14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris
Leah Walker October 11, 2018

Paris needs no introduction. You don’t have to have visited for the name to elicit thoughts of romance, fine arts, fashion, and centuries of history. History is something that can be consumed in countless forms throughout the City of Light, from the aged wines to the renowned hotels that transport travelers through time. Visitors can stay in accommodations frequented by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and Ernest Hemingway. Or they can rest their heads in a former British Embassy. If you’re a follower of my Instagram Stories then you know I’m a huge history buff, and that I love uncovering and sharing those nuggets. And as a lover of hotels and history, I am overjoyed when I have the opportunity to stay in the historic hotels in Paris.

Historic Hotels in Paris

There’s a multitude of Parisian hotels full of history {See my France Guide for other recommended hotels}. In fact, they literally appear around every corner, but 14 of them have especially intriguing tales to tell. These are just some of my favorite historic hotels in Paris.

The Peninsula Paris

Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Peninsula Paris
An American in Paris was written at the Peninsula

The Peninsula has more than one story to tell from its 100+ years in business. Since the Peninsula opened its doors as Hotel Majestic in 1908, it has served as the venue of Sydney and Violet Schiff’s iconic dinner party {1922}, as the setting in which George Gershwin wrote An American in Paris, and as the home of the UNESCO headquarters in the 1930s. Found in the 16th arrondissement on Avenue Kleber, the Peninsula Paris is a five-star hotel within walking distance of many of the city’s most iconic  museums, monuments, and shops.

Peninsula Paris

19 Avenue Kléber, 75116

Hotel Scribe

Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Hotel Scribe
A photo of the Lumiere brothers hangs in the Hotel Scribe

On Dec. 28, 1895, citizens watched 10 short films presented by the Lumiere brothers in the world’s first cinema. This birthplace of cinema, officially known as Hotel Scribe Paris Opera by Sofitel, is now a five-star hotel undergoing an exciting renovation from April 2018 to September 2019. In the heart of the Opera district, this hotel is currently creating the next chapter in Parisian history. Head over to ALLEZ Entertainment to see a video from my series Finding France: Los Angeles, where I discover the French history of cinema in Hollywood. You’ll learn more about the Hotel Scribe, as well as the Lumiere Brothers, who invented going to the movies.

Hotel Scribe Paris Opera by Sofitel

1 Rue Scribe, 75009

Hôtel de Vendôme

Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Hotel de Vendome
See the Texas embassy plaque to the right of entrance

History in the center of Paris, the Hôtel de Vendôme once served as the Texas Embassy, when the current U.S. state was an independent nation from 1836 to 1845. Visit, and you’ll see a plaque commemorating the embassy to the right of the hotel’s entrance. Now, the Hôtel de Vendôme offers sumptuous five-star accommodations, award-winning dining, and state-of-the-art amenities just off Place Vendôme. Texans like me shouldn’t get too excited. There’s no special nod to the Lone Star State, other than the plaque in front.

Hôtel de Vendôme

1 Place Vendôme, 75001

Hotel d’Angleterre

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker
Charles Lindbergh and Ernest Hemingway slept here.

Formerly the British Embassy in the late 18th century, the Hotel d’Angleterre is a piece of history, and has hosted some impressive guests too. Request room 14, and you’ll rest where Ernest Hemingway and his wife stayed during a visit in 1921. Pilot Charles Lindbergh also stayed here in 1927, after successfully completing the first nonstop solo flight from New York City to Paris. Today, the Hotel d’ Angleterre, found in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres district, offers a lavish yet intimate setting that still transports visitors back to the late 1700s.

Hotel d’Angleterre

44 rue Jacob, 75006

L’Hôtel

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker L'Hotel
Oscar Wilde died at L’Hôtel.

Praised as one of the most famous hotels in Paris, L’Hôtel is also one of the most historic. Opt for the Oscar Wilde Suite, and you can enjoy the 35-square-meter room decorated to commemorate Wilde, who died while staying at the hotel in 1900. L’Hôtel is the smallest five-star hotel in the city, offering the finest luxuries and a Michelin-starred restaurant set in the lively streets of Saint-Germain-des-Pres.

L’Hôtel

13 Rue des Beaux Arts, 75006

Hotel Westminster

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Hotel Westminster
Hotel Westminster was opened in 1809.

