What began as open meadows (prés) outside the city walls, prone to flooding, has become one of the most popular, and most vibrant, quartiers of Paris. Back in the 6th century, Clovis, the king of Paris, had a church built here to house religious relics he brought home from the Spanish wars. While Clovis never really got to enjoy the neighborhood (he died in 588, the same year the church was completed) later generations of Parisians and visitors have embraced the area.
Place Saint-Germain des Prés today is the center of cafe culture, shopping, and deep Paris history. The church, Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés, anchors the quartier and looks benignly upon thousands of visitors. It's a great place to call home when you're in Paris, so let's take a tour of the top hotels surrounding the place, starting on the south side of the church and circling clockwise.
Just across Boulevard Saint-Germain from the église is this smart hotel done up in gold tones and warm, dark colors. Surprisingly affordable given the prime location, we'd try to grab the 325-square-foot Deluxe Room located at the front, with a view of the church towers.
Being right across the street from the place also means you're in the perfect spot to visit cafe Les Deux Magots & Café de Flore. The Metro station (of the same name as the place ) is also there — it gives you access on Line 4 to both Left Bank and Right Bank stations.
Superb Plus = 93%+ Travelers Rating
Superb = 88%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated Plus = 85%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated = 80%+ Travelers Rating
Au Manoir Saint Germain is the next-door neighbor to Brasserie Lipp and directly across the boulevard from Café de Flore, both of them historic literary hangouts. This hotel really puts you in the mood for the City of Light, with a period Paris vibe in furnishings and decor.
Like all of these hotels centered around Place Saint-Germain des Prés you're perfectly situated to explore the rest of Paris. A 15-minute stroll to the river and across Point des Arts gets you to the Louvre. Or, if you prefer, Musée d'Orsay is only 15 minutes in another direction. Due to its guest rating and perfect location, 4-star Au Manoir Saint Germain tends to sell out, so book as early as you can.
In contrast to the classic look and feel of Au Manoir, Hotel Bel Ami is a modern design hotel with a palette that includes whites, bright colors, and wood. (Bel Ami also appears in our list of the Best Paris Design Hotels.) As we write elsewhere, the design theme seems to be ice cream — you find colors like chocolate, pistachio and vanilla throughout the hotel. There's something refreshing, even relaxing, about the clean, modern lines.
Despite being in a bustling part of Saint-Germain, the Bel Ami is located on a quiet one-way street, next to a classic restaurant we like, Le Petit Zinc. The hotel offers guests free access to their spa and fitness center. For reference, the Bel Ami is only a 3-minute walk from Au Manoir Saint Germain.
Continuing on in our clockwise circle around Place Saint-Germain des Prés we come to 29 Rue Jacob, site of Hotel La Villa Saint Germain des Prés. We're really taken by the dark, earthy tones, mixed with golds and white that make La Villa so inviting.
Budget a few extra Euros to bump yourself up to a larger Privilege room or, if you want to celebrate, opt for the Junior Suite, which we like even better. The most important nearby address (if you ask us) is across the street on the corner of Rue Bonaparte where's there a Ladurée tea shop and confiserie. You know where you're going to find us.
Millésime Hotel receives our highest rating, of Superb-Plus for location, comfort, service, design, and because of glowing traveler reviews. The unassuming facade sports an inviting stone-arch entrance, but it's inside that the magic begins. Your welcome is warm and, as you sit at a small registration desk and look out on the bamboo planted in the small courtyard, you begin to notice the pleasing design touches that are found throughout the Millésime.
As far as room choice goes, you'll be really happy in your Superior Double Room (pictured above). If you ever do venture out of your room, you'll find Saint-Germain and the rest of historic Paris virtually at your doorstep.
Hotel de Buci, located unsurprisingly, on Rue de Buci, is owned by the same family (the MH Group) who run the Hotel Madison we recommended above. The same attention to design, detail, and service is found here as at their other hotels. The de Buci has a vibe of old-fashioned Paris charm and comfort, using traditional furniture in lush fabrics and rich, dark colors.
The hotel offers a choice of rooms, including suites for three or four people. Rue de Buci itself is an interesting, narrow street with plenty of shops and services. At the end of the street is Metro Mabillon on Line 10 that can get you to places like Gare d'Austerlitz and Le Bon Marché department store.
Also part of the MH Group, the Artus is a bright, modern, jazzy hotel with punchy colors and bold designs. Located just two doors down from Hotel de Buci, the Hotel Artus has the same easy access to shopping, services, and Metro transportation. (For both hotels, Metro Saint-Germain des Prés on Line 4 is only two or three minutes away.)
There's a kind of cool and crazy two-level room ("duplex") that offers great views across the rooftops of Paris from the upper-story bathroom. If you want to be in the center of Left Bank action, these two Rue de Buci hotels would be just the perfect thing.
We've now completed our circumnavigation of Place Saint-Germain des Prés, but there's one more hotel we want to show you. Just outside the circle is the only accommodation in Paris that apparently doesn't need a name, calling itself simply L'Hôtel. This 5-star hotel has been, so the hotel claims, a secret hideaway for many famous faces over the past two hundred years.
What we do know is that this is the place Oscar Wilde died in 1900. But, in the 1960s, the place was transformed into what is now the smallest 5-star luxury hotel in Paris. It feels opulent and mysteriously attracting. We love the design details, the rich colors, the basement pool, and the central oculus that drops down through all the levels. At L'Hôtel it still feels like the Belle Époque, but with 21st century conveniences.
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