“Gracefully elegant maison bourgeoise offering understated luxury and supreme service at an intimate address in Saint Germain des Près”
Jean-Louis Deniot is a young designer with a growing reputation for breathing spectacular new life into hallowed premises - including the Coco Chanel suite at the Ritz. Hotel Récamier was lucky to get him. His bold geometric lines and subtle shades of cream, grey and gold combine with clever lighting and sun mirrors to produce graceful spaces that soothe - a ‘subtle and elegant background’, as he calls it - enhanced by superb attention to detail from Mme de Lattre.
Bed linen is the finest Egyptian cotton, slippers and satin hangers await in the wooden wardrobe, plush bathrobes hang in the bathroom, and the Loewe LCD TV has an integrated iPod dock. Other lovely touches include a proper hairdryer, scrumptious Fragonard toiletries, and a replete minibar for midnight-snackers.
The 24 ensuite bedrooms are spread over 6 levels, each with a different theme. The 6th floor is ‘Black and White’, the 5th ‘Red/Coral’, the 4th is ‘Chic ethnic’, the 3rd ‘Grey/Blue' (think Gustavian), the 2nd ‘Golden’ and the 1st ‘Soft Green'. All rooms are adorned with original artwork by photographer Claire de Virieu or by artists from the nearby Galerie Lumas; shrewdly chosen for their perspective, they draw the eye in and create a sense of space, enhanced by well placed sun mirrors.
There are 4 different categories of rooms, one of each type on every floor. The smallest - and none is very large - is the Classic (c. 14 sq.m.), which faces to the rear, so views are not the most romantic. Next is the Tradition; the only one to have a separate toilet. We stayed in this on the 3rd floor and loved it. It felt much more spacious than its 15 sq.m.; the walk-in shower seemed enormous, and there was space in the bedroom for a reading chair, writing desk and wardrobes. These look onto the courtyard terrace - a slight improvement. The Deluxe (17-18 sq.m.) has a kingsize bed (also possible as a twin) and the coveted view over Place Saint Sulpice. Finally, the much larger Club (25-26 sq.m.) has windows onto both the square and courtyard. For friends or families, the Deluxe and Club can be booked together to create a lavish suite with a private connecting corridor.
Breakfast (extra charge) is served from 7am, and is copious. It can be served in the salon or delivered to your room, and is beautifully presented with the finest ingredients. If the weather is fine we recommend breakfast on the terrace; otherwise enjoy a decadently long meal in your room, with silver pots of steaming drinks, airy viennoiseries and baguettes, fresh fruit and juice, yoghurt and cheese, and eggs cooked to your liking.
Complimentary tea, coffee, fruit juice and cake are served in the salon at tea-time, but for all other meals you will have to venture out. The area is not exactly short on eateries, and staff are delighted to provide suggestions and reserve tables. On their recommendation we tried the Café Tournon (18 rue de Tournon) and enjoyed an archetypal French meal of foie gras, followed by confit de canard, and the most divine piece of Camembert (which had been trying to run off the plate).
Alternatively, head 5 minutes' north to rue des Cannettes, which is stuffed full of cafés, crêperies and bistros – if you’re a big beef eater try Boucherie Roulière for excellent steak. Wander along Boulevard Saint-Germain and stop in at Brasserie Lipp or Café de Flore for drinks with literary links. Pick up a picnic at the covered Marché Saint-Germain, or at La Grande Epicerie (part of the delicious department store Bon Marché on rue de Sévres), then seek out the secluded Square Récamier and settle in for the afternoon.
Children are very welcome at the hotel but there is only 1 baby cot and 1 rollaway bed (by request in the Club room only). However on each of the 6 floors, the 2 front rooms (Deluxe and Club) can be interconnected and shut off from the rest of the floor, offering an ideal private suite for families.
Babies (0-1 years)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available