We stayed at Saint James hotel in Paris which is located conveniently within a short walk of the Porte Dauphine metro station and close to Avenue Victor Hugo and the Arc de Triomphe. It’s location made it very easy to get to and from Charles De Gaulle Airport via either the train or around a 50 euro taxi. It was also a breeze to take the metro around Paris from Porte Dauphine.
Saint James hotel is the only château-hôtel in Paris so if you’re looking for a unique experience close to all the action of Paris this is the place for you! The hotel itself has a rich history, being the first aerodrome in Paris where the first hot air balloon was launched, as well as being the former Thiers Foundation where the best and the brightest young students of France studied.
The decor of the hotel conjours up vivid imagery of days gone by, preserving a part of it’s rich history yet at the same time being incredibly chic. The space was designed by Bambi Sloan who is a creative genius in my opinion; really bringing the hotel to life with her imagination. The hotel is an opulent mix of old world decor with a modern twist, blending in a range of genres and colour palettes. Each room has a unique character, bringing together old/modern furniture and a different colour scheme. We wish we were able to experience a few more rooms – maybe next time! All rooms come equipped with all the modern day necessities such as a modern renovated well sized bathrooms, bar fridge, television and wi-fi throughout the hotel, despite the hotel being a historic masterpiece.
The hotel garden courtyard is fittingly hot air balloon themed to celebrate the hotel’s history and is an ideal place to enjoy lunch, afternoon tea or evening drinks before dinner in a peaceful lush green setting. This space we imagine, could also accommodate some pretty amazing garden party events!
A one Michelin Star (awarded in 2014) restaurant is also located on the grounds which prepares fresh and seasonal french cuisine to provide you with a fantastic gastronomic experience.
The first time I visited Paris, I did all the touristy cliche things like visit the Eiffel Tower, Musee du Louvre, Arc De Triomphe etc. This time round, we decided to explore and walk the streets of Paris. Here I share my thoughts and recommendations of which other districts in Paris to stay in.
There are 20 districts in Paris. Paris is usually divided by two:
The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th ,6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th (where Saint James is located) are considered the nicer areas of Paris.
The 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th are a bit of a mix bag, from more hipster to noisy and busier surroundings.
The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th are in my opinion the best spots in Paris to stay. They are also the ones you see in Gossip Girl! You will get to experience the real Parisian postcard life.
1st District: This district is the smallest in Paris but very interesting and chic. You will find the Lourve, the Jardin des Tuileries until la Place de la Concorde. There is also le Jardin du Palais Royal.
2nd District: This district is good to stay especially if you find a place towards Palais Royal. There are some of the most famous streets of Paris where you will discover lots of cafes, shops, restaurants and night clubs.
3rd and 4th District: These two districts are literally next to each other. If you are looking for a lively neighbourhood then stay at le Marais. You can walk from le Marais to Place des Vosges where you have all those beautiful Parisian trendy shops. From le Marais, you are a few steps from la Bastille and Auberkampf where you have one of the most concentration of bars in Paris. You will also be right next to Notre-Dame and can walk to L’ile Saint Louis which is by far the most exclusive neighbouthood in Paris as it is an island in Paris. For those Sex and City fans, you can have lunch/dinner at Kong where Carrie Bradshaw and Mr Big ex’s wife had lunch.
The 6th and 7th Districts are super chic. The 6th District is where the rent is the highest in Paris. You have Jardin du Luxembourg and Saint Germain and it is in the centre of Paris. The 7th District is like the 6th. However, apart from the Eiffel Tower and la rue de Clerc there isn’t as much to see and do.
The 8th District houses all the luxury hotels. There are some nice spots such as Parc Monceau, Saint Augustine, Georges V and of course Champs Elysees.
I would avoid staying in 18th, 19th and 20th Districts as they may not be as safe as some of the districts mentioned above.