Discrete old-world service and tranquility are something we could do more of in our hectic, plugged-in world, and that's what you'll find at this venerable (some parts date to the 13th century), newly renovated, five-star hotel set back off a quiet street among its own flagstone courtyard and gardens. Though located in the heart of Paris, it feels a world away.
The hotel completed a top-to-toe renovation in April 2017, which traded in its old-fashioned charm for a sumptuous modern elegance. No expense was spared in the wall and curtain fabrics from the top Paris designers (Pierre Frey, etc.) are well laid out making them seem more spacious and several duplexes make the best of beamed ceilings. Options for suites include sky lit duplexes with chic dormer rooms, kitchen suites for dining in or entertaining, and four exquisite garden suites.
The hotel has a devoted clientele that tends to grab the garden suites from year to year. If you want an outdoor terrace—and why wouldn't you?—be sure to book in advance.
Bathrooms were given a total spruce up, with retro-style fixtures and luxury amenities. Some rooms have bath-shower combos, while others have separate showers only. Toilets are mostly separate. Quality L'Occitaine products are a nice touch.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you opt for a garden suite, be aware that there are bee hives (for the hotel's delicious honey). Though the bees do not venture far from the hive, if you're allergic to them, you might think twice about staying here.
The elegant, newly renovated reception-lounge area has plenty of comfy seating—and a well-stocked honor bar—to encourage guests to relax over a complementary newspaper or a game of backgammon or chess under the stolid gaze of 19th-century oil paintings.
Set under vaulted ceilings in the 13th-century basement the small Guerlin spa offers a list of luxury treatments, plus a Jacuzzi and sauna. The spacious fitness room, offers stationery bikes, treadmills, free weights, and a warm-up area.
A buffet-style continental breakfast, with hot dishes on request, is served in the new first-floor dining area. There is no restaurant on the premises, but the hotel does offer a pleasant teatime and drinks at the lounge honor bar.
A few minutes from the Odéon metro stop and a hop across the river to line no. 7 (Pont Neuf) and line no. 1, Paris's central line. You are also a few minutes walk from the Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame metro station, where you can catch the RER to both airports. Being so close to the Seine, you might consider a novel means of transport around Paris: the Batobus is the city's water taxi, which drops you off in front of some of the city's most popular sites, including the Musée d'Orsay, Louvre, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Jardin des Plantes, and the Champs-Élysées. You can hop on and off all day for €17 (€8 for kids).
Semilla is a favorite for a fabulous lunch or dinner--book ahead, though! At Ze Kitchen Galerie, dine in Chef William Ledeuil's Asian-inflected Michelin-starred cuisine can be enjoyed while surrounded by beautiful modern art. If 100 euros for dinner is too much of a splurge, try a prix-fixe lunch for a cheaper price. Both are a quick walk away.
Freddy's chic new wine bar offers natural wines from every region of France. Prescription Cocktail Club, one of Paris's trailblazers, is an atmospheric place for a fine craft cocktail. Both are a quick several minute walk away.