As far as Paris hotels go, trying to find a good one that doesn’t cost you a small fortune is comparable to the proverbial needle in a haystack. What one person, namely the owner, may describe as ‘charming’ is likely to be another person’s version of basic.
Aside from your typical five-star lodgings, the majority of accommodation in Paris can only be called ‘cosy’, given that they are often housed in historic buildings. That doesn’t mean you have to slum it or feel claustrophobic.
Returning to Paris for Easter, I wanted to stay in a cool and cultured neighbourhood, in a nice boutique hotel that didn’t break the bank. Thankfully over a glass of wine one night in London, a very good friend (who’s now an even better one!) suggested I look at Hôtel Amour.
Hôtel Amour is located in the 9th arrondissement, a neighbourhood which my friend Katie had cited as one of her favourite areas in Paris. While I had previously favoured the Le Marais district, I quickly fell in love with both Hôtel Amour and the surrounding area.
Although my room wasn’t ready when I arrived at the hotel, it meant I was able to enjoy brunch in the ground floor café/restaurant, which can only be described as a glass-enclosed terrace, reminiscent of a greenhouse. There were even a few tables outside, next to the jungle-like lush garden that stretches up for metres on end. It was an unexpected encounter with nature, with the light-filled setting being the perfect backdrop to enjoy your coffee and croissant, and consider the meaning of life.
When my room was ready, I was handed an old-fashioned key – yes a real key – and shown to the lift, which, as it happens in traditional French buildings, was similar in size to a fridge – far from ideal considering my phobia of lifts.
Thankfully the short ride was worth it, because when I opened the door to my fourth and top-floor room, I was greeted with black carpet and walls that were a bright pink of which any Barbie would be envious. I had booked a single room, which while compact, was extremely comfortable – especially the generous double bed plush white bed.
With the bathroom tucked behind the bed, you wouldn’t want to stay in the room with someone from whom you needed privacy, but the double rooms and superior rooms are more spacious. With black walled corridors, each of the 20 rooms is completely different in design and colour. With some having been created by distinguished artists and designers, they all feature something witty, from an intricately painted fan to 200 mini mirrored disco balls hanging from the roof.
Even the hallways are well worth wandering down, as they are decorated with black and white photographs that give a nostalgic nod to the hotel’s erotic past. The hotel, as the name suggests, was originally a Love Hotel.
With windows that actually open, my room featured a beautiful and very Parisian view over the top of the glasshouse restaurant and down a local backstreet. If you manage to make it outside the hotel – the café/restaurant is a destination in its own right – the 9th arrondissement is a charming area with an abundance of great eateries including the Rose Bakery, Café Marlette and Cafe KB. With Montmartre, the Wall of Love and Sacré Coeur a short stroll away, Hôtel Amour is also in short walking distance to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
I would highly recommend Hôtel Amour to anyone headed to Paris. And, with rooms starting at €135 per night, what’s not to love?
Find out more at Hôtel Amour Paris.