A recent renovation ushered this Art Deco gem near the Champs-Élysées into the 21st century, while retaining all the suave sophistication of its 1930s heyday. A glamorous new incarnation that places the Mathis squarely among Paris's more stylish hotels, with a fabulous retro bar to match.
YOU SHOULD KNOW As charming as it is, the hotel's original elevator can nevertheless prove tight for larger guests.
A handsome mélange of Art Deco-inspired and contemporary furnishings, each of the 23 uniquely designed room takes its romantic color scheme from vintage-inspired wallpapers. Though the rooms offer every modern convenience, and more amenities than the standard hotel room (ironing board, complementary water and soft drinks in the minibar, Nespresso machines in suites), the hotel's goal is to create a tranquil, cozy oasis. Two upper-floor rooms sport teensy balconies with a café table and chairs.
Contemporary baths have large tubs with hand showers, smaller rooms have either a bath or shower.
Guests are immediately plunged into the Art Deco spirit in the gorgeous black-and-gold reception area and small lounge, sporting lustrous wood paneling a gilded ceiling, black lacquer, and plush velvet seating.
A quality buffet breakfast is served on linen-covered tables in the lovely ground-floor dining room. Dinner at Le Mathis, the hotel's restaurant, sumptuously redone to recall its glory days... not when it was an upscale brothel, but when Paris's 60's-era literary stars flocked here. The restaurant's menu of inspired updates on the French classics is a well-priced option for this tiny neighborhood.
YOU SHOULD KNOW This is a difficult neighborhood for dining nearby on a budget.
Bedecked in crimson velvet, the bar is an alluring throwback to a more glamorous time, when artsy sophisticates sipped cocktails in the half-light. Retaining every inch of its original flair, when it was patronized by Paris literary and artistic lights, it has a mish-mash of original paintings from the Barbizon School and modern painter Bernard Buffet, mirrors and chandeliers.
Metro station Franklin D. Roosevelt, serviced by line no. 1, Paris’s fastest and most central line, is a five-minute walk away. The Saint-Philippe du Roule station, also within minutes, services line no. 9, direct to the Eiffel Tower. For high-end shopping, you've hit the jackpot. The Faubourg Saint-Honoré—and its continuation, the rue Saint-Honoré—a few minutes from the hotel, is one of Paris's great shopping streets, jammed with all the top designers (Chanel, Hermès, Alexander McQueen, Goyard, etc.). The other great haute shopping streets, Avenue Montaigne and the Golden Triangle, are just minutes away in the other direction. The Champs-Élysées, the Grand Palais, and Petit Palais are a few minutes walk away. Elegant for sure, this is not the most lively neighborhood, especially at night, but it is very central and an excellent base for exploring Paris on foot.
If you're up for a splurge, you're in the right hood, with four of Paris's greats: Le Cinq, Ledoyen (in a charming pavillion), Lucas Carton and Pierre Gagnaire.
Hotel bars are the way to go here, if you can afford it (Le Meurice, Le Réserve) or head to Le Mini Palais, open all day for drinks, coffee, or any meal of the day.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Small, intimate, and contemporary with a nice dash of history, this discrete hotel is both a great base and an elegant haven to return to after a day on the town.