There’s nothing quite like those magic little words: “we’ve upgraded you”… They make your face grin, your spirit soar, and your heart race. Is it because of the element of surprise (so delicious?) or just because everyone loves to get something for nothing? Or is it simply the sheer delight of being treated specially? Either way, it’s a phrase I love to hear, even more so, when checking into a sexy little Parisian hotel for a night ‘en amoureux’.
Super central, just a meander away from the Champs Elysees and the Elysee Palace or the Rue Faubourg Saint Honoré, the 26-room boutique hotel “Le Pavillon des Lettres” is tucked away in the quiet Rue des Saussaies. It’s also a hop and a skip away from the shopping on Boulevard Haussman, the legendary Galleries Lafayette and Printemps, as well as the surrounding streets like Rue Tronchet and Boulevard des Capucines which have their faire share of retail therapy on offer.
Having been upgraded to a Junior Suite, after a swift check-in amongst the white orchids, we whizz up to the fifth floor, eager to discover our ‘petit love-nest’ for the night.
Because the lobby is ‘bijou’ to say the least, far from the usual Parisian train station-like lobbies, with endless crowds forever milling around, it feels very intimate, and as though it were a private apartment building, rather than a hotel. Dark charcoal and chocolate corridors give it a more romantic, louche feel. It’s a basic trick, but the low lighting does add to the ambiance.
The cosy bedroom, all in relaxing beige and mocha tones is simple yet stylish, almost masculine in its feel but I love it. It’s smart, and snug and has a feature wall covered in print, a nod to the hotel’s literary theme. Each of the 26 rooms represents a letter of the alphabet, and a corresponding author – from Andersen to Zola. It comes with all the usual bits and bobs including a flat screen TV, ipod dock, teeny tiny desk and his and hers wardrobes where the minibar is stashed.
The best bit? It comes with its own little balcony, or rather terrace, with a table and pair of chairs – and great Paris rooftop views! Some rooms also look out onto the Eiffel Tower or Grand Palais. It’s just the place to settle down for a cheeky aperitif before heading out. Another big bonus is the double-glazing that makes the room blissfully quiet, and the air-conditioning which is a treat during these muggy summer days.
The bathroom is another delight, with a giant tub, gorgeous dark tiling and scrumptious Molton Brown bubbles to soak in. The overall look of dark walls and gleaming chrome accessories is rather snazzy.
There is more snazziness in the hotel’s bar and restaurant that offers drinks and an Asian fusion type menu and a little bamboo-sheltered street-side terrace. It’s also where breakfast is served (unless you indulge in room service of course) on low-slung tables flanked by white floral velour tub chairs and leopard skin banquettes. As I nibble my scrambled eggs and croissant, I overhear surrounding conversations – hotels always feel like the crossroads of a fascinating mix of lives – from fashionista job interview to the young suits huddled around a laptop and the Russian ladies who shop.
During my visit, the hotel featured an exhibit by Michael Daks, a British fashion photographer, giving it a glamorous, fashion touch. Not that it needed any more street cred. The Pavillon des Lettres has the Parisian chic boutique vibe down to a T.
Stays at Pavillon des Lettres from €300 per room per night based on two sharing on a B&B basis. To book – +33 (0)1 49 24 26 26 | firstname.lastname@example.org Pavillon des Lettres, 12 rue des Saussaies, 75008 PARIS www.pavillondeslettres.com