The Paris boutique hotel list: hip vs charm

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noworriesparisSlippers

Wrap up in a soft white monogrammed robe, pop the champagne and unwind in your cozy boutique hotel room after the long flight to Paris. The following are all well located with chez this chez that dining just around the corner. They range from ultra-mod Phillip Stark to chintzy French provincal plush. Scroll through our suggestions, click through to their home pages, then move on down to Trip Advisor for their reviews. You can book directly (most staffers speak some English and you’ll bypass the middleman fee) or price at Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, booking.com or hotels.com. Do your homework, you’ll be rewarded $$$.

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Location is everything and all of these get our stamp of approval. Of course you know to book well ahead of your departure for the best deals. Price usually equates to the size of the room. Don’t be shocked at how tiny some are, especially the bathrooms. Most are ideal for short getaways when you can afford to spend a little more. Twenty to fifty dollars more per night can buy you a lot more room, amenities, charm and sometimes a free petit dejuner. Why you’re visiting Paris, non?

Dauphine Saint Germain Hotel
36 Rue Dauphine, 6th, 1-866-599-6674
http://www.dauphine-st-germain.com
Romantic and picturesque without being overly cute.

Hotel Le Six
14, rue Stanislas, 6th
http://www.hotel-le-six.com/en/
Known for its accommodating staff.

Hôtel Sublim Eiffel
94 boulevard Garibaldi, 15th
+33 1 4065 9595, Métro: Sèvres Lecourbe.
Doubles from €189
Steam room, fireplace bar, metro map carpeting, Paris kitsch
sublimeiffel.com

Hotel Design de la Sorbonne
6 rue Victor Cousin, 5th, +33 1 4354 5808, Métro: Cluny-La Sorbonne
Doubles from €165
Pizzaz, designer colors, in room computers.
http://www.hotelsorbonne.com/en/

Hotel Bonaparte
61 rue Bonaparte, 6th, +33 1 4326 9737, Métro: Mabillon. Doubles from €130
Rooms feature 19th-century architectural elements such as stone fireplace mantels and moulded ceilings.
http://www.hotelbonaparte.fr

Petit Belloy St Germain
Notre Dame and the Louvre are less than 15 minutes away.
1 rue Racine, 6th, +33 1 4326 8713, Métro: Cluny-La Sorbonne. On special now from €129

http://www.hotel-petit-belloy-saint-germain.com/en

Hotel du Cadran
10 rue du Champs de Mars, 7th, +33 1 4062 6700, Métro: Ecole Militaire. Doubles from €119. Modern, can be noisy. Opening soon, their very own chocolate bar.

http://www.cadranhotel.com

Hotel 7 Eiffel
17bis Rue Amélie, 7th
Phone:+33 1 45 55 10 01
Marble bathrooms and Fragonard toiletries. In summer the rooftop terrace is open to guests.
www.hotel-7eiffel-paris.com

Hôtel Du Prince Eugène
247 Bd Voltaire, 11th. For a change of pace, take a walk on the hip East Side.
http://www.paris-hotel-princeeugene.com

Hotel d’Angleterre Saint Germain des Prés
44 Rue Jacob, 6th. A solid choice, popular with Americans

http://www.hotel-angleterre-paris.net

Le Fabe Hotel
A Left Bank find (Montparnasse), somewhat out of the way but clean, well priced.
113 bis rue de l’Ouest, 14th, +33 1 4044 0963, Métro: Pernety.

http://www.lefabehotel.fr/en/

Villa Saint Germain des Prés
29 Rue Jacob 6th, +33 (0)1 43 26 60 00. Popular, great reviews.

http://www.villa-saintgermain.com

Hotel Sezz
6 Ave. Frémiet, 16th, +33 1 56 75 26 26
Designer WOW. Right Bank. Murano-glass fixtures in the lobby. No front desk, instead a team of personal assistants to guide you. Champagne bar, campy, chic.

http://www.hotelsezz.com

Paris Metro: A spectacular station

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Cluny-La Sorbonne. The metro station where you’ll find yourself dallying intrigued by the artful mosaics. Line 10 runs from Boulogne to Pont de St. Cloud and Gare d’Austerlitz.

The station was opened in 1930 with the extension of line 10 from Odéon to Place d’Italie (now on line 7). It was a ghost station between 1939 and 1988 (deemed too close to other stations), then reopened to connect with the new St-Michel – Notre-Dame RER station and give access to the Boulevard Saint-Germain.

A huge bird by stained-glass artist Jean Rene Bazaine dominates the ceiling. Surrounding the piece are sprawling signatures of Latin Quarter writers, poets, philosophers, kings and statesmen like Moliere, Robespierre and Marie Curie. Spend some time gazing at the ceiling. How many can you identify?

