An hôtel particulier (French: [ot?l pa?tikylje]) is a townhouse of a grand sort, comparable to the British townhouse or mansion. Whereas an ordinary maison (house) was built as part of a row, sharing party walls with the houses on either side and directly fronting on a street, an hôtel particulier was often free-standing and, by the 18th century, would always be located entre cour et jardin - between the cour d'honneur (an entrance court) and the garden behind. There are hôtels particuliers in many large cities in France.
The word hôtel represents the Old French "hostel" from the Latin hospit?lis "pertaining to guests", from hospes, a stranger, thus a guest. The adjective particulier means "personal" or "private".
The English word hotel developed a more specific meaning as a commercial building accommodating travellers; modern French also uses hôtel in this sense. For example, the Hôtel de Crillon on the Place de la Concorde was built as an hôtel particulier and is today a public hotel.
Monographs have been published on some outstanding Parisian hôtels particuliers.
The classic photographic survey, now a rare book found only in large art libraries, is the series Les Vieux Hotels de Paris by J. Vacquer, published in the teens and twenties of the 20th century, which takes Paris quarter by quarter and which illustrates many hôtels particuliers that were demolished during the 20th century.
Blanc, Olivier, Hôtels particuliers de Paris (1998)
Caylux, Odile et al. Les Hôtels particuliers d'Arles (2000)
Coquery, Natacha, L'hôtel aristocratique. Le marché du luxe à Paris au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Publications de la Sorbonne, 1998
Courtin, Nicolas, L'Art d'habiter à Paris au XVIIe siècle : L'ameublement des hôtels particuliers, Paris, Faton, 2011
Cros, Philippe,Hôtels particuliers de France (2001)
Gady, Alexandre, LesHôtels particuliers de Paris, du Moyen-Âge à la Belle époque, Paris, Parigramme, 2007
Naudin, Jean-Baptiste et al., Hôtels particuliers de Paris: Visite privée (1999).
Papillault, Remi Les hôtels particuliers du XVIe siècle à Toulouse (Serie Memoires des pays d'Oc)
Favreau, Bertrand, Une promenade dans Bordeaux, les hôtels parlementaires, B550B, Mérignac, 2012, ISBN978-2-95410-753-0.