A building dating from 1480, the Relais-Hôtel le Vieux Paris was a famous Beat Generation dive where American writers such as Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginsberg and William Burroughs searched for ‘life and love in Paris’ as one contemporary has written in the visitors book when he paid a return visit. Nowadays the hotel is the obsession of Mme Odillard, helped by her son and daughter-in-law and the friendly chap on the reception desk, and precious little remains to remind one of those days. There are a few pieces of Beat Generation memorabilia, but they are rather out of place in the otherwise bland lobby.
A cosy little sitting room with leather sofa and armchairs and a neat breakfast room with exposed stone walls and prettily laid tables makeup the rest of the hotel’s public spaces.
Upstairs, the bedrooms have character and romantic charm, with oldbeams and fabric on the walls, some boldly patterned with classical motifs.
Three of the suites are split-level, overlooking the Paris rooftops. While we like the Vieux-Paris, and appreciate that it’s classed as a four-star hotel, and therefore priced accordingly, we remain surprised that it commands such high prices.