Hotel Vs. 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 strolled down the Champs Elysées: a full-service hotel or a DIY Airbnb? Both have their looks depending on your preferences.

When choosing a base location, keep the size of the city in mind, both for sightseeing and safety. Paris stretches 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 tourism purposes, the 1st through 6th districts are all located close to each other in the middle of the ring and are easy places to explore, as are those that make up the next circle level. The 7th (where the Eiffel Tower is located) and the 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 Parisian hotel

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-get reservations; smaller hotels will have reception staff who can help you with directions and suggestions. Most hotels offer some sort of food and drink, even if it’s just a light breakfast, and some have proper restaurants and even room service, which means breakfast in bed. Additionally, all hotels, regardless of size, will have housekeeping service with clean towels, toiletries, and crisp linens.

Paris is known for its small charming hotels – small properties, often with equally modest prices, but which offer charm in buckets. In the highly sought-after 6th arrondissement of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, you’ll find affordable gems such as the Arthur, which has 26 individually decorated rooms in a mod ’50 style and an ideal location on rue de Buci near 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 based on their preferences, which was a great 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 Meuriceand The Shangri La. These grand hotels often offer perks like pools, decadent spas, decadent restaurants, private gardens, and elite concierges.

Once when I was staying at the Shangri La complex, the concierge was able to secure sold-out tickets to a museum show as well as access to skip-the-line entry – exactly the kind of VIP perk I I had imagined a five star property. There was also dinner just downstairs at a Michelin starred restaurant and champagne when I arrived and while visiting the historic wing of the hotel, which was once the home of the Napoleon family, all of which were memorable Parisian moments that I enjoyed because I opted for hotel reservations.

An Airbnb ad in Paris.


Why choose a Parisian Airbnb

After visiting Paris several times, I started thinking less about hotel amenities and more about space. Being able to stretch out and settle into a more intimate space when traveling is a highlight of staying at an Airbnb in Paris.

Since Airbnb consists of privately offered homestays — both whole-unit offerings and rooms in homes — Listings Airbnb Paris are often located in residential buildings in 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 at a farmer’s market for fresh fruit, bakery for fresh bread, and pastries for croissants for a real French breakfast. You don’t have to cook, although you will certainly save money if you prepare even one dinner at “home”, but the convenience factor of having food available to you when you are jet lagged is priceless.

View from an Airbnb ad in Paris.


Airbnbs also usually comes with a local host, giving you a unique opportunity to talk to a Paris resident who knows the neighborhood and can direct you to places under the tourist radar where a typical resident would go, even if it’s all done via electronic communications. And Airbnb also offers experiences that allow you to plan your trip with one stop shopping, with everything from Louvre tickets to walking tours of the Catacombs.

An apartment rental from Paris Parfait.

Other apartment rentals

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

My apartment had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a split-level layout and a modern kitchen, as well as views of the Eiffel Tower and a small balcony just big enough to enjoy a glass of wine. It was paradise. A two-door pastry shop 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 (and then canceled), having on-call management meant I had a responsible professional to call who was able to extend my stay an extra night – everything like having a reception in a hotel. For me, this turned out to be the best of the hotel and rental worlds.

Note that whether you opt for a Paris hotel, 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 issues in a new city. . Also, be sure to read reviews on ads, avoiding those that mention dark or abandoned buildings, streets, or neighborhoods. Always keep an eye out for pickpockets at popular tourist sites and note that 112 is the same as calling 911 in the United States.

Whether you opt for a hotel, Airbnb or a private apartment rental, you will want to know more about these eight incredible hidden gems in Parismore how to avoid the crowds when visiting the city.

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