Chic chambres: Paris's best boutiques

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The French capital has plenty of grand hotels to choose from, but small is beautiful too – as revealed by these stunning properties taken from the new 'Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: France'

Best for fabrics and furniture: Hôtel Daniel

Style: Orientalist opulence

Setting: Elegant Huitieme

The Lebanese proprietors of Hôtel Daniel, who also own the elegant Hotel Albergo in Beirut, know how to attract a refined clientele. The interiors are a sumptuous blaze of fanciful fabrics, oriental carpets and luxurious furnishings: a mood of tasteful exuberance that we found instantly uplifting. (Talking of which, the lift, lined with hand-painted De Gournay wallpaper, has to be one of the most inviting in Europe.)

Pretty as the inside of a jewel box, the rooms are decked out with 18th-century-style toile de Jouy: Chinese kite-fliers, swirling ferns, tropical trees or picturesque expeditions by elephant. Bed sheets feel as smooth as cream; other fine touches in the suites include decent-sized dressing gowns, air-conditioning you can understand, and iPods.

When you summon tea, it arrives in willow-pattern china. And, once you've tried the gourmet restaurant, the Daniel is surrounded by terrific places, from conveyor-belt fave Lô Sushi to the super-smart and stately Apicius, just across the street.

It's super-central: walk south and you hit the congested runway of the Champs-Elysées; head northwards and there's the oh-so-Paris Parc Monceau, its benches filled by fine-grained mothers, nannies and infants.

But don't miss strolling east along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which gradually builds to a frenzy of window-shopping delights. First up is gourmet food emporium Dalloyau; then comes Hôtel Le Bristol, followed by a parade of famous fashion houses.

Breakfast here, delivered on a white-linened trolley, is a harmonious still-life of coffee, newspapers and delicious, what-the-hell pastries. The Daniel has a lounge brimming with plush cushions, chinoiserie trimmings and orchids; the bar-restaurant is intimate, with silky banquettes and cabinets filled with dainty coloured glasses. It works – and this goes for the whole hotel – equally as well for high-powered, discreet business as for high-style, discreet romance.

Our favourite rooms: all the deluxe rooms are on the sixth floor – room 603 has a big bathroom with a spectacular view of the Paris rooftops. Standard rooms 102, 202, 302 and 402 are smaller but equally delightful and quiet. You can watch the sun set over the tip of the Eiffel Tower from the Daniel Suite.

Rooms: 26, including seven suites.

Rates: €350–€740, not including breakfast, from €24.

Address: Hôtel Daniel, 8 rue Frédéric Bastiat, 75008 Paris (00 33 1 42 56 17 00; hoteldanielparis.com )

Best for peace and privacy: Hotel Keppler

Style: Private HauSSman

Setting: A sashay from the Champs-Elysees

Narrow Rue Kepler in the chic 16th arrondissement is an ideal address for a boutique bolthole, within trotting distance of the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées and all the sights of the Right Bank. And, perhaps surprisingly, given its proximity to such major shopping, dining and wining, Hotel Keppler is not only fittingly fashionable but also luxuriously tranquil.

Outside, it's all imposing Haussmannian townhouse; inside, designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has signed off a sophisticated meeting of high-society modern style with camped-up classicism. Riddled with alcoves, plastered with frescos and dotted with intriguing artefacts (note the man-size china vases flanking the door to the winter garden), the hotel has an air of opulence that's nicely tempered by the unstuffy approach of its incredibly helpful staff.

In contrast to the exoticism of the ground-floor communal areas, the bedrooms are designed to feel stylish and serene, with sparing use of Keppler's signature strong colours and bold prints – toiles, checks and animal prints – and just a smattering of artworks. This is a land where laundry is returned the same day, each article of clothing wrapped in tissue paper and laid artfully in a chic white box, complete with ribbon. The suites are stocked with Hermès products, and there's a sauna/steam room.

Breakfast, taken in the lower-level winter garden room, is composed of bread and pastries that are too good to refuse, ripe red strawberries, espresso and just-squeezed juice. The proximity of Hédiard and Fauchon allow you to squirrel all manner of treasures back to your room for late-night snacking; or you can arrange an official in-room delivery of cakes from the famed Angelina tearoom and pâtisserie on Rue de Rivoli. The guests-only bar is all high-camp sophistication, awash with stripes, animal print, big, puffy cushions and a library of arty-fashiony books; really more of a salon than a bar, it's lovely spot to ensconce yourselves for tea or a cocktail.

