Paris on points is possible — here’s where to stay
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Paris is one of those cities where you have an incredible array of points hotels from which to choose. When I began research for my last trip, parsing the hotels was the toughest piece of the puzzle. With points across a range of programs, you can splurge on world-class luxury hotels, opt for the middle ground or try to find some hidden values.
Paris is an expensive destination, so making the most of your points — as well as your elite benefits or perks from cobranded credit cards — can really make or break your trip budget.
Marriott Bonvoy has nearly two dozen hotels within its portfolio. IHG Rewards Club has solid offerings, from its Holiday Inn brand to Crowne Plaza to two InterContinental hotels. World of Hyatt has fewer in Paris than Marriott or IHG, but you can choose the classy Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome or more traditional Hyatt Paris Madeleine and Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile. Hyatt also has a number of incredible boutique hotels, including Hotel du Louvre, Grand Powers and Relais Christine.
As a Hilton Honors girl, I was disappointed with the brand’s tiny footprint in Paris, but Best Western Rewards surprised me with more than 40 options. I wasn’t looking for a value hotel on my last trip, but there are some Best Western options that I’d consider in the future. There’s also a Radisson Blu near the Champs-Elysees if you’re still looking for a way to finally clear out your Radisson Rewards account. A few Choice Privileges hotels round out the offerings.
Paris points hotels on the map
It can be helpful to look at a map of Paris to determine the areas you’re most likely to explore on your trip and try to stay as close to those areas as possible.
Here’s a map that shows the most popular Paris hotels that are bookable on points. (Blue beds indicate Marriott Bonvoy properties. Purple is World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club is green, Hilton is orange, Best Western is brown, Radisson is red and Choice Privileges is yellow.) The map also points out some of the city’s top attractions via a white star in a black circle.
Click the map for an interactive view.
How to decide where to stay
Determining which hotel you’ll base out of will probably depend on what kind of points you have — or can get before your trip. If you’ve got some expenses coming up, look at the current batch of cobranded hotel credit cards that are offering big bonuses to see if they could help get you to the City of Lights. (More on those offers later.)
Once you know what program’s points you’ll use (and how many you’re willing to spend on this trip), consider the location and style of the hotel you want.
When I was planning a big anniversary trip to Paris, we had a few requirements. The hotel had to:
- be close to the Louvre (since we planned a few private and self-guided tours there)
- be small/boutique in nature
- have suites available on points, or cash and points
- have an on-site restaurant and bar
That’s how we ended up at the Hotel du Louvre In Hyatt’s Unbound Collection. My World of Hyatt balance was zero when I made reservations for the Palais Royal Suite, so I transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points that I had earned with my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
I then signed up for the World Of Hyatt Credit Card to take advantage of the welcome bonus (we’ll apply the points to a future trip) and the elite points-earning bonus on the Paris stay. (The current welcome bonus is 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and another 25,000 points after you spend a total of $6,000 in the first six months of card ownership.)
Study the above Google map, jot down any first impressions of the arrondissements (neighborhoods) in which you’d like to stay and go from there. In Paris, remember that an address’ ZIP code will help you decode what arrondissement it’s in. If the ZIP code is 75001, the address is in the 1st arrondissement.
A note about Eiffel Tower views
For some travelers, especially first-time visitors to Paris or honeymooners, a room with an Eiffel Tower view is a must. There are plenty of options but just because you book a hotel that offers rooms with a tower view doesn’t mean you’ll be assigned one. If it’s important to see the Eiffel Tower from your hotel room, make sure it’s guaranteed when booking. That’s often the case with name suites. Alternatively, book an apartment rental or Airbnb where you can see the exact view you’ll get before booking.
Also, keep in mind the type of view you want. Do you want to be close enough where you feel like you could reach out and touch the tower? Or, is a view of the tower in the distance OK?
Here’s a list of a few hotels that have Eiffel Tower views from their rooms.
