Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Dupond-Smith

2 Rue des Guillemites, Paris, France See on Map

Hidden in full view, this quintessential black-book address is discretely tucked away in a 17th-century townhouse set on a quiet block-long street amid all the hustle and bustle of the Marais. With only eight rooms, each dreamed up by a different designer, this is a favorite of the international fashion set.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel is in the heart of the Marais in a neighborhood full of shopping, nightlife, dining, and museums, meaning it's very crowded on weekends. Being on a quiet street is more of an advantage than you might think.


Five à la mode rooms and three suites sport their own individual character, but they're all as chic and edgy as can be, with luxe fittings, designer furniture, and individual touches, like a kitchenette (John Doe), cozy terrace (Joseph L'Estrange), or balcony (Saint Leger Leger).

You may consider giving up a little space for the advantage of a cozier room with a terrace or balcony.


Bathrooms are all different, but every one is huge, with contemporary top-of-the-line fixtures, large tubs and/or huge walk-in aromatherapy showers (with capsules, sort of like a Nespresso machine). Also expect fluffy robes, slippers, and Martin Margiela or Diptyque bath products.


There is no lobby, only a small breakfast room where you're welcome to sit with tea or coffee during the day.


There is no spa, but the hotel is quick to set up appointments with beauty and massage "specialists" to enjoy in-room.


A high-quality breakfast--buffet or à la carte--is served in a superchic but rather small downstairs breakfast room, but it seems that many guests opt for breakfast in their rooms.

Breakfast is served till noon in the breakfast room and all day in your room, so no worries about a nice lie-in.


In the evening the breakfast buffet is transformed into a small honor bar, with a decent selection of spirits to have neat or to concoct your own cocktail as well as wines by the glass. The hotel is always delighted to furnish a good bottle too.


Getting Around

A few minutes walk to the Hôtel de Ville metro stop serving Paris's fast central line.

At Dupond-Smith, you're ideally located to take full advantage of everything the Marais has to offer, which is a lot. This tiny street is a stone's throw from the rue des Rosiers--one of Paris's old Jewish quarters--and is the city's happening gay neighborhood. It's also an area full of great museums, both large and small, and, of course, a shopping district par excellence. You're also an easy walk from Notre Dame and the Ile Saint-Louis, not to mention Saint-Germain-des-Prés just across the river.


There are a lot of restaurants in this teeming neighborhood, but also a lot of tourist traps and so-so dining. While a café is okay, you may have a hard time picking out the wheat from the chaff. For budget dining head to the beloved Breizh Café to sample one of the city's best sweet or savory crêpe and a crisp artisanal cider. Or grab a loaded falafel sandwich at L'As du Fallafel, both just minutes away. In summer, we like Grand Coeur for it's soaring decor and wonderful outdoor terrace, or Restaurant H, a fabulous little bistro and one of the neighborhood's best kept secrets. You can always pop over to the Marché des Enfants Rouge (Paris's oldest covered market) and choose from a bevy of gourmet food stands (all are within a five-minute walk).


For a coffee, a glass of wine and some people watching, Les Philosophes or Le Petit Fer à Cheval around the corner on the Rue Vieille du Temple are perfectly fine. There are lots of lively gay bars along the Rue des Archives, and the superchic haut Marais--the upper part of the 3rd arrondissement--is home to a few of our favorite cocktail lounges, Mary Celeste, The Little Red Door, and Candelaria, all within a five-minute walk of the hotel.


As chic as it is, it's also one of the more quietly luxurious hotels in the Marais, confident enough about its design creds to remain one of the area's best bouche à oreille addresses.




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