In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, this friendly place, once a convent, revolves around a bustling brasserie. Owned since the 1930s by the Thoumieux family, in 2009 the place was taken over by new management but continues to flourish. Re-designed by India Mahdavi, the place has been brought up-to-date, with contemporary pale walls and intensely patterned furniture. The place used to specialize in the regional cuisine of the Southwest – foie gras, cassoulet and the like – and honest, drinkable house wines. This hasn’t totally disappeared, but you’ll see dishes like ‘Big burger’ now on the menu too. On Sundays, it is full to bursting with families who have been going there forever. The hotel’s stylish reception can be found on the first floor. The ten bedrooms – entrusted to two graphic artists familiar with the pop avant-garde movement – are almost all surprisingly spacious, and now decorated in a bewilderingly loud patterns. But the welcome is so warm and friendly, and the service so personal, that 80% of clients are repeat visitors, and a large proportion of them use Thoumieux as their Paris base. Breakfast is excellent, as you’d expect, and if you want a place that feels more like the sort found outside Paris, a friendly restaurant-with-rooms, then Thoumieux is an excellent choice.