Hotels in the City of Light don’t get older than the Hotel Westminster, which claims to be the longest continuously open hotel in Paris. The hotel opened its doors in 1809 and has remained open at 13 Rue De La Paix, ever since. Carefully appointed rooms, decorated in 19th-century style and fully restored in 2012, transport travelers to a simpler time without sacrificing any modern luxuries. Certainly, it’s fit for the Duke of Westminster, from whom the hotel was named.

Hotel Westminster

13 Rue de la Paix, 75002

Maison Souquet

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Maison Souquet
Maison Souquet was once a brothel.

The decor at the provocative Maison Souquet gives a nod to the hotel’s history as a brothel, and that’s what makes it one of the most historic (and sexy) hotels in the city. The now five-star boutique hotel sits at the brink of the Montmartre tourist district and trendy South Pigalle. Enter, and you’ll immediately be led to the Salon des Milles et une Nuits, setting the tone for a romantic and intriguingly historic stay. Another bit of history about Maison Souquet–it was turned from a brothel to a school for girls.

Maison Souquet

10 Rue de Bruxelles, 75009

Le Meurice

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Le Meurice
Dali was just one of the famous guests of Le Meurice.

Like many of historic hotels in Paris, Le Meurice has hosted a long list of royal and celebrity guests, including the King of Spain Alphonse XIII, King George VI, and Salvador Dali. Dali spent at least one month each year at Le Meurice and became close with the staff there. Rudyard Kipling, Orson Welles, and Elizabeth Taylor are just a few of the countless notable names that have called Le Meurice home for at least one night. The five-star hotel at 228 Rue de Rivoli, continues to host celebrities, performers, and world leaders today.

Le Meurice

228 Rue de Rivoli, 75001

Ritz Paris

If the walls at the Ritz could talk…

The Ritz Paris, founded in 1898, was one of the first hotels on the continent to offer electricity, a telephone, and a bathroom en suite in every room. The hotel quickly became known for its luxury, and attracted guests like Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marcel Proust, Ernest Hemingway, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. During the second World War, American and French guests mingled with Germans who moved in when occupying the city in 1940. Within the hotel walls, there was no separation between Nazis and Allies. For a fascinating book featuring the hotel, pick up The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris. Find more of my favorite history books about Paris here.

Ritz Paris

15 Place Vendôme, 75001

Hôtel Vernet

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Hotel Vernet
Eat breakfast under Eiffel’s cupola.

The “Magician of Iron,” Gustav Eiffel, didn’t just put his stamp on the Eiffel Tower. In fact, the famed civil engineer designed far more than the main tourist attraction in Paris, including the cupola at the Hôtel Vernet. You can find the five-star boutique hotel, and its cupola, in the Haussmann building at 25 Rue Vernet, just off the Arc de Triomphe.

Hotel Vernet

25 Rue Vernet, 75008

Hôtel Napoleon

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Hotel Napoleon
“The Palace” was the place to be for the city’s rich and famous.

A Paris romance story for the ages — the Hôtel Napoleon, formerly known as Hotel de Charme, was gifted by wealthy Russian businessman Alexander Pavlovich Kliguine to his wife when they wed in the 1920s. During that time, it was dubbed as “The Palace” by Errol Flynn, and hosted lavish parties with guests such as John Steinbeck, Salvador Dalí, and Ella Fitzgerald. Hôtel Napoleon was named in honor of the emperor and for its location close to the Arc de Triomphe. The hotel is one of the few independent hotels in the city, remaining in Kliguine family and passed down from generation to generation.

Hôtel Napoleon

40 Avenue de Friedland, 75008

Le Bristol

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Le Bristol
The Bristol was once the American Embassy.

Le Bristol opened its doors in 1925, and has been a staple of Parisian luxury and historic architecture since. Found at 112 Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, Le Bristol once housed the American Embassy and became a home base for Americans living in Paris. The five-star hotel remains a symbol of elegance and is a member of the Oetker Collection Masterpiece Hotels, headed by one of the wealthiest families in Europe.

Le Bristol

112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008

Hotel Verneuil

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Hotel
The former townhouse was home to some of France’s best writers.

The importance of the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres dates back to the Middle Ages, so it’s no surprise the hotels there are steeped in history too. The Hotel Verneuil, formerly a 17th-century townhouse, was home to Sartre, Verlaine, Camus, and Rimbaud. The intimate hotel now offers quaint, yet modern, rooms with exposed timber beams. The original staircase remains a symbol of the hotel and the surrounding neighborhood’s rich history.

