Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, so our Black Book is designed to help you experience it in a unique way. We live just several hours away, speak French, and are in the city so often that we are able to find what we are confident are the best hotels, restaurants, and cultural activities -- some of which are frankly inaccessible unless you ask a true Parisian in French.
Notably absent from the Black Book are most places you see on Instagram. Popular spots like Cafe de Flore or Brasserie Lipp, while historic, have become so inundated with tourists that they aren't worth our time (or yours). We are bluntly honest when we have a bad experience. We also realize not everyone wants all classical French food all the time, and because we live where we live, we tend to frequent Paris for global cuisine -- notably sushi, anything spicy, and natural wine bars.
We are constantly updating and adding to the Black Book so you will always have our most current views -- good or bad.
Last updated February 2024. Check back for updates.
Where to Stay
Hôtel Lutetia is the grande dame hotel on Paris’s Rive Gauche. This historic property is especially unique because typically hotels in the Rive Gauche are tiny, boutique properties hidden among residential buildings. Hôtel Lutetia is a luxury palace hotel with a truly unique grand exterior. Inside, the rooms are modern and luxurious, with marble bathrooms, iPad-based automation, sumptuous linens, and Etro toiletries. We loved the dark, glossy wood-paneled halls and dark blue color theme. We loved the Lutecia so much, we extended our stay for an extra night! See more from our stay at Hotel Lutetia
Hotel Le Grand Mazarin
Paris’ Le Marais neighborhood recently welcomed its newest addition, a design-forward luxury hotel. Luxury hoteliers Maisons Pariente, known for their properties in St. Tropez, Provence, and the French Alps, completely refurbished the property with 60 rooms, a stunning indoor pool, gym filled with Technogym equipment, and Boubale, a fabulous Ashkanazi Jewish restaurant and bar. Beautiful design, personal service, fantastic food are guaranteed — all just steps from some of Paris’ most popular restaurants and attractions. See more from our stay at Hotel Le Grande Mazarin.
Le Bristol Paris
This hotel is part of the Oetker Collection, a small family-owned group of a handful of the best hotels in the world. The group’s focus is on luxury and service and Le Bristol is located in the heart of the design and shopping districts, just steps from Champs Elysées and La Madeleine Place. Le Bristol Paris is particularly interesting for people who love food. It offers both three-star and one-star restaurants, as well as a chocolaterie, fromagerie, and cave. They are the only hotel in the world to grind their own flour daily for all of the bread and pastries produced in-house. It can be child-friendly and has a pool on the top floor with an amazing view of the city. Go here if you’re looking for a bit of luxury in Paris and be sure to book your La Prairie spa treatment ahead of time as the spa can book up quickly. See more from our stay at Le Bristol Paris.
This charming boutique hotel on the edge of the Marais is located on one of Paris’s oldest squares, the Place de Voges. A 17th-century palace, it now offers well-appointed, spacious rooms and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Just steps from some of Paris’s best natural wine bars and most interesting restaurants, it’s easy to enjoy the nightlife before turning into your luxurious accommodations. Treat yourself by booking the expansive Suite de la Reine.
See more from our stay at Le Pavillon de la Reine.
If you want to be in the center of it all, treat yourself to a room at the iconic Hôtel de Crillon. Located directly on the Place de Concorde, the location is ideal for exploring some of Paris’ most famous landmarks, including the Jardin des Tuileries, the Louvre, and the Musée d’Orsay.
While all of this is at your doorstep, the interiors of the Hotel de Crillon make it difficult to want to leave. The hotel is impeccably furnished in a style that combines opulent elements of the former palace with fresh, modern furnishings and art. See more from our stay at Hotel de Crillon.