In the spirit of balancing a conspicuous absence, this original boutique hotel honoring famous Parisiennes tweaks the "great man" notion of the mighty Panthéon across the street, the final resting place of Zola, Voltaire, and Hugo, among others. Set on an elegant square in the heart of the Latin Quarter, you're perfectly situated for exploring a very Parisian neighborhood loaded with treasures.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel is set in an 18th-century building with all the attendant charms and quirks. If, for example, you prefer bright daylight, ask for a higher room facing the Panthéon, or better yet, one with a balcony. If low ceilings bother you, you can ask for a room with larger volumes.
Each of the hotel's six floors evokes a famous Parisian woman—including Edith Piaf (second floor), George Sand (third floor), and Marguerite Duras (6th floor)—through design cues that vary wildly from floor to floor and room to room. Spacious by Paris standards, all the rooms have hand-hewn beams and original décors that veer from oversized florals, Asian themes in vivid primary colors, and plush and opulent with vintage touches. All rooms have Nespresso machines.
Higher floors get better light and views, with the best on the fifth and sixth floors overlooking the Panthéon and Sacré Coeur.
As diverse as the rooms, sizeable baths might be closed or semi-open with a walk-in shower, bath-and-shower combo, or a claw-foot tub, but all have their own signature look in harmony with the room.
The small contemporary lobby's cozy seating and striking views of the Panthéon through enormous windows create the ideal setting for a drink or complimentary coffee.
A fresh buffet breakfast in the picturesque cellar breakfast room includes fruit, fresh breakfast pastries, yogurt, cheeses, ham, and cooked eggs upon request.
A glass of wine or champagne in the cozy lobby bar while watching the sunset reflecting on the Panthéon is a rare Parisian treat.
Though RER B, a direct line to both airports, is five minutes from the hotel, this is not the most convenient neighborhood for the metro. The closest metro station is
Les Papilles "cave à manger" (10 minutes away at 30 rue Gay-Lussac) is a foodie favorite, beloved for its well-priced three-course menu, though your won't get a huge amount of choice, you're assured of the best seasonal ingredients around with great wines to match. Le Pré Verre, 10-minutes away, is also a neighborhood favorite, with good wines by the glass and market-fresh prix fixe menu. For great views and good Middle Eastern fare, we love nearby Le Zyriab restaurant, at the top of the Musée du Monde Arabe—an excellent spot for afternoon tea on the terrace.
You can always grab a glass of wine at a nearby café, but for a little nightlife, Little Bastards, a few minutes by foot from the hotel, is the Latin Quarter's newest cocktail bar, specializing in gin, infused vodkas and a tempting list of craft cocktails. It's also open from 2 pm–4 am on weekends. The cocktail bar at Hotel Seven also serves up some impressive cocktails, with a sort of oddball glamour, at a price much less pricey than most hotel bars.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Themed hotels are not always high on our list, but this one charmed us despite ourselves. Not only for its plum Paris setting, but for originality, friendly service, great views, and a sense of fun.