Estate Style with Parisian Flair
of the city’s nicest secrets
its sprawling size, Paris
is an intimate city. There is a coziness about the narrow
side streets flanked by tall, centuries-old buildings;
boulevards lined with graceful trees; and even the vast,
meandering Seine, which never feels aloof because of its
promenades and pedestrian-friendly bridges. No matter
where you wander in the City of Lights, you’re bound
to find a welcoming corner, and few are more inviting
than the historic Place du Châtelet. Poke around
the environs of this charming little square and you will
discover one of the city’s nicest secrets: Hôtel
red awnings greet guests, who enter the hotel through
a small reception area, where a whimsical oil painting
of a woman in a dashing feathered red cap gazes down on
you as you check in. With its duo of leather club chairs,
honeyed colors, fresh flowers and winding staircase (don’t
fear, there is also an elevator in this six-story building),
the entry hall would feel right at home in a private manor.
This is the overall effect the hotel strives to create,
decked out as it is to resemble a classic but definitely
lived-in home in the English countryside, complete with
William Turner reproductions throughout.
property first opened as a lodging in 1861, and although
it evolved over the decades, it never became a big hotel.
Although you may miss out on the masses of facilities
(restaurant, fitness room, spa) found in a bigger place,
you’ll also miss out on the masses of guests and
a staff spread thin trying to serve them all. The manageable
size of the Hôtel Britannique ensures that your
stay is personalized. As for the amenities this hotel
does offer, there is a lovely salon/reading room, decorated
with playful red paneling and a pleasant clutter of accessories,
such as a model ship and brass-horned gramophone. You
can pluck a novel in English or French from a built-in
wood bookshelf and pass a few hours on one of the leather
and velvet chairs and sofas. Another nice refuge is the
bucolic breakfast room, whose buffet includes such treats
as fresh squeezed orange juice.
bedroom has its own unique charm
character-filled are the bedrooms. With two bathrooms
and flower box-bedecked windows, the Junior Suite is particularly
nice. And there’s a little attic room with a slanted
ceiling if you’re seeking a quintessential Parisian
garret experience. Six bedrooms come with balconies, offering
picturesque views over neighboring rooftops. Surprising
high-tech extras in all include Wi-Fi access and flat-screen
the front door, you can easily stroll to the Louvre, Les
Halles, the Marais, Saint-Germain-des-Près and
the Latin Quarter. Yet this hotel remains just off the
beaten path. This means that you won’t encounter
tourists at every turn as you take your morning stroll.
You can live like a local, enjoy the convenience of a
traveler and return "home" to be treated like
a treasured guest.
to Paris? Check out our Guide.