• Mari Bruno

Where to stay in Paris: classic vs. modern

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

Like the largest cities in the world, Paris has thousands of accommodation options - from the simplest to the most luxurious. We visited the French capital in April and, as we divided our ticket into two different moments (two days at the beginning of the trip and three at the end), we stayed in two hotels: Jules et Jim and Le Littré.

On opposite sides of the Seine river and in excellent neighborhoods, the hotels offer two opposite experiences (the first is modern and cool and the second is classic and luxurious), but together they bring together some of the best qualities of French hospitality.

If you are also going to share your stay in Paris (or any other city), a good tip is to stay in different neighborhoods to have different experiences and to save time. In the case of the French capital, which is huge and has an equally large variety of tours, we took advantage of the location of each hotel to do what was closest to each one, prioritizing walking and avoiding major displacements.

Below, we'll tell you a little more about each of the hotels and what we like most about each one.

Modern: Jules et Jim

In the Marais, one of the most sought-after and beautiful neighborhoods in Paris, Jules et Jim is made up of a complex of one building and two houses. In the center, two paved patios house a huge green wall and the outside bar area (with an outdoor fireplace!).

Inside, the décor features stone floors, contemporary furniture and lots of wood. Magazines, comics and books are available for guests to browse while having breakfast (€20 per person) or trying one (or more!) of the 11 drinks on the menu. During the summer, DJs perform there.

In all, there are 23 rooms - overlooking the Parisian buildings or the inner courtyard - divided into five types: Jules, Jim, HI-MACS®, Sous Les Toits, and Duplex. At J&J's invitation, we stayed at Jim. The bedroom is comfortable despite the size and is ideal for couples.

One of the hotel's differentials is its art. Every three months a different artist uses the 15 meter long corridor, patio and bar as exhibition spaces. When we visited the hotel, it was the work of Reine Paradis that was on display, with its blues, yellows and greens breathing new life into the J&J spaces.

Built in 2011, Jules et Jim is located between Place des Vosges and the Center Georges Pompidou museum and is minutes away from the Arts et Métiers metro station.

Places we visited during our stay at the hotel: the Center Pompidou museum, the Notre-Dame cathedral, the Atelier des Lumières museum, and the Place des Vosges square, where we begin our tour of the Marais district. We also climb up to the Sacré Coeur basilica in Montmartre and descend on foot passing by the neighborhood's sights, such as van Gogh's apartment, the Moulin Rouge, and Le Mur des Je t'aime.

Take a virtual tour here.

Classic: Le Littré

Surrounded by boulangeries (the French bakeries), shops and markets, Le Littré is across the Seine in the Montparnasse district, one of the most traditional neighborhoods. The address is directly related to the hotel's style and proposal, which combines classic with luxury and comfort.

Built in 1924 and renovated in 2015, the building follows the characteristic Parisian style, but is surprising for its size. Spacious lobby, winter garden, bar (Le Verandabar), interior patio and a generous breakfast area make up the common areas of Le Littré.

The decor follows the same proposal as the hotel, with neutral tones, color points, beautiful wallpapers, and classic design, such as the Louis XVI style chairs. In all, there are 90 rooms - five overlooking the Eiffel Tower - spread over eight floors.

There are five room categories: Standard, with a minimum area of ​​20 m2; Superior, between 20 and 25 m2 (three are accessible); Deluxe, between 30 and 35 m2 with sofa bed; Junior Suite, with 40 m2; and Suite, with 60m2. Invited by Le Littré, we stayed at the Deluxe.

The room is very comfortable and spacious like few others - especially for those traveling as a family and does not skimp on luggage. We were hit by bad wheather as soon as we arrived in Paris (it reached 1oC) and we ended up cancelling plans for the first day and spending the afternoon at the hotel. It was a delight. We also love breakfast!

Places we visited during our hotel stay: the Catacombs of Paris, the Luxembourg Garden, the Panthéon, the Latin Quarter, the Ponte Alexandre III, the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero (best view), the Palais de Tokyo museum, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées, and the Louvre.

Take a virtual tour here.

photos: Mariana Bruno

article originally published in Follow The Colours