Sure, this may be a convenience hotel, but it is also the only Best Western that greets you with both a Madeleine pastry in your room and a very Parisian reminder of Marcel Proust, who once lived nearby and is the hotel’s inspiration (named after a famous chapter in his A la Recherche du Temps Perdu). This contemporary hotel offers good service and all the amenities at a good rate—plus some great Paris views—and is close to several metro stops and the Gare Saint-Lazare train station--a major transport hub with lots of great restaurants and shopping nearby.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The best prices depend on the time of year and availability--standard doubles range from 80 euros a night to as high as 224 euros in summer.
Standard doubles are quite small, but all the rooms are bright, clean and handsome, with chic, contemporary furnishings and every amenity, including minibar and Nespresso machine. There’s plenty of closet space and even a bathrobe, which is not always the case at a budget hotel. Clever Proust references—quotes from the author’s writings and letters or portraits—are scattered throughout.
Some upper-floor rooms come with a balcony and lovely views of Montmartre and Sacré Coeur, but you must request this in an email if you want to be sure to get one.
Clean, contemporary, fully equipped baths range in size according to the room but tend to be on the small side, with either with a bath-shower combo or a shower. Nuxe products, a popular Paris-based organic skin-care line, are a nice touch.
The spacious, contemporary lobby contains a comfortable work area (computer supplied), a library with 500 volumes dedicated to Proust in several languages, Proust-related artworks and portraits and comfy areas to read or relax. The breakfast room and Proust bar are off the lobby.
A plentiful and well-priced hot/cold buffet breakfast, with everything from croissants, pastries and fresh fruit to bacon and eggs, is served in the spacious sky-lit dining room. From 4:30 pm till late at night you can enjoy a range of hot or cold drinks from the Proust bar, including Proust-themed cocktails, under the wistful gaze of the author.
A few minutes walk from the Europe stop (line 3) and Gare Saint-Lazare, where four major lines converge that will take to direct to central Paris, some sites and to other direct lines. This is also an excellent neighborhood for buses, which will be explained to you in detail at the hotel desk.
The hotel is set in a corner of the 8th arrondissement, on a quiet, typically Haussmannian street parallel to the Gare Saint-Lazare (a neighborhood beloved by the Impressionists, who frequently depicted the historic train station), where several metro lines converge. A lively and eclectic neighborhood, you’ll find some very good restaurants, cafés and nightlife within walking distance, though most of the tourist attractions are a metro ride away.
If you like to walk, and this is a good walking neighborhood, you’ll find three of Paris’s best small museums within 30 minutes of the hotel: the Musée Jacquemart-André, the Musée de la Vie Romantique and the Musée National Gustave Moreau.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A budget hotel and a chain to boot, we still find the Swann a cut above the usual, not least of all for its poetic spirit. Though rooms are small, they’re quiet, bright, clean and functional with even a few 4-star touches, like views, bathrobes and high-quality bath products. Proximity to Gare Saint-Lazare’s shopping and transport are just icing on the cake.