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In the past, a visit to the French capital meant a gawp at the Eiffel Tower and a soupe à l'oignon in a tourist café off the Champs-Elysées, but as travel habits change, visitors are increasingly looking for a more original experience – and the Paris hotel scene has evolved to reflect that. Those after a more characterful stay have plenty of options – from the naughty-but-chic stylings of one-off boltholes in Pigalle, a hidden country-style lodge in Montmartre to the dinky former guesthouse (now luxury hotel) where Oscar Wilde spent his last night. Here's the best boutique hotels in Paris.
How we review
Every hotel in this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, who are usually hosted on a complimentary basis. They stay for a minimum of one night, test at least one meal and trial other experiences that the hotel might have to offer.
At a glance, the best boutique hotels in Paris
Best overall boutique hotel in Paris – Hôtel Providence
Best budget boutique hotel in Paris – OFF Paris Seine
Best boutique hotel in Paris near the Louvre – Chochou Hotel
Bejewelled in lavish fabrics, unique objets d’art and superbly crafted bespoke details, this is a luxury lifestyle hotel that lives up to its promise. Every last art piece, light switch and fabric in the 1854 townhouse, which neighbours the Italianate Théâtre de la Renaissance on boulevard Saint-Martin, has been individually chosen with impeccable taste by Pierre Moussié, his wife Elodie and their friend Sophie Richard. The result is nothing short of superb. All 18 rooms are utterly gorgeous – think velvet armchairs, vintage curiosities and House of Hackney velvet wallpaper emblazoned with Art Deco banana palms and other exotic foliage.
One probably sees the intention to create a home-from-home far too often, but at this stylish property, located between the Louvre and Opéra, the concept does seem to work, with relaxed living spaces (designed by Sarah Lavoine) sporting art and design books, great squashy sofas and patterned rugs. Of the 37 rooms and suites even the smallest Cosy bedrooms are a pretty good-size for Paris, while the four Indulgence suites each feature a beautifully tiled private hammam steam bath. Some rooms come in crisp white; others with dark blue or black walls, with large round mirrors or ceramic rice-grain reliefs over the bed. Rare for Paris, there's a small pool.
The plain frontage of this fashionable Marais district hotel belies the veritable jewellery box of tasteful opulence that awaits inside. Bold colours and oriental design motifs are juxtaposed with neo-gothic décor, combined with kitsch details from Légion d'honneur-decorated designer Jacques Garcia. The attention to detail extends to the rooms, which are decorated in rich colours and furnished with fine patterned fabrics and retro light fixtures. The double bed is indulgently large and extremely comfortable. The bathrooms are the pièce de résistance of each room, with deep luxurious tubs and black granite flooring.
Le Pigalle, named after the buzzy neighbourhood in which it sits, blends retro and modern to achingly cool effect, courtesy of design duo Charlotte De Tonnac and Hugo Sauzay. Each of the 40 rooms is a little different – staying in them is like staying in the room of a hip Parisian friend with exceptionally good taste: a Seventies drinks cabinet here, a Sixties velvet armchair there, but with thoroughly modern comforts and amenities, such as television and USB sockets. Charmingly hotchpotch paintings, photos and prints (from local artists, naturally) decorate the walls and surfaces, plus a small selection of Paris-themed books.
• The palace hotels of Paris
Le Grand Pigalle was one of the first creations of Parisian cocktail mavens Experimental Group and set the tone for a clutch of hip boutique hotels to follow. The décor of the property, located on a corner located Haussmann-style building, uses chic retro pieces (panelling, plush banquette, patterned tiling) to create a space that is stylish, without being overly edgy. The long bar/restaurant offers buzzy atmosphere in the evenings with a mix of local creative types and visitors. Some rooms on the second and fifth floor have elegant wrought-iron balconies with a view over the surrounding narrow streets.
