Porte Maillot is on the western edge of Paris, one of the entries to the city (thus "porte," which means door) from the Peripherique, the highway that circles Paris. Though it isn't a hotbed of tourist action, it is close to transportation and activities and can make a good base for a stay in the City of Light.
If you don't want to take a taxi from the airport, which can be expensive, there are two alternatives for getting to Porte Maillot. Air France buses run from Charles de Gaulle airport to Porte Maillot every half hour, and at the end of 2010 cost just 15 euros (about $20) one way for an adult. Take the bus going to Charles de Gaulle-Etoile (the Arc de Triomphe); its first stop is Porte Maillot. Or you can take the train. From the airport, the B line of the RER train system runs into Paris. Transfer to the city's Metro Line 1 to go straight to the Porte Maillot stop. The ticket, which you buy at the airport, cost 8.70 euros (about $12) in November 2010. When you get off at Porte Maillot, follow the signs to the Palais des Congres exit; that way you can take the escalator in the Palais to the ground floor and not have to wrestle your bags up long flights of stairs.
Le Meridien Etoile
There are two large hotels at Porte Maillot, both modern and geared toward the business travelers who attend conferences at the Palais des Congres in the area. Le Meridien Etoile is part of the Meridien chain run by Starwood. It has more than 1,000 rooms, all of which are large and air-conditioned, which is rare in Paris. The expansive lobby leads to a jazz bar that features live music; though there is no cover charge, the hotel makes its money from steep prices on its drinks, so don't go there thirsty. Frommer's notes that prices can be as much as half off the quoted rates; shop around before you pay.
Hotel Concorde La Fayette
Across the boulevard from Le Meridien stands the the other large accommodation, Hotel Concorde La Fayette. It is attached to the Palais des Congres, so you won't even have to step outside if you're attending a conference during inclement weather. It has 950 rooms, and some of those on the higher floors have views of the Eiffel Tower. It, too, has air-conditioning. Between the hotel's two bars and restaurant, and the mall under the Palais with shops, restaurants, bars and even a grocery store, you can comfortably spend your trip without leaving the complex if you're not much of a sightseer.
Le Jardin de Neuilly
Just on the other side of the Peripherique, a few steps outside Paris city limits, you find Le Jardin de Neuilly. It is a boutique hotel with just 29 rooms in a renovated 19th-century mansion. Many of the rooms overlook a small private garden. The rooms have sleek, modern, black-and-white decor, and the bathrooms have full bathtubs. You can head down to the hotel's library to relax or walk just a couple of minutes to the Bois de Boulogne, a lovely, huge park that makes for a great daytime stroll.
Best Western Etoile Residence Imperiale
If you prefer to stay with a name you know, Best Western has a 37-room hotel at Porte Maillot. Though it doesn't have a restaurant, it does offer breakfast for a fee, and several restaurants are nearby. Twenty-one rooms are nonsmoking, and all are air conditioned. A small indoor patio is the perfect place to watch the world go by on the street out front, or you can choose a table in the backyard garden.