“A romantic townhouse hotel, with shimmering star-lit ceilings and stylish contemporary design, set on a quiet street in the historic Latin Quarter”
There are 6 room types, all of which are small but ingeniously designed to maximise space (think sliding doors and clever cupboards), and chicly decorated. Unique colour schemes range through blue, green, black, beige and plum, and the sense of individuality is enhanced by a unique work of art in each room, created by the artist Isabel Emmerique.
Things are enriched by a mix of textures, all encouraging you to reach out and touch; scarlet satin floor-length curtains, white 'wavy' wall tiles, reflective ridged metal doors and faux-leather panelling. The comfy beds are made up with soft white linens and a silky spread. Cute bedside tables hold a range of Paris magazines, and some rooms have glass dressing tables or snug seating areas.
The spotless ensuite bathrooms are comfortable and contemporary, with white porcelain fittings and chrome finishings, and the shower is pleasingly powerful. L’Occitane products add a touch of luxury.
The Standard rooms, at just 8m² and with a 140x190 cm bed, are really best suited to 1 adult or 2 children. While you could fit 2 adults in here, we wouldn’t recommend it for a long weekend.
The Superior Glimmering Romance category is noticeably larger (12m² and a 160x190 cm bed) and has tiny fairy lights set into sections of the ceilings, walls, shower and dressing table, to create a brilliant backdrop. The Superior Glimmering with Baldaquin rooms are similar, but with the addition of a canopy, from which silk threads drop to enclose the bed in its own twinkling universe.
The Luxury Superior room is bigger again (15m²) and this has the novelty of a suspended bed, hovering above the ground. In this room the glistening lights cover the entire span of the ceiling, and you can change their colour to match your mood. This is the only room (apart from the Suite) to have a bath as well as a shower.
The Suite, lusciously decked-out in a coffee-and-cream palette, has 2 rooms with a kingsize bed and double sofabed, so is ideal for a family or a couple looking for a bit more space. The finishing touch is the petite private patio, which houses a hot tub.
However, die-hard romantics should book the One by The Five suite, in a separate building across the street. We say suite, but at 50m², with a sitting-room, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and a terrace, it would be more accurate to say opulent apartment. It is the concept of architect Vincent Bastie and artist Sandrine Alouf, and together they have created a sensuous, luxurious space; innovative design and artistic flair fuse to produce somewhere very special indeed.
The cool kitchen is equipped with all the ingredients to compose your own Elixir d’Amour – and the recipe is inscribed on the mirrored wall. The bath area is an iridescent haze of petrol blue tiles, while one of the mirrors reveals itself to be a flat screen TV. The separate toilet has plush purple velvet ceiling and walls, and holds a plethora of perfumes.
Moving through the hallway, the mirrored columns are interspersed with oversized photos of sculptures from the Louvre, and at the end is the sweet piste de danse, with its stunning rose carpet and shimmering chandelier. Finally you arrive at the beautiful bedroom, with floating bed and sky-painted ceiling, while just outside is your private terrace, with a wonderful photographic backdrop of a Seine view. A palatial piece of paradise in Paris.
Breakfast (7-11am, extra charge) is served buffet style in the bright basement breakfast salon or can be ordered to your room. The small salon has café tables laid for 2, but can only accommodate 12 people at a time, so if the hotel is very busy you may want to consider taking breakfast in your room.
It's not cheap by Parisian breakfast standards, but there's a lot of food and it's fresh and top quality - teas from the renowned Mariage Frères, cafetière and espresso coffee, freshly squeezed juices, tiers of flaky viennoiseries, dried and fresh fruit, cereals and yoghurts, smoked salmon and various cheeses.
There's also an honesty bar in the blood-red Love Capsule, which includes some lighter breakfast options, as well as wines, champagne, mineral water etc.
For other meals, there are so many excellent restaurants around the hotel that going out to eat is no hardship. We tried Au Petit Marguery on the Boulevard de Port-Royal, and had a deliciously traditional meal set in ‘Belle Epoque’ surroundings of grandiose mirrors and red velvet banquettes. They have a very reasonable set menu, serving up oysters, snails or foie-gras for starters, and scallops, duck breast or veal kidneys for main. For dessert, the house speciality is ‘Soufflé au Grand-Marnier’ - perfect to share.
For a choice of good eateries, wander along rue Mouffetard, a 5-minute walk from the hotel. This historic street is renowned for its restaurants and you'll find food to suit every wallet and every palate.
Keep stimulating those 5 senses while you're out and about...
Meander over to the Marché du Place Monge, held on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings, and sample deliciously fresh French fare
Promenade around the Jardin des Plantes, France’s premier botanical garden, breathing in the beautiful scents (we particularly recommend the Rose Garden in spring/ summer and the Art Deco greenhouses in the winter)
Amble up to the Arenes de Lutèce and run your fingers over the remains of the Roman amphitheatre from the 1st century AD, which is now a park where locals gather to play boules
Saunter to the Grande Mosquée of Paris to marvel at the architecture and hues of this beautifully serene building, before sipping a thé à la menthe in the shady courtyard
Enchant your ears with an evening at the renowned Caveau de la Huchette, which has been showcasing the great names in jazz since 1947