celebrities refuse to stay anywhere else. Some of the spaciously elegant rooms have authentic Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture and magnificent marble bathrooms in pure 1920s Art Deco. The public salons are stocked with old-master paintings, sculptures, sumptuous carpets, and tapestries. 154 rooms, 41 suites, with bath. Restaurant, room service, in-room data ports, in-room safes, indoor pool, health club, sauna, bar, laundry service, meeting room, free parking.
112 rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, 8e Arrondissement (Champs-Élysées), Paris 75008, France
Champ de Mars
This comfortable hotel has an appealing French country-house style. Rooms are equipped with satellite TV the two on the ground floor open onto a leafy courtyard. The location - near the Eiffel Tower and Invalides - is difficult to beat. 25 rooms with bath. In-room data ports.
Métro: École Militaire.
Jean-Louis and Gilbert Costes's hotel remains a favorite for supermodels and celebrities. Once an intimate, 19th-century town house, the Costes has luxurious rooms and bathrooms that are truly marvelous. For taste in every sense of the word, this is the top Paris hotel. 77 rooms, 5 suites, with bath. Restaurant, room service, in-room data ports, in-room safes, indoor pool, gym, sauna, bar, laundry service.
To anyone with a taste for history, the name Crillon is certainly recognizable. As a once famous palace, it welcomed royal guests, including Marie-Antoinette, who lost her life on the guillotine on the square outside. In 1909 it became a hotel and not long after was the site of the signing of the League of Nations charter by Woodrow Wilson. Since then it has played host to generations of diplomats, politicians, and refined travelers. Most of its rooms are lavishly decorated. The sheer quantity of marble in the highly praised Les Ambassadeurs restaurant is staggering. 117 rooms, 43 suites, bath. 2 restaurants, tea shop, room service, in-room data ports, in-room safes, gym, 2 bars, baby-sitting, laundry service, meeting room, no-smoking room.
This unique, intimate hotel is behind a quiet courtyard in a chic residential district. It consists of two parts: a fin-de-siècle building on the street and a 1920s annex overlooking an interior courtyard. Only the duplex suites have air-conditioning. The breakfast is legendary here, featuring 40 assorted jams and jellies. 21 rooms, 5 suites, with bath. In-room safes, bar, laundry service, no-smoking room.
146 bd. Péreire, Paris 75017, France
Monceau/Clichy (17 Arr.)
It's hard to beat the price for this level of comfort, and the hotel's owners bend over backward for you. Some rooms are appointed with exquisite Louis XV-style furnishings while others have nice mahogany or cherrywood pieces. Those overlooking the animated Latin Quarter have double-glazed windows, and those on the second and fifth floors have their own walk-out balcony with breakfast table and chairs. Book at least a month in advance. 30 rooms with bath.
Métro: Cardinal Lemoine
11 rue des Écoles, Paris 75005, France
Just next door to the Familia, and twice as big, the hotel has been completely refurbished in the inimitable Gaucheron style: flowers and breakfast tables on the balconies, frescoes in the rooms and the spacious lobby, tapestries on the walls, and cherry-wood furniture in the rooms. The Minerve is less intimate than the Familia but just as charming. They are both economically priced. 54 rooms with bath. In-room data ports.
Métro: Cardinal Lemoine.
13 rue des Écoles, Paris 75005, France
Once General Eisenhower's headquarters and now managed by the Four Seasons group, the palace hotel is as bright and shiny as the day it opened in 1928: the original Art Deco detailing and 17th-century tapestries have been restored; the bas-reliefs in gold; the marble-floor mosaics rebuilt tile by tile. The hotel has private health-club facilities and one of Paris's best outposts of haute cuisine. If the Saudi prince who owns the hotel shows up, don't worry about getting bumped from your bed: there are five other suites priced in more or less the same stratosphere (around $8,500 a night). 185 rooms, 60 suites, with bath. Whichever room you chose, be sure to bring your Platinum Amex. Restaurant, room service, in-room data ports, in-room safes, indoor pool, hair salon, health club, sauna, bar, laundry service, business services, meeting room, no-smoking room.
Métro: George V
This 17th-century mansion is now one of the finest petites hotels de luxe in the city, with original Aubusson tapestries, Versailles-style parquet floors, a chiseled stone fireplace, and restored antiques. Even the smallest rooms are good-sized by Paris standards. The 10 best rooms have canopied beds and ceiling beams. In summer, you can have your breakfast in the paved courtyard. 49 rooms with bath. Room service, in-room data ports, in-room safes, bar, baby-sitting, laundry service.
