Book this, not that: Getting the most from your hotel points in Paris

Mar 16, 2022

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Let’s be honest: After watching “Emily in Paris,” you’re probably fantasizing about a trip to the City of Light.

Although Paris is home to some of the most expensive and luxurious hotels in the world, you can find a plethora of points hotels where having hotel points and elite status will really pay off.

But with a range of highly regarded accommodation options available, including the pricey Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome and the more budget-friendly Holiday Inn Paris Opera – Grands Blvds, choosing the right property at which to redeem your hard-earned points can seem daunting.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this installment of “Book this, not that,” we’re heading across the Atlantic to suggest some hotels that offer excellent value when redeeming points. Plus, we’ll show you a few you should avoid.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it serves as a good jumping-off point for deciding where to stay in Paris.

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Book this: Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme
(Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

Arguably the signature hotel in the World of Hyatt portfolio, the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome is one of Paris’ most spectacular hotels. It’s conveniently situated on the border of the First and Second arrondissements, directly across from the Place Vendome. And it’s only a few blocks away from the Tuileries Garden and the Louvre.

Any World of Hyatt loyalist will tell you that this hotel is a must, as its elegant design and top-notch service are bound to have you feeling like you fit right in with the city’s upper class.

Room rates, however, match the upscale atmosphere. Expect to find accommodations costing just shy of $1,000 per night to start.

While the hotel is still a Category 7 Hyatt property, on March 22, it will become a Category 8 hotel, meaning redemption rates will go from 25,000-35,000 points per night to 35,000-45,000 points per night, depending on when you book.

Still, the points rate is a bit easier to stomach than the cash price. Not to mention, those with Globalist status receive a tasty complimentary breakfast full of Parisian classics like fresh bread and espresso — a spread that would normally set you back 50 euros (about $55).

Related: Here’s how to book Hyatt suite upgrades online with points

Skip that: Hyatt Paris Madeleine

(Photo by Becca Denenberg Manheimer/The Points Guy)

Situated in the heart of the Eighth Arrondissement, the Hyatt Paris Madeline boasts an address just as desirable as the Park Hyatt but falls flat in design when compared to its sister property.

The glass-topped lobby lounge is no doubt swanky, though it pales in comparison to the Park Hyatt’s courtyard dining venue. What’s more, standard rooms here are tiny at 193-236 square feet.

Although room rates start at $400 or 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night, the Hyatt Paris doesn’t deliver quite the same wow factor as the Park Hyatt, so your better bet would be to cash in a few more points for a stay at the latter.

Related: Visiting Paris in winter: Is it worth the trip for families?

Book this: The Westin Paris – Vendome

(Photo by Brian Kelly/The Points Guy)

When it comes to The Westin Paris – Vendome, I am biased … and I always will be.

Located just north of the Tuileries Garden, the hotel has welcomed guests like me for decades. When I was just 5 years old, my parents took me to Europe for the first time, and it was this property (an InterContinental at the time) they chose for our stay. That trip sparked a love of Europe I still hold to this day, so I will always have a soft spot for everything associated with it, including this property.

Five year old Kyle with a nice a rollaway bed at the Intercontinental (now Westin) Paris
Five-year-old Kyle with a nice rollaway bed at the InterContinental (now Westin) Paris. (Photo by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy)

Sure, the rooms are beginning to show their age, but the hotel’s prime location and impressive breakfast buffet, which includes a made-to-order omelet station and is complimentary for Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador elite members when chosen as their welcome gift, are major draws.

Additionally, you’ll find that the redemption rate of 60,000 points per night for standard rooms (which typically cost between $500 and $800 per night, depending on the dates of your stay) is fair. Another bonus is that Marriott’s fifth-night-free benefit applies here, so you can stretch your points further for longer stays.

Related: 5 ways to get your hotel breakfast for free

Skip that: Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel

Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel roon
(Photo by Eric Goldner/The Points Guy)

Despite its proximity to the Palais Garnier (Paris’ opera house) and recent extensive renovation, the Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel is an underwhelming pick in Paris.

While the property offers an executive lounge for Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador elite members, reviews for it are hit or miss.

On hot days, there are also areas that are noticeably lacking adequate air conditioning, so if you prefer cooler temperatures when you sleep, you may find it difficult to get a restful night’s sleep here.

Nightly cash rates at the Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador are cheaper at $350 and up for a standard room, but with award rates being the same 60,000 points per night you’d pay at The Westin Paris – Vendome, you’ll get a better return on your points (and overall experience) if you stay at the Westin.

Related: Review: The Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel

Book this: Holiday Inn Paris Opera – Grands Blvd

Holiday Inn Paris Opera - Grands Blvds, an IHG Hotel
(Photo courtesy of IHG)

Four nights in the heart of Paris for just 90,000 points? Oui, s’il vous plait.

You’ll find several Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express properties throughout Paris, but the Holiday Inn outpost next to the Grands Boulevards Metro station offers one of the best IHG addresses in the city. Less than a mile away from the Palais Garnier, the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden, among other sights, Holiday Inn Paris Opera – Grands Blvds can be an excellent base for going out and maximizing your time in Paris.

If you’re traveling with kids, this property is especially appealing, as children 17 and younger stay for free when sharing a room with their parents. Plus, kids younger than 13 enjoy complimentary breakfast every day of their stay. Keep in mind, though, that there’s a four-child cap on this perk.

While the hotel’s starting cash rate of $200 per night is affordable by Paris standards, we recommend opting to pay with points, as rooms are available for as little as 30,000 points per night. And if you have an IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card, you’ll enjoy a fourth night free on award nights.

If you don’t currently have enough points to fully cover a stay, try to hold off on booking until there’s a points sale offering bonus points for every points purchase. Through these promotions, you’ll often spend less than what you would if you reserved your room with cash.

Related: The award travelers guide to IHG Rewards

Buy IHG points
(Screenshot from storefront.points.com)

Skip that: Hotel Camille Paris Gare de Lyon, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Hotel Camille Tapestry by Hilton Paris Gare de Lyon
(Photo courtesy of Hilton)

As a hub for France’s national railway, Paris’ Gare de Lyon is surrounded by accommodation options, including a Tapestry Collection outpost from Hilton.

While you may not miss having easy access to tourist attractions if you stay at Hotel Camille Paris Gare de Lyon, as the property’s proximity to the train station is its main draw, its small rooms and lack of on-site amenities (think: no fitness center or executive lounge) make it hard to justify over other hotels in the area.

The points redemption rate is also disappointing. Should you pay the property’s rate of 50,000 points per night for a standard room, you’ll end up spending more than you would if you paid out of pocket thanks to cash rates starting at $200 per night.

Related: From basic economy to first class — here are 3 ways to do Paris on points

Bottom line

You don’t need to break the bank to have a bon voyage to Paris. In fact, veteran visitors will tell you that there are deals to be had, even when prioritizing a central location above all else.

For a destination like Paris where most of your time will be spent experiencing all the beautiful city has to offer, it generally makes sense to sacrifice some property perks in favor of proximity to everything you want to see and do. That said, you don’t have to settle for a hotel with few (if any) amenities to afford a room in the heart of the city.

Use this list to find the right points property for you. With the money you save on accommodations, you can treat yourself to some extra Parisian goodies during your trip.

Featured photo by James O’Neil/Getty Images.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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