As a freelance travel writer and author of books on hotels I’m quite accustomed to going on site visits at properties. Sometimes the visits are of the hard-hat version, which, I’ve learned can mean anything form touring a veritable shell of a building and being asked to imagine the 10′ lucite bar overlooking the muddy swampland that will soon be a garden to properties who are simply awaiting inspection.
As a result, I’ve learned to ask the hotel representative (not the PR representative) when the actual date of opening is before I head down to the property for a tour. Luckily, my latest hard hat tour, of the soon-to-open (November 2010), PAVILLON DES LETTRES in Paris was well worth it, despite the fair amount of ‘imagining’ that was asked of me while on tour.
The sister property to Paris’ beloved, Pavillon de la Reine hotel (pictured below), the brand-new Pavillon des Lettres promises to indulge its guests in similar sumptuous fashion. Instead of breakfast in a rare garden surrounding in the Marais, Lettres’ guests will sip their cafe au laits in the hotel’s contemporary-style cafe situated on a corner in the tony Elysée Palace neighborhood just steps from the auction house galleries (Sothebys, Christies) and the Champs-Elysee, ogling the fashionable crowd of the 8th arrondissement.
With 26 rooms, each named after a letter in the alphabet and a corresponding author’s name (H is Hugo, V is Voltaire, N is for Nerval etc.), the Pavillon offers an intimate hotel stay bathed in a sophisticated palette of cool grays, soft sand colors and deep crimsons. Think Moulin Rouge scheme but made contemporarily sleek. Given payday loan consolidation the space confinements that come with building/restructuring a historic space – the pavillon does bear aristocratic markings such as a crisp, whitewashed facade, iron railings and embellished cornices – the hotel must make do with narrow hallways and odd-shaped room configurations. Nevertheless, they’ve been able to create sparkling, modern bathrooms with walk-in glass showers and allotted each room a remarkable amount of natural light. Of course, this is Paris, so even though it’s tight, it all feels wonderfully charming. Plus, gadget-addicts will rejoice with the hotel’s heralded in-room amenity: iPads.
The property offers three room categories; Superior, Luxury and Junior Suites – the latter being the top choice for sheer space plus they come with fluted balconies showcasing romantic views of the top of the Eiffel Tour. Although dangerously narrow, particularly for American sensibilities, the slight balconies undeniably depict the exact and oft-idealized romantic setting for a shared bottle of champagne toasting one’s fortune of being together in the City of Love.
*Below are some of the photos I took during my tour. I hope to someday return and see the final product. I have little doubt it will look like the above photo proclaims (though beware, the depth of field portrayed above is the work of a savvy photo lens trick). If anything, the location (did I mention it’s also a block from the decadent shopping block; la rue du Faubourg St Honore) and particular brand of Parisian creativity and literary homage are reason enough to visit.