Opening your curtains to the newly spiffed up Saint-Sulpice church in the morning is an experience not to be scoffed at, and that's precisely what you get at the handsome Hôtel Récamier. Set just across from a famously beautiful square on a cobbled street a few minutes from the Luxembourg gardens in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in this ever-so-chic area shopping, dining and so much more are at your fingertips.
Refined raw materials—wood, linen, leather, tweed, gilt—paired with earthy colors and dark accents in Deco-style patterns on wallpapers and curtains create an atmosphere of understated serenity (compliments of Jean-Louis Deniot, one of Paris's go-to interior architects). Pretty mirrors and original artworks add a contemporary touch. Rooms are small but in a way that feels warm and cozy rather than cramped. Larger suites are roomy with lovely views (and Nespresso machines).
Chocoholics take note: Saint-Germain is Paris's chocolate central, with more than a dozen world-class chocolatiers within 10 minutes of this hotel. Besides the flagship boutique of pastry guru Pierre Hermé (72 rue Bonaparte), you've got Jean-Charles Rouchoux (rue d'Assas), Henri Le Roux (rue de Bourbon le Château), Patrick Roger (across the square), Jean-Paul Hévin (rue Vavin), Maison du Chocolat (rue du Sevres), Pierre Marcolini (rue Scribe), Franck Kestener (across the Luxembourg gardens)--and that's just a start!
Sleek, contemporary bathrooms have either a bath with handheld shower or a walk-in shower. Suites have capacious tubs.
A chic reception area and lounge, with a small fireplace, plush seating, a small computer nook, breakfast room and a charming inner courtyard all benefit from the same earthy materials and refined palette that make these common spaces a pleasure to enjoy, especially at teatime. Up the elegant Parisian staircase, busts of famous Parisian muse Juliette Récamier—for whom the hotel is named—have been tampered with in artsy ways.
A high-quality continental breakfast is served in the ground-floor dining room, and teatime (4-6 p.m.) puts the area's great pastry shops to excellent use.
If you don't feel like breakfast at the hotel, pop over to Pierre Hermé for a famously crispy croissant, pain au chocolat or chausson aux pommes to enjoy under an old chestnut tree in the Luxembourg gardens.
Metro stations Odéon and Saint-Sulpice are a five-minute walk away. Across the park, Luxembourg RER station takes you direct to both major airports. A prettier Parisian square, in a quintessentially Parisian neighborhood, could hardly be imagined (Catherine Deneuve lives nearby). Besides the church, you're only steps from the Luxembourg gardens and museum and in the thick of the sixth arrondissement's legendary shopping. Great restaurants, cafés, and wine bars abound and the flâneurs among us will never tire of the discoveries to be made on foot, both near and far.
Le Timbre, meaning postage stamp in French, is a cozy, down-to-earth bistro serving French classic fare. A local favorite. Yves Camdeborde's Le Comptoir de Relais is a Saint Germain institution. Sit outside on a fine day but get there promptly at noon for lunch. Reserve ahead for dinner.
Prescription Cocktail Club is a Paris stalwart--it is atmospheric with a fine cocktail menu. Playtime Cocktails in the Artus Hotel offers 16 delectable choices in a comfy atmosphere.
WHY WE LIKE IT
We have to admit we love this neighborhood and the sweet little cobblestoned corner where this chic little hotel nestles. But there's so much more than location and Paris chic to recommend it, like great restaurants, cocktail and wine bars, and cafés galore--plus a sophisticated shopping scene.