Hotel against. Airbnb: where to stay in Paris

“Paris is always a good idea”, enthuses Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, and millions of travelers agree. People are visiting the Romantic City of Lights in record numbers. But where to stay once you’ve walked the Champs Elysée: a full service hotel or a DIY Airbnb? Both have their looks to suit your preferences.

When choosing a basic location, keep the size of the city in mind, both for sightseeing and safety. Paris runs from the center outwards, with arrondissements – or neighborhoods – numbered concentrically starting with 1 in the center, then looping in small circles. These numbers are similar to postal codes.

For tourist purposes, the 1st through 6th arrondissements are all located next to each other in the middle of the ring and are easy places to explore, just like those that make up the next circle level. The 7th (where the Eiffel Tower is located) and 8th (Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées) are home to many hotels. The 9th to 11th arrondissements are also convenient places to stay.

Why choose a hotel in Paris

In general, hotels offer you a range of services that make a trip to Paris as easy as saying Hello. At larger hotels, you can expect a concierge who can create detailed itineraries or make hard-to-obtain reservations; smaller hotels will have front desk staff who can help you with directions and suggestions. Most hotels offer food and drink, even if it’s only a light breakfast, and some have real restaurants and even room service, which means breakfast at the hotel. bed. In addition, all hotels, regardless of size, will have a housekeeping service with clean towels, toiletries and crisp linens.

Paris is known for its small charming hotels – small properties, often with equally modest price tags, but which offer charm in buckets. In the sought after 6th arrondissement, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, you will find affordable nuggets such as the Artus, which has 26 individually decorated rooms in the style of the 50s and an ideal location on rue de Buci close to classic cafes and independent shops. It’s a personal favorite; when i stayed with my husband the front desk recognized us after a day and offered warm greetings – usually by name – whenever we returned from our sightseeing excursions. The staff also offered personal suggestions on where to eat, shop, and walk around based on their preferences, which was a good way to get an insider’s view of the neighborhood.

A room at the Shangri La hotel in Paris.

Another strong point of the Parisian hotel: the grande dame “palace” hotels, so called for their lavish appointments, high ceilings, marble floors and crystal chandeliers. A few that stand out include the Four seasons George V, The hotel Meurice, and The Shangri-La. These large hotels often offer perks like swimming pools, decadent spas, decadent restaurants, private gardens, and elite concierges.

Once, when I stayed at the Shangri La Resort, the concierge was able to get me sold-out tickets to a museum show as well as access to skip-the-line entrance – exactly the kind of VIP benefit that I had imagined in a five star establishment. . There was also a dinner right downstairs in a Michelin starred restaurant and champagne on my arrival and visiting the historic wing of the hotel which was once the home of the Napoleon family which were all memorable Parisian moments which I enjoyed as I opted for hotel reservations.

An Airbnb ad in Paris.


Why choose an Airbnb in Paris

After having visited Paris several times, I started to think less about the hotel facilities than about the space. Being able to lie down and settle in a more comfortable space when you travel is a highlight of a stay in an Airbnb in Paris.

Since Airbnb is made up of private homestays – both whole unit offerings and rooms in houses – Airbnb Paris ads are often in residential blocks of the city where you won’t find hotels, so you can immerse yourself more in French life. With a kitchen at your disposal, you can stock the pantry like a local: stop by the farmer’s market for fresh fruit, the bakery for the fresh bread, and the pastry for the croissants for a truly French breakfast. You don’t need to cook, although you will certainly save money if you cook even one dinner “at home”, but the convenience factor of having food on hand. when you are jet lagged is invaluable.

View of an Airbnb ad in Paris.


Airbnbs also usually come with a local host, which gives you a unique opportunity to speak to a Paris resident who knows the neighborhood and can point you to places under the tourist radar that a typical resident would go to, even if that is via electronic communications. And Airbnb also offers experiences that allow you to plan your trip with one stop, with everything from tickets to the Louvre to walking tours of the catacombs.

An apartment rental in Paris Perfect.

Other apartment rentals

Another option in Paris is to use a vacation rental company. During a recent stay in Paris with my family, I rented an apartment using a specialist service called Perfect paris. Unlike Airbnb, the company manages or owns a portfolio of properties, so even if you get a private residence there is a central agent to make a reservation, bed and towel service, concierge services available to make reservations. reservations and getting suggestions (for an additional charge) and a local office where you can leave your luggage, which is a big plus.

My apartment had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a duplex layout and a modern kitchen, plus a view of the Eiffel Tower and a small balcony just big enough to enjoy a glass of wine. It was paradise. A pastry shop just two doors away allowed us to stock the kitchen for breakfasts at home, and we enjoyed our own wine and cheese happy hours in the spacious living room. And luckily when my flight was delayed (then canceled) having on-call management service allowed me to have a responsible professional to call who was able to extend my stay an extra night – all like having a reception in a hotel. For me this has turned out to be the best of both hospitality and rental worlds.

Note that if you opt for a hotel in Paris, Airbnb or apartment rental, the further away you stay, the harder it will be to find taxis or access the metro, which can pose security concerns in a new city. . Also, be sure to read the ad reviews, avoiding those that mention dark or abandoned buildings, streets or neighborhoods. Always keep an eye out for pickpockets at popular tourist spots and note that 112 is the same as calling 911 in the United States.

Whether you choose a hotel, Airbnb, or renting a private apartment, you’ll want to learn more about these eight incredible hidden gems in Paris, as well as how to avoid the crowds when visiting the city.

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