The best boutique hotels in Paris

Author: Alice Cavanagh & Anna Vu

While the grandes dames of the Parisian hotel industry have blossomed anew - The Ritz Paris has had a lavish facelift and a newly madeover Hôtel de Crillon reopens next year - at the other end of the spectrum is a new breed of boutique hotel: well appointed, well priced and drawing energy and inspiration from the street, be it the gentrifying boulevards of the once-shabby 9th and 10th arrondissements and the often overlooked 13th, or the cobblestone squares of the Left Bank. Their focus is on local experiences, embracing their neighbours and communities, and they're full of brocante finds, bold palettes and an appealing Parisian insouciance.



A Junior Suite bathroom at Hôtel Panache.

Hôtel PANACHE

Neighbourhood Central to the city's great monuments by day and hotspots by night.

Guest list Out-of-town weekenders and resident young professionals.

Style This elegant Montmartre hotel sits in the scrum of the Grands Boulevards, wedged between diamond dealers, sports bars and comedy theatres. Don't let that deter you - this quartier is where well-to-do creatives live and dine, and the hotel's buzzy ground-floor restaurant is a draw for locals and visitors alike. The restaurant is overseen by David Lanher, of Racines and Caffé Stern, with promising young chefs Paul Landre and William Ranson preparing seasonal set lunches and share plates for dinner. Parisian designer du jour Dorothée Meilichzon's signature is splashed about in geometric motifs, retro furnishings and a calming palette of blue, green and anthracite grey. For this project - her fourth Parisian hotel in four years - she has added Art Noveau tropes to her arsenal in decorative bedheads, custom-made Areti brass lamps, 1920s-style ceramic light switches and replicas of the 1930s Ericsson black Bakelite telephone in each of the 40 rooms.

We love The windowed façade and mirrored interiors of the ground-floor restaurant, perfect for the very Parisian occupation of people-watching.

Rooms from $300. 1 rue Geoffroy-Marie, 75009, +33 1 4770 8587, hotelpanache.com




Looking out to the winter garden at Hôtel Henriette.

Hôtel Henriette

Neighbourhood Off the beaten track, in the forgotten 13th.

Guest list Left Bankers and modern bohemians.

Style "Broc 'n' roll" is the term used by Paris designer-hotelier Vanessa Scoffier to describe the Instagram-friendly interiors of Hôtel Henriette, on a quiet street close to the Left Bank Mouffetard district. The combination of floral-print feature walls and flea-market finds is a welcome antidote to hotel uniformity. Much like staying in someone's home, each room has been uniquely furnished with one-off vintage pieces and quirky objets. Downstairs is a walled winter garden and patio, a charming spot for the generous breakfast spread (fruit, pastries, cheese, charcuterie, eggs), handy in a neighbourhood short on memorable eateries. The hotspots of central Paris, however, are just a short Métro ride away.

We love The hotel's helpful concierge service and online guide, which offers unexpected and personalised local tips.

Rooms from $130. 9 rue des Gobelins, 75013, +33 1 4707 2690 hotelhenriette.com





Club room interior at Hôtel Verneuil.

Hôtel VERNEUIL

Neighbourhood Saint-Germain des Prés, right by the Seine.

Guest list Bookish types, Serge Gainsbourg fans.

Style More chic B&B than hotel, the 26-room Verneuil is a tranquil refuge despite being close to some of Paris's most-visited sights, among them the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay. Opposite Serge Gainsbourg's former home in a peaceful street among antique shops and galleries, the renovated 17th-century townhouse wears its age with ease, with whitewashed beams, and walls lined with books referencing the Left Bank's literary greats. Guestrooms range in size from petite to modest, but what they lack in size they make up for in comfort and style. Start the day with breakfast pastries from fêted boulangerie Dominique Saibron, served in-room or downstairs in the vaulted basement among backlit alcoves filled with more books, and end it in the hotel's chic ground-floor lounge bar and library.

We love Location, location.

Rooms from $286. 8 rue de Verneuil, 75007, +33 1 4260 8214, hotel-verneuil-saint-germain.com. Book with Mr & Mrs Smith for the best available rates and a gift on arrival. 1300 89 6627, mrandmrssmith.com

 



Room interiors at Hôtel & Spa La Belle Juliette.

Hôtel & Spa La Belle Juliette

Neighbourhood Saint-Germain des Prés, minutes from Le Bon Marché.

Guest list Shoppers seeking retail (and spa) therapy.

Style Named after 18th-century socialite and beauty Juliette Récamier, the hotel has 45 rooms and suites, each offering a glimpse of her colourful life in framed letters and portraits, while each floor is themed around significant events in her life. Colour schemes range from romantic, bright hues to muted cool tones in a clever blend of old-world Parisian character and mid-century furnishings, with modern conveniences such as iMacs equipped with Apple TV in each room. Chef Flora Mikula has designed a small Italian-inspired menu ideal for snacking by the bar, in the dining salon or out on the terrace overlooking the garden, alongside a new wing of gardenview gardenview rooms. The basement features a bijoux spa with treatment rooms, hammam and a pool with a current for lap swimmers.

