Typically small and stylish with buckets full of charm, boutique hotels offer an experience that’s miles away from the standard chain offering. Here are six of the very best boutique hotels in Paris, handpicked for their unique, often unusual features.
Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Maison Souquet | Courtesy of Maison Souquet / Hotels.com
Maison Souquet might be a five-star hotel, but there’s so much character in this secret refuge that it stands out as unique. It combines Arabian style and Napoleon III-style decor to create an eclectic mix of eras. The wood-panelled bar-library adorned with paintings infuses the place with a magical and enchanting aura. Quite simply, it feels like walking into another world. Tucked away off the Rue de Bruxelles, just a stone’s throw away from the famed Moulin Rouge in Montmartre, the venue combines its prime location with an emphasis on luxury. There’s velvet-lined furniture, huge mirrors and chandeliers in abundance. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic date, and so it comes as no surprise that this hotel has been hailed as the world’s top hotel for romance for 2018.
Every one of the 18 rooms in this sophisticated hotel in the 10th arrondissement is individually decorated, combining rich fabrics, distinctive patterns, and ornate vintage furniture. The comforts of 21st-century living, which is to say your very own iMac and custom-made cocktail bar, somehow fit seamlessly with the timeless Parisian charm. Though your sleeping quarters may have everything you need for the most amazing Parisian vacation, the Hôtel Providence also has a sumptuous lounge with a fireplace, a trendy restaurant and bar, and a terrace.
Of course, you don’t just have to stay in luxury 5* palaces with Michelin-starred dining to have the most romantic weekend in Paris. Hotel Des Grands Boulevards is a perfect alternative for a smaller budget, whilst still providing elegance and sophistication. This boutique hotel is chic and adorable, decorated by the renowned designer Dorothée Meilichzon. The hotel interiors mix the decorative splendour of the Louis XVI period, with four-poster beds, glazed wardrobes and red marble counter-tops, with the more pastoral designs of Marie-Antoinette in her Versailles farm, with rustic coated walls, and worn wooden furniture. Without the pressure of the fine palatial surroundings, it’s probably the cosiest place on this list to spend a romantic getaway.
Le Roch Hotel & Spa is a gorgeous 37-room boutique hotel in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. The wellness centre at Le Roch Hotel & Spa is the highlight, with a unique pool made from black lava rock. It’s then illuminated by natural light to flood the volcanic landscape with a surreal, heavenly feel. It only gets better with the hammam, fitness suite, and spa. The rest of the hotel, overseen by renowned French designer Sarah Lavoine, doesn’t disappoint either. There’s a homely feel with open fireplaces and bookshelves flooded by natural light, and a quirky love of craft in the bathrooms that are decorated with handmade clay tiles.
Hotel & Spa La Belle Juliette is located between Montparnasse and St-Germain-des-Prés, which is one of the most classically Parisian neighbourhoods, and takes its name from the celebrated 18th-century beauty Juliette Récamier. The inspiration for the name ‘La Belle Juliette’ extends to inspire the style of this sleek boutique hotel, as there is beauty in bucketfuls. The bedrooms are adorned with antique prints in period frames, elegant furniture and references to literature, with the old bergère chairs salvaged from the previous hotel, albeit repainted in vibrant pink colours.
Paris has many ‘palaces’ — broadly referring to any five-star establishment — open for hosting but only one official château. The Saint James deviates from expectations of antiquated design while embracing the splendour of its elegance. The mansion was built in 1892 on the site of the first aerodrome in Paris. A 300-square-meter private terrace has balloon-shaped pergolas to commemorate the French air balloon fleet. Garden and restaurant dining are complimented by the culinary skills of Michelin chef Virginie Basselot. Inside, the previous Thiers Foundation study has been converted into a library-bar which still holds 12,000 volumes. Bambi Sloan’s eccentric interior designs complement neoclassical elegance with eye-catching pieces such as zebra mounts or the ‘Chandelier Chaos.’