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Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Vernet

25 Rue Vernet, Paris, France

Originally opened in the waning years of the Belle Époque, a glamorous centenary update capitalized on this classy boutique hotel's larger volumes and beautiful bones while adding all the 21st-century luxuries. Its setting on a small, quiet street minutes from the Arc de Triomphe assures a quiet refuge along with shopping, fine dining, and sightseeing just outside your door.

room

Handsome contemporary rooms in relaxing neutrals feature refined natural materials, curvaceous wood paneling, plush carpets, and the kind of comfy furniture that invites you to kick off your shoes and settle in. Higher category rooms offer both spaciousness and privacy, many with their own balconies and some with Eiffel Tower views, but mostly very Parisian vistas over the rooftops.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Rooms are larger than the Paris standard, some suites with much higher ceilings, a benefit you really feel here, while still paying rates comparable to more compact boutique hotels.

bathroom

Huge mirrors accentuate already large baths, with double sinks (in Superior rooms), black-and-white tiling, sleek wood finishings, and chic designer tubs or walk-in rain showers.

lobby

The hotel's lovely original attributes are on display the moment you enter the small but supremely elegant lobby, including stately marble columns and Gustave Eiffel's superb glass ceilings. You can take it all in in a small lounge area or head over to the cozy bar.

dining

The best thing about the sleek hotel restaurant is its drop-dead gorgeous stained-glass ceiling designed by Gustave Eiffel, under which you're offered an à la carte breakfast with a sufficient but not overwhelming choice or a more basic continental breakfast in your room.

At lunch and dinner, attractive, skilfully prepared dishes by the talented chef Richard Robe (formerly of Taillevent) make dining in the restaurant a pleasant convenience, though the à la carte menu is pricey. Consider the three-course tasting menu, if you're not up for a splurge.

You can find Michelin-starred dining for these prices minutes away in the neighborhood (hint: La Scène).

drinking

A before-dinner glass of wine, Champagne, or a fresh house cocktail is a pleasure in this cozy, comfy Art Deco-style bar, with an original fireplace and colorful ceilings and carpets by French artist Jean-Michel Aberola. Though the DJ nights seem incongruous when we'd be just as happy sipping in stylish serenity.

LOCATION

Getting Around

Set on a quiet street between the Champs-Élysées and the Golden Triangle, home to many of the city's best hotels and within walking distance to some major tourist sights, including the Arc de Triomphe, this is a good place if you plan to do some serious high-end shopping too. The hotel is also close to world-class dining and nearby public transport that takes you pretty much anywhere in Paris quickly, but it's a quick, picturesque walk to many major sites.

Restaurants

Some of Paris's greatest gastronomic restaurants--mostly in other hotels--are an easy walk away, including Le George, at the Four Seasons George V, La Scène, at Prince des Galles, Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée, and their wonderful Art Deco bistro Le Relais Plaza with its popular Wednesday jazz nights. If these exceed your splurge fund, three-star chef Eric Frechon of Le Bristol designed the menu at Drugstore Publicis, whose all-day and late-night hours and outdoor terrace make it a neighborhood favorite (4 minutes by foot).

Bars

Your best bet for a good cocktail are the many exceptional hotel bars nearby: Les Heures at the Prince des Galles, and the newly opened Hôtel de Crillon's Les Ambassadeurs, the most gorgeous bar in Paris. But Drugstore Publicis is also a great place for a more budget cocktail, especially out on the sprawling terrace overlooking the Champs-Élysees (all a 5-15-minute walk from the hotel). Or you can drop in to Ladurée for glass of the house rosé champagne and a sweet (5-minute walk).

WHY WE LIKE IT

Honestly, there are many boutique hotels in Paris every bit as nice as the Vernet, but, considering its high-end location, it does stand out for service and price. If you want to be near the Champs-Élysées while still escaping the hustle and bustle of the tourist crowds, it makes for a relaxing home away from home.

QUICK FACTS

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