The Latin Quarter’s winding medieval lanes are bursting with vibrant jazz clubs, warmly lit cafes, quirky book shops — and reasonably priced hotels. Here are the best ones we’ve visited in the tourist-friendly Left Bank neighborhood.
Ideally located in the bustling heart of Paris' popular Latin Quarter, the Hotel du Levant is a mid-range 46-room property that has been family-run for four generations and offers traditional Parisian appeal, modern updates, and a welcoming atmosphere. Rooms are individually decorated with pleasant decor and include air-conditioning, minibars, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi, among other amenities, though street-facing rooms can get noise. The hotel has few extra property features, but it does offer a cozy lounge and a free breakfast buffet with farm-fresh, local produce and fresh-baked bread.
Hotel Residence Henri IV is a mid-range boutique hotel in Paris' Latin Quarter, about six blocks east of the Sorbonne. It has just eight guest rooms, five two-room apartments, and very few amenities, but all rooms come with kitchenettes. Its location -- on a quiet, dead-end street across from a lovely square -- is also a major draw; Henri IV is just a three-minute walk from the shops, restaurants, and cafes that populate this university area, and less than a 10-minute walk from Notre Dame.
The boutique Hotel Albe Saint-Michel is a well-located three-pearl hotel with a prestigious Left Bank location at the northern end of the Latin Quarter. The nearby winding medieval lanes feature vibrant restaurants, warmly-lit cafes, and quirky book shops. The Notre Dame Cathedral, Jardins Luxembourg, and classic Paris eateries like Cafe de Flore are all within easy walking distance. Decor is simple, with nice touches: pretty prints, and exposed brick walls in the breakfast room and lobby. The 43 rooms are light and modern, but small, and include free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and en-suite bathrooms. A breakfast buffet is available, though pricey, and features are otherwise limited. This is a solid bet for the category, but for even lower rates and optional Notre Dame views, check out Hotel Esmeralda instead.
In terms of location, it's hard to beat this small value hotel, with its enviable position near the Sorbonne, Latin Quarter, Jardins de Luxembourg, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Like many hotels in Paris, the 35 rooms are small, and guest room decor is a blend of contemporary and dated elements. Each includes a flat-screen TV, air-conditioning, an en-suite bathroom, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel doesn't have much in the way of facilities, though, and while a continental breakfast is served, it's not free.
The historic 16-room Hotel Esmeralda is a boutique on the Left Bank steps from the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Seine, placing it in one of Paris' most enviable neighborhoods. While the lobby features plenty of charming details -- gorgeous stone walls, a rickety, but authentic, winding staircase, and plenty of antiques -- the rooms are very basic with bland furnishings. There are no amenities (not even breakfast), and there is no elevator (stairs are steep), but it's hard to beat the Hotel Esmeralda for value. If you're looking for a unique budget stay steps from major tourist sights and charming restaurants, cafes, and shops, you can do little better than this hotel.
The six-floor, 29-room Hotel du College de France is a quiet gem in a quintessentially Parisian location, halfway between the Pantheon and Notre Dame in the bohemian Latin Quarter. The hotel is welcoming and wonderfully French. This clean, comfortable hotel is a great value for such an ideal location, and has plenty of character (particularly for a budget property). Rooms are basic, with carpets and comforters, but they're perfectly adequate for the price.
The best thing about the Comfort Hotel Mouffetard is its location. On a cobblestone street in the vibrant, bohemian 5th Arrondissement, the mid-range property is a good value for this otherwise pricey tourist area. Rue Mouffetard is one of the streets commemorated in Ernest Hemingway's memoir, "A Moveable Feast," and it's lined with charming cafes. This Comfort Inn has 42 rather small rooms, free (spotty) Wi-Fi throughout, and a clean, contemporary look. Common areas are limited to a small, street-facing lobby with a dining area for the hotel's comprehensive breakfast, which most guests recommend despite the additional fee.