If you're wondering who are the great men for whom this hotel is named, just step across the street. Set in the shadow of the stately Panthéon, the Grand Hommes's décor combines urns, marble and laurel-wreath motifs, along with plush fabrics and plaster busts, to honor the great French writers and statesmen—Zola, Voltaire, Rousseau and Marie Curie—at rest there.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Though views of the Panthéon are a good reason to stay here, try to book a higher floor, as some street noise can be audible from the lower floors in this well-touristed area.
All rooms, which are slightly more generous than the average Paris hotel room, have period furnishings, handsome wallpapers, French moldings, and attractive artworks and mirrors. Large windows help capitalize on stunning views over the Panthéon.
Some higher category upper-floor rooms have small balconies overlooking the Panthéon square all the way to the Sacré Coeur basilica.
Ample bathrooms are more traditional in style, though somewhat lacking in counter space, but offer all the modern amenities, including robes and slippers, not a given in a 3-star hotel.
The small lobby has an elegant feel, but is welcoming enough to relax and enjoy a little people watching in one of the small lounge areas over a complimentary coffee or a drink from the bar.
A classic continental breakfast is served in a handsome arched stone cellar, or you can opt to have it in your room. Or, better yet, on your balcony.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some of the neighborhood cafés are closed on weekends, so if you don't opt to take breakfast at the hotel, be sure to plan ahead.
5-10 minute walk to the Cardinal Lemoine and Jussieu metro stations. 5-minute walk to Luxembourg RER station, a direct line to both airports.
Set on a large square to one side of the Panthéon, between two of the city's legendary gardens, the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Jardin des Plantes, this is a lovely Parisian neighborhood, particularly for walkers. Though the Latin Quarter is generally less convenient to transport than most other arrondissements, the hotel is within fairly easy walking distance of the metro, and near enough to many sights that it would be a shame not to explore on foot (by far the best way to see Paris). You can also discover places you may not have seen otherwise, like the wonderful Grande Mosquée de Paris (stop in for a mint tea and pastry), Rue Mouffetard market street, or the Arènes de Lutece, Paris's very own Roman amphitheatre. Be sure to climb to the top of the newly restored Panthéon tower for some breathtaking views!
Les Papilles Wine Bar (8 minutes on foot at 30 rue Gay-Lussac) is as Parisian as it gets, serving a limited but oh-so-delish market-fresh menu (reserve in advance). Nearby Le Pré Verre is also a neighborhood favorite, with good wines by the glass and a well-priced prix fixe menu. For one of Paris's truly great views and good Middle Eastern fare, we like Le Zyriab restaurant, at the top of the Musée du Monde Arabe, a 10-minute walk from the hotel. It's also a great spot for afternoon tea on the rooftop terrace.
This is not a neighborhood known for its bars, and you can always grab a glass of wine at a café. For a little nightlife, Little Bastards, a few minutes by foot from the hotel, is the Latin Quarter's newest cocktail bar, speciaizing in gin and infused vodkas as well as craft cocktails. It's also open till 2 p.m. to 4 a.m. on weekends, a rarity in this quiet neighborhood. The cocktail bar at Hotel Seven also serves up some impressive cocktails, along with a sort of oddball glamour, at a price much less than most hotel bars.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This lodging's easy elegance, period furnishings, and attention to detail belie the fact that it is indeed a budget hotel. Though not everyone likes the quiet Latin Quarter, we never hesitate to recommend this leafy, historic enclave—and you can't beat the location just steps from the Panthéon.