Rive Gauche in Paris: Our Favorite Hotels

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Curated By

Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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  • Paris

  • France

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Boutique Travel

  • Nightlife

  • Entertainment

  • Outdoors

  • Local Food

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Curator’s statement

The Left Bank of Paris, with its intellectual and bohemian spirit, has long been a beacon for artists, writers, philosophers and thinkers. This area of the city, known in French as the "Rive Gauche," is not just a geographical location; it's a cultural symbol, embodying a lifestyle and an attitude that is distinctly Parisian yet universally appealing. We curated a selection of six hotels that are gateways to experiencing a lifestyle that has captivated and inspired generations. Guests can immerse themselves in the unique ambiance of the area, exploring its historic streets, engaging with its vibrant cultural scene and perhaps even capturing a bit of the Rive Gauche magic to take home with them.

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Where to stay in Paris

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Relais Christine

A secret garden-style hotel in Paris with palatial lodgings and gracious breakfast offerings.

Fora Perks
  • €90 food / beverage credit.

  • Welcome treat in room on arrival.

  • Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.

J.K. Place Paris

Pitch-perfect modern hotel in Paris featuring wood fireplaces and a premise to explore the City of Light.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Hôtel Montalembert

The Left Bank’s first five-star hotel is a refined yet welcoming retreat in Paris’ stylish Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Welcome amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in Paris

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The Left Bank of Paris, known as the Rive Gauche, is a symbol of the city's rich artistic and intellectual heritage. Nestled along the southern bank of the Seine River, this area is celebrated for its bohemian spirit, historically being the haunt of artists, writers, philosophers and the avant-garde.

The streets of the Left Bank are lined with iconic cafés where great minds like Hemingway, Sartre and de Beauvoir once pondered the depths of existence over a cup of coffee. This district is also home to some of Paris's most prestigious educational institutions, including the Sorbonne University, infusing the area with a vibrant, youthful energy.

The architecture of the Left Bank tells its own story, with charming narrow streets, ivy-covered facades, and historic buildings, each echoing tales of the past. The neighborhood is a treasure trove of quaint bookshops, bustling markets, and hidden gardens, offering a more laid-back and introspective experience compared to the grandeur of the Right Bank.

Galleries and boutiques showcase the creativity and artistic flair of the area, while landmarks like the Luxembourg Gardens provide serene escapes within the urban landscape.

This guide to our favorite Left Bank hotels offers a curated journey through some of the most distinguished and characterful accommodations in the city's historically artistic and intellectual heart. Each hotel, from the iconic Hôtel Lutetia with its blend of Art Nouveau and Art Deco grandeur to the chic and sophisticated JK Place Paris, embodies a unique aspect of the Left Bank's charm:

  • Hôtel Lutetia

    Grandeur and History: A legendary hotel in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, Hôtel Lutetia, built in 1910, stands as a remarkable example of Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture. It's a beacon of artistic and literary history, having welcomed renowned figures over the decades.

    Luxurious Comfort: Following a meticulous renovation, the hotel now blends its historic grandeur with contemporary luxury. Each room and suite is a showcase of bespoke design, where historical charm meets modern elegance.

    Exceptional Amenities: The hotel features the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, a sanctuary offering spa treatments, fitness facilities, and a serene indoor pool. Its dining venues, from the Brasserie Lutetia to the more intimate Salon Saint-Germain, offer exquisite culinary experiences.

  • Hôtel Montalembert

    Boutique Elegance: This intimate hotel, nestled in the 7th arrondissement, epitomizes Parisian chic. With its façade dating back to 1926, the hotel has been a favorite among literary and artistic circles.

    Gourmet Dining: The hotel’s restaurant is a culinary gem, offering a menu that blends traditional French techniques with contemporary flair. The terrace dining provides a charming Parisian street-side experience.

    Artistic Surroundings: Its proximity to some of Paris’s most prestigious art galleries and museums makes it a haven for art enthusiasts. The interiors are adorned with a curated collection of artworks, enhancing the artistic ambiance.

  • JK Place Paris

    Italian Elegance in Paris: Combining Italian design with Parisian elegance, JK Place Paris offers a luxurious and stylish retreat. The hotel's interiors are curated with a blend of bespoke furniture and classic French architecture.

