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Historical Traveler Reviews Bel-Ami Hotel Paris
Excellent Boutique hotel in Paris
I lived in Paris for 3 years up until Summer 2004. In my last week in Paris I got married and since my wife's sisters were all staying in my apartment I needed somewhere else to go. I know Paris pretty well and have seen maybe 50 or 60 hotels there in my time. Mostly you get old (or old style) furniture, small rooms or noisy streets. I wanted something more modern so was looking for a boutique hotel. The thing about Paris is that there aren't many modern, 'designer' hotels. It's an old city! In my area (6th) I had either the Artus Hotel or the Bel Ami. The Artus hotel is the better known of the two so I went there first. I was lucky because, living locally, I was able to inspect all the hotels first. The Artus hotel does a good brochure and looks good in print. However, I was very disappointed when I got there. It might have been nice 10 years ago but I thought it was looking 'tired' and shabby. The standard rooms were also a bit compromised in their layout.
So, I walked down Bvd St Germain to the Bel Ami. It had much more 'wow' factor. The whole place is well lit with clean lines, making it very light and modern. We saw a couple of standard rooms and, although these were nice, we loved the 'suite'. It was a bigger room with a sitting room off it. Not sure I'd call it a suite (as they do) but by Paris standards it's certainly a big room. Decor is nice. Again, quite modern but not uncomfortably so. Published price was OK but not 100% value. I rang back later and asked for any offers or packages. Almost immediately the price dropped to a good level so I would recommend ringing directly. I also explained I was getting married and so I got a few extras thrown in.
The night before the wedding my best man (my brother) and I went out in Paris for a final night of freedom and he was due to stay with me that night in the Bel Ami. The suite comes with a double bed so for that night they put in 2 queen beds a suitable distance apart (!!). After a good breakfast we left for the church. My wife and I got back to the hotel that evening to be greeted by a bottle of champagne and a bowl of fruit. Oh, and a BIG double bed....
Service was good. I had regular email contact with the concierge prior to my visit to make sure the planning was timed right (changing beds, champagne on ice etc) and nothing was too much trouble.
I only stayed there for 2 nights and OK it wasn't cheap but if you want Boutique in Paris you don't have a huge choice and of the ones available, I rate this one highest.
An excellent hotel!
My wife and I and our two teenagers just returned from a one week stay in Paris. We had excellent accomodations ------- a deluxe room adjoining to a superior room. Both had adequate space and sufficient privacy. The hotel is immaculate and extremely well situated, in between the elegant rue Jacob and the bustling Saint Germain d'Pres. The hotel is beautifully designed ----- its look is downtown modern with clean crisp lines and an inviting lobby area. (My kids really appreciated the two computers with internet access!). For anyone interested in a quaint setting that represents "old Paris," this hotel would not be a good choice. In terms of its American market, yuppies (and their kids) will be most comfortable here. The staff is young, friendly and professional. I give the Bel Ami a very high rating and would not hesitate to recommend it to a friend or stay there again.
Good...but not that good...
Don't get me wrong - it's a nice place with very pleasant staff. It's also in a really great location - in the middle of St Germain with great restaurants, bars etc.
However, for this kind of money (Euro250 per night) I'd have expected a little bit more of a 'wow-factor'. I've stayed at much better 'boutique hotels' in european capitals for the same money - and these blow this place away.
The breakfast area feels a little 'Ikea' and the bar is ok, but shuts at midnight. Rooms are very, very functional with old TVs, small space, average pictures etc. 2x Internet connections in the hotel seem to be the big differentiator - all seems a bit dated.
All in all a 'nice place' and i had a great stay there, but i reckon you could do better....
Excellent but a couple of caveats
Bel Ami has lots going for it - fantastic St. Germain location; hip, contemporary style (a nice relief from the cheap chintz so common in Paris), a superb buffet breakfast, free internet in the lobby, outstanding service.
We negotiated about a 20% discount from listed rates plus got breakfast included by making a walk-in reservation (we were already in Paris and needed a room for the following week). The second smallest room category, which we had, was small but i've seen much smaller.
1) It's not an outstanding value, even with the discount. But I'd pay it and stay here again because I care about the overall hotel experience as much as the bottom line.
2) Soundproofing to the exterior is world-class, but there is poor soundproofing between rooms. We didn't have any "problem" neighbors but could hear a lot from other rooms. Probably mostly a problem if you're trying to sleep during the day.
3) Upon checkout the hotel charged my Visa in Euros and then on the receipt used an unfavorable exchange rate to convert to a dollar billing. I've never seen this done in hundreds of foreign credit card transactions. I protested and they had to credit my Visa card, then charged my Amex which didn't make the conversion. Check your receipt!
