Last summer I tried out the concept of staying at a bed-and-breakfast in Paris. I found the experience a bit odd. I researched and secured a lovely apartment, beautifully decorated and around the corner from the Musée Picasso in the Marais, which is a perfect location. The proprietor was a very charming gay guy who had to move out in order to move me in. The whole apartment still smelled of his cologne. It seemed I was staying in his only bedroom. Maybe it was a way of making a few bucks (he moved across the street to his boyfriend’s house), but it seemed a bit unsettling to me. He was perfectly nice and brought me excellent croissants each morning, but the experience was not what I had expected. I had assumed (you know what they say about that) that I’d be staying in an extra bedroom. I’m not giving up, though—this is probably the cheapest way to stay in the city and has the potential to be a unique and charming experience that will allow you to really get to know a local. I recommend it for the adventurous and the friendly, not for those who feel privacy is paramount. Do ask a lot of questions before you book.
Here are a few other B and Bs I found that are worth sampling:
Paris Oasis, on rue André del Sarte, close to Sacré-Coeur, is 100–150 euros per night (depending on the room) for two. Prices are slightly more for more people, and there’s a three-night minimum. It pays to have friends. This maison in the 18th Arrondissement (Montmartre) has an indoor pool and a lovely exterior garden. There are six bedrooms, some with kitchenettes, but no breakfast. Guess you’d call it a bed sans breakfast. Some rooms are better decorated than others, so be choosy.
B&B Folie Oberkampf is a cute guest apartment in the 11th (the owners have two other places for rent), run as a B and B starting at 85 euros per night. Now that’s a bargain—you’ll have your own apartment complete with a kitchen and living room. These owners like color, and you’ll have to walk up the stairs, but it’s the best deal in town short of a hostel.
Bonne Nuit Paris will set you up in an ancient building in the Marais, on the wonderful rue Charlot. Rates for two start at 125 euros a night, with a breakfast of bread/croissants and homemade jam. Owned by a French man and an American woman; you’ll enjoy their hospitality.
Bateau Johanna is another boat, close to the Tuileries, with two rooms. Rate for two: 100 euros. Two-night minimum.
There are countless companies, so enjoy the search and let us know how you find B and B-ing in Paris.
Tags: 11th Arrondissement, 13th Arrondissement, 15th Arrondissement, 17th Arrondissement, 8th Arrondissement, 9th Arrondissement, B and Bs, Doni Belau, France, Montmartre, Neighborhoods, Paris, planning your trip, the Marais, thrifty Paris, travel, women