First impressions count, especially in Paris hotels, too often bedevilled with disdainful reception staff. Here, the welcome is efficient and sincere, complementing the atmosphere created by the restful design of the reception area, and the adjoining ground floor public area. The aim of this newish venture, on the site of the old Hotel de l’Elysée is to be luxurious, imaginatively stylish, yet unostentatious, and, here’s the rub, to appeal to those who like literature, galleries and modern art, and who prefer to stay away from the flash money. It succeeds – and is a worthy sister hotel for the Pavillon de la Reine, a long-time Paris favourite.
The design is based on subtle metropolitan colours (as many as six in the bedrooms) and different surface textures, including, in the public area, mushroom-coloured velours and tables clad in grey leather. In an alcove beside the honesty bar is one of the most unusual wall coverings we’ve seen in a long time: an enlarged copper printing plate. The text (read it with a mirror) is from an essay on the nature of writing.
The 26 bedrooms, for 26 letters in the alphabet, are named after authors from A to Z and on the wall above each bed are extracts from their work. Our bedroom had two bathrooms: a wash basin and loo behind sliding glass doors one side of the bed; and behind more glass doors on the other side, a bath and a wash basin. One of the smaller rooms has a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Don’t miss the choice of gourmet teas on the honesty bar, including ‘English writers’ tea’, a China tea suffused with caramel, vanilla and rose petal flavours – surprisingly delicious.