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What’s a good hotel in Paris ?

Thursday 3 June 2021, by Colling Wood

Many of you write to us asking us to advise you on the best hotel in Paris, the best hotel in the capital etc... As you can probably imagine, this notion is very subjective. It all depends on your tastes, your budget, the area in which you want to stay. That said, we will try to answer these questions as best we can while trying to remain totally objective.

What would be a good hotel in Paris?

It is not easy to define what a good hotel is. There are so many criteria! First of all, we add the option of location, even if it is basically quite vast, we are looking for a good hotel in Paris. In order to answer this question we have chosen to define objective criteria recognised by the vast majority of users. The criteria that a good hotel or at least a good room must respect and that we will therefore develop revolve around: the bed, the pillow, the shower, the toilet, the view, the food, and the details.

Hotel rooms are so important that there are a bunch of websites dedicated to talking about them, such as TripAdvisor, where a hotel’s reputation is at stake, especially through ratings and guest reviews. Unless you’ve had a particularly scary experience, I’d say that most of the rooms you’ve stayed in have the same basic features: walls, door, bed, ceiling, toilet and shower. If they all have the same basic features, what makes some of them great and others totally crap? Let’s examine this theory in more detail and talk about what makes a hotel room good, or not!

The quality of the bed

A comfortable bed is absolutely essential, because in the end you only need a hotel room for two things: showering and sleeping. A big, soft, comfortable bed is what you want, especially after a long journey to Paris. The softness of the lumbar spring and the lumbar support. I once slept in a very small hotel room, but it had the largest and most comfortable bed I have ever had the pleasure of having and it made me forget the size of the room.
the quality of the pillow

In the same general group as ’the bed’ but equally important, the pillow takes a crucial place. There is hardly a more disheartening incident than settling into a comfortable bed, only to find that your head is resting on a rock. And it happens! It is not uncommon to find pillows that are totally uncomfortable to say the least. Hotel pillows must be the most comfortable and give you an experience you will never have elsewhere.

The shower

There are so many things that can go right or wrong with a hotel shower, so many variables. Let’s start with the basics.

Decent water pressure and the ability to maintain a constant water temperature make for a good shower at the very least. You can’t have a trickle of cold, light, icy water coming out of a shower head. Similarly, you don’t want to be stuck against the shower wall, as if you’ve been caught in a riot and the cops have turned the water cannon on you.

The size of the shower is very important. The bigger the shower, the better, and if there’s a chance you can get a double shower or an essential oil shower like at Urban Bivouac, then you’ll understand what it’s like to have a good shower, in a good hotel!

The toilets

It is difficult for anyone to come close to what the Japanese offer in terms of high quality hotel toilets. And yet there is no such thing as a good hotel without top toilets! Here too one expects if not an experience, at least cleanliness, at least the impression of being the only one to use it. Without necessarily talking about heated seats, dripping water and rainforest sounds to mask all your tinkling and all sorts of gadgets out of nowhere, but ... if in fact an excellent hotel will offer to live this unique experience.

The view

Even the smallest hotel room can be made bearable with a fantastic view. Likewise, nothing surprises you more than walking into a beautiful hotel room with a large window and a panoramic view of the city you are visiting. On the other hand, it is totally depressing to find yourself in a nice hotel with a very good room, but with only an average or even null view.

Food and drink

A good hotel in Paris must respect certain standards, not international, but French, in terms of gastronomy. What could be more illogical than to find yourself in Paris with a mini-market breakfast that you could eat in any train station or airport franchise. From a good hotel in Paris, one expects good food, a typical French breakfast, fresh products, not to mention good wine, champagne even if the budget allows it. But without talking about luxury, simplicity is also good, you need originality, even love in what is served to you. In any case, this is what you would expect from a good Parisian establishment.

Perfection is in the details

Bath towels

Large, soft, fresh, white hotel towels. Nothing makes you feel more special than wrapping a nice towel around you or, if you’re really lucky, a bathrobe and some small slippers. You want to feel like they’re still new.


Enjoying the bath products on offer while bathing in a large tub or feeling spoiled with body scrubs, facial cleansers and other little things, are obviously a big plus. We won’t go so far as to ask for a TV or a sound system in the bathroom, but basically it’s these kinds of details that make the difference.

The mirror

The must, and this is what I expect from a good hotel, is a heated mirror so that when you get out of the shower, the mirror is not completely fogged up by steam. Luxury? Yes, a little, but it makes a difference.

A little chocolate

Frankly, a little chocolate on my pillow and I’m over the moon! A little attention that doesn’t cost much but makes you feel unique! This is what you expect from a good hotel. The little chocolate should not be there to make up for mistakes made elsewhere, no, it should be the final touch, the one that will make you want to come back again and again to this place that you are starting to appreciate above all else.

Parking, transport and access

A good hotel in Paris must also offer you facilities in terms of mobility. A good hotel will offer you a parking space, but it must be said that in Paris this is relatively rare, at least in a reasonable price range. However, hotels often have privileged agreements with nearby private car parks and most of the time offer you an adjoining parking space to unload your luggage.

In Paris, a good hotel should also be well served by public transport (metro, bus, tramway), if possible have self-service bicycle stations nearby and of course be able to easily call a taxi service to reach airports, train stations, workplaces etc. Note that in Paris, motorbike taxi services can often get you around faster than a car and sometimes even the metro, depending on where you are going. In any case, it is an option not to be neglected in Paris.

As far as public transport is concerned, you should choose a hotel with a metro station, or at least a bus station, nearby, but above all, this station should be located on a line that will allow you to easily discover Paris and do what you have to do. Note that sometimes it is more interesting to find a hotel outside the historic centre, in the peripheral districts, because you will find more affordable rates, good quality rooms and often direct and efficient transport to all your destinations.

This is what I think makes a hotel good or bad. In any case, these are the elements on which I can make an objective judgment. I also rely on these elements to make a reservation, to ask questions before I even book my room. I prefer to make a phone call if I don’t have the precise information. At least I don’t have to rely solely on the reviews left by other guests, even though these are more than important most of the time.