Jardin Du Luxembourg
Blessed with a personable staff and a smart, stylish look, this hotel, on a calm side street just a block from the Luxembourg Gardens, is one of the most sought-after in the Latin Quarter. Rooms are small (common for this locale) but cleverly furnished. Ask for a room with a balcony overlooking the street; the best room, No. 25, has dormer windows revealing a view of the Eiffel Tower. 27 rooms with bath.
5 impasse Royer-Collard, Paris 75005, France
Celebrities, rock idols and movie stars adore this eccentric Left Bank hotel. Originally an 18th-century pavilion d'amour (inn for trysts), recent owners have gutted the building and spent a fortune turning it into a decorator's dream. One small double is decorated entirely in leopard-skin motifs; another suite features mirrored Art Deco boudoir furniture. The one downside is that many rooms are snug. Still, you can always hang out in the hotel bar, still popular with an international crowd. 25 rooms, 2 suites, with bath. In-room safes, bar, in-house baby-sitting.
13 rue des Beaux-Arts, Paris 75006, France
St-Germain/Montparnasse (6 Arr.)
The Lancaster, one of Paris's most famous institutions, is a luxury hotel offering a blend of traditional and contemporary elegance. Every detail speaks quality, from the hotel's own line of bath products to the Porthault linens. Many of the suites pay homage to the hotel's colorful past regulars, from Greta Garbo to John Huston to Sir Alec Guinness. Marlene Dietrich's suite is decorated in lilac (her favorite color) and features a superb Louis XV desk. The hotel offers 50 rooms, 10 suites, with bath. Restaurant, room service, in-room data ports, in-room safes, in-room VCRs, gym, sauna, bar, baby-sitting, laundry service, meeting room, parking (for fee).
Métro: George V
Here is a rare find for Paris: a cozy, upscale hotel that doesn't cost a fortune. Each room features antique bureaus and lamps, original artwork, and fabulous old mirrors. The hotel attracts a young, fashionable crowd, especially in the Art Deco bar. The junior suites have hot tubs. The professional staff couldn't be more helpful. 27 rooms, 3 junior suites, with bath.
Métro: École Militaire
One of a handful of hotels in the tiny residential district near the Bois de Boulogne, Queen's is a small, comfortable, old-fashioned hotel with good service and low prices. The newly renovated rooms with baths have hot tubs and brand-new beds. 22 rooms with bath. In-room safes, minibars, refrigerators, no-smoking rooms.
There really are two Ritz's. The first is the gilded Vendôme wing - where Gary Cooper serenaded Audrey Hepburn in Love in the Afternoon. The newer wing, off the back of the building, remains surprisingly intimate. Every room is highly comfortable. The lack of a lobby discourages sightseers, so you'll have to hang out in the wood-paneled bars to see famous types. The hotel's Espadon restaurant has a warm-weather terrace patio, with tables and chairs covered in elegant fabrics, and is almost too pretty for words. Lucky guests can also repair to the basement health club and pool. 135 rooms, 40 suites, with bath. 3 restaurants, room service, in-room data ports, in-room safes, indoor pool, hair salon, health club, 2 bars, shops, laundry service, meeting room, parking (for a fee).
Lyon & the Alps Hotels
Lyon has some of France's best cooking, museums, and theater. Small villages and medieval hilltop retreats are throughout these tranquil valley communities. The area is also home to the Alps, which provide some of the world's best skiing and hiking, not to mention Western Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc. If you get the chance to go to Lyon, do yourself a favor and do so!
Chateau De Bagnols
This small medieval castle began life in the 13th century. Period glassware, fabrics, and porcelain were copied to complement the antique furniture. Rooms are huge, as are the exquisite bathrooms. Those in the main ch‰teau evoke the 18th century; the ones in the converted stables and carriage houses known as La Résidence are, while rustic, furnished in a more contemporary mode. Wine tastings are held (by request) in the beautiful stone cuvage (wine-pressing room). Located 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Villefranche on D38 to Tarare. 20 rooms (12 in the castle, 8 suites in the carriage houses). Restaurant, library, meeting room.
