Paris packs more charm, class, and coziness per square foot into its hotels than just about any other city in the world. And though some (but certainly not all) rooms bear resemblance to a walk-in closet, most derive that only-in-Paris feel from the history-soaked walls that contain them. To improve on history, luxury properties are increasingly attracting superstar chefsand sometimes staying the night is the only way to get a table.
There are alternatives to the hotels: B&Bs (chambres d'hôtes)from an artist's atelier in Montparnasse to an antiques-filled bedroom of a grand apartment in the 16th arrondissementare easy to find. Try Alcôves et Agapes (33-1-44-85-06-05; www.bed-and-breakfast-in-paris.com), B&B in Paris (33-1-47-34-01-50; www.2binparis.com), or Paris Bed & Breakfast (800-872-2632; www.parisbandb.com). Furnished rentals are also availableperhaps a town house with a garden in the leafy Batignolles quarterthrough reliable, English-speaking companies like the high-end Guest Apartment Services (33-1-44-07-06-20; www.guestapartment.fr), Rentals in Paris (516-977-3318; www.rentals-paris.com), and Paris Apartments Services (33-1-40-28-01-28; www.paris-apts.com). You can usually request an English-speaking landlord or lady, or even home-cooked dinners and French lessons.