À tête reposée

A few times a year I get asked for suggestions for where to stay in Paris. These days, I’m usually staying with students, so I’m not the best source for four star hotels. But here’s my list of places I’ve stayed or places people I know have stayed.

If I’m going to be in Paris for a week or more with my family, we rent an apartment. Ask lots of questions and ask to see pictures of the street view. We rented one once that was above a café. It was a warm week and we had to leave the windows open to sleep. The café didn’t get quiet until 2 AM and the garbage trucks came about 5 AM. Still, it was great to walk a couple of minutes to rue Montorgueil for fresh pastries for breakfast to eat chez nous.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the four star Best Western Premier Au Manoir Saint Germain des Prés, 153 Boulevard Saint-Germain, in the heart of the Latin Quarter. The décor is charming, the location is superb, and I loved the breakfast in the lovely, light-filled salon. Expect to spend at least 300 Euros a night. When we stayed there, it wasn’t a Best Western property. I got the address from one of Karen Brown’s books listing charming hotels. I’ve used her recommendations several times and never been disappointed.  

A pretty little hotel I stayed at in the Seventh Arrondissement is the Hôtel du Champ de Mars, 7 rue du Champ de Mars. It’s right next to the Eiffel Tower. Breakfast is served on a tray brought to the room. Expect to pay 115 Euros for a double room.

Right around the corner is the Grand Hôtel Leveque, 29 rue Cler. Rue Cler has a fun market scene and plenty of restaurants. You’re even closer to the Eiffel Tower here. The last time I was there, they’d redone the lobby, but the rooms were still a little dated. Still, the price is right. A double is 95 Euros and a single starts at just 62.

Ibis and Mercure are part of the Accor group. They have about 60 locations in Paris alone. The Mercure hotels are in the center of the city and are more expensive with full services. The Ibis hotels are simpler and less expensive and located in the second ring of Arrondissements, just outside of the center of town.  Expect to expect $130 for an Ibis hotel and $300 and up for a Mercure. I stayed in the Ibis at Place d’Italie and I’ve stayed at several Mercure properties in France and they’ve all been completely satisfactory, even if they aren’t necessarily romantic or charming.

If budget is a major consideration, check out the MIJE youth hostels in the Marais, where you can get a private room with a shower for 49 Euros and that includes breakfast! You do not have to be a backpacking teenager to stay here. They have three different fully-renovated, ancient buildings: 6 rue de Fourcy, 11 rue du Fauconnier, and 12 rue des Barres.

If you can’t get in there, try the FIAP Jean Monnet hostel, 30 rue Cabanis in the 14th Arrondissement. The price is 61.20 Euros with breakfast. It’s modern and clean, but purely functional. The neighborhood doesn’t have much to recommend it, but it’s close to the Denfert Rochereau subway stop, so you can get where you need to go.

Now, here are some names of hotels friends I trust have stayed at near the Jardin du Luxembourg:

Hôtel de l’Odéon, 13 rue Saint Sulpice – 261 Euros and up for a double

Hôtel du Panthéon, 19 place du Panthéon – 134 Euros and up for a double

Hôtel Jardin le Bréa, 14 rue Bréa  – 132 Euros and up for a double

Today’s expression, à tête reposée (ah tet ruhpozay) literally means “by rested head.” It refers to having the opportunity to reflect on a decision or situation. After a good night’s sleep, you’ll be ready to take on Paris, perhaps the world.

 Karen Brown’s France Hotels 2010: Exceptional Places to Stay & Itineraries

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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