Another note on Paris, all of Europe really. Hotel rooms are TINY. Elevators in hotels are TINY. With the exception of the big box hotels (Georges V, The Ritz, for example), this is true nearly everywhere, so just something to have in the back of your mind when you arrive. Nothing to be done about it, but it should certainly inform the way you pack.
HAVEN IN PARIS
ver the past 12 years, we have been to Paris at least 12 times, and I would say that the most life-changing moment was when I finally gave into my husband’s desire to rent apartments rather than stay in hotels. He promised the experience would be more authentic, our days would be more relaxed, and we would have more room (see note above). I will admit that he was absolutely correct, and it’s what we have done on every trip, and we have almost always used Haven in Paris, a company specializing in apartment rentals in Paris, Provence, London and Tuscany. All of their properties are clean and beautiful and their service is fantastic (they can also act as a concierge service for your stay, organizing everything from airport transfers to dinner reservations). Our favorites have been The Odeon and The St. Germain Luxe , which are in the same building and are great if you’re traveling with another family. They are in a fantastic location right above the Odeon Metro station and around the corner from Le Comptoir (see Paris: Where to Eat), and together or separate they are both incredible apartments. The Luxe is one more flight up and is slightly larger than The Odeon, but other than that there is really no difference. We also loved The Rosiers which is in the most perfect location in the Marais.
109 BOULEVARD MALESHERBES, 75008
While I’m discussing apartment rentals, I should also mention this one in particular, although I am sure there are a million great ones on all of the rental sites (VRBO, Air BnB, etc). We found it on VRBO when we were looking to travel with a larger group (there were 8 of us), and wanted to rent an apartment. As I’ve mentioned, things are small in Paris, but this 5-bedroom apartment literally might be the most spectacular place I have ever seen. It is in a beautiful building on a serene street in the 8th, around the corner from the Parc Monceau. When you think of a Parisian apartment, this is it – a perfect blend of vintage and modern and a great place for a group to spend time together in Paris. I should also mention that the owner is also really helpful with setting up concierge services for your stay.
LE PONT ROYAL
7 rue Montalembert, 75007
+33 1 42 84 70 00
The location is perfect, right in the heart of the 7th and walking distance to almost everything. We stayed in the incredible Panoramic Suite with a terrace and the most perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. Oh, and you also have the pleasure of Atelier de Joel Robuchon as your hotel restaurant.
3 rue de Montalembert, 75007
+ 33 1 45 49 68 01
For some reason, and I could be totally wrong, I feel as though The Montalembert was the first real “boutique” hotel. Or at least the first one I ever heard of. In any event, it’s a classic, in a great location with a great service. The rooms - surprise, surprise – are TEENSY, and the elevators are questionable, but I happened to have loved my stay here, and if I was in a situation where I needed a hotel in Paris, this would be it.