Oh dear. We have long described the Hotel Angleterre as one of the most comforting and gracious small hotels in Paris. With its faintly English air, befitting a building which was once the British Embassy, it has both charm and a story: in 1783, Benjamin Franklin refused to enter it to sign the Treaty of Paris because he considered it to be British soil. Had he done so, he would have found well-proportioned rooms, fine mantlepieces, a beautiful staircase with trompe l’oeil murals and a lovely courtyard garden.
So why the sigh? Because of the crop of adverse reports (mixed with some complementary ones) that we have received recently. Shabby bedrooms, intimidating desk staff, rip-off breakasts, say some. Lovely bedrooms, great atmosphere, say others. Confused? So are we, but it’s obvious that some of the rooms require attention, while others as we saw for ourselves are fine. They certainly have great potential, being both spacious and elegant, many with original features, and decorated in understated, warm tones. The best, Suite St-Germain, is huge, with original Louis XV fireplaces and high, exposed beams. But don’t ask for this room if you dislike climbing stairs – the lift doesn’t travel to the third floor.