Hunting down a cheap and central hotel in Paris can be a daunting challenge. It’s not hard to find one and two-star hotels for under €75 (about $105) per night, but they’re often less-than-inspiring places and frequently located in rather grim neighborhoods.
Fortunately, there are dozens of hotels in Paris’ prime neighborhoods that offer rooms at budget rates. However, they can be tricky to find online, as many of them don’t work with reservation agencies. This means that you’ll never see them on websites like Hotels.com, Expedia or Kayak.
Most of these hotels want to keep it this way. They’d rather handle their own reservations. After all, the booking agencies usually charge hefty commissions, which drive up room rates for everyone.
For smaller hotels with a faithful clientele, they frequently fill up on their own. They don’t need to pay for the service.
Reserving a room at one of these “offline” hotels requires a little more legwork for travelers. You’ll have to check their website (if they have one), email them (if they have email), or call them (they’ll have a telephone).
EuroCheapo put together a guide of cheap hotels in Paris, and here are five of their favorite one-star sleeps, none of which will ever show up on a booking website:
Located on a boutique-lined street a couple blocks north of Les Halles, the Hotel Tiquetonne seems plucked from a ’60s-era French musical. From the sassy receptionist to the cotton candy color schemes, the hotel sings a chipper tune. Built in the 1920s, the Tiquetonne is massive and creaky, with a wooden banister winding up to 45 rooms with private baths (single rooms share showers). Rooms do not have a TV, but they are equipped with Wi-Fi.
The Tiquetonne is popular-so you should reserve well in advance, by telephone only. The staff speaks limited English, so practice up, s’il vous plait.
(6 rue Tiquetonne; phone: +33 (0)1 42 36 94 58; no website / no email)
Hotel Henry IV
Double €60 – €83
Located on the Place Dauphine near the tip of the Ile de la Cite, the Hotel Henri IV is a royally central Cheapo, and once served as the king’s printing office. The 15 rooms and bathrooms have been significantly spruced up since Eurocheapo first reviewed the hotel in 2001, although despite the 2009 renovation they still offer just the basics: bed, chair, desk and big old windows (some of which look out to the Place Dauphine).
We found the hotel completely charming, although those looking for modern comforts should look elsewhere (no a/c, TV, elevator). Also, while the hotel’s location is a quick walk to the Louvre, Notre Dame and Latin Quarter, the Place Dauphine could seem too quiet for some at night. Breakfast included.
(25, place Dauphine; phone: +33 (0)1 43 54 44 53; website: http://www.henri4hotel.fr; Reservations only taken by telephone.)
Double €47 – €60
The Hotel Rivoli is a no-frills option for those who want a cheap sleep in the Marais but can’t deal with a youth hostel. Located across the street from Paris’ Hotel de Ville, the Rivoli offers 20 plain (if scruffy) rooms, all of which look out to the busy rue de Rivoli.
The bathroom situation is all over the place: Some rooms share toilets and/or showers, while others have private facilities. We’d recommend asking for a room on the fifth or sixth floor, which should be quieter and have better views. And hey, you can work off those croissants while trekking up the stairs (no elevator).
The Rivoli has neither a website nor email and only takes reservations by phone. If searching around online for the hotel, note that there are other “Rivoli” hotels. Be sure you’ve got the right hotel.
(44 Rue de Rivoli and 2 Rue des Mauvais Garcons; Phone: +33(0)1 42 72 08 41; no website / no email)
Double €61 – €91
Offering 21 rooms one block west of the Place Saint Michel, the Delhy’s Hotel is a cheap Latin Quarter pick. The building, with its charming stone walls, wooden beams and lack of elevator, dates back to the 16th century. Rooms have cheery bright colors, satellite TV and telephone. All are equipped with a sink and share toilets, although some are equipped with private showers.
Breakfast is included in the room rate and Wi-Fi is available for free in the reception area. Reserve by email.
(22 Rue de l’Hirondelle; phone: +33 (0)1 43 26 58 25; website: http://www.delhyshotel.com/ email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hotel Eldorado (above)
Double €58 – €85
The fun and funky Hotel Eldorado offers 33 rooms with shabby-chic style near Montmartre. The Eldorado’s bright blue and flower-filled exterior is storybook Montmartre, but things get more bohemian inside. Room décor is eclectic, mixing flea-market finds with antiques and original paintings. While the rooms are perfectly clean, they’re not for the persnickety. (It’s obvious that they haven’t been renovated in ages.)
The Eldorado is quite pleased to keep things quiet: None of the rooms are equipped with a TV or telephone, although free Wi-Fi is offered throughout. Most rooms are equipped with a private bath, although a few super cheap singles share baths.
(18 Rue des Dames; Phone: +33 (0)1 45 22 35 21; website: http://www.eldoradohotel.fr email: email@example.com)
More budget hotels in Paris
To read more about these hotels and see other recommended budget hotels in Paris, check out the guides at EuroCheapo.