Set on a prestigious street in Paris, between the Opéra and Place Vendôme, this mid-19th-century hotel happily retains its old-world feel. The service and appointments aren't what you'd get at some of the neighboring grande-dame hotels, but you do share a prime piece of real estate.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Although a major refurbishment is underway, it's the luck of the draw whether your room has profited or remains a bit faded around the edges. Chances are better if you opt for a suite.
Spacious rooms—for the most part—are decorated with period furniture, marble fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, damask upholstery and wallpapers, and oil paintings. Carpeted floors minimize noise.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Views vary greatly in this hotel. Try for a street-facing room for the best light and vistas.
Marble baths vary wildly in size and many are not quite up-to-the-moment, though none lack in amenities. Most rooms have a tub and hand shower, though some have walk-in showers.
A grand old-style lobby gives a good first impression, though those with a discerning eye may find it dated. Still, there are plenty of attractive lounge areas and a warm and welcoming staff to see to your needs.
The modern fitness center has a decent selection of machines, and a Moorish-inspired steam room, with great views over Paris's rooftops.
The elegant Le Céladon restaurant, under respected chef Christophe Moisand, has moved more confidently with the times, serving a good, classically French fare that emphasizes fresh products and imaginative presentations. On weekends, it becomes Le Petit Céladon, less formal menu and with lower prices. Breakfast, served in the restaurant, offers both hot and cold choices.
Duke's piano bar is a classic British-style lounge modeled after an upper-crust men's club but without the stuffiness. In fact, the bar hosts jazz nights several times a week, and its classic cocktail list reflects a time when hotel bars were the go-to place for a well-made mixed drink.
A good bar menu makes it easy to forgo dinner and just nibble your way through the evening.
A few minutes walk from the Opéra metro stop and a slightly longer walk to the Tuileries stop. RER Auber is also within walking distance. A prime location on Paris's storied rue de la Paix puts you in reach of everything in the very heart of Paris. With the Opéra on one side of the street and the lovely Place Vendôme on the other, you really know you're in Paris. Though not a particularly quiet area, its convenience to everything, from restaurants and great shopping on the rue Saint-Honoré and the big department stores to transport, is a big plus.
The fabulous Café de la Paix (3-minute walk) once served Paris's great literary lights as well as visiting royalty and is a Paris landmark. Meal prices reflect its status, but you can always spring for a drink or a coffee. Nearby rue Sainte-Anne is a hub for a slew of authentic Japanese restaurants and noodle shops.
A favorite expat hangout, Le Willi's Wine Bar (9-minute walk) offers a good choice of wines by the glass at the bar (and good food!). Verjus (8-minute walk), near the Palais Royal, is great for a glass of natural wine and small gourmet plates.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Though its elegance may feel a bit like a thing of the past, we like its old-world standard of service and great location.