Once the simple Hôtel d’Alsace, where Oscar Wilde died in 1900 ‘living beyond his means’ and at war with the wallpaper. But there’s much more to it than that, with the allure of its 20 bedrooms by interior decorator Jacques Garcia and its Michelin-starred Le Restaurant.
On a historic street in smart St-Germain-des-Prés, the hotel is surrounded by art galleries and antiques shops, and close to the legendary cafés, where fashion shoppers still mix with publishers. St-Germain-des-Prés and Mabillon metro stations are both nearby, or it’s an easy walk to Musée d’Orsay or across the Pont des Arts over the Seine to the Louvre.
Style & character
L’Hôtel is an intimate take on luxury. The building has an extraordinary neoclassical, galleried staircase rising up through the centre of the building. Interior designer Jacques Garcia has reinvented the hotel’s period style with fantastical touches and modern comfort. Entirely redone in the 1990s, it is now part of the Curious Group, along with Cowley Manor.
Service & facilities
Polite, efficient service is organised from the calm Empire-style reception salon. There’s a tiny atmospheric swimming pool and hammam hidden in the cellar, waiting to be reserved at reception. It’s possible to organise an Oscar Wilde guided-walk to places frequented by the writer, followed by lunch at the hotel.
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
The 20 bedrooms are named by size, from Petite Mignon to Grand. The interiors take in Empire style, Indochina and the rich flounces and damasks of the Baroque. Expect lavish wood-panelled and marble bathrooms. Pride of place have to be the Chic rooms, each inspired by a famous person, including the Oscar Wilde room with its peacock wallpaper frieze and the Mistinguett room, furnished with the actress-singer’s Art Deco mirrored bed and dressing table.
Food & drink
Naturally “The Hotel” is home to “The Restaurant“, where chef Julien Montbabut was awarded a Michelin star in 2013. Relax over colourful and decorative revisited classic French cuisine, sitting in the small courtyard garden with its fountain or amid the silk and bronze Empire lamps of the dining room that looks a bit like a marquee from a Napoleonic campaign. There’s a lunch menu for €45-€55 (£33-£40) or let the chef tempt with five or seven dishes and wines to match from €110-€190 (£80-£140). The continental breakfast buffet is also served here, as well as cakes for an indulgent afternoon tea, and there’s an atmospheric boudoir bar with plush velvet chairs and cosy alcoves.
Access for guests with disabilities?
No wheelchair access at the Hotel or Restaurant.
Really a place to take a break from your children.
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