We love The pool is available to book exclusively at no extra cost, perfect for relaxing after a day of shopping.

Rooms from $248. 92 rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006, +33 1 4222 9740. Book with Mr & Mrs Smith for the best available rates and a gift on arrival. 1300 89 6627, mrandmrssmith.com





Le Pigalle.

LE PIGALLE

Neighbourhood The neon heart of the red-light district.

Guest list Fashionistas and night owls.

Style Pigalle has been transformed in recent years, but this new hotel has chosen to embrace rather than gloss over the neighbourhood's racy past. For the fit-out, young Parisian architects Charlotte de Tonnac and Hugo Sauzay, of design studio Festen, have cleverly juxtaposed traditional Parisian styling, such as wood panelling and parquet floors, with louche bordello-style touches - the bathrooms downstairs are lined with veined black marble and there are hints of leopard print, and oxbloodcoloured carpets throughout the hotel. Le Pigalle draws its energy in large part from its neighbours: a local DJ chose the vinyl selection in each room; the art books scattered about are from the local bookshop Les Arpenteurs; the beer is made by the nearby Goutte d'Or brewery. Guests ascend from the buzzing bar and restaurant downstairs to 40 artfully designed guestrooms, each with turntables, well-stocked minibars and neighbourhood objets and souvenirs, lending Le Pigalle the air of a pied-à-terre rather than a hotel. Rooms on the upper floor have views of the Parisian rooftops.

We love The hotel nightlife, which features DJs playing funk and soul Thursday to Saturday nights, and a monthly pole-dancing performance by Anna "the pole dancing queen".

Rooms from $143. 9 rue Frochot, 75009, +33 1 4878 3714, lepigalle.paris





Top-floor La Suite at Hôtel Providence.

HÔTEL PROVIDENCE

Neighbourhood The bustling 10th arrondissement.

Guest list Romantics of any age.

Style This 19th-century brothel turned boutique hotel, set back from a cobblestone square beside Porte Saint-Denis, is ripe for a romantic sojourn. Downstairs, the expansive restaurant and lounge has a long wooden bar, discreet corner settings, low lighting and log fire - ideal for intimate cocktails or clandestine dinners - while upstairs, lush styling sets the scene for a tryst. Seventeen guestrooms have dark wooden floors, brass fittings and antique oil paintings juxtaposed with House of Hackney velvet wallpaper. Rooms range from the jewelbox-like Mini room with its statement Art Deco-style bedhead to the light-filled top-floor La Suite with spacious bathroom and sweeping views of Sacré Coeur.

We love The custom-fitted bar in each room, stocked with an ice-maker, copper cocktail shaker, a cocktail recipe book and good booze.

Rooms from $170. 90 rue René Boulanger, 75010, +33 1 4634 3404, hotelprovidenceparis.com





The winter garden at COQ Hotel Paris.

COQ Hotel Paris

Neighbourhood A stone's throw from Place d'Italie in the 13th.

Guest list Laidback conversationalists who don't mind mixing.

Style This elegant new four-star hotel, located a little out of the way in the 13th arrondissement, was created in the spirit of a boutique members' club. At COQ, which stands for Community of Quality, breakfast is served in the downstairs bar, where guests also linger and mingle over board games in the evenings. Decorated in a mix of classic French, Italian and mid-century Danish designs, each of the 50 rooms are cast in deep blues and greys, offset by mustard accents and brass fixtures, with houndstooth carpets in the corridors. There's space enough to relax in the rooms, but the small bar and dining room downstairs, with a fire in winter, is the place to be.

We love The hotel's commitment to French-made, from the linen to the mattresses, the merino throws and timber floors from Limoges.

Rooms from $151. 15 rue Édouard Manet, 75013, +33 1 4586 3599, coq-hotel-paris.com





The breakfast room at Hôtel Saint-Marc.

HÔTEL SAINT-MARC

Neighbourhood A stroll from Opéra Garnier and the Palais-Royal.

Guest list Designers, Instagrammers.

Style Though this new boutique hotel stretches our budget beyond the 200 mark ($300), its central location, striking styling and generously proportioned rooms make it a real find. The 18th century building, near the theatre district of the 2nd arrondissement was once the private home of a duke. High-profile Milanese design group Dimorestudio is behind the Art Deco-inspired makeover of 25 guestrooms with soaring ceilings, a spacious breakfast room and an oasis-like central courtyard. The rooms are decorated in a bold palette of petrol green, pink, Burgundy, sky blue, mustard yellow and fir-tree green, and furnished with custom-made Art Deco-style bedheads, mirrors and lamps. Dimorestudio designed it all, from the stunning black and white marble lobby to the green velvet club chairs and brightly hued palm print woven into Louis de Poortere carpets. In the basement is a hammam and a small heated swimming pool with hydro-massage jets and a counter-current for lap swimmers; guests can book the pool by the hour for private sessions.

We love The sumptuous top-floor Suite with its stunning pink marble bathroom.

Rooms from $374. 36 rue Saint-Marc, 75002, +33 1 4286 7272, hotelsaintmarc.com







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