Gina Baksa enjoys a romantic weekend at the beautiful Le Pavillon de la Reine hotel in the Marais district of Paris
Perfectly situated on the prestigious Place des Vosges – only a few minutes’ walk from Chemin Vert metro in the 4ème arrondissement of Paris – the 4-star Pavillon de la Reine is a jewel in the crown of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group.
The only 4-star hotel in the Marais – and the only hotel on the exquisite Place des Vosges – this 17th-century former private mansion exudes grace and character, yet feels like a welcoming country home.
Original oil paintings, antique furniture and subtle sophistication are the keynotes in this luxury boutique hotel. The Pavillon’s 54 (soon to be 56) individually decorated guestrooms are beautifully appointed with a charming lounge and library on the ground floor, together with a well-stocked honesty bar.
The Pavillon de la Reine is set back from the Places des Vosges, so guests enter via a discreet passageway that leads into a beguiling courtyard. Perfect for apéros in the evening, or afternoon tea – and in my case the ideal spot for one of the Pavillon’s hearty breakfasts.
There is no restaurant but 24/7 room service offers an eclectic menu. My suggestion is to dine out – the Marais has a superb selection of restaurants – including the fabulous 3-Michelin-starrred l’Ambroisie (President Obama has dined here) just a short walk across the Place des Vosges at Number 9.
You could also make a reservation at the gastronomic Qui Plume La Lune in the 11th, helmed by celebrated Breton-born chef Jacky Ribault.
A recent refurbishment has much improved the Pavillon. Ground floor designs were created by Didier Benderli at Kerylos Intérieurs whose décor echoes the charm and elegance of the staff, who provide a superb yet unobtrusive service. Reception doubles as the concierge so do ask for dinner reservations and guidance with the local area. They are a mine of useful local information and will arrange car service.
The sleek rooms and suites have mosaic-tiled bathrooms, minibars, free Wi-Fi and flat-screens. Suites offer separate sitting areas; some with kitchenettes and can sleep up to 5.
My junior suite overlooked the greenery-filled courtyard and was beautifully calm and peaceful. A loft-style duplex room with double height ceiling, the bedroom was on a raised platform above the bathroom and living area (incredibly comfortable and great pillows).
There was no bath but a superb shower with good water pressure and fab Molton Brown toiletries. Rooms at the Pavillon aren’t massive (choose a suite if you prefer space) but they are cosy and quiet – perfect after a long day’s sightseeing in the French capital. Nightly turndowns with a charming note on the following day’s weather were a bonus – as was the divine pillow chocolate.
Standout features at Le Pavillon de la Reine include its superb Marais location, complimentary parking, free Wi-Fi, efficient air-con and the hotel’s private terrace. And most importantly the impeccable and very friendly service – from front- of-house to the car hire that took me to Gare du Nord.
If you’re feeling energetic or want to work off all that fabulous French cuisine then borrow a complimentary bike (bring a helmet) to explore the Marais (Sunday is usually quieter or early mornings). The hotel also offers guided walking tours.
Gym bunnies will appreciate the Technogym equipment in the spa area. If you arrive before your room is ready a quick freshen up in the steam room and Jacuzzi is the perfect antidote to jet lag. All guests have access to the hotel’s new Spa de la Reine by Carita.
There are two peaceful treatment rooms and a dedicated menu of new treatments especially created for Pavillon de la Reine.
A perfect oasis of peace and calm in one of Paris’s most exciting neighbourhoods. Le Pavillon de la Reine is the ideal romantic hideaway for lovers, a great base for singles enjoying the Marais and its nightlife, while the hotel is perfect for families who appreciate the attention to detail and superb service in an intimate and friendly environment.