As we were unloading our bags from the cab, a gentleman scurried out of the Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais and asked, “Are you the Gindin family?” The service was that personal at this quaint 19-room inn, a great inexpensive spot to lodge in Paris. The three-star hotel has everything a budget traveler with standards would want: clean rooms, modern bathrooms, good mattresses and helpful service. Add on a charming antique-filled lobby, individually decorated guest rooms and an excellent location--at the tip of the Marais district, near Notre Dame--and you have the whole picture. The only downside: rooms are very small. But the value is terrific: rates begin at 130€ per night, with better prices off season and for longer stays. The hotel's website is here.
*Note from Julie: I recommended this hotel to my friend Michael Foley, a Chicago-based chef and food consultant, who stayed there in November, 2011. I asked him recently if it offered good value for money and if he would stay there again. He says: "Yes, yes and yes. It has a location that offers surrounding cafes, bars and restaurants, easy access to the Metro, well situated for walking tours and interesting true Paris living, not as touristy as many more-populated areas. Plus, it's very comfortable. I have been thinking over and over of traveling back to that specific hotel the first time chance I get."
*Update from Julie: Huffington Post has published a list of "16 Affordable Paris Hotels." You can read it here.
*Update October 2012: A new list of boutique hotels in Paris under 200€ appears in Conde Nast Traveller here.
*Update December 2013: Friends just emailed from Paris, where they're staying at the Novotel Gare de Lyon and recommend it highly for the price and the location very near the Metro.
*Update Jan 2013: For a cheap hotel near CDG Airport, friends recommend the Only Suites Hotel. Book online for cheapest rates.
*Update April 2013: My Paris based friend Ellise Pierce recommends the Hotel de Fleurie. She says "It's a good one for cheap Paris hotels….it's not fancy but it's right off the Blvd St. Germain and the staff speaks english and is really nice."
*Another update April 2013: My Paris based friend Carol Gillott recommends the "very cheap" two-star Hotel Dupleix. Very old style Paris for 55€ with wifi and TV..."
*And while we're on the subject of Paris on a budget, you might check out this Feb 5, 2014 story: Top Ten Ten Budget Restaurants and Bistros in Paris.