We found the perfect meeting of luxury, comfort, and location at Paris’s Hotel Vernet, a 5-star member of the Design Hotels™ and every bit the “elegant hotel with modern quarters” by which they describe themselves. The exterior is a lovely 7-story white limestone building with black iron balconies that was built in 1917 as a private residence. The architect, Albert Joseph Sélonier, was quite prolific, designing almost 300 structures in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the post-Haussmann and Art Deco styles. And in a piéce de resistance architectural detail, the glass-domed ceiling was designed and built by Gustave Eiffel. We stepped through the front door feeling very much like we were stepping into an experience that felt so much closer to a “real Paris” than a tourist typically finds at a mainstream hotel chain.
The interior is relatively new; the entire hotel was updated and designed by Paris architect François Champseur. It is light, modern, and impeccably chic with interesting colors and whimsical shapes used throughout. I particularly loved the lime green upholstered dining room chairs in the dining room. Sitting there under that century-old intricate iron and glass dome overhead really made us feel like we were lounging in the most perfectly appointed room on earth.
And the quality of the breakfast more than matches the elegance of the space. We were brought green detox juice to begin along with what the French call “cottage cheese” but is really a very rich, creamy yogurt. Drizzle with a bit of honey and topped with mixed fruit, finish with chocolate croissant and cappuccino, and relax over this luxurious breakfast while making plans for the day.
You hear that Paris hotel rooms are especially tiny by American standards, but our superior room, while small, felt quite big enough. The room featured a queen sized bed with nightstand and groovy orange wall lamps on each side, an oval desk, an easy chair with end table, and a narrow closet. The bed was plush and luxurious, the room was very quiet, and the balcony gave us a nice peek at the loveliness of Parisian architecture. The robes were plush and the slippers cushy, and the decently sized bathroom featured a dizzyingly cool black and white tile with brass fixtures for a bit of bling.
The Hotel Vernet’s location is ideal It’s situated in the 8th arrondissement on a short side street in Paris’ Golden Triangle, an easy mile-long stroll in one direction down the Champs Elysee to the famed Angelina on Rue Rivoli for their famed hot chocolate, a mile in another direction past the Arc de Triomphe to Auberge Dab for oysters and wine, and a mile walk along the Seine via George V to visit Monet’s Water Lilies at L’Orangerie. And this is Paris, so of course, there is so, so much more.