Our favourite rooms: We like the black, white and yellow Executive Rooms, with TVs in the bathrooms. The four Superior Suites come with balconies and Eiffel Tower views.

Rooms: 39, including five suites.

Rates: €220–€1,000. Breakfast, €22.

Address: Hotel Keppler, 10 rue Kepler, 75116 Paris (00 33 1 47 20 65 05; keppler.fr )

Best for tales of the unexpected: Hôtel Particulier Montmartre

Style: Arthouse original

Setting: Secret Garden, Sacre-Coeur

High on the hilltop of the 18th arrondissement, the hidden-away address of Hôtel Particulier Montmartre (the name gives nothing away, either) is a good match for its style, which leaves the mainstream far, far behind. Stepping through the patrician front door, you find yourself in a surprising, visually arresting space, in which pop-art giant lips and aristocratic antiques cohabit with kitsch, life-size statues of angels, Arne Jacobsen chairs and cowhide rugs. Though there's a mid-century, modern slant to the furnishings, the overall effect is less dry than that suggests.

The hotel's handful of suites all feature work by different artists: the marvellously titled Trees With Ears has fabulous, hand-printed Japanese-style wallpaper, a bed big enough for an entire family and a huge rolltop bath; the room segues into an elegant living area, complete with sofa and chaise longue.

On one wall, facing a window with views over the drinks terrace and its fairy lights, you'll find a rubber earpiece and a brass button. Explore further and you'll come across the end of this auditory extravagance, hidden behind the sofa – it's for relaying sexy messages to your lover at the other end of the suite.

The hotel has no restaurant of its own but you can order up a chef to prepare a private dinner for you, to be served in the garden – amazing for a summer birthday – or around a huge dining table indoors. Albeit one of the touristy destinations on Earth, the neighbourhood has some great bistrots, such as Virage Lepic, with its red-and-white chequered V Ctablecloths and mementos of Doris Day and Judy Garland, La Mascotte (old-school nirvana) and Le Miroir (for new-generation simplicity).

Unlike any other Parisian bolthole, Hôtel Particulier Montmartre is homely enough to put you at your ease – it couldn't be more intimate, with just five suites – yet it's filled with stylish and beautiful design. The garden, with shady nooks and a fountain, is as much a work of art as the interior, designed by Louis Benech, also responsible for the Jardin des Tuileries, no less.

Our favourite rooms: We'd stay in Trees With Ears for the name alone, but it's also invitingly spacious, draped in velvet and full of antiques. Vitrine, created by a sculptor, is a saucier stay altogether, with a cabinet full of highly suggestive blown-glass objects, and a big steam room. The arboreal wallpaper in Jacuzzi-equipped Vegetal makes you feel as though you're sleeping in a light-dappled forest glade.

Rooms: Five suites.

Rates: Low season, €290–€490; high season, €390–€590. Breakfast, €20.

Address: Hôtel Particulier Montmartre, 23 avenue Junot, 75018 Paris (00 33 1 53 41 81 40; hotel-particulier-montmartre.com )

Best for left-bank cool: Hôtel Récamier

Style: Globetrotting glamour

Setting: Sophisticated Saint-Germain

Stepping through the doors of the Récamier, designed by French interiors notable Jean-Louis Deniot, is like entering not a hotel but the private apartment of a wealthy archaeologist with a taste for the earthier, more textural side of modernist design. In the lobby, black-and-white chequered marble is offset by warm-toned wooden furniture and fabrics that span the colour spectrum from espresso to macchiato. On a side table, a cast of a bronze west African Ife portrait bust stands, its gaze directing guests to the tiny check-in desk across the hall.

Six storeys up in the supermodel-slender building and you're in a peaceful balcony room, full of bright spring sunlight, snug and well-equipped for a city retreat (there's a fridge full of eminently gluggable wine to celebrate your arrival).

The decor continues the safari-meets-1950s-ethnography-museum vibe, with hessian-effect wallpaper and a tent-like canvas canopy over the bed. The bathrooms, in contrast, are all black slate and polished white symmetry.

