Lifestyle Travel

The Best Paris Hotels Deliver Tiny Jewel-Box Hideaways and Epic Ceilings

In case you need more proof that the French know style.
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From dreamy decor to top-notch amenities, our Wish You Were Here series is your first-class ticket to the most design-driven getaways around the world. Whether you’re looking to steal away for a few days or just steal a few ideas for back home (we encourage both, for the record), check out where we’re checking in.

It’s true: Paris is always a good idea. But it’s especially alluring in the fall when the summer tourists have fled, the Fashion Week crowd has dissipated, and the weather calls for boxy blazers worn with cool-French-girl finesse. Though the City of Light has become synonymous with effortless street style, we think the real art de vivre is found indoors. From palatial lobbies to chic châteaus, our picks for the best hotels in Paris are here to fuel all your pied-à-terre fantasies. 

Nuage Paris, 8th Arrondissement 

nuage paris hotel lobby
Photography by Ambroise Tézenas

What we love: The Champs-Élysées is steps away, but you’d never know it. 

Behind a sky blue entrance is a quiet escape that third-generation owner Olivier Breuil redesigned last year to feel like the moments of stillness you might catch on a flight: headphones on, Wi-Fi off, and nothing but the stratosphere in sight (nuage is French for “cloud,” after all). That means custom-made furniture with rounded edges, a palette that rivals the sunrise, and breezy linen drapes that peek at Paris rooftops. There’s a personal touch in each room, too—a photograph or painting by Breuil himself and leaflike sconces realized from sketches by his 9-year-old son.

Hotel Wallace, 15th Arrondissement 

hotel wallace rooftop overlooking paris
Photography by Lucas Madani

What we love: A Scandinavian bath with sweeping rooftop views.

Tucked into the side street of a mostly residential neighborhood, this is where your what-if-I-just-move-here thoughts get a little louder. In a tiny lobby with oversize terrazzo floors, the scene feels more like your friendly doorman’s hangout than a check-in counter, thanks to the stylings of the designers at Hauvette & Madani and the affable staff who knows you by name. Upstairs, the rooms say “welcome home” with lacquered wood headboards, fringed lamps, and convenient Componibili bedside tables for tucking away cables or midnight macarons. 

Hotel Rochechouart, 9th Arrondissement 

exterior of the hotel rochechouart lobby
Photography by Ludovic Balay

What we love: The clandestine cocktail club in the basement.

This 1929-built hotel is inherently Art Deco, but the duo behind local design firm Festen knows how to strike a balance between new and nostalgic. Recently refreshed suites are cloaked in earthy hues that feel fancy (but not too). And retro details like vintage brass fittings and marbled wood armoires nod to the hotel’s previous life as an artist’s retreat. Before heading out for the night, start with sundowners on the rooftop and then sneak off to Le Mikado downstairs, where the dim lights and rich red walls of the moody cocktail lounge feel appropriately of the Prohibition era. 

Château Voltaire, 1st Arrondissement 

chateau voltaire guestroom interior with velvet chair in paris
Courtesy of Château Voltaire

What we love: Understated and effortless elegance, like your favorite French style icon. 

It could have something to do with being the brainchild of Thierry Gillier (founder of fashion brand Zadig & Voltaire) and branding maven Franck Durand (the mastermind behind Sandro and Isabel Marant), but even though the room design is pared back, you somehow know everything’s made to measure. From solid oak lighting in the halls and fringed velvet seating situated just so in each guest room to the fresh citrus stocked daily in the minibar, it’s the details that make it feel so put-together. 

Les Bains, 3rd Arrondissement 

les bain suite with warhol sofa in paris
Courtesy of Les Bains

What we love: Studio 54 vibes with a Parisian twist. 

Once home to a legendary ’80s nightclub (and a bathhouse before that), this storied structure was reconfigured by award-winning architect Vincent Bastie as a 5-star stay in Le Marais. The spirit of the past lives on through details like a Futura-painted fresco from 1983, for example,  and even if you didn’t come to party, the checkerboard floors and lustrous red-lacquered ceilings are as intoxicating as any cocktail. When you want to turn down, Carrara marble headboards beckon you into satin damask sheets, while furnishings curated by Tristan Auer, such as a Warhol-inspired couch, show off around the room. 

Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain, 7th Arrondissement 

spa de pres pool in paris
Courtesy of Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain

What we love: A lobby that looks like an Impressionist canvas. 

One part historic, one part here and now, these brand-new accommodations are housed in an edifice from 1642. In the common areas, painterly walls, wood-paneled backdrops, and a cobalt blue library keep the building’s 400-year-old bones youthful. Even the spa feels like a meeting place between the past and the present. Formerly a cabaret, the underground space is now a cavern of tranquility with an indoor pool, hammam, meditation room, and state-of-the-art fitness studio.

The Hoxton Hotel Paris, 2nd Arrondissement 

hoxton paris hotel lobby velvet seating
Courtesy of the Hoxton

What we love: An original 18th-century staircase with curves that demand attention.  

Honestly, we’d be happy just to hang out in the lobby all day. If you can get past the camera-baiting vignettes of jewel-toned seating, a spiraling staircase invites your eye up to the real star: double-height conservatory ceilings dotted with glass orbs and framed by lush greenery. The rooms pay homage to French leaders of the mid-century movement, Jean Prouvé and Mathieu Matégo, with nods that include cantilever lighting and chevron timber floors. 

Grand Pigalle Hotel, 9th Arrondissement 

hotel room at grand pigalle paris
Courtesy of Grande Pigalle

What we love: Parisian grandeur without the stuffiness. 

Inside the classic cut-stone Haussmannian building, these guest rooms are a master class in pattern clashing. Cheeky cheetah carpeting and print-heavy headboards are set against crackled paint, but all that busyness is balanced by monochromatic walls and furniture in a deep, soothing shade of teal. We’ll call the smallest rooms “cozy,” but in this nightlife-centric neighborhood, we’re betting you won’t be spending much time inside anyway. 

Where to Shop in Paris

  • Merci. All of the home decor essentials and everything you never knew you needed. (Artisanal grape-shaped soap? Why not!) If you leave empty-handed, we applaud your level of self-restraint, but you’re definitely missing out on the  signature shopping bag
  • Le Bon Marche. Temptation abounds in world’s first department store. From the beauty counter to the home department to the floors of fashion, you may want to prepare yourself to snag a second carry-on for your return trip.
  • Marche aux Puces. Europe’s largest flea market and the best place to find a bargain in Paris. What else could you possibly need to know? 

Where to Eat in Paris

  • La Perouse. Eugene Delacroix or Ernest Hemingway would be among the set you’d find slurping up saucy dishes in the Seine-side haunt established in 1766. Today the restaurant’s reimagined dining room caters more to the likes of Olivia Culpo and Naomi Campbell. 
  • Frenchie Pigalle. This is the in-house restaurant of the Grand Pigalle Hotel, but you won’t find a continental grab-and-go breakfast here. You’ll actually enjoy lingering over the meal any time of the day since the eatery is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Grégory Marchand. 
  • Le Mermoz. Just down the streets from Nuage sits a small bistro where you’ll wash down bowls of risotto with a few glasses of natural wine, then take a stroll down the Champs. 
  • Clamato. Seafood is on the menu at this hipster haunt, where you’ll obviously get the moules, but also oysters and ceviche. And if there’s a wait (there will be a wait), grab a stool at the natural wine bar across the street until your table is ready.