Hostellerie Du Vieux Pérouges,br>
Extraordinary even by French standards, this historic inn has antiques, glossy wood floors and tables, and gigantic stone hearths. Rooms in the 15th-century manor are more spacious than (but also nearly twice the cost of) those in the annex and have marble bathrooms and period furniture. 28 rooms. Restaurant, meeting room.
Hotel Du Palais De L'Isle
Steps away from the lake, in the heart of old Annecy, is where you will find this delightful small hotel with very reasonable rates. The hotel has an ancient feel, rooms have a cheery, contemporary look and some have a view of the Palais de l'Isle. Rates reflect size of the room. Breakfast is served. Though the area is for pedestrians only, you can drive up to unload your luggage. 26 rooms.
13 rue Perrière, Annecy 74000, France
La Cour Des Loges
A renaissance mansion have been converted into one of Lyon's most stylish hotels. It has a large courtyard, spiral stone staircases, and exposed beams. Rooms range from fairly small to comfortably large, and there is a cellar-level wine bar and a "tapas" bar. Concierge Gérard Ravet is not only a character, but also knows Lyon inside out. 63 rooms. Restaurant, pool, health club, hot tub, sauna, bar, library, meeting room.
Above the old town, this pristine hotel was once a convent. It has beamed and vaulted ceilings, terraces, marvelous views, and an excellent restaurant, Les Terraces de Lyon, with distinguished cuisine. 11 rooms, 8 suites. Restaurant, pool, bar, meeting room.
Cote d'Azur Hotels
Between St-Tropez and the rugged rock of the Estérel, this captivating stretch of the French Riviera is renowned for blue-green waters that lap at the foot of thriving resort towns - St-Tropez, Fréjus, and St-Rapha‘l. The eastern slice of the Côte d'Azur is blessed with a tropical climate that sets it apart from the rest of France's southern coast. This region is the heart and soul of the Côte d'Azur, and its waterfront resorts - Cannes, Antibes, and Menton - draw energy from the thriving city of Nice.
Intimate and low-key, this hotel features tile baths and small rooms in cool color shades of peach, indigo, and white-waxed oak. Nearly all of the rooms overlook the vast, enclosed front garden, where palms and cypresses shade terrace tables, and breakfast is served most of the year. 42 rooms.Closed mid-Nov.-end Dec.
5 rue Molière, Cannes 06400, France
Chateau De La Chevre D'Or,br>
This extraordinary conglomerate of weathered-stone houses allows you to turn your back on the world and enjoy unsurpassed sea views. Most of the rooms look over the water. The swimming pool alone justifies the investment, as do the liveried footmen who greet you at the village entrance to wave you past the cattle drive of tourists. It's a member of the Relais & Ch‰teaux group. www.relaischateaux.com. 23 rooms, 9 suites. 3 restaurants, pool, bar. Closed Dec -Feb
Rue du Barri, Eze 06360, France
La Bastide De Moustiers
In the green valley below Moustiers, this 17th-century bastide (country house) has been turned into a sleek and luxurious retreat surrounded by olive trees, chestnuts, cypress, lavender, and even a medicinal herb garden. (The restaurant is closed from early January through early March, except for guests on half board.) The chestnut-shaded terrace is a small paradise. Rooms have a cool and eclectic mix of antiques and country prints without tipping into the realm of kitsch, and baths are state of the art. 11 rooms, 1 suite. Restaurant, pool.
Les Deux Fréres
This whitewashed 1854 schoolhouse has been transformed into an inn overlooking the sea. Every room is designed with a different theme. The restaurant (closed Sunday night and Monday, and mid-November through mid-December) offers ambitious and generous French cooking, either indoors by the crackling fireplace or on the terrace place overlooking the whole of the Côte d'Azur. Homemade terrines, herbed lamb, and good cheeses and pastries draw a local clientele for picturesque culinary excursions. 10 rooms. Restaurant, bar.
06190 Roquebrune Cap Martin, Village, France
Tel: +33 - (0) 493289900 Fax : +33 - (0)4 93 28 99 10
Moulin de la Camandoule
This noble old olive mill has been turned into a lovely country inn, complete with beams, the original millwheel, and a pressoir (olive press) in the middle of the bar. Rooms are fresh and charming. The restaurant serves elegant regional cooking - sea bass roasted in salt crust, quail on herbed fava bean salad, and a beef filet with black olives. The warm welcome of the Franco-British owners, whose faithful old dogs churn around their ankles, makes this feel like a weekend in a private country home. 10 rooms. Restaurant, pool.