PARIS / Louvre: Top 5 Places to Stay


I just so happened to be in Paris the summer that they first erected the Pyramid in the middle of the Louvre grounds.  At the time, les Parisiens just could not accept this horrible atrocity inflicted by Mittérand on this most holy of city landmarks.  Twenty-five years later, I am sure we would all agree that it would be impossible to imagine the Louvre without it.

When the sun shines on the Louvre in the late afternoon and the bricks start to glow this clear, incandescent color for which there is no name, I promise you it is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see.  As it stands today, the Louvre Museum is one of the largest in the world and was created after the French Revolution, even though its prized possesssion, the Mona Lisa, was acquired in the 14th century by King Charles V.  The Louvre Palace itself, however, has its origins from the 12th century, remnants of which can still be seen in the crypt.

Fast forward to today: the Louvre is not only one of the most important museums located smack dab in the middle of Paris, it is the district for luxury fashion, chic nightlife, decadent hotels, prestigious art galleries and indulgent musings.  Above all else, it is the home of Paris Fashion Week.  In essence, the Louvre is a full blown district and if you stay there, you may never want to leave it.

Although not technically in the Louvre district, the Pont Des Arts is one of the most inspiring places to visit.  Linking the east wing of the Louvre to the 6th district (and only a 7 minute walk to Le Bar du Marché, which is a must-see no matter where you are staying in Paris), this is a pedestrian-only bridge where you will frequently see people hanging out, playing their guitar and enjoying a wine & cheese picnic.  Over the last few yeas it has become very à la mode to hitch a love lock on the the railing - legend has it you are supposed to lock it up, make a wish, and throw the key into the river.  In fact, this what my husband and I did when he proposed to me on this very bridge.

So let's talk shopping.  It is pretty much all about la Rue St Honoré, there you will find all of the big boys like Chanel, Lanvin, Balenciaga, Balmain, Longchamps, Chloé, Saint Laurent.... It also is the home of fashion meccas Colette, Maria Luisa, and vintage master Didier Ludot, who not only wrote the book on The Little Black Dress but also houses his astounding collection of vintage luxury in one of my favorite squares of Paris - Le Palais Royal.  For non-fashion shopping, I highly recommend Les Antiquaires du Louvre which is a labrynth of antique stores located directly underneath the Louvre.  It is certainly not a place for bargain hunters, but it is inspiring none-the-less.

Daytime is all about the cafes.  Any one of them really on la Rue St Honoré will do, there is so much people watching to do you might just want to hit them all.  Certainly my most favorite is Le Castigilone which is historically located near Place Vendôme, a place where every woman dreams her engagement ring will come from, what with all of the most prestigious brands in fine jewelry and watches perched around the circular "square" like jewels on the Queen's crown. 

For nightlife, you will want to go to Hotel Costes (that is, if you can get in).  That is pretty much all I have to say about that.

The Louvre district offers some of the most luxurious hotels in the entire city.  The best are what I call the Fab Five: George V, Le Crillon, Le Lotti, Hotel du Louvre, and Le Castille.  For more boutique style environments, there is the Hotel O which delivers on its name by offering a circular design aesthetic to the max.  Or there is the Hotel Thérèse that combines luxury aesthetics with affordable prices.

But, as always, I prefer to stay in an apartment.  Here are my top 5 picks.

Also See:

St-Germain: TOP 5 Places to Stay

Le Marais: TOP 5 Places to Stay

Montmartre: TOP 5 Places to Stay

Top Ten Things To Do in Paris

1 BEDROOM, 2 person(s)
Palais Royal
(near Métro Palais Royal)  

€100 / night

LOFT, 2-4 person(s)
Louvre Victoire
(near Métro Bourse)  

€178 / night

1 BEDROOM, 2-4 person(s)
Pont Neuf
(near Métro Pont Neuf) 

€180 / night

2 BEDROOM, 4 person(s)
(near Métro Tuileries) 

€180 / night

3 BEDROOM, 6-8 person(s)
Palais Royal Luxe
(near Métro Bourse) 

€178 / night

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