Room service, air-conditioning, and on-site elevator
In-room massage and beauty treatments available on request
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Not walking distant to most top sights
Fee for breakfast
No in-room coffee/tea facilities or minibars
Charge for Nespresso in some Suites
No on-site parking
The Five Hotel, a 25-room boutique property, will appeal to those looking for a romantic, reasonable stay on the Left Bank. Located in a quiet section of the busy Latin Quarter, this three-pearl property is close to public transportation, but it's a haul on the metro to reach most top sights. Decor is lush and atmospheric, especially the sultry, fire-engine red lobby and lounge. Rooms can be just as splashy and they have flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and sleek bathrooms -- though minibars/mini-fridges and extras like coffee and tea facilities are missing. Travelers could comparison shop with the artsy Hotel Observatoire Luxembourg, which is next to Luxembourg Gardens and has the added perk of breakfast included.
Boutique property with high-wattage design in public spaces
From the outside, The Five Hotel could be any other Belle Epoque building, with tall windows and Juliet balconies perfectly blending with its neighbors. But inside, a splashy design practically pulsates from the red-lacquered lobby and the lounge, which transforms from a breakfast room into a self-serve bar after hours. Light ricocheting off the high-gloss walls creates a feeling of constant movement, and there's more than a few nods to 1960s space-capsule style.
At breakfast, guests load up on pastries or fruit beneath a wavy ceiling that has a dizzying effect. But the space's eclectic collection of books, ranging in topic from avant-garde fashion to Baroque art, invites lingering even without food and drink. The pod-like banquette gives an excellent spot to hunker down, and a digital jukebox here can provide a groovy soundtrack. Guests tend to be couples on romantic jaunts, but it also draws families, as its energetic, playful atmosphere has tons of kid appeal.
Quiet neighborhood with affordable eateries and good public transit; far from many top sights
The Five Hotel is situated on a quiet side street in the Latin Quarter, on the southern edge of the 5th Arrondissement. The neighborhood, dubbed the "students' quarter" because it's where the Sorbonne is located, is packed with inexpensive restaurants and bars. The hotel isn't within walking distance of most top sights, with the exception of Luxembourg Gardens and one of Paris's most famous open-air markets on nearby Rue Mouffetard. The closest metro station is Les Gobelins, just six minutes on foot. Charles de Gaulle Airport is about a 45-minute drive, and it's roughly a 20-minute car ride to Orly Airport.
Design-conscious rooms with plush details, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks; no minibars or coffee/tea
The Five Hotel calls their guest rooms "Cocoons," and the title fits. Some feature a dreamy celestial motif, with twinkling stars dotting ceilings and breezy string curtains, while others are more contemporary and tailored. Textured wallpaper and drapes are done in vibrant hues such as raspberry pink and turquoise, and built-in furnishings keep things streamlined, helpful as some of the spaces run small (though no smaller than norm for Paris, with Standards and Superiors averaging about 112 square feet). Several rooms offer views of the interior courtyard surrounded by Parisian rooftops, and a few have romantic, suspended beds.
All rooms have flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, desks, mirrored wardrobes, safes, and air-conditioning, but there are no minibars or mini-fridges, or extras like coffee/tea facilities, or bottled water. Basic, modern bathrooms in classic units have pedestal sinks and stall showers or shower/tub combos with removable showerheads.
Those looking for more space could consider the hotel's suite, which has a terrace and an outdoor whirlpool. Upgrades here include terrycloth robes, a heated towel rack in the bathroom, and a Nespresso machine -- although coffee pods aren't free. There's also an ultra-luxurious apartment-style suite on the ground floor that provides more than 530 square feet.
Snazzy breakfast room and cocktail lounge, plus free Wi-Fi
The Five Hotel may be heavy on romance, but it's light on amenities. Off the lobby, there's a breakfast lounge that doubles as a self-serve bar during the afternoon and evening. Breakfast, which isn't included in the room rate, has items such as yogurt, fruit, and pastries, with eggs, bacon, and sausage made to order. The bar is stocked with everything from wine to spirits to Champagne.
The hotel has free Wi-Fi throughout, and there's no charge for printing up to 10 pages at reception. Other features include room service, laundry service, in-room massage and beauty treatments (provided by an outside company), and an elevator, but no on-site parking.