Weekly Travel Q&A: Paris Hotels and Arrondissements

My partner and I have a lavish anniversary trip to Paris to look forward to this May. Our mission: to wine and dine our way through the city, from baguettes and café au lait to foie gras and Sauternes. While we’re not averse to spend a little extra on, say, a box of pâtisserie art from Sadaharu Aoki, we do want to restrain ourselves in the accommodations department. Modest, affordable and a decent location would all be nice. With that in mind, can you hook us up with some quality hotel and arrondissement/neighbourhood recommendations?


Fay Q., Auckland

Photo credit

A quintessential romantic jaunt in the City of Light … how nice.

Paris hotels truly run the gamut and if ever there was a time to thoroughly research your choice, this is it. Here are some ‘hoods and hotels to consider in the fine French capital.

Quartier Latin
5th arrondissement

Pros: Walk in Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast footsteps.
Cons: The Latin Quarter of Papa and James Joyce’s era is a distant memory.
Hotel Pick: Hotel Parc Saint Severin Paris

6th arrondissement

Pros: Immerse yourself in the halcyon intellectual café culture of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre at Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore.
Cons: De Beauvoir and Sartre are at Cimetière du Montparnasse and the cafés are full of tourists, not locals.
Hotel Pick: Le Petit Belloy St-Germain Hotel Paris

Le Marais
3rd and 4th arrondissements

Pros: Tony Le Marais doubles as Paris’ fashionable gay and Jewish quarter.
Cons: Expensive, on the whole.
Hotel Pick: Castex Hotel Paris

16th arrondissement

Pros: Grand monuments on your doorstep, like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Palais Chaillot.
Cons: Poor in the restaurant and café department.
Hotel Pick: Novotel Hotel Paris Tour Eiffel

18th arrondissement

Pros: The portrayal of Montmartre in Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain was pretty accurate.
Cons: Seedy and tacky Pigalle is a little too close for comfort.
Hotel Pick: Des Arts Hotel Paris

20th, 19th, 10th and 11th arrondissements

Pros: The childhood home of Édith Piaf, Belleville is multi-ethnic and artistic, with a neo-residential feel.
Cons: Not particularly flush with iconic points of interest.
Hotel Pick: Grand Hotel Amelot Paris

11th arrondissement

Pros: Trendy nightlife enclave in the under-the-radar 11th.
Cons: Far from the main tourist attractions on foot.
Hotel Pick: Beaumarchais Hotel Paris

17th arrondissement

Pros: Provides a coherent glimpse of everyday life in Paris. A part of the city where real people live, work and raise children.
Cons: If your time in Paris is short, you may grow weary of the metro commute to the traditional heart of the action.
Hotel Pick: Prince Monceau Hotel Paris

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