Instagram satisfaction is guaranteed at The Hoxton, with period details of the original 18th-century hôtel particulier mixing with on-point décor from the Soho House creatives. The building, an 18th-century affair – once residence of Etienne Rivié, adviser to Louis XV – adds a distinctly French flavour, with original spiral staircases and mosaic marble floors. Room categories are based purely on size: Shoebox (pretty dinky); Cosy; Roomy; Biggy (large and with high Parisian ceilings). Guests are greeted with music, courtesy of a vintage Roberts radio and each room has a small selection of books curated by a “Hoxton Friend” (creative types living or working in the local area).
This hotel has welcomed many celebrity guests throughout the years of which, of course, Oscar Wilde is the most famous. The writer rented a furnished apartment here, then the Hôtel D'Alsace, before his death in 1900. Throughout the 20th century, the address continued to attract famous figures including Ava Gardener, Frank Sinatra and the Aga Kahn. Rooms are arranged around an ornate galleried staircase, while Le Restaurant is housed under a grand glass roof. The property has been entirely renovated by Jacques Garcia and is decorated in the sumptuous and eclectic style for which the designer is known: think elaborate wall mouldings and grand chandeliers contrasting with leopard print carpets.
Hidden from the outside world, down an enchanting old-world alley in the fabled artist quartier of Montmartre, this hidden 19th-century mansion is the last word in Parisian chic. It was previously home to members of the Hermès and Rothschild families, and the house has lost none of its bourgeois-home charm. The five suites are spacious and eclectic, and the fashionable cocktail bar and restaurant, with dreamy summer seating, is in the little black book of every Parisian A-lister. The real darling with Parisian fashionistas is Le Très Particulier, the back-door cocktail bar with tasty tapas, tropical Garden of Eden décor and a bewitching summer garden.
This hotel is very much a celebration of French design, craftsmanship, and culture. Its blue and white palette references France’s national colours, suites pay homage to French cultural icons, and in the large open restaurant, which is crowned by a huge glass verrerie and lit with strings of bare bulbs, it’s all about sharing a love of French wines and gastronomy across communal dining tables. Regular live music events play everything from 1920s French hits to Daft Punk and Sunday’s comedy nights, also in French, are clearly aimed at a local crowd. Sitting on the edge of the hip 9th Arrondissement it's got easy access to many of Paris’ main sights.
The hotel comprises two identical properties, 'Adele' and 'Jules', two doors apart, which adds a touch of idiosyncratic character and a dose of Parisian architectural atypicality. The hotel has a low-key contemporary look, with an emphasis on comfort and homeliness in the form of warm colours, comfortable furnishings and soft lighting. The lobby/dining area (identical in both buildings) features a well-stocked bookshelf and comfortable sofa and Paris-themed contemporary artwork. It feels homely and livable, and even in the dinkier standard doubles, space is used judiciously. Some rooms feature terraces that back onto the courtyard, and there are pretty balconies on the second and fifth floors.
This low key but stylish hotel enjoys a central location, with easy access to the Louvre and Palais Garnier opera. Décor mixes the French features of the Haussmanian building with contemporary furnishings. Standout features include the dark Hungarian parquet in the lobby and a vintage chrome stove in the breakfast area. There is a subtle literary theme, with French novels decorating the attractive bookshelf in the lobby, and a small selection in the rooms. Décor is crisp and contemporary, with touches of a retro aesthetic – think copper lamps and Deco-style patterns on the fabrics. There are some attractive period features too, such as wall mouldings and exposed wood beams in some rooms.
There’s no forgetting you’re in Paris at this groundbreaking hotel afloat a stylish boat on the River Seine. The innovative Elegancia hotel group behind Paris’s first boat hotel has created a floating cocoon where guests can disconnect from urban life. With its beachy lounge bar – fast becoming a hot spot for sundowners among trendy Parisians – and laidback vibe, this is an address where guests kick off their shoes, dip their toes in the water and relax on a shimmering golden Fatboy with ethereal Seine views. The beauty of waking up to a water view and Parisian péniches sailing by is likewise undeniable and it's a great value price per night too.
Contributions by Natasha Edwards, Hannah Meltzer & Nicola Williams