Regardless of where you stay, hotels in Paris tend to be expensive, so it pays to do a little trip planning in advance to make sure you’re getting the most for your money. Whether you’re paying top dollar or traveling on a budget, your room will likely be smaller than you thought it would be – especially the bathroom. And unless you reserved one of the best rooms, your view may be a disappointment too.
Although you certainly want your room to comfortable, clean, and attractive, chances are that you won’t spend much time there.
Location will affect the price as much as anything. Most Paris luxury hotels are located in the 1st arrondissement, near the Louvre or the Champs Elysees. Inexpensive hotels are located further from the heart of the city, although there are some bargains in the Latin Quarter, St.-Germain-des-Pres, the Ile St.-Louis, and the Marais. As a rule, the longer the Metro ride to get to Paris attractions, the cheaper the hotel.
The Right Bank is where you’ll find haute couture shops and five-star restaurants. The Left Bank is more Bohemian with atmospheric wine bars and bistros.
When to go to Paris, if you want to save money.
Traveling off season will also get you a better deal. Although most French people travel in July and August, it’s peak season for American tourists. And Christmas and New Year’s are always popular. June and September will be a little less expensive. March, April, October, and November offer the best deals.
If you’re coming in summer, make sure your hotel has air conditioning – many don’t. And if you’re coming in winter, be prepared for colder temperatures than you’d expect.
The best hotels in Paris are usually full all year long, so if you want to stay in a smaller hotel that’s a good value, make your reservations several months in advance. Otherwise, you may be disappointed.
Don’t put too much stock in the hotel’s star rating. Given by the government, these are awarded based on service and amenities, not overall quality. A two-star hotel without an elevator can be a lot nicer than a three-star one with an elevator and a restaurant.
Paris hotels don’t have the same amenities as American ones. Alarm clocks, for example, are fairly uncommon. So if there’s something specific that you want in your room – such as Internet access – better confirm it in advance.
Breakfast in Paris can be expensive. So if you’re watching your Euros, choose a hotel that includes it in the room rate. Most places have a buffet with pastries, cheese, ham, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, orange juice, and coffee.
For luxury hotels, travel websites like Luxury Link and Vactionist are the best places to look for bargains, especially if your dates are flexible. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, Priceline and late-booking sites like Last Minute Travel can save you quite a bit.