If you're looking for a book about the cheapest beds in Paris, Cheap Sleeps is not for you. What you will find here is "a highly selective guide to hotels" found to be "the best value in their category, be it a no-star with the shower and toilet down the hall or an antique-filled, three-star Left Bank hotel with a Jacuzzi in a marble bathroom." Hundreds of hotels are featured, from youth hostels to Kiki's haunt (the Hôtel Istria in Montparnasse) to the Ritz.
For the eighth edition, Gustafson revisits each previously reviewed establishment to be sure it's still up to snuff and scours the city for new favorites. The listings are engaging, frank, and often humorous, and they include useful information on nearby environs. Entries are conveniently arranged by arrondissement and cover rates, reservations, amenities, décor, and all the vital statistics--including Web site addresses and the best rooms to request.
What sets this book apart is that it is not simply a list of places to stay in Paris. Cheap Sleeps provides a bounty of detailed information. Each listing offers something unique, from descriptions of 13th-century architectural flourishes to whether a room provides a view of the Eiffel Tower or simply "lots of pink chenille and garage-sale Gothic furniture." The book also includes dozens of money- and time-saving tips that could make a savvy traveler out of even the most inept tourist and a section on "Cheap Chic," featuring deals on everything from cookware to designer hats. --Jhana Bach