Where to stay in Paris
It can be overwhelming to start looking for your accommodations in Paris.
There are literally 1000s of hotels and apartments to choose from and 100s of sites to help you choose and book them.
I have stayed in hotels but prefer apartments. These are especially good if you are on a tight budget and allow you to "live" in Paris.
Americans can find European hotel rooms very small. Buildings in Paris are often centuries old and have been retro-fitted for modern needs, adding private baths and closets, for instance. Even modern hotels, catering to European business travelers may smaller rooms than Americans are accustomed to.
There are a few American chains, such as Holiday Inn, where you will find more familiar space and amenities. If this is your first time traveling to Paris, you may want a haven of familiarity to return to after a very stimulating day in the city.
Hotels range from quite inexpensive to palatial. My husband and I lucked out and found a hotel in 1994 for $35/night. We shared a toilet down the hall and never figured out the hot water in the shower. But we were young and felt we'd found the most wonderful place in all of the city! Another time in 2003 we stayed in a French chain hotel which had a small kitchenette - an ApartHotel. It was perfect for us.
An apartment in Paris is my recommendation unless you are just passing through Paris on a tour.
There are so many advantages to "living" in Paris. You save lots of money over most hotels. You get an excuse to shop for food in the stores and fabulous open-air markets. It's easy to keep your schedule, especially helpful when traveling with kids. People in the building get to know you and it's nice to be greeted on the stairs!
When I brought my 11 year old daughter to Paris for two weeks in 2005, we rented a one bedroom apartment. She felt so comfortable that she wanted to return "home" an hour after we returned to the States. In 2007 and 2014, I found a wonderful apartment for my clients and me. It was a wonderful "home" base where we relaxed and saved lots money. Again in 2012, my family and I stayed in a wonderful two bedroom apartment for two weeks. This made our trip comfortable and economical.
Even a friend who was going for only a few days on her honeymoon decided (after a little coaxing from me) to rent a studio. She couldn't believe the price for the luxurious view of the Eiffel Tower!
You will need to be staying for a minimum of three days or more to book an apartment. Though, if you are traveling for fewer days and off season, you can always ask.
There's definitely specific "lingo" to learn when looking for apartments in Paris. See: Things to Consider When Renting in Paris
Resources I've Used for Finding Apartments
http://www.parisaddress.com/ - I used this service in it's infancy and the service and apartment were great. Their website is much improved and they have many great properties.
http://www.vacationinparis.com/ - I used this service several years ago and loved that I could call them and for many apartments, they send you the key before you leave the States! Their website is a bit hard to navigate and their prices are strictly by the night.
http://www.vrbo.com/search?q=paris%2c+france - I used this site during my 2012 and 2014 visits. The site is has been improved lately but still requires time and effort to look through the listings. For me, it was worth it as I found gems and found the comments from renters useful.
http://www.nyhabitat.com/paris-apartment.html - Although I have yet to use this service, they have been helpful when I was looking.
http://www.parisattitude.com/ - Another service I haven't rented from, but have had excellent service from when I was looking. They have great search tools and pictures.