It was our 10th wedding anniversary. I proposed in Paris, so it seemed the obvious place to go. I hunted for a discreet, sophisticated hotel, off the beaten track but close to the centre. The hotel would have to be full of character but not over-styled. It would need a lift disguised as a suitcase. And it must be effortlessly chic, with a vast bed, Napoleonic canopy attached, just in case things went wrong.
Take the direct route between the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower and you'll hit the Place du Trocadéro and its curiously featureless neo-Palladian twin edifices, which constitute the Palais de Chaillot. But you'll need your wits about you to spot Sofitel's Trocadéro Dokhans. Rue de Lauriston
is one of the lesser radials from the Arc and the hotel is right at the end of it, where three streets meet - as pointy as a flat-iron and not much more imposing.
The comfort factor
The Trocadéro Dokhans is a hotel for grown-ups. Everything about the experience is discreet, from the amiable but non-unctuous staff, through the faded neo-Classical decor to the tiny lift, which conveys you to your room as though you were a pair of Prada shoes in a Luis Vuitton suitcase. The stripy wallpaper and bed canopy might be a bit much after an evening well-spent in the champagne bar downstairs, and the curious geometry of the rooms closest to the leading edge of the flat-iron might perturb those who like everything four-square. But let's be frank here: this is not a place for squares.
Our bathroom tapered to a point like a slice of camembert. The bath/shower mechanism was convoluted in that French way - too many knobs, pipes and flywheels - but after careful study we both got an enjoyable bath and shower.
The food and drink
They don't do dinner but they do do champagne. As you sip your fine bubbly and nibble your nibbles, you can peruse the hotel's very own Picasso and Matisse drawings. Breakfast is French - but English bacon and eggs are available.
Several terrific restaurants are nearby. We consumed a most acceptable dinner at the Café de l'Homme, in the foyer of the anthropological museum in Palais de Chaillot.
The building was not designed with the wheelchair-bound much in mind.
Double rooms start at €190 (£130) per night.
117, rue Lauriston, 75116 Paris (00 33 1 63 65 66 99; sofitel.com).
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