|Hotel||Room Type to Book for Eiffel Tower View||Type of Points|
|AC Hotel Paris Porte Maillot||Parisian View Suite||Marriott|
|Best Western Au Trocadero||20% of the rooms have an Eiffel Tower view but it’s not guaranteed||Best Western|
|Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon||King Eiffel Tower View, Twin Eiffel Tower View, Family Eiffel Tower View||Marriott|
|Grand Hotel du Palais Royal||Panoramic Suite||Hyatt|
|Grand Powers||Elegant Suite||Hyatt|
|Hyatt Paris Madeleine||Presidential Suite and Eiffel Tower Suite||Hyatt|
|Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile||standard, deluxe and club access rooms (1 king or 2 twins) with Eiffel Tower view; Eiffel Tower Suite; Presidential Suite||Hyatt|
|InterContinental Paris – Avenue Marceau||Top-Floor Suite with Eiffel Tower View||IHG|
|Le Dokhan’s, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Paris||Eiffel Suite||Marriot|
|Le Meridien Etoile||Club Lounge rooms and Executive Suite have access to lounge terrace with Eiffel Tower view||Marriot|
|Le Metropolitan, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel||Eiffel View Suite and Eiffel Suite||Marriot|
|Le Narcisse Blanc Hotel & Spa||Cleo Suite and Aurore Suite||Hyatt|
|Maison Astor Paris, Curio Collection by Hilton||Rooftop Suite||Hilton|
|Prince de Galles||Suite Lalique||Marriott|
|Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower Hotel||superior and deluxe (1 king or 2 twins)||Accor|
|Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel||Park Sky View Terrace and Arc de Triomphe Terrace||Marriott|
|Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero Hotel||Eiffel Tower Junior Suite||Marriott|
|The Westin Paris – Vendome||Room With a View (1 king, 1 double or 2 twins), Junior Suite With a View (1 queen), Royal Suite and Presidential Suite||Marriott|
Paris with Marriott Bonvoy
If you’ve got Marriott points, there are all kinds of hotels you can pick. If you’re relatively new to the program or haven’t been keeping up with loyalty program news, be aware that Marriott now prices redemptions according to off-peak, standard and peak dates.
Marriott also offers your fifth night free on all award reservations., which can really stretch your points in a city like Paris.
Here are some of our favorite Marriott redemptions in the city:
If you’ve always dreamed of window-shopping along the Champs-Elysees, there are two Category 8 properties, from 70k points per night on off-peak dates, in the 8th arrondissement that fit the bill. Both are on side streets off the tony Champs-Elysees and both are part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection.
TPG Reviews Editor Nick Ellis enjoyed a fabulous stay at the Prince de Galles earlier this fall. If you decide to stay here, spring for one of the rooms with a terrace overlooking the hotel’s courtyard. It’s simply gorgeous. The city views aren’t too shabby, either:
Bold is the word I use to describe Hotel de Berri. The lobby is a study in marble, with black columns and crimson pillars along with animal print furniture. There are several striking fireplaces and sculptures throughout the lobby. Guest rooms are more understated, with yellow, cream or green walls and large beds dressed in crisp white linens.
If the 9th arrondissement appeals to you and you prefer a small hotel, check out the Hotel de NELL, Paris, a Member of Design Hotels. It’s a Category 7 property (from 50k points per night on off-peak dates). With just 33 rooms and suites, you’ll enjoy a very personalized stay. It’s a 25-minute walk to the Louvre but there are two Metro stops nearby: the Cadet station on Line 7 and the Grands Boulevards station for lines 8 and 9.
Two Category 7 hotels — Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel and The Westin Paris – Vendome — are perfectly positioned in the 1st arrondissement to allow for easy exploration of Paris on foot, via public transportation, on a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus or via a taxi/ride-hailing service. From 50,000 points per night on off-peak dates, you’re within easy walking distance to the Louvre, Tuileries Garden, Place de la Concorde, Musée d’Orsay and more.
Best Marriott value
When it comes to the Marriott Bonvoy program, you can get a lot of value when using the up to 35k free night certificate that arrives on the card anniversary of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card or the up to 50k free night anniversary certificate from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. (The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card also offers the same 50,000-point certificate, but that card is no longer available to new applicants.)
The welcome bonuses for those cards are also very good right now:
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card –Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card — 75,000 welcome points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months. Terms apply.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card — 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms apply.
Use a 50k free night certificate at La Maison Champs Elysees, Paris, a Member of Design Hotels (8th arrondissement; Category 7, from 50,000 points per night off-peak) or Le Roch Hotel and Spa, Paris, a Member of Design Hotels in the 1st arrondissement (Category 7, from 50,000 points per night off-peak).
Use a 35k free night certificate at these hotels which are a bit further out from the city center: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center (14th arrondissement; Category 5) and Le Méridien Etoile (17th arrondissement). Both are Category 5, from 35,000 points per night on standard dates.
Some other good values to be had include Moxy Paris Bastille in the 11th arrondissement and the Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon in the 12th arrondissement — both are Category 4 hotels, from 20k points off-peak.
If you and your partner both sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, you can earn at least 210,000 points after completing the spending requirement. Family members can pool Marriott points, so that means you could get a five-night award stay (including the fifth night free) at any hotel charging 50k points per night, or up to 12 nights on points at the Moxy Paris Bastille or Courtyard Paris Gare de Lyon.
