Pershing Hall, Paris, France

Pershing Hall is one of Paris's chicest new boutique hotels. The former residence of John Joseph Pershing, commander-in-chief of American Forces during the First World War, it subsequently became the American Legion headquarters. The bar, "Le Pershing", was a favourite meeting place of poker-playing Paris Match photographers.

Now the doormen are Armani-clad and the receptionists, thanks to Andrée Putman, one of France's hottest interior designers, greet you from behind high, angular lecterns. Putman, respecting the history of the place, has kept the wrought-iron balconies with American Legion and US army motifs. However, everything else is stark and minimal.

The focal point of the hotel is a 35-metre vertical garden from which hang 250 different species of tropical flora. Patrick Blanc, the botanist, created the garden by attaching felt to the walls and sewing the plants into pockets. This area serves as a warm-weather dining space or afternoon tearoom. Erwan Louaisil is the chef with a CV as long as your arm; Ducasse, Marco Pierre White, Roger Verge, Daniel Boulud. Louaisil's dishes are minimal, and prices are as high as the hanging garden.

Location, location, location

Pershing Hall is at 49 rue Pierre Charron, 75008, Paris (00 33 1 58 36 58 00,

Time to international airport: Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG/Roissy) is 30-60 minutes away, depending on traffic. Air France buses leave from The Etoile (1 Avenue Carnot) every 12 minutes, 5.45am-11pm and cost €9.91 (£6.15) one way. For Orly, 30 minutes away, Air France buses leave from the Invalides terminal (rue Esmault, 7th) every 12 minutes, 5.50am-11pm and cost €6.90 (£4.30). The hotel can arrange a limousine service for €130 (£80.70).

Are you lying comfortably?

There are 26 rooms and suites overlooking the hanging gardens. Minimal décor features wonderful woods, while bathrooms have white porcelain baths and marble floors.

Freebies: Free internet access. Everything else you pay for.

Keeping in touch: all rooms have direct-dial telephone, DVD and CDs and voicemail.

The bottom line

State-of-the-art suites cost €1,000 (£620), with doubles starting from €380 (£235). Breakfast is an extra €26 (£16).

I'm not paying that: Well, it's so booked up with the likes of Kate Moss and George Clooney you probably won't get a reservation anyway. The New Orient, 16 rue Constantinople 8th (00 33 1 45 22 21 64, is cosy, with rooms from €69 (about £43).