Fantastic location but cheaper rive-gauche rooms on the small side
Glorious Gallic chic - stayed for one night here on a short trip to Paris. The hotel could not be better located if you have only a few days to spend in Paris, being close to designer boutiques, restaurants and within walking distance of the Seine and those all important sites. In the height of Summer, I can imagine this glacial cool retreat being a perfect respite to soaring temperatures and crowds after a hard days shopping/sight seeing.
The staff were delightfully attentive, charming and courteous. I would not think twice about staying here again, the location is perfect. I will however be booking a larger room.
Have a look at their website.
Beautiful & Friendly - Lives up to its name!
Le Bel Ami is stylishly appointed and beautifully designed. The staff is beyond courteous - they actually seem happy to greet you every morning... The location is simply perfect (Louis Vuitton is just around the corner, most up-and-coming designers can be found within a few blocks radius, and most importantly the magic of La Seine is just a few hundred meters away...). The bedrooms are not huge, but then agan this is Paris. All in all, sleek and charming.
This was our second stay at the Bel Ami and we can't say enough about how much we enjoy it. The rooms, which are decorated in a minimalist style, are small but charming. The staff is very helpful and friendly.
The hotel is in the heart of St. Germain on the left bank, a perfect location from which to explore Paris. The breakfast is delicious and hearty and includes eggs, sausage, bacon, many pastries and bread, fruit, cheese, orange juice, coffee and tea. A lovely boutique hotel!
Modern and chic with a great location
We spent 11 days in Paris and this was the 4th hotel of the 4 we booked. A really cool hotel which reminds me of the Standard in Hollywood. Minimalist style with smaller rooms than the other three hotels we stayed in during our visit. If you like the modern style, free internet access in the lobby and a pretty cool bar, this is the place for you. Walking distance to nearly everything on the West Bank.
The staff was efficient and very helpful. I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for soemthing a little different than your average higher end hotel in Paris.
We just returned from France, where, the temperatures have soared! We stayed only 2 days in Paris on our way back home and were grateful to be in the Hotel Bel Ami. The staff is friendly, helpful, and gracious and the hotel is adorable. Our room was small (like most all Paris hotel rooms) but had a world class air conditioner. It was as advertised--minimalist chic and I loved the location. While I knew the approximate location I didn't realize it the street ran between the Cafe de Flore and the Cafe Du Magots. What a treat! We will definately book other visits to Paris in what has become our favorite boutique hotel.
Minimalist cool + great location
Hotel Bel Ami is a great hotel - if you can afford it. The large lobby is furnished with sofas and other contemporary pieces and has enough room to offer a coffee bar in a.m./drinks in p.m. (although, I didn't see a drink bar?!) and relax while watching the passerbys. There are two computers in the lobby for internet surfing.
The room we had was large compared to the normal "European" sized rooms. The staff was very pleasant and breakfast is included in some rates - offering yogurt/cereal, fruits and ham/cheeses.
Hotel is close to everything - which of course, which makes it easy to spend MORE money!!
TripAdvisor Reviews Bel-Ami Hotel Paris
Travel Blogs from Paris
... architecture surrounds the glass pyramids... Very cool! We walked along a long strip full of cars people and shops and ended up at the Arc de Triomphe. This is an Arch way "into the city" (now surrounded by more city) that Napolean I ordered to be erected after the battle of Austerlitz declaring "you will march home through arches of victory" we climbed to the top of the arch for a beautiful view of Paris we could see just how far we had walked that day and the ...
... by then but time enough for a wander around the neighbourhood to buy essentials & in doing so butcher a beautiful language. Impressed to see a bunch of kids who had taken over a street for a game of football (photo 3) - didn't see any of this in England. And say what you want about the French but they are so amazingly chic. Even the beggars look ...
... apparently Paris' most famous ice cream shop). This ice cream had nothing on Italy, especially that Fenocchio. What I loved: Seeing that Eiffel Tower light up!! It was beautiful. No-one could wipe that smile off my face. And the night bike tour with Fat Tire Bikes was amazing. I could bike around Paris all day and all night long. Highlight: Obviously the Eiffel Tower. Lowlight: Getting on the train the wrong ...
... the day. Also no body was at the airport except those poor sufferers who had to sleep on the floor waiting for their flight and very passionate airport officials who took great delight in searching us and our bags for hidden contraband. They mustn't have enough to do. The name of the airline was Vueling and were very ...
... was also yummy!
We come to the end of another delightful day in Paris. Weather should be good for tomorrow as we head off on more adventures.
Remember that if you click on the photos you can see a larger version of them.
LATE ADDITION: we have since been told that the reason for the new panel on Pont des Arts is because the old panel fell into the river due to the weight of all of those locks. How sound is this bridge??