Another perk of your stay — if you have elite status — could be free breakfast, but Marriott has a pretty convoluted system for determining which elites get free breakfast at which of its brands. Here’s the complete guide to Marriott elite breakfast benefits. Note also that Marriott does not waive resort fees on award stays.
World of Hyatt oh-la-la
With the World of Hyatt program, you can redeem points for free nights or suite upgrades on paid nights. There are also cash and points rates which aren’t all that good, so it’s usually best to bypass those.
Note that in March 2020, World of Hyatt is moving to a dynamic award chart with off-peak, standard and peak dates.
Here’s Hyatt’s current award chart that’s value until March 2020:
And, here’s how many points it takes to upgrade a paid rate to a Club room or suite (before the March 2020 award chart change).
Here’s how Hyatt’s dynamic award chart will look starting in March 2020:
The cheapest Hyatt redemption
Let’s start with the value option: It’s the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile in the 17th arrondissement. You can redeem 15,000 points per night for a room with a king or two twin beds, or redeem 21k points for a room with Club Lounge access (again a room with a king or two twin beds). The nice thing is that if you plan to stay in a regular room without Club access, you can also use a Category 1–4 free night certificate, like the one that arrives on the anniversary of your World Of Hyatt Credit Card. If you earned the full 50k-point welcome bonus from this card (discussed above) and you had a free night certificate, you could stay at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile for four nights.
Boutique hotels and luxury splurges
What’s really compelling about World of Hyatt program is the boutique properties that you can book with points. I recently stayed at the Hotel du Louvre In The Unbound Collection by Hyatt and had a great experience upgrading a paid rate to a Premium Suite with points.
The recently renovated Hotel du Louvre couldn’t be more perfectly located if your goal is to visit the Louvre — it’s a one-minute walk away and many rooms overlook the museum. You can redeem a night’s stay for 25,000 points, or book a paid rate and upgrade to a suite (6,000 points a night for a Standard suite and 9,000 points per night for a Premium).
If we hadn’t booked the Hotel du Louvre, we likely would have picked the Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal, also in the 1st arrondissement, and part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Rooms go for 30,000 points per night.
Other boutique properties that also go for 30k points per night are Hotel Relais Christine (6th arrondissement) and Le Narcisse Blanc Hotel & Spa (7th arrondissement).
While not a boutique property, the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome — in the 2nd arrondissement near Opera Garnier and Place Vendome — is a well-regarded luxury hotel. Redeem 30k points per night for a Park Room King (or with two twins).
IHG Rewards Club in Paris
IHG Rewards Club has some very good hotels in Paris, but if you’re bringing a family, beware. Many hotels limit room occupancy on awards to two people. In fact, in my searches, I found only two IHG properties that allowed three people in a room on an award: Holiday Inn – Montmartre and Holiday Inn Express – Canal de la Ville. However, if you’re traveling solo or as a couple, you’ll have plenty of choices.
There are two luxury hotels from which to choose in Paris: InterContinental Paris – Le Grand in the 9th arrondissement near the Opera Garnier (starting at 70k points per night) and InterContinenal Paris – Avenue Marceau in the 8th arrondissement near the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees (starting at 60k points per night).
A midrange option
The Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera, in the 9th arrondissement near Opera Garnier and Galeries Lafayette, is a good happy medium between a more expensive luxury hotel and a value-oriented Holiday Inn. This hotel gets great reviews due to its location on a quiet street — something that’s not all that easy to find in bustling Paris. Award redemptions are from 55k points per night.
I love IHG Rewards Club because if you hold the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you get the fourth night free on every award stay. That can present an incredible value in Paris. You also get a free night certificate on the anniversary of your card, and even though it’s capped at hotels that cost up to 40,000 points, there are still plenty of possibilities in Paris. You could use that free night at any of the following hotels:
- Holiday Inn Paris – St. Germain des Pres (35k points; 6th arrondissement)
- Holiday Paris – Elysées (40k points; 8th arrondissement)
- Holiday Inn Paris Opera – Grands Blvds (35k points; 9th arrondissement)
- Holiday Inn Paris – Gare de l’Est (40k points; 10th arrondissement)
- Holiday Inn Paris – Gare de Lyon Bastille (40k points; 12th arrondissement)
- Holiday Inn Paris – Montparnasse Pasteur (35k points; 15th arrondissement)
- Holiday Inn Paris – Auteuil (35k points; 16th arrondissement)
- Holiday Inn – Montmartre (30k points; 18th arrondissement)
- Holiday Inn Express Paris – Canal de la Villette (35k points; 19th arrondissement)
The City of Lights and Hilton Honors
Hilton doesn’t have a published award chart but you can find the range of points a hotel may cost at Hilton’s Points Explorer tool.
