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The City of Lights

Paris has a bewildering array of hotels to choose from, and they literally come in all shapes and sizes. We visited upwards of 60 Paris hotels over 10 days and narrowed down our choices to just these. It was very tough, as the city has so many great hotels, but with rates in Paris what they are (sky high), value was a big determining factor for us. And Paris boutique hotels tend to focus more on style than substance, and in some cases the design was the only thing going for the hotel. It was easy to cross out a lot of the over-the-top boutique hotels.

Paris has some of the most luxurious and storied ultra five-star hotels (or “Palace” level, as they are called in Paris) in the world: the Meurice, Four Seasons George V, the Mandarin Oriental, the Bristol and, most recently, the Peninsula. These are all gorgeous hotels, and what they all have in common is an old world Paris luxury, which we at The List appreciate, but do not necessarily seek out. At the Palace level, our top pick is the stunning Le Royal Monceau Raffles, an ultra luxurious and modern masterpiece designed by Philippe Starck on the Avenue Hoche just a stone’s throw from the Arc de triomphe.

Other options on the right bank (i.e., north of the Seine) include the Asian-influenced Hotel de Nell, the newly renovated 50-room Vernet just behind the Champs-Élysées, or the hip and cool (and tiny) Hidden Hotel. Also in this vicinity is the Hotel Marignan Champs-Élysées, a discreet and modern 5-star luxury hotel tucked down a quiet residential street between Avenue George V and the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré.

At the (somewhat) affordable scale of things, check out tiny restaurant/hotel Thoumieux, the sexy and fun Hotel L’amour in the Lower Pigalle, and the classic Hotel d'Aubusson in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Somewhere between the budget luxury and off-the-charts expensive luxury site the charming hotel Pavillon de la Reine, a cozy property situated off of the popular Place des Vosges.

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