Where to stay: Paris

The great thing about Paris is that it’s relatively small, which means that wherever you stay you’ll most likely find that you can walk to all of the major sights within half an hour. Staying a bit out of the centre can be very rewarding, not least because if usually allows you to see a less touristy side to Paris – but that said, it’s never hard to find quieter streets in this city.

We usually stay in Montmartre, which would be my top recommendation for a honeymoon (or any other) visit – though in the north of the city, it only takes around half an hour to walk into the centre, and, aside from the areas immediately around Sacré Coeur and the Moulin Rouge, it has a wonderful, local feel, and is full of interesting little streets crammed with bars, cafes and quirky little shops.

Hotels in Paris are expensive, so be prepared to shell out a fair amount if you want all-out luxury. That said, do see what kind of offers travel agents have, and look into booking a package (train + hotel; plane + hotel) with Eurostar or a company like Expedia.

Hotel Particulier Montmartre

The most sumptuous place to stay in Montmartre (and with a price to match), Hotel Particulier Montmartre boasts a very private, tucked-away position, set among peaceful gardens. Each of the five suites has been individually designed and decorated, boasting a quirky blend of striking modern art and period features such as roll-top baths. From £325 a night.

Hotel Design de la Sorbonne

We were very impressed when we spent a few nights here – it is definitely worth shelling out for a superior or deluxe room for a little more space, though even these are fairly compact (though not uncomfortably so). Stylishly furnished with bold wallpaper and a blend of old and new styles, the rooms boast IMacs that double as the TV, CD and DVD player, and offer free internet access. It’s just opposite the Sorbonne, ideally placed for exploring the Left Bank and a short walk from the wonderful Luxembourg Gardens. From £84 a night.

Hôtel Notre Dame

If Paris immediately brings to mind fashion houses and haute couture, then this might just be the place for you: each of the rooms at this boutique hotel have been individually designed by no less that Christian Lacroix, so expect a sumptuous individuality. It’s hard to beat the location – right opposite the eponymous cathedral, and so enjoying some absolutely breathtaking views, within easy reach of the best of St Germain and the Latin Quarter, and a stone’s through away from the islands, the Marais (one of my favourite areas), and the Louvre. I love the quirkiness of the bedrooms – if you’re a fan of minimalist or even classic chic than this won’t be for you – but it’s great to see something so vibrant and unique in the city. From £160 a night.

Hotel Lancaster

If you want to stay right in the thick of things, are prepared to shell out some serious cash (and why not, it is your honeymoon, after all), and want all-out luxury and glamour, then you should consider one of the grande dames of the Paris hotel scene, such as Le Meurice (featured as a room with a view here), the Ritz, the George V, or L’hotel. Hotel Lancaster offers all of the sophistication that you could want, but with just 57 rooms and suites it enjoys a wonderful intimate feeling that a lot of larger hotels lack. Expect suitably sumptuous surroundings, decorated with antique furniture and complemented by up-to-date touches like iPod docks, flat screen TVs and DVD players, and a handy location just off the Champs Élysées. From £442 a night.

Hotel Bonsejour Montmartre

This is where we usually stay – and I’m not going to shy away here, it’s not really what I (or you, most likely) would classify as a honeymoon hotel. For a start, there’s no en-suite, so you have to be prepared wander down the hallway if you need the loo, furnishings are basic, there’s no TV, no room service, no evening turn-down, no laundry, no lift, and no concierge to sort out hard-to-get dinner reservations or opera tickets. So, why on earth am I suggesting it? Well, if you’re on a budget, or perhaps just would rather save your money for food, wine or sightseeing, and if you don’t mind what your hotel room is like, then this is a really great place to consider. It’s slap bang in the middle of Montmartre, just off lively rue des Abbesses; rooms may be basic, but they are spacious and clean; and, for just €69, you can have your own private balcony, on which you can sip wine, look out onto the quintessential Parisian street, and feel for a short while as though you’re living there. If you stay here, don’t book any room other than a balcony room – the balcony is what elevates this place from being fine to being wonderful, plus you get a shower and basin in your room (but still no toilet). The family who run the hotel are very sweet, but you’ll be left to yourselves here – which is pretty much what you want on honeymoon, right? From £59.


To see the location of all of these hotels, see the map here.


Photographs courtesy of Hotel Particulier Montmartre; Hotel Design de la Sorbonne; Hôtel Notre Dame; Hotel Lancaster.

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