Europe on a Budget: Paris for the Rich (in Heart)
In our new series, Europe on a Budget, we will be compiling guides of some of our favorite value hotels in each of Europe’s most popular destinations so that even those with tight budgets can plan the trip of their dreams.
Ahh, Paris -- the art and fashion capital of the world known for its over-the-top luxury properties and bohemian boutiques. But though some (or, really, most people) can't afford a stay at the iconic, Hotel Plaza Athenee or the Hotel Mathis Elysees Matignon, it doesn't mean they have to skimp on their Parisian experience. Even the most budget-conscious travelers are sure to find value options without having to turn to crowded, 6-bed hostel rooms or chain hotels near the airport -- especially with the help of this guide. Check out our top picks for budget-friendly hotels in Paris and start packing!
Hotel Palm Opera
The 38-room Hotel Palm Opera is a well-run boutique with a fantastic central location. Rooms are clean and sophisticated with modern Danish-style minimalist decor, flat-screen TVs, and French balconies that offer excellent Parisian views. The bathrooms are as immaculately clean as are the rooms, which are also surprisingly spacious. There's little else in the way of amenities other than a small on-site dining room for breakfast, but this allows this contemporary, stylish hotel to be such a good value.
Hotel Joyce is a mid-range hotel, part of the Astotel chain group -- yet this particular hotel is very un-chain-like in design. Quirky would be a good word to describe it -- oddities such as car seats (with seatbelts) and funky light fixtures hang from the ceilings. The unique design elements mix well with the historical aspects of the hotel -- like the glass-roofed solarium and stone walls. And it all adds up to make this boutique hotel a fun value option in the 9th arrondissement. The street and neighborhood are quiet, but within walking distance are train stations, the Moulin Rouge, and restaurants, and rooms are bright with white walls, murals, and bold accents. Travelers on a budget -- and with a bit of a good sense of humor -- should check this place out.
Hotel WO - Wilson Opera
The Hotel WO is a convenient 30-room boutique with a focus on design. Rooms are small but charming, with flat-screen TVs, modern decor, and black and white photographs of Paris. It's true that some rooms are downright tiny, and in the bathrooms in Classic Rooms the shower area is practically on top of the toilet -- but booking a larger Superior Room solves this problem and doesn't come at too high of a price. Rooms on the upper floors are particularly desirable, as some have balconies and views of the Eiffel Tower. With free Wi-Fi and a convenient location for reaching popular museums and attractions, Hotel WO is a good pick.
Hotel du Lion d'Or
This 26-room basic -- but contemporary -- hotel is a stand-out choice for two reasons: reasonable room rates and the location. The property is situated in the prime 1st arrondissement of Paris, within steps of Le Louvre and Tuileries Gardens; guests will be hard-pressed to find a more affordable option in this area. Though the hotel itself certainly falls into the budget category, it's more modern than some may expect. Rooms are small and lack upscale amenities, but they have fresh bedding, flat-screen TVs and up-to-date bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi is available -- sometimes -- and a small business area can assist when it's down (which is often). For more living space, the hotel does offer apartments (studio, large flat and duplex size) that come with lounge/dining areas and full kitchens. Guests can start the day with espresso and free newspapers in the stylish breakfast room decorated with exposed stone walls.
Standard Design Hotel
The 36-room Standard Design Hotel is located in the lively Bastille district. This boutique property features creative, black and white decor in the common lounges, breakfast room, and rooms. A different accent color sets rooms apart from one another, though they all have the same appealing carpets, bedspreads, and light fixtures. The design, convenient location, and free Wi-Fi make the hotel a good value, but don't expect much in the way of amenities -- there is no gym or on-site restaurant.
The Hotel Beaumarchais is a hostel-style property -- without the bunk beds -- located near the historic Le Marais district. This colorful hotel is decorated in bright shades of pink, yellow, and red. Basic rooms have flat-screen TVs and plastic furniture. Although the bedding isn't luxurious, different room configurations are available, including single and triple rooms. Bathrooms are equally funky and offer shower/tub combos. The quirky breakfast room has outdoor seating and serves all-day breakfast, and 24-hour room service is available. While budget travelers might be drawn to this property for its location and price, there have been some complaints about cleanliness and heating issues.
Hotel Relais de Paris Eiffel Cambronne
This mid-range hotel offers 51 rooms for a decent value on the Left Bank, near the Eiffel Tower and Cambronne Metro Station. It is a simple place -- upon entering, guests will find a small lobby, computer station and front desk area. Though the interiors show some wear and tear -- especially in the bathrooms -- bold colors add a contemporary touch. Rooms are small, but have flat-screen TVs, kettles for tea and coffee, and French windows that open up to red geranium plants. Front-facing rooms are soundproofed, but may still experience noise from the busy street and above-ground train tracks. The hotel does not offer a full restaurant or bar, but there are plenty of options nearby, including La Villa Corse directly next door. Adding to the value? Wi-Fi is free throughout.