Many visitors to Paris are drawn to Saint-Germain-des-Prés for its village feel. In the sixth arrondissement, the streets were once a hub for literary and political greats throughout the 20th century – from Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir. Here’s our pick of the best hotels.
Built in 1828 by Célestin-Joseph Happe, L’Hotel is where Oscar Wilde spent the last of his days. As one of the smallest five-star hotels in the city, it has just 20 guestrooms, each one spruced up to sumptuous perfection with luxurious fabrics, chosen by the world-renowned interior designer Jacques Garcia. It also has an outdoor dining area, an indoor hammam and a sauna steam room.
Relais Christine is a luxurious boutique hotel in the heart of Saint-Germain. Once a private residence, this historic building honours its roots with velvet fabrics, artisanal woodwork and antique relics. Some of the 48 rooms and suites are adorned in 18th- and 19th-century toile de Jouy print, made famous by the palaces of Marie-Antoinette and Empress Josephine. Recline on your regal canopy beds before sinking into the Carrara marble bathtub in your ensuite. Hidden in the basement is the opulent Spa Guerlain with a sauna, jacuzzi and two treatment rooms.
The Artus Hotel is one of the quirkiest boutique hotels in Saint-Germain, offering 27 stylish rooms inspired by 1950s fashion and design. Expect Piet Mondrian prints, bold colours and Bauhaus-style furnishings. Chic rooms range from classic to the exclusive, each with rainfall showers or deep soaking tubs and Rituals bath products. Tuck into a gourmet breakfast each morning with crêpes, croissants and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. At the end of the day, relax with a massage or sauna in the dedicated wellness area.
Within a Haussmannian building, Hotel Montalembert is a five-star boutique hotel that celebrates artistic creativity. Inside, art deco architecture is paired with rich ebony furniture, Pierre Frey silk curtains and yellow leather seats. Breakfast is included with your stay. Upgrade to the Montalembert suite for Eiffel Tower views, and expand your artistic appreciation further at the Musée d’Orsay, just an eight-minute walk away.
The Madison Hotel is an authentic Parisian property, sitting on a charming square opposite the Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, on the neighbourhood’s main boulevard. The 50 elegant rooms and suites in this four-star range from snug singles to junior suites; Rituals toiletries come as standard. Indulge in a Swedish massage in the treatment room after a day pacing the pavements.
Hôtel Bel Ami pays tribute to the rich literary past of Saint-Germain and its reputation as the birthplace of existentialism. It sits on a quiet side street in an old 19th-century printing press. There’s a focus on no-clutter minimalism to reflect the area’s history, with functional furnishings and bold, graphic prints. Downstairs, the Bel Ami Café serves up one of the best brunches in the area.
Inside a former 17th-century townhouse, Hôtel d’Aubusson is a five-star property found in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Each of its 50 guestrooms is decked out in a classical style with exposed beams and Versailles parquet floors. Downstairs, the large Burgundy stone fireplace crackles during the winter months. Pop by Café Laurent’s patio, the inviting interior courtyard of the hotel, where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast or sample a drink from its carefully curated cocktail menu. The hotel also has a 20m (65ft) pool – a rarity in Paris.
Le Petit Chomel offers a true home-from-home experience, with its cosy interiors and welcoming staff. Spacious guestrooms include thoughtful touches such as soundproof windows and gourmet minibar goodies. Family rooms are available, sleeping up to four people, and breakfast is included with your stay. Take a look at its e-concierge for the best recommendations in town.
Hidden behind one of the original entrances to Saint-Germain-des-Prés’s prestigious abbey is a former mansion-turned-boutique hotel. A welcome retreat from the busy Paris streets, each modern guestroom features custom-built furniture. Enjoy breakfast in your room or opt for the downstairs buffet. One of Millésime’s highlights is the stylish wine bar overlooking the patio, a great spot to unwind.
This lavish hotel sits on a side street off the lively Saint-Germain, an ideal choice for those looking for an extravagant stay. Inside, the decor is a blend of rich colours, vintage furnishings and classic artwork. The guestrooms are individually decorated, some with ornate four-poster beds and antique coffee services, and all with huge windows overlooking the city streets below. The in-house bar provides an atmospheric subterranean escape, with occasional live music and an inviting drinks menu.
With a heritage stretching back nearly 250 years, Hôtel d’Orsay was the former residence of Napoleon’s surgeon and became a focal point in the French Revolution. Luxurious rooms are decorated in a simple contemporary style and include a complimentary copy of the Esprit de France (a cultural newsletter for the city) alongside luxury Sothys toiletries. A real draw is the remarkable art collection, with original pieces by Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer, Paul-César Helleu and even Charlie Chaplin.
Well known as one of the top hotels on the Left Bank, Hôtel Récamier is a place to retreat after a hectic day in the city. Inside, the 24 plush guestrooms were styled by interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot. Have breakfast in your room before stopping by the concierge, who will help you hire bikes to explore Paris and offer expert local restaurant recommendations. Return for a signature afternoon high tea.
Relais Hôtel du Vieux Paris is referred to as the birthplace of the Beat Generation, and it still showcases that same bohemian allure that made the movement so popular. Although not the largest hotel on this list, the four-star Relais offers a more personal experience. Each of the 12 guestrooms and seven suites features a unique, colourful design. Impress your other half with champagne and flowers in your room on arrival before taking a walk along the River Seine, just around the corner.
Planning a trip to Paris with the kids? Book one of the best family-friendly hotels in Paris now on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Nicholas Grantham contributed additional reporting to this article.
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