About 50 paces from Notre-Dame and the Seine, this tasteful hotel covers all the bases and then some. Smack dab in the beating heart of Paris, you'll save time and resources by walking pretty much everywhere. And what's not within a stone's throw is easily accessible by metro.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Though the hotel is in the heart of Paris, this is a densely touristed area, bustling with souvenir shops, cafés, and restaurants that a Parisian wouldn't be caught dead in. If you're looking for a charming, neighborhood feel, you won't find it here.
Recently spruced up rooms are small, spare, and pleasant, in tasteful coordinating colors with quality furnishings and comfortable beds. Higher floors have lovely views of the medieval Saint Séverin church, across the street, Notre Dame and even the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Rooms do not offer coffee or tea-making facilities.
Rooms with balconies are most pleasant, and quietest, facing the hotel courtyard, where your peace will be disturbed only by the tolling of Notre Dame's famous bells.
Marble tile bathrooms are surprisingly spacious for Paris, tidy and contemporary, with heated towel racks, tubs, and showers.
The small, welcoming lobby has pleasing terra-cotta floor tiles, accented by pale walls, tasteful artworks (including an oil portrait of the hotel's namesake) and a working stone fireplace (a lovely feature in winter).
A few minute's walk to the Saint-Michel RER, a direct line to both airports, and to Cité and Cluny metro stations. A 10-minute walk across the river to the Hôtel de Ville station, serving line no. 1. Being across from Saint-Séverin, one of Paris's oldest and loveliest medieval churches, helps take your mind off of the very contemporary crowds of this well-touristed thoroughfare. But it doesn't really get much more central than this, just steps from Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall), Saint-Germain, the Latin Quarter, Ile Saint-Louis, the Marais (and a stone's throw from the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookstore). With so much within easy walking distance, exploring on foot—the very best way to see Paris—is simple.
Though cafés and small restaurants abound in this neighborhood, a quick five to ten minute walk to Odéon, in Saint Germain, will get you to some very good restaurants indeed, in all price ranges and peopled by Parisians. On the quick and cheap side, the Breizh Café Odéon serves up some of the city's best crêpes with artisanal ciders, and if you don't mind standing in, L'Avant Comptoir serves up an excellent cheese and charcuterie plate with well-priced wines by the glass. Or you could sit down next door at Le Comptoir de Relais, a favorite neighborhood bistro.
Little Bastards, the Latin Quarter's newest cocktail bar, specializes in gin and infused vodkas, as well as craft cocktails. It's also open until 2 a.m. (4 a.m. on weekends), which is a rarity in the quiet Latin Quarter. In nearby Saint Germain, Freddy's Wine Bar serves up meticulously sourced natural wines and delicious small tapas plates for snacking, or you could try the more upscale La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, a 10-minute walk away, for a great selection of wines by the glass. For cocktails, Tiger is a stylish place to sip a craft cocktail or the famous Prescription Cocktail Club, both within a 10-minute walk of the hotel.
WHY WE LIKE IT
No-nonsense travelers who want to make the most of their time without skimping on comfort, quiet, cleanliness, service, and taste should not overlook this fabulously located hotel.