6 May 2015, 9:52am
France Hotels & Lodging Paris Trip Planning:
Comments Off on Paris Update: Two Lovely Left Bank Hotels

Paris Update: Two Lovely Left Bank Hotels

Moi on a Recent Trip to Paris

Moi on a Recent Trip to Paris

It’s that time of year again–springtime in Paris. Not only is it a beautiful time to visit the French capital, but it’s also when a lot of people–many of whom I only vaguely know through social media or elsewhere–contact me for recommendations for Paris and other parts of France. I try to graciously tell them that they will find a wealth of hotel, restaurant, shopping, sightseeing and general information as well as a treasure trove of all kinds of tidbits in my books The Riches of Paris:  A Shopping and Touring Guide and The Riches of France:  A Shopping and Touring Guide to the French Provinces. But still, they want some insider tips directly from me. The irony of that escapes me, since I am the author of those books as well as a travel memoir entitled A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France.

So for the sake of appeasing my potential Paris travelers and out of love for the city in which I lived over eleven years, I’ve decided to start posting more on Paris and the French provinces here at my blog. Hotel recommendations are a good place to start and below you will find two of my longtime favorites.

Left Bank Hideaway at the Hôtel Le Saint-Grégoire

Left Bank Hideaway at the Hôtel Le Saint-Grégoire

Note that both are situated on the Left Bank of Paris in an area I refer to as the Parisians’ Paris (in my Paris books). Indeed, the neighborhoods are more residential and intimate than those you find on the Right Bank, near the Champs-Elysées, Madeleine and Louvre although you’ll still discover an abundance of restaurants, shops and tourist-worthy attractions here on the south side of the Seine. The interiors of the Left Bank hotels reflect the more low-key feel of the Rive Gauche, offering a home-away-from-home quality to the stay. Remember, however, that Left Bank hotel rooms are small, pretty much without exception. (Although upon completing renovations, I’m sure the Lutétia’s rooms will be among the biggest and brightest of the Left Bank.) You many be wondering how small? French food portion-size:  more than enough to satisfy most fine diners, but not enough to impress the big eaters. Just remember that these hotels offer a glimpse as to how the French really live and that includes tiny elevators that can’t accommodate a lot of people and baggage.

Another View of the Breakfast Room

View of the Breakfast Room/Cellar at Le Saint-Grégoire

Another View of Le Saint-Grégoire Breakfast Room

Another View of Le Saint-Grégoire Breakfast Room

Another View of the Garden from the Lobby of Le Saint-Grégoire

View of the Garden from the Lobby of Le Saint-Grégoire

Hôtel Le Saint-Grégoire

Hôtel Le Saint-Grégoire

Hôtel Le Saint-Grégoire

This was the first Left Bank hotel I came to know when I started my Chic Promenade shopping service back in 1987. And I’ve been a fan ever since. I walked in off the street one day and chatted with François de Béné, the hotel director, about my tours and excursions to the big names of Paris and the off-the-beaten-path boutiques and we’ve been in touch on and off since then. We visited over a coffee in the cozy hotel lobby last fall and reminisced about Paris and how little, in fact, the feel of the hotel and neighborhood had changed. (Dieu merci!) François told me about his upcoming retirement, which, of course, made me realize how much time marches on. I love Le Grégoire for its charming décor, personalized service and close proximity to Sèvres-Babylone, a main intersection and Métro station of the Left Bank. Much of their staff has worked there for years and many of their clients are regulars and welcomed back like old friends, un peu comme moi.

Bedroom Beauty at the Hôtel d'Orsay

Bedroom Beauty at the Hôtel d’Orsay

Eighteenth-Century Charm at L'Orsay

Eighteenth-Century Charm at L’Orsay

Comme Chez Soi at L'Orsay

Comme Chez Soi at L’Orsay

Luxurious Linens on a Heated Towel Rack at L'Orsay

Luxurious Linens on a Heated Towel Rack at L’Orsay

Hôtel d’Orsay

Location, location, location. Just like in the real estate world, location is key when it comes to a Paris hotel. This one–as the name indicates–is situated right across from the heavenly Musée d’Orsay, a must for all visitors to Paris, especially enthusiasts of French Impressionism. Just a short skip from the Seine, Hôtel d’Orsay offers an elegant stay within two eighteenth century buildings. Like so much in France, there’s no cookie cutter approach here; instead antiques, a subtle palette of subdued hues and luxurious fabrics envelope you in an ambiance that feels distinctly French. Here, too, I’ve been in contact with the hotel director, David Chevalier, for about two decades. Tell him bonjour on my behalf!

Our Breakfast Tray at Le Saint-Grégoire

Our Breakfast Tray at Le Saint-Grégoire

Steve Having Breakfast with Me Before He Jets Off to the States

My Guy Having Breakfast with Me at Le Saint-Grégoire Before Jetting Off to the States

Please note that the above hotels–just like Paris–are terrific year-round. Certain periods, however, are booked up far in advance and since they’re boutique hotels with a limited room supply, it’s best to contact them well before your travels.

Keep in mind also that I do travel planning for Paris, the French provinces and all of Colorado.

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