5th Arrondissement (Latin Quarter), Paris, France
Perhaps the best aspect of this mid-range hotel is its close proximity (literally steps) to Notre Dame Cathedral. This also means guests have direct access to the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain for unbeatable culture and many restaurants. But it's not only about the location -- the rooms, designed by Christian LaCroix, are something special, with funky colors, fabrics, and eccentric touches everywhere. The building is about 400 years old, so it has some quirks. For example, the lobby is on the second floor, and guests have to lug their bags up the stairs to get there (the elevator doesn't go there). For the young and adventurous, the Hotel Le Notre Dame is a great choice. The area is bustling with vendors, tourists, and traffic, which brings in a bit of noise but also a lot of excitement. But for those who want to relax and have a lot of options in the hotel itself, they won't find it here -- aside from the necessity to climb stairs, there is no fitness center, or restaurant (though there is a breakfast served).