So what if the crowds are showing up full tilt this year, a trip to Paris is always a good idea. And while new openings are a frequent occurrence in France’s Capital, the introduction of Hôtel Dame des Arts in the Latin Quarter is indeed noteworthy. The property is situated along Rue Danton on the Left Bank and housed in a 1959-era building that was once a theater school, then a Holiday Inn, and now a design-driven boutique hotel with 109 individually-decorated bedrooms and suites.
Drift inside the lobby doors and one has the sense they’ve dropped into a different realm. The property tapped AD100 designer and Maison&Objet Designer of the Year title recipient Raphaël Navot to spearhead the look and feel of the hotel. His one requirement? Everything must be natural, nothing could be fake. The result is a duet of functionality and beauty, with textural highlights ranging from Loro Piana cashmere sofas to charred oak floors made using traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban techniques.
Overall, one might guesstimate Hôtel Dame des Arts as mid-century modern. With its curved lines, muted palette, and open-plan lobby that flows into a restaurant (and then onto an outdoor garden). The guest rooms are an extension of these sensibilities. In the bedroom, padded and tufted headboards sit in front of bold wood slats accented by floating shelves with framed photographs and artwork resting on top (admittedly an A+ Instagram shot). No detail went unperfected by Navot—the eau-de-nil-tiled shower, the curved bathroom mirrors, or the sleek light fixtures—none of it.
If you’re lucky and land in a room that has an outdoor terrace (over one third of them do), enjoy breakfast or a glass of wine while overlooking views like the Eiffel Tower or the hill of Montmartre. But even if you don’t, the property’s unique 1950s-era construction means larger, industrial windows that allow more light to flood in than neighboring buildings.
Back down at the restaurant, Chef Othoniel Alvarez Castaneda strays from the expected traditional French fare and instead serves modern Mexican cuisine with locally-sourced ingredients and French and Japanese fusion twists. Those who opt for indoor seating will enjoy a stylish dining space but if you’re eager to enjoy the good weather while it lasts, grab a table in the adjacent garden where you’ll be ensconced by lush greens while enjoying seasonal bites such as avocado served with fresh herbs, flowers, and corn chips or red tuna tostada with chipotle mayo and fried leeks.
If you’re itching for views, head to the rooftop bar for one of the hotel’s main selling points. Even when it was a Holiday Inn, visitors and locals alike would flock to the property for its unparalleled vantage points. Nowadays, you can do this in a much sleeker setting and with drinks that skew toward a nuanced palate; even the frozen cocktails feel special, like the La Bamba that mixes mezcal with French cantaloupe, agave syrup, lime, and bitters.
The gym is open 24 hours and even if you haven’t stepped foot on a treadmill in years, it’s worth checking out for the dramatic curved wood ceiling alone. Guests can also arrange for a steam in the property’s sauna. And on the topic of wellness, it’s also worth mentioning that all of the rooms come stocked with Diptyque toiletries (an homage to the French perfume house’s Boulevard Saint-Germain origins).
Location: Paris, France
The Vibe: A design-driven boutique hotel in one of Paris’s most iconic neighborhoods that’s perfect for aesthetes and foodies alike.
Food + Drink: The property’s restaurant is at the helm of Mexican Chef Othoniel Alvarez Castaneda where he fuses French, Mexican, and Japanese flavors and cooks with local, seasonal ingredients (think corn ‘ribs’ with cotija or beef tataki served with chili oil). For days when the weather is too perfect to sit inside, there’s an adjacent outdoor garden to dine from. The rooftop bar is open every day from 5 p.m. and has sprawling views that make you feel like you’re on the set of Amélie.
Amenities: Restaurant