Top Line

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Top 10: romantic Paris hotels

Top 10: romantic Paris hotels

A guide to the most romantic places to stay in Paris, including the best for atmospheric interiors, cosy fires, rooftop terraces, lavish breakfasts and king-sized beds

Shangri-La Paris

Originally the private residence of Roland Napoléon Bonaparte, the Shangri-La Paris has a wedding-cake facade, grand stairway and a string of historic salons, which have been listed and painstakingly restored with hand-gilded panelling and neoclassical friezes. The 81 bedrooms and suites are calmly classical, recalling the French grand lifestyle, in soft creams and beiges or blues and greys, with deep beds and sofas and the best have large rooftop terraces with astonishing views of the Eiffel Tower.

Read the full review: Shangri-La, Paris

Hôtel Vernet

Behind its Haussmannian facade, the century-old Vernet has moved from a status of neglected dowager to a member of the hip Design Hotels selection. It has been refreshingly rejuvenated, while preserving the ever-so-Parisian style of its Belle Epoque origins – spectacular glass and iron verrière, original fireplace in the bar, stained glass stairwell, colonnaded lobby. The bedrooms feel made for relaxation, in a timeless style with high-ceilings, big comfortable beds and armchairs, where natural wood and fabrics are enlivened by colourful throws and cushions.

Read the full review: Hôtel Vernet, Paris

Raffles Royal Monceau

As soon as you see the red lanterns and red glass marquise outside, you know this place is slightly naughty but nice. It’s at its best downstairs in the public spaces, the lounge stretches endlessly mixing vistas and secluded corners, with illuminated Long Bar for seeing and being seen, and a cascade of chandeliers in the stairwell. The 149 rooms and suites are far from designer minimalism, rather, a Starck-conceived artistic clutter of eclectic lamps and tables, mixing retro and contemporary touches.

Read the full review: Raffles Royal Monceau, Paris

Hôtel des Grands Hommes

Left Bank writers and academics, along with tourists from all over the world stay at the Hôtel des Grands Hommes. The rooms are compact but comfortable cocoons, decorated with Toile de Jouy fabrics with neo-classical motifs and old engravings. Ask for a Superior room overlooking the Panthéon, or a fifth-floor delux room where you can take breakfast on your balcony. They take breakfast seriously here and recently replaced the standard buffet for a superior à la carte offering.

Read the full review: Hôtel des Grands Hommes, Paris

Hôtel du Petit Moulin

A unique blend of Marais history and the design flair of Christian Lacroix have quickly made this a cult address. It's fashionable but with an atmosphere that is more secret hideaway than show off. The 17 rooms for once really are all different with boldly clashing colours and lush fabrics. Lacroix took inspiration from the idea of the voyage in both time and place in a heady mix that takes in a starry night sky, catwalk sketches, ancient beams, heavy taffetas, Venetian mirrors, sultry baroque and Sixties furniture.

Read the full review: Hôtel du Petit Moulin, Paris

Hôtel Jules et Jim

Natural materials, stylish design and modernity meets history at this hotel named after the Truffaut film. With 23 rooms divided over a series of small buildings, life centres round the convivial paved courtyard with its planted wall and real outdoor fireplace and the bar in a converted silversmith's workshop. The emblematic Hi-Macs rooms in the tall streetside building, each reached by its own stop in the lift, are like hushed cocoons, where the bed is set within a backlit, creamy oval resin pod.

Read the full review: Hôtel Jules et Jim, Paris

Hôtel La Belle Juliette

Dedicated to literary muse and beauty Juliette Récamier, different floors represent different epochs of Juliette's life, in an agreeable mix of historicism and the contemporary. There's a small Japanese-style garden and a gorgeous basement spa. Carefully sourced antique prints in period frames and early editions of Romantic literature meet sleek modern console tables in the bedrooms, Aalto chairs and i-macs, and even the old bergère chairs recuperated from the previous hotel have been reborn in shocking pinks and scarlets.

Read the full review: Hôtel La Belle Juliette, Paris

Le Relais Montmartre

Just off busy rue Lepic, in villagey Montmartre, the Relais Montmartre feels more like a home than a hotel, with a tastefully furnished reception cum lounge furnished with antiques and oil paintings and a real log fire in winter. There's also a small courtyard patio with cheerful yellow tables and chairs. Spotlessly maintained rooms are pretty and floral, with colourfully painted exposed beams — fucsia, green, purple, blue — botanical prints on the walls, and amenities like the minibar neatly hidden away.

Read the full review: Le Relais Montmartre, Paris

Hôtel d'Aubusson

A grand carriageway entrance and lofty flagstoned lobby set in the style at this hotel which has guarded its 17th century aura. A log fire crackles in the massive stone fireplace in a salon hung with Aubusson tapestries, and there's a calm patio courtyard and an animated bar. Rooms are comfortable and traditionally furnished, rather than the latest style exercise, but they are good-sized for the price, with high ceilings, tall windows, heavy curtains, and canopied beds in some rooms.

Read the full review: Hôtel d'Aubusson, Paris

Maison Athenée

An out of time return to to the Second Empire in homage to nearby Palais Garnier opera house, down to every detail from the romantic portraits and gilded capitals in the lobby to boudoir-like Red Bar, and suitably melodramatic bedrooms. Romantic rooms are opulent, awash with Toile de Jouy prints, pleated lampshades and heavily swagged and tasselled curtains, and mosaic bathrooms. It's classic Jacques Garcia, so full of atmosphere, though the dim lighting is made for seduction rather than working.