Hôtel de la Paix Montparnasse

A modern take on a 1950s French schoolhouse, this seven-story hotel is filled with antiques, vintage educational posters, and school desks.

By Valerie Rains, Friday, Mar 18, 2011, 1:00 AM

(Christian Kerber)

Hôtel de la Paix Montparnasse

About this Hotel

Price From $114

For 130 years, the seven-story building that houses the Hôtel de la Paix earned its keep hosting French business travelers drawn to its reasonable prices, attentive service, and central location, a seven-minute walk from Jardin du Luxembourg in Montparnasse. But thanks to a transformation at the hands of Charlotte and Georges Ferrero, who bought the 39-room property in March 2009, the hotel is now welcoming guests in town just as much for weekend sightseeing as weekday work. “Before, we used to be booked Monday through Friday but so quiet on weekends and in August,” says Daniele Letourneau, who has run the front desk for the past 13 years. “Now we’re busy all the time.” While many hotels in Paris gravitate toward opposite ends of the style spectrum—spare at one extreme, prim at the other—Hôtel de la Paix forges its own inviting look: a modern take on a 1950s French schoolhouse. In the rooms, pale-painted walls and white linens pair with wooden window shutters repurposed as headboards; vintage educational posters and school desks with articulated task lamps serve as accents. A jumble of antiques collected on Charlotte’s various excursions to the countryside—a set of weathered, leather-bound dictionaries, a scale model of a schooner encased in glass—punctuate the comfy communal seating area. And when it’s time to join the passersby making their way to the area’s famous cafés, guests need look no further than the front desk to assess the weather. There, a chalkboard is updated each morning with a hand-scribbled forecast, complete with charming drawings of sunbeams, clouds, and raindrops, depending on the day.

Free Wi-Fi? Yes.

Credit Cards Accepted AmEx, MC, Visa.

Details Doubles from $114, breakfast for $12.