Hotel Verneuil

St Germain des Pres, Paris, France Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
An intimate, classy little hotel near the Musée d'Orsay, decorated with flair and finesse
This meticulously renovated 17th-century townhouse could fairly claim to be one of the most charming buildings, on one of the most enchanting streets, in one of the world's most beautiful cities. You're just a stone’s throw from the Musée d’Orsay, among the art-drenched cafés and historic houses of St Germain des Prés. Verlaine, Rimbaud, Camus and Sartre all lived, wrote and drank near here; today Karl Lagerfeld is your neighbour.

Inside you'll find stylish reception rooms with exposed beams, deep purple and green walls, endless books and a roaring fire in winter. Following a 2012 revamp, the tastefully decorated rooms include on-trend touches like grouped vintage mirrors and little bookshelves behind the beds. All furnishings are of the highest quality, and it was clear to us that a tremendous amount of love, effort and thought has gone into choosing them. You also get 20th-century mod cons, including air-conditioning, WiFi and compact yet functional shower rooms. If, like us, you spend most of your time sightseeing, and want somewhere tranquil and elegant to lay your head, this makes for an excellent choice.

Highs

  • We liked the sociable atmosphere - guests share stories in front of the fire in the library before going out to dinner
  • The hotel was completely refurbished in early 2012. We visited soon after and found it to be sleek and bright throughout
  • Staff are friendly, helpful and happy to assist with restaurant bookings, travel recommendations and show tickets
  • You're in a great neighbourhood - you can walk almost everywhere (the Musée d'Orsay, the Louvre, Les Invalides) and pass mouth-watering shops en route (Armani, Dior, Cartier, Vuitton)
  • Serge Gainsbourg, the iconic French singer-songwriter, lived on the rue de Verneuil until his death in 1991. His house remains untouched but for the fan graffiti that covers the exterior walls

Lows

  • Bedrooms and bathrooms are very small, but that is par for course in Paris
  • Public spaces (lobby, library and breakfast room) are also pretty cosy - but very friendly
  • The circular staircase may be difficult for some, and the tiny lift only starts halfway up to the first floor

Best time to go

Paris is wonderful all year round. A good time to come is August when the locals leave and the city is relatively empty; the sales are on in January. And if you're planning a romantic spring-time break, this is the perfect destination.

Our top tips

  • The famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop is nearby (rue de la Bûcherie). Opened in 1919 by Sylvia Beach, the shop was a refuge for literary creatives and has become an iconic Parisian landmark. More recently it has featured in a Woody Allen movie: Midnight in Paris
  • Request a room at the front of the property; the street is really quiet and these rooms get much more light than the ones at the back. It makes a real difference in a small room
  • Great for...

    City Style
    Family
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 26
    • Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Concierge Service
    Room:

    Rooms

    The 26 rooms - all refurbished during the course of 2012 - are small but perfectly formed, with white-painted ceiling beams, quirky vintage lamps and (in some) a splash of bold colour.

    The 5 Classic Rooms have the smallest price tag, due to their compact size and less accessible fifth-floor location. Slightly more spacious are the Club Rooms (where we happily laid our heads), while the Deluxe Rooms are the top choice for space and comfort. Regardless of the room, good quality beds and crisp white linens will ensure you sleep well.

    Most have double beds of the queensize variety (160x190cm); there’s only 1 twin room (in the Club Room category), so book well ahead if you have your heart set on it. In all rooms there's just enough space for a funky "eyed" armchair and maybe a desk, but the bright colours, recessed spotlights and abundant use of mirrors makes them feel larger than their 12-23 sq.m.

    Some of the rooms can interconnect to create space for 4-5 people, and all rooms now come with air-conditioning, WiFi and a flatscreen TV, as well as a minibar and a safe. Black and white tiled bathrooms generally have showers only - there are a couple with bathtubs but you'll have to request this specifically if it's a key factor for you.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Central heating
    • Cots Available
    • Extra beds
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Satellite tv
    • WiFi

    Eating

    Breakfast is laid out, buffet-style, in a stone-vaulted dining room. You get a good "continental plus" spread of cheese, fresh juice, fruit salad, yoghurts and Dorset cereals, as well as bread and croissants from Dominique Saibron. Bacon and eggs are available, and coffee and tea are brought to you at your table.

    All other meals are taken away from the hotel. The nearest eatery is Le Cinq Mars at 51 rue Verneuil, a lively bistro recommended by several guests. If you want to try some of the best Vietnamese in town head to Tan Dinh, but prepare for a hefty bill. For something very special, try L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Joel Robuchon is a bit of a gastronomic star in Paris); it serves modern tapas, but is expensive. Lots more local bistros offer good French food at reasonable prices.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Restaurants nearby
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • You’re on the Left Bank, so don’t miss St Germain des Prés, stamping ground of artists and intellectuals of the last century (and this). You can follow the Boulevard St Germain into the heart of bohemian Paris and find the Les Deux Magots, where Sartre and co. used to sit and talk (you can eat here too). If you want to see the latest candidates you can cut south a couple of streets and check out the cafés around the Sorbonne

    • It’s not all austere intellectualism though; try the jazz cafés for some simple hedonism

    • This being Paris, you can’t move for the culture; the Musée d’Orsay is around the corner, as is the Musée Maillol, which is very well-respected for its temporary exhibitions

    • The Seine is close, less than 300m away, so pick your bridge and follow your nose: Pont Neuf for Notre Dame, Pont des Arts for The Louvre, Pont Royal for the Tuileries; all are a blisteringly beautiful 15-minute stroll

    • Walk the short distance to the Saint Chapelle. It's a stunning example of medieval Christian architecture, and has one of the most extensive collections of 13th-century stained glass in the world

    • Stroll through the exquisite Jardin du Luxembourg and rent out the toy 1920s sail boats - they turn grown men into children!

    • Get a local's perspective by pedalling your way round Paris using the Velib bike network. The bikes are cheap, sturdy and very easy to ride, bike stations are everywhere, and there are plenty of cycle lanes

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Historical sites
    • Nightlife
    • Shopping / markets

    Kids

    Children are welcome. Only the Deluxe Rooms have space for an extra bed or a baby cot (and even then it might be a bit of a squeeze). It's also possible to book 2 interconnecting rooms (Club+Club or Club+Deluxe), which is probably the best option for families.

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

    Baby equipment:

    Baby cots are available on request. A high chair is available in breakfast room. Changing mats are available and baby bottles can be warmed.

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    8/
    Rooms
    8/
    Food
    9/
    Service
    8/
    Value
    8/
    Overall

    {{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
    Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

    Rates for Hotel Verneuil