The last two times I went to Paris, I chose to stay at boutique hotels Relais Christine and Hotel D’Aubusson on the left bank, both which were highly recommended to me (and ironically, around the corner from each other). While the hotels were charming and in a quintessential location near St. Michel and the charming shops and bistros of St. Germain – the rooms were dark, cramped and depressing. Even the Relais Christine duplex was tiny, with one small window facing another building and an alley. I felt like I was in a catacomb. And, I was paying alot of money to feel that way. I vowed to myself next time I went to Paris to find a hotel with more spacious accommodations (I wish Firmdale hotels would open something in Paris…). I’m still looking when I return in May!
However, if you don’t suffer from claustrophobia and are yearning for an inexpensive hotel (3 star) in the left bank with drop dead views that make you actually believe you are in Paris, I have the hotel for you.
Hotel Notre Dame is a tiny hotel housed in a 400-year old building located directly on the Seine in the 5th arrondissement. Recently renovated, the hotel re-opened just last month with 26 “petit” rooms (make sure to ask for a river view!) designed by famous designer, Christian Lacroix (who also designed Hotel Bellechasse and Petit Moulin), which makes up a little for the confining quarters. But the best thing about this little gem of a hotel, beyond its perfect location, is of course the views of the Seine and Notre Dame.
If you book before March 31st, you can get a “opening rate” of $149 Euros a night (yes, that is correct!). If you decide to try this place out (not for families!), don’t bring a lot of luggage as the elevators are …you guessed it…tiny!