Set up a stay at Hotel Plaza Athenee (25 Avenue Montaigne, 8e; +33-01-53-67-66-65; Plaza-Athenee-Paris.com; ac;595+), unequivocally one of the finest places to stay in Paris. The service is extraordinary; courteously and without stuffiness the staff will cater to your every whim. Most of the 191 rooms and suites are decorated in traditional Louis XVI and Regency styles, but the two top floors of the hotel encompass an art deco theme that will delight anyone nostalgic for the style and glamour of the Jazz Age. You will eat well here, as the director of all the restaurants and food service is Alain Ducasse, a virtuoso of Parisian gastronomy. The hip and hot Bar du Plaza Athenee features a pressure-sensitive illuminated bar of sculpted and sandblasted glass, whose iceberg-blue hue sets a dramatic stage for the bar's 3-D layered cocktails. Designer Patrick Jouin also included a comfortable, loungy area that features a series of paintings with frames deep enough for patrons to sit in and become part of the art.
Hotel des Academies (15 Rue de la Grande Chaumiere, 6e; +33-1-43-26-66-44; Hotel-Des-Academies.com; ac;264+) is a great choice if you're looking for something intimate yet convenient, located in a quiet area near transportation options.
Hotel des Noailles (9 Rue de Michodiere, 2e; +33-1-47-42-92-90; HotelNoailles.com; ac;265+) is a stylish address with funky contemporary deco decor and plenty of postmodern design touches. A delightful French buffet breakfast includes fresh fruits, juices, pastries, meats, and crepes prepared on the spot.
The charming 17th-century townhouse of Hotel du Globe (15 Rue des Quatre-Vents, 6e; +33-1-43-26-35-50; Hotel-du-Globe.fr; ac;160+) was once a convent for the abbey of St-Germain-des-Pres. Sporting exposed wood beams, stone walls, and traditional decoration, its small size is made up for by its location (a stone's throw away from the Odeon metro) and its friendly service.
Oscar Wilde slept at Hotel du Quai-Voltaire (19 Quai Voltaire, 7e; +33-1-42-61-50-91; QuaiVoltaire.fr; ac;130+), built as an abbey in the 17th century. Previously, guests would endure the shabby rooms here for the perfect views of the Seine and the Louvre, but extensive renovations of the entire hotel turned the place into a comfortable, clean, and inexpensive choice.
One of the best hotels in the Marais is Hotel de la Bretonnerie (22 Rue Ste-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 4e; +33-1-48-87-77-63; HotelBretonnerie.com; ac;135+). Built in the 17th century, it retains many of its original charms and has full services. The clientele is mixed gay and straight. Suites in front can be a little noisy during the weekends; request a room at the back of the hotel if you prefer quiet.
If you want to explore gay nightlife during your time off, the only truly gay-marketed hotel in the Marais is the Hotel Central Marais (33 Rue Vieille du Temple, 4e; +33-1-48-87-56-08; HotelCentralMarais.com; ac;89+), the city's main "gay hotel," with seven rooms in a 17th-century building on the second through fifth floors above Bar Le Central Marais . Rooms have some charm but are fairly basic; only one has a private bath (on the top floor).
Hotel Bourg-Tibourg (19 Rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 4e; +33-1-42-78-47-39; HotelduBourgTibourg.com; ac;180+) was decorated by interior design superstar Jacques Garcia -- every room is styled in minute detail and the results are absolutely wild. Located on a quiet street but still in the epicenter of the Marais, this hotel is not terribly expensive, considering its location and decor. Continental breakfast ( ac;16 extra) is normally served in the ancient vaulted-ceiling basement.