Possibly one of the best kept secrets in Paris, L’Hotel is the smallest 5-star hotel in the city, and certainly one of the most charming. Hidden away in the heart of the city’s Left Bank, the hotel is famous as being the being the final home of Oscar Wilde, who stayed at the hotel until his death in 1900. With it’s rich history and opulent, Parisian design, it makes the perfect location to enjoy a luxurious weekend away, and with an exhibition currently taking place in the city on the decadent writer and poet, what better time to pay a visit to the French capital.
As soon as we arrived we instantly loved the intimate and cosy feel of L’Hotel. The small and friendly team, who we got to know well during our stay, greeted us warmly upon our arrival and we instantly felt at home. After checking in we were shown to the almost secret elevator which took us up to the top floor of the hotel, and our impressively big suite. We felt like we had been transported back in time with the opulent décor, and with three rooms and an iconic rooftop view over the beautiful Saint-Germain-des-Prés area, we felt like we were in own little Parisian apartment.
We unpacked and decided to explore the hotel a little – as small as it is you can spend a surprising amount of time enjoying what it has to offer. We first headed downstairs to the bar area, where you can see photos of famous guests who have stayed in L’Hotel. In addition to Wilde, whose room was actually in the bar area at the time, stars such as Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Salvador Dali, Princess Grace of Monaco and Frank Sinatra, have all graced the hotel with their presence, so we were definitely in good and glamorous company. As we had some luck with a sunny day we walked through the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, which also serves breakfast and afternoon tea, to enjoy tea in L’Hotel’s small but quaint terrace hidden away at the back of the hotel. L’hotel may be tiny, but it certainly made the best of its space, and its petite size and the privacy it offered just added to its appeal.
As part of our stay we had booked “In the footsteps of Oscar Wilde,” a walking tour to trace Wilde’s footsteps through Paris and learn more about his life from a local historian and Oscar Wilde aficionado, Dr Dominique Vibrac. Not only is it a must for literary fans, but it also made for a new and unique way to explore the city. After the tour as part of the hotel’s package we were also able to choose between lunch in the Michelin-starred Le Restaurant or afternoon tea. Whichever you choose – we opted for afternoon tea – dining in the grand restaurant with its velvet drapes and hints of burgundy and gold certainly added a touch of decadence to the afternoon which Wilde would approve of.
After a peaceful night’s sleep in our huge and fluffy bed, breakfast the next day was as delicious as we expected it to be, fresh juices, patisserie, steaming hot coffee, French cheeses, and more, including the best baguette we had ever eaten in Paris (from Eric Kayser, found all around Paris, in case you want to pick up your own on a trip to the city). After taking in our beautiful, historical surroundings one last time we reluctantly had to head back to real-life and the modern world, and after the comfort and decadence of our Parisian hideaway, we left wishing we could move in just like Wilde did.
Need to know:
Rates: Rooms at L’Hotel start from €325 per room per night but check out the website for special offers.
Check-in Time: 3pm
Check-out Time: 12 noon
Facilities: The hotel 20 bedrooms in total, with a choice of Small Mignon, Mignon, Bijoux, Grand Chic, Oscar Wilde Suite, inspired by the hotel’s most famous resident, and Apartment.
Each room is graded according to size and view, but whichever you choose all rooms are guarantee a luxurious stay with their lavish fabrics, original works of art and indulgent bathrooms.
All bedrooms include complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary WIFI and natural and handmade bath products from UK company Green & Spring.
The hotel also boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant and bar with Oscar Wilde-inspired cocktails.
Head downstairs to find the private Hamman and steam room for the use of hotel guests.
For literary fans why not book onto the Oscar Wilde walking tour to learn more about the writer and explore some of the areas he visited during his years in Paris.
How to get there: L’Hotel is located in the central 6th arrondissement of Paris in the centre of the city, easily reached by all forms of transport.
The closest metro station is Saint Germain des Pres.
Taxis are also available from Paris Orly or Charles de Gaulle airports, or from the Gare du Nord station if arriving by Eurostar.
L’Hotel Paris, 13 Rue Des Beaux-Arts, 75006, Paris