A Warm Welcome in Paris


Faced with too many visitors, the city of Paris asked its citizens to open their homes as B&Bs. It doesn't get more authentique than that.

'Hood On the Right Bank, in the 3rd arrondissement, home to the Musée Picasso and lots of designer boutiques.

Host(s) Denise and Jean-Luc Marchand. "When my children play the piano, guests love it," says Jean-Luc.

Decor The timbered house, built in 1609, still has a hook for tying up a horse in front. You'll feel like you're in a period movie walking up the lopsided oak staircase.

Room(s) Three. Each has a private bathroom and vintage prints on the walls. One room, the Enclos des Templiers, overlooks a tiny courtyard.

Plus At breakfast, Jean-Luc serves homemade honey with croissants from the local boulangerie.

Minus The neighborhood can be noisy, especially on the weekend.

Info 63 rue Charlot, 011-33/1-42-71-83-56, bonne-nuit-paris.com, from $197.

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'Hood Right Bank, in the 11th arrondissement. The area includes Oberkampf, an artsy neighborhood that has great jazz bars.

Host(s) Anne-Lise and Jean-Baptiste Valadon, an automotive executive.

Decor What was once a printmaker's studio is now a cozy home decorated with quirky flea-market finds and big floral paintings.

Room(s) One. Sliding doors lead from the living room to the lone guest room, which is decorated in blues and whites, with built-in bookshelves and recessed lighting.

Plus Anne-Lise has lived all over Paris, so she knows it well. She'll even book day trips for you.

Minus There's only one major Métro stop in the area, Nation, and it's about a 10-minute walk away.

Info 4 passage Guénot, 011-33/1-47-07-28-29, goodmorningparis.fr, from $140.

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'Hood The 16th arrondissement, on the Right Bank near the Eiffel Tower.

Host(s) France Demoures, a divorced mother of three. "I love helping people," she says, which explains why she keeps baskets stuffed with maps all over the place.

Decor The postwar building's exterior is nondescript, but the inside feels like grandma's house—chintz sofas and chairs, bowls of Labeyrie chocolate, and photos of France's children on the walls.

Room(s) Two. With heirloom antiques and eclectic furnishings, the larger one is perfect for a small family, with a mini fridge and a queen-size bed.

Plus France dotes on guests like a long-lost relative, serving tea with cakes each afternoon.

Minus Neat freaks be warned—the house can feel a little cluttered to some.

Info 8 rue des Bauches, 011-33/1-44-06-86-71, chambre-ville.com, from $103.

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'Hood Left Bank, in the 5th arrondissement, just down the street from the Panthéon.

Host(s) Anne Sinais and Jean-Luc Destom, who rent half of their apartment.

Decor The couple's aesthetic is minimalist. The living room walls are bare, and the furniture consists of a linen-covered sofa and a daybed.

Room(s) One. With a private bathroom, a bar constructed of glass bricks in the guest living room, and a separate kitchen, it's like having your own apartment.

Plus Jean-Luc will pick you up at the airport for about €30.

Minus You're right by the Sorbonne, so the streets are often packed with students day and night.

Info 9 rue de la Montagne Ste.-Geneviève, 011-33/1-47-07-28-29, goodmorningparis.fr, from $188.

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'Hood Left Bank, in the 13th arrondissement. The area is known mainly for its sprawling Chinatown, but there are also plenty of trendy restaurants.

Host(s) Michel and Christianne Poteaux. He owns an electronics business; she's a technical writer.

Decor The three-story building on a quiet cul-de-sac was constructed in 1920 to house workers from an ice factory (hence the Glacière Métro stop). Two terraces have views of the city's southwest.

Room(s) Three. Each was recently renovated and has its own bathroom. The smallest, La Rive Droite, has a private balcony.

Plus Rooms have flat-screen TVs and iPod docks.

Minus You might hear guests from the next room (the walls are thin).

Info villa Daviel, 011-33/6-09-80-47-12, chambredhotedeparis.com, from $110.

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