When staying at hotels in France, there is no reason to break the bank whether you’re visiting Paris or another part of the country. Here is a selection of affordable yet stylish places to hang your head for a night or two.
1. Hôtel Fontaines du Luxembourg* is a family-owned hotel a stone’s throw from the Luxembourg gardens in Paris. It’s not only the location that’s appealing; the eclectic, baroque-inspired decor, with shocks of color, will remind you that this is a unique boutique hotel experience. The price is right, with rooms starting at under $100 per night.
2. Hôtel Sainte-Beuve* is a charmer of a Parisian hotel near Montparnasse, the Luxembourg gardens and the Vavin area of Saint-Germain. The service here is extremely kind and personal. I adore the red, homey decor of the lobby and breakfast room, and the rooms are just right for around $200 a night and up.
3. Le Relais Saint-Sulpice* has long been a favorite little hotel of mine, tucked right around the corner from the famous Saint-Sulpice church in the always-chic 6th Arrondissement, on the left bank of Paris. Decorated in a style reminiscent of Paris in the 1920s, the tiny interior courtyard will charm you, as will the rooms. The rates, starting at $300 per night, can’t be beat for this central area of Paris.
4. Taylor Hotel* is a two-star hotel near the trendy Canal Saint-Martin area in Paris, with rates starting at only $100 a night. I love the light, airy decor and the location, which is just a short walk to the canal and République.
5. Hôtel de Buci* is a very chic little hotel in one of the most sought-after parts of the 6th Arrondissement, smack-dab in the middle of the Buci market area. From here you can walk to Notre Dame and the Louvre, and you’ll be staying in style. Rooms run the gamut from more traditional to grand and begin at $300 a night and up.
6. Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc is a cute little place that’s been situated in the Marais for many, many years. You’ll find fairly basic rooms without fanfare, but the decor reflects an artistic sensibility. Rates for single rooms begin at under $100, and for doubles, just over. But for this very low price (for Paris, that is), you’ll be right in the middle of the trendiest area in Paris!
7. A stay at the Relais Montmartre begins at under $200 a night for a charming and cozy room decorated in a flowery, traditional style. What the hotel lacks in hipness is made up for with its fantastic location, which is right around the corner from the rue Lepic and the café where the movie Amélie was filmed. If you are staying in the darling Montmartre area, this is exactly where you want to be.
8. Near Bergerac, in the Dordogne area of southwestern France, sits Château les Merles, an extremely stylish hotel with rates starting at $150 a night. Posh decor in the 13 rooms and suites awaits you, as does a sparkling pool in the summer. An apartment can also be rented for those traveling en famille. From here you can discover the Dordogne region of France, its lovely wines, châteaux and rivers.
9. Moulin Renaudiots lies in the Burgundy region, in the eastern part of France, with rooms beginning at around $150 a night. You’ll enjoy minimalist, Danish-inspired design in a fine manor house. It’s located near the village of Autun, not far from the stunning vineyards of the Côte du Beaune, and from here you can go triping and taste the delicious Montrachet, Chassagne and Pommard wines.
10. Provence conjures up images of Peter Mayle books and endlessly gorgeous French summers, but you can end up spending an arm and a leg during a trip here. Thankfully, le Couvent d’Hérépian, a remodeled 17th-century convent, is a lovely French country-chic abode starting at a mere $150 a night. It has an indoor pool, a spa, a library and 13 suites—meaning you’ll stay in style in the rural Languedoc without spending too much for it.
An even more cost-efficient way to trip France is to stay in a gîte or a chambre d’hôte, which you can search for on the web. Gîtes are guesthouses that people rent out on their property, and they can range from plain to spectacular, depending on the style of their owners. Often you can find a place to rent for a week for around $500. A chambre d’hôte is a step down from a hotel; it is more like a bed-and-breakfast in someone’s home, but many can be absolutely marvelous. (See links below for our favorite websites at which to search for chambres d’hôtes and gîtes.)
*Note: Hotels 1–5, noted with an asterisk, give special rates and/or VIP treatment to guests who are GO-Card members. Read more.
Hôtel Fontaines du Luxembourg
Le Relais Saint-Sulpice
Hôtel de Buci
Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc
Château les Merles
Le Couvent d’Hérépian
Search for chambres d’hôtes
Search for gîtes