Pop up and you’ll find yourself at the Cluny Museum which is partly constructed on the remains of Gallo-Roman baths dating from the 3rd century known as the Thermes de Cluny. A good 3-hour visit will satiate Medieval History fans.

To see where this metro station is located in the grand scheme of things click here: RATP.

A morning walk through Place du Tertre

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Un petit tour. Some of the characters along the way.

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A touristy place, not without color or authenticity. Best to visit early, then take the train back down to the metro or continue your walk down to Sacre Coeur for a magnificent view of Paris.

Feeling rosy: Au Nom de la Rose florists

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aunomdelarose

In 1913 Gertrude Stein wrote the line of poetry “A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose”. In 1991, just a few blocks away (4, rue de Tournon) from her home off the Jardin du Luxembourg, Au Nom de la Rose made her words come to life.

Walk into a shop and you’re enveloped in Tango, Piaget, Papa Meilland scented roses. They use over twenty varieties, some from their own bushes in the Nimes region, others from one of the last garden rose producers in Hyeres and as far away as Ecuador and Kenya. The concept is theirs alone and they’re expanding their franchise all over Europe. Thankfully, you can order their fragrant products online or drop by one of your neighborhood shops for a truly rosariffic experience. Their small bouquets make the perfect gift for your dinner party hostess.

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47, bld Saint Germain, 5th arr
Tel: 01 40 51 02 02

4, rue de Tournon, 6th arr
Tel: 01 46 34 10 64

50, rue du Cherche Midi, 6th
Tel: 01 42 22 84 84

1, bld du Montparnasse, 6th
Fax: 01 40 56 02 03

46, rue du Bac, 7th
Tel: 01 42 22 22 12

51, rue Cler, 7th
Tel: 01 44 18 98 01

150, rue du faubourg Saint Antoine, 12th
Tel: 09 50 60 36 65

5, rue de Lourmel, 15th
Tel: 01 45 79 01 01

285, rue de Vaugirard, 15th
Tel: 01 48 42 22 22

81, rue Lecourbe, 15th
Tel: 01 53 86 92 30

7, avenue Mozart, 16th
Tel: 01 45 25 03 03

188, avenue de Versailles, 16th
Tel: 01 42 24 48 48

112, avenue Victor Hugo, 16th
Tel: 01 45 53 53 00

24, avenue Mac Mahon, 17th
Tel: 01 45 74 40 80

Rue Montorgueil-Les Halles: No egg-stuffed waffle tacos coated in syrup here

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ruemontegruil

Closed to traffic, this 3-block street in the center of Paris boasts some of the best bakeries (Stohrer, Boulanger de Monge), gourmet cheese and chocolate shops, historic restaurants, late-night cafes, and kitchen supply establishments. Etienne Marcel, Les Halles or Sentier metro stops will get you there. Check out the map on page 80, Walking Tour Five of your No Worries Paris guidebook and you’ll see what else to explore in the surrounds.

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It’s the true center of Paris, before 1970, the sprawling home of the now dismantled Les Halles covered market. Sniffing and tasting your way down you’ll see old storefront vestiges remain. I’m certain you’ll want to return to this vibrant quartier more than once. A good excuse is Jean Charles Rochous Chocolatier (at no. 15) for silver boxes stuffed with heavenly dark chocolate truffles (best in Paris), great gifts for friends.

No Taco Bell crunch wraps, Cinnabon Delights, I-Hop cheesecake stuffed pancakes, Krispy Kreme sloppy joe sandwiches, but if you want to cheat, there’s a small Starbuck’s at one end.

Jim Morrison: the conspiracy theories

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Jim Morrison died in Paris in 1971. Whirling around, still to this day, are questions as to how he died and where. Some are convinced he is still alive. The official police version is that he died of a heart attack in his bathtub on 17 rue Beautreillis.

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Other witnesses claim he overdosed on heroin in the bathroom of a famous club. It’s been said the two drug dealers whom he had purchased the heroin from moved his dead body to the bathroom of his apartment and swore never to reveal the truth and ruin the club’s reputation.

The real ending is buried with Jim whose grave is the most visited at Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Hand drawn arrows sometimes (they are often erased by the guardians) point the way or just follow the swarm carrying the printed plot map. His headstone is unassuming, however, there’s always a collection of memorabilia, candles, letters to spice up the space.

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Dedicated fans who want to visit the apartment can find it mapped on page 92 of the No Worries Paris guidebook. A recommended followup is the stylish Hotel Sully and Place des Voges, the oldest square in Paris, just down the block.

Paris: The ban on pants

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parisfashionweek

Up until February 2013 when it was revoked, there was a 214-year-old law which formally prohibited women from wearing trousers. The archaic law demanded women ask police for permission to dress as men in Paris less they be arrested. In 1909 the law was amended allowing women to wear trousers if the holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse. Obviously les flics have turned their cheeks for years.

French women’s rights activists….rejoice!

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