Wendy Coumantaros visits two glamorous hotels in the Capital of Love
To stay at the beautiful and wonderfully historic Pavillon de la Reine, classified as a historic monument, is also to step into French history. Situated in one of the few areas that preserve the narrow streets and architectural style of Medieval and Renaissance era Paris, the Place de Vosges is at the centre of Parisian artistic and cultural life – and all of this seeps into the fabric of the Hotel.
The English-speaking staff are extremely friendly and can’t do enough to make one’s stay most enjoyable. Breakfast is either served in the two main downstairs sitting rooms or in the warmly and tastefully decorated rooms. Every evening, both main sitting rooms host a large drinks selection on the honour system and an excellent variety of canapes. The Hotel has been modernised recently with excellent taste, and the various rooms reflect the best of Parisian décor. Complementing the new facilities is the Spa, containing a gym, spacious steam room and massage rooms.
The Hotel is superbly placed within walking distance of a nearby Metro station which provides access to all of Paris . Also nearby are numerous famous historical attractions: La Bastille, the Picasso Museum, Notre Dame, St Paul -St Louis Church and the Museum of the History of Paris.
The Place de Vosges is the oldest and loveliest square in Paris. This historic square originally housed the royally-owned Hotel de Tournelles, home to both Charles VII and Louis XIII, while Henry IV also created an opulent residence there . In later times Victor Hugo lived at Number 6, which today houses the Hugo Museum.
The charming surrounding neighbourhood, with its narrow streets, is well known for its numerous restaurants, especially its wide selection of excellent Yiddish and Middle European cuisine. Equally appealing are the numerous art galleries , fine antiques , artisan boutiques and a wide variety of smart fashion .
For comfort and history the Pavillon de la Reine has it all!
Le Pavillon des Lettres
Staying in Paris – already a delightful experience – is made even more special by the Pavillon des Lettres, a small and charming hotel which complements the city perfectly. We were welcomed by very friendly staff who went out of their way to make a Paris visit even more enjoyable. The hotel is located an easy distance from the major sites that all tourists have on their must-see list, including the Louvre, the Tuileries, the Champs Elysees and the majestic Eiffel Tower.
Wonderfully, a number of the rooms have balconies with views of the Eiffel Tower. This view at night seems so large, bright and near that one wants to reach out and touch this magic light show. Another feature that is so unique and appealing is that the rooms are named after authors and not numbered: so charming. The rooms are furnished in muted, restful colours with touches of rich velvet.
Large bathrooms are always a winner, appealing to both men and women, but particularly the latter. Sleek glass, large mirrors and excellent lighting enhance the feeling of luxury.
We liked the excellent breakfast, taken either downstairs or in one’s room: a great way to start the day, and featuring – of course – the most perfect croissants. Also in the evening there is an honesty bar with snacks, a lovely touch which goes down well as you walk in the door after a hard day’s shopping or sightseeing.
Definitely a must-book hotel for our next trip to Paris.