If you’ve got a fat Hilton Honors balance, you’ll be sad to hear the program doesn’t have a lot of offerings in Paris, but there are two solid contenders in the 8th arrondissement. Redemptions can range from 65,000 to 80,000 points per night for a Standard Room award (or more for Premium award).
The Hilton Paris Opera is walking distance to many sights, including the Palais Garnier and Galeries Lafayette. The Gare Saint-Lazare RER and Metro station is right across the street. The landmark building has 268 rooms plus an Executive Lounge (accessibly by Hilton Honors Diamond elites, as well as anyone staying in Executive rooms and suites). Here’s what Hilton Honors status is worth.
The Maison Astor Paris, Curio Collection by Hilton has a long history in Paris, as it was built in 1907 by John Jacob Astor IV. You are just steps from the Champs-Elysees and many rooms have beautiful views of the city. You will feel like you’re staying in a Parisian apartment instead of a corporate hotel.
Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond elites get a free continental breakfast at both the Hilton Paris Opera and Maison Astor Paris, Curio.
You can use your Hilton free Weekend Night Rewards, a perk of the following cobranded credit cards, at both of these hotels.
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card — Enjoy one weekend night reward with your new Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and every year after renewal. Earn an additional night after you spend $60,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year. Earn a 150,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first three months. Terms apply.
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card — Earn a free Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you make $15K in eligible purchases on your card account in a calendar year. Earn a second free Weekend Night Reward after you spend an additional $45K in that same calendar year. Earn a 125,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months. Terms apply.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card — Earn a Free Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors when you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year. Earn a welcome bonus of 125,000 bonus points after after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms apply.
Hilton Honors elites — and elite status is conferred to cobranded credit cardholders — get the fifth night free on award stays. So, if you and your partner both earned the Hilton Honors Amex Aspire’s welcome bonus (plus spend), you’d have nearly enough points for a five-night stay (including the free fifth night).
Here’s some advice on maximizing redemptions with Hilton Honors.
Give Best Western a try
You know, I think I’ve only ever stayed at one Best Western in my life. But my curiosity was definitely piqued when I mapped out the chain’s hotels in Paris. There are plenty to choose from and many are well located to boot.
If you’re new to Best Western, make sure to pick up elite status — either by status-matching, with a cobranded credit card or via your AAA or AARP membership — before you travel to Paris. Gold elites and above are eligible for room upgrades.
Right now, you can earn up to a 70,000-point welcome bonus with the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard. Spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within three months of opening the card and you’ll get 50k points. Spend $5,000 during each 12 billing cycle periods and you’ll earn another 20,000 points. (Information gathered independently by The Points Guy and not provided by the credit card company.)
Some of Best Western Premier properties in Paris — like the Louvre Saint Honore, Ducs de Bourgogne, Marais Grands Boulevards, Opera Faubourg, Opera Liege, Le Swann and Trocadero la Tour — all go for 36,000 points per night. If you and your travel partner each picked up the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard and executed the spend for the bonus points, you’d have enough for a four-night stay in any of these hotels. If you stay at Best Western properties regularly, be sure to look for promotions that offer free nights.
Leverage flexible points and “eraser” credit cards
If you don’t have a lot of hotel points, don’t worry. Flexible points and credit cards that “erase” expenses coded as travel on their statements are two additional options when it comes to paying for a Paris hotel.
You can book hotels directly through Chase’s travel portal and pay cash or redeem Ultimate Rewards points. The portal offers more than 90 five-star hotels in Paris. I’m sure a stay at the Mandarin Oriental, Paris would be lovely and it’s going for 69,409 Ultimate Rewards points per night for a date in December.
Or see how many Capital One miles you have from spending on your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. You can use your miles to “erase” any statement charge that coded as travel. One mile is worth 1 cent. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card works in a similar fashion as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, which is unfortunately not currently taking new applicants.
The information for the Wells Fargo Propel card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
I don’t think it’s possible to have a bad trip to Paris. But it will help if you select your hotel carefully. Remember that, like other European cities, hotel rooms — especially in historic buildings — can be quite small. If you want or need something more special, upgrade from the entry-level options. While Paris is an expensive city to visit with cash or points, there are some values to be had if you look. What’s your favorite points hotel in Paris? Let us know in the comments section below.
Featured image courtesy of the InterContinental Paris – Le Grand.
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