Hotel Verneuil

8 Rue de Verneuil, 75007

Pershing Hall

Major General John J. Pershing arrived in Paris in the spring of 1917. He was given the highest rank possible and free reign of decision making due to his impressive service in the war. The current Pershing Hall was built in the late 1800s and used as Pershing’s war headquarters from 1917 to 1919, when it was purchased by the American Legion and became the American Legion Paris. It was later purchased by the American Government, then in 1991, by the Department of Veterans Affairs when it fell into disrepair. Now, under a 99-year-lease, a French company has spent millions renovating what is now an esteemed five-star hotel. Commemorative WWI plaques don the hallways, and Major General Pershing is still honored in its name. Note: this hotel appears to be closed, but I wanted to include it nonetheless.

Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker Coco Chanel Suite Ritz Paris
Stay in the Coco Chanel Suite at the Ritz Paris.

In my mind, one of the greatest things about living in or visiting an old city like Paris is that history is found in every nook and cranny. It’s just a matter of being curious and uncovering that knowledge. From the hotel that once held the stolen Mona Lisa to the former home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew, there are so many more historic hotels in Paris.

14 of the Most Historic Hotels in Paris by Leah Walker

Some of these links are affiliate, meaning I make a small commission, with no additional cost to you. This helps keep me stocked in French wine, as well as a roof over my head.

Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, USA Today 10 Best, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel and wine ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's lived in Paris for three years, and was recently awarded another four with a Passeport Talent visa renewal. Though, her talent for speaking French is abysmal.

12 Comments

  1. brilliant. there are so many it’s just exhausting to think about what the best are. they’re all the best tho i’m partial to The Bristol as it kind of takes my breath away. but this is absolutely the best list. i know some, i now have some more to visit as the tourist with her mouth always hanging open. thanks for this list, Leah, it’s just fabulous, a great mix.

  2. very very nice article. it is so beautiful and lots of information I didn’t know. I will busy googling everything tomorrow. I will check if one of these happens to be affordable for me for next visit which is in February. thank you very much for this fancy list with all of these very interesting comments.

  3. I would love a stay at Maison Souquet, I wonder if I should book a stay there when I do the Paris Marathon in April. Very tempting. Loving the looks of the others as well.

  4. What a great post on Paris hotels. I naively assumed I’d recognise the names of most if it not all of the historic ones, but whilst hotels like the Vendôme and Ritz are familiar, I haven’t come across most of the others. Love the look of all of them but particularly drawn to the Hoetl Vernet and that atrium by Eiffel, what a room!

  5. It was so interesting to see this list of historic hotels in Paris. An American in Paris is one of my favourite Paris movies. So I would definintely want to try the Peninsula Hotel. Hotel d’Angleterre sounds like it is just full of stories. It was funny. As soon as I looked at the picture of the Maison Souquet, I thought “brothel” !! We have come to love the Ritz hotels and would definitely want to try the one in Paris. So many great hotels with so much history!

  6. I love those charming hotels in Paris, like Hotel d’Angleterre and L’Hôtel. Le Meurice has always been on my wish list…

    I haven’t had a hotel stay in Paris for a while because thanks to the Eurostar it’s easy to go just for a day. But really it’s worth changing that!

  7. Paris is one of our favourite cities for obvious reasons. We have been there for a few days once but so much want to go back for a more detailed exploration. You have highlighted one of the unique and not much-noticed aspects of Paris which is so fascinating. The Hotels of Paris are indeed a slice of history. Each one of them has its own story to tell. My favourite here would be Hotel Scribe where the world was introduced to cinema.

  8. I have to admit that I have no idea which one I would choose I were to stay there 🙂 And it’s impressive to know how much history they hide. It was cool to know that Hotel Scribe is where cinematography was born. And nice that the Americans had a chance to stay at the beautiful Bristol. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Ooh I love this! I love Paris, hotels and history! I am a mad Oscar Wilde fan, so a stay in the Oscar Wilde suite at L’Hôtel would be heaven. The Verneuil would be fabulous too – being where all those writers stayed would be a dream come true!

  10. What a fantastic collection of Paris hotels. I’m amazed to learn that Hôtel de Vendôme once served as the Texas Embassy. The brothel looks like a fun place to stay and as an Oscar Wilde fan I’m sure I would love L’Hotel.

Your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers

Have the world delivered to your inbox
Well, maybe not the whole world, but some of it. Either way, subscribe to my monthly newsletter. I'll include my latest articles from around the Web, travel announcements, and maybe even a few Paris insider tips.