    Exclusive and Private: Emphasizing privacy and exclusivity, the hotel provides a sense of being in a secluded haven, despite being in the heart of the city.

    Cultural and Historical Proximity: Its location near the Seine and iconic Parisian landmarks makes it an ideal spot for those seeking to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of Paris.

  • Relais Christine

    Secluded Luxury: Set in a quiet location, this hidden hotel offers a tranquil and luxurious retreat. The building, steeped in history, was originally a 16th-century abbey.

    Unique Spa Experience: The spa, situated in the historic vaulted cellars, provides an exclusive wellness experience, combining history with relaxation.

    Charming Garden: The hotel's private garden is a rare find in Paris, offering a serene spot for guests to unwind amidst lush greenery and beautiful flowers.

  • Hôtel Esprit Saint Germain

    Personalized Experience: Designed to feel like a Parisian home, the hotel offers a cozy and personalized atmosphere. The staff's attention to detail ensures a bespoke experience for each guest.

    Lounge and Library: The fireplace lounge and library are the heart of the hotel, where guests can enjoy complimentary drinks in a relaxed and elegant setting.

    Ideal Location: Situated in the famous Saint Germain des Prés area, the hotel is surrounded by boutiques, cafes, and iconic landmarks, making it perfect for exploring the quintessential Parisian lifestyle.

  • Hôtel d'Aubusson

    Elegance and Heritage: Every corner of the hotel whispers stories from the past. The original oak beams, Aubusson tapestries, and antique fireplaces create an atmosphere of timeless elegance, inviting guests to step back in time.

    Café Laurent: Integral to the hotel is Café Laurent, once a meeting place for Parisian intellectuals. Today, it continues this legacy with its acclaimed jazz nights, offering a blend of soulful music in a setting filled with historical resonance.

    Refined Comfort: The hotel's rooms and suites artfully combine antique grandeur with contemporary luxury, featuring plush fabrics, elegant furnishings, and modern amenities.

  • Villa Madame

    Chic and Personal: The hotel's interior design strikes a perfect balance between modern chic and traditional Parisian charm. Each room is a unique creation, featuring carefully selected artwork and decor that reflect the hotel's attention to detail and personal touch.

    Garden Oasis: One of the hotel’s most enchanting features is its garden patio. This tranquil oasis offers a serene escape from the urban energy of Paris, a perfect spot for guests to unwind, read a book, or enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.

    Cultural Heartbeat: Just steps away are some of the city's most famous cafes, eclectic art galleries, and boutique shops.

Places to eat & drink in Paris

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The Left Bank of Paris is not only rich in culture and history but also boasts some of the finest culinary experiences in the city, including several Michelin-starred restaurants. Here are four notable establishments:

  1. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon - Saint Germain

    • Cuisine: Offers innovative and modern French cuisine.

    • Ambiance: Features an intimate setting with counter seating, allowing diners to watch the chefs at work.

    • Location: Located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, this restaurant is a tribute to the late, great chef Joël Robuchon.

  2. Arpège

    • Chef: Run by the renowned chef Alain Passard.

    • Cuisine: Specializes in innovative French cuisine, with a strong emphasis on vegetable dishes.

    • Philosophy: Known for its farm-to-table philosophy, as many ingredients are sourced from the chef’s own gardens.

  3. Le Quinzième by Cyril Lignac

    • Cuisine: Chef Cyril Lignac presents modern French cuisine with a focus on seasonal and high-quality ingredients.

    • Ambiance: The restaurant offers a contemporary and elegant setting, providing an intimate dining atmosphere.

    • Location: Situated in the 15th arrondissement, it's a bit off the beaten path, offering a genuine Parisian culinary experience.

  4. Septime

    • Cuisine: Known for its modern, inventive approach to French cuisine, Septime offers a menu that changes regularly to reflect the freshest seasonal produce.

    • Setting: The restaurant features a minimalist, chic interior that complements its innovative culinary style.

    • Philosophy: Run by chef Bertrand Grébaut, Septime is noted for its commitment to sustainable dining, adding an eco-conscious dimension to its high-quality gastronomy.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Daryn Schwartz’s guide, The Ultimate Parisian Weekend.

Phelipe wearing glasses, a suit and a hat while smiling and standing outside in front of a city street.

Travel Advisor

Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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