You don't have to wander very far from Récamier's doors to experience the mixture of history and contemporary refinement that makes Paris unique. Dominating the square outside the front door is the Eglise Saint-Sulpice. It dates back to the 13th century and features in The Da Vinci Code; far more interestingly, it's home to some seriously sensual murals by the Romantic painter Delacroix, and was the place where the Marquis de Sade was baptised. Flanking the square are clutches of the capital's chicest shops, including labels such as APC, Vanessa Bruno and Paul & Joe. Organic café Bread & Roses is nearby on Rue Fleurus, or there's Grom for ice-cream, and Ze Kitchen Galerie for with-it fusion food.

Our favourite rooms: Room 42 triumphs in size and has a chocolate, cream and beige colour palette. We also like Room 64 on the sixth floor, smaller but with a balcony overlooking Place Saint-Sulpice. If you prefer a bathtub to a walk-in shower, book a Classic or Club room.

Rooms: 24.

Rates: €250–€420, including tax. Breakfast, from €10.

Address: Hôtel Récamier, 3 bis, Place Saint-Sulpice, 75006 Paris (00 33 1 43 26 04 89; hotelrecamier.com )

Best for rock-star status: La Réserve Paris

Style: Millionaire pied-a-terre

Setting: Eiffel-view right bank

High-status location notwithstanding (the Eiffel Tower looks near enough to touch from here) you could be walking up to any old bourgeois, 16th-arrondissement mansion block. But La Réserve Paris is, truly, something else, as Paris accommodation goes: a place where world travellers who are used to the best – CEOs, rock stars, crown princes – will feel at home.

The lobby is tiny, merely allowing staff to greet you and find out what you might need from them that day. Inside the apartments, the initial impression is of acres of space: guests who own homes in a UK city are likely to note how much bigger their La Réserve apartment is than their own house. The decor can best be described as simply luxurious: a blank canvas, with a bare minimum of colourful detail. What this means is that, if you were to take an apartment for a few months, you wouldn't be living with someone else's taste – it's more like a very swanky furnished rental, a super-serviced, five-star apartment. Living rooms are fitted with the most enormous flat-screen TVs; there are Bose speakers all around. And the kitchens are equipped with every possible accoutrement for the home chef.

Each room has a full-time gouvernante (that's French for housekeeper – not a strict governess, whatever you might hope), catering to your every need. From unpacking your luggage to helping you organise private events... this is truly "your wish is our command" stuff. You can throw a Sunday brunch for your friends, you can party late and sleep in till all hours. You can smoke on the terraces and in the gardens. You can even bring nicely behaved, diminutive pets.

Finally, even if the premises are fully booked, you will never hear even a sigh from another guest, though you might end up on nodding terms with a bodyguard posted on a landing.

Breakfast is prepared in your kitchen by (very nice) maids. It's a simple affair of croissants and pastries, freshly squeezed juice, Mariage Frères tea...

Our favourite rooms: best for family trips, Apartment 1 has plenty of space spread over three levels, with a private entrance, a garden, a huge master suite with a walk-in dressing room, and a view of the Eiffel Tower from the dining area. Apartment 2 is also vast, with a big garden and a fabulous view. Apartment 10 has an open kitchen and a wonderful terrace where you feel as though you own the Eiffel Tower.

Rooms: 10 apartments, with one to four bedrooms in each.

Rates: €1,850–€4,330, including tax and a Continental or à la carte breakfast, served in the apartment by your maid.

Address: La Réserve Paris, 10 place du Trocadéro/3 avenue d'Eylau, 75116 Paris (00 33 1 53 70 53 70; lareserve-paris.com)

Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: France (Spy Publishing, £19.95) is now available from all good bookshops and at mrandmrssmith.com .

The new book features 31 hand-picked French hotels, each personally visited by Mr & Mrs Smith, then anonymously reviewed. Each guidebook also includes a free BlackSmith card, entitling members to travel and hotel benefits, from shopping discounts to free champagne and spa treatments.

To book any of the hotels featured in this article visit mrandmrssmith.com or call the Mr & Mrs Smith Travel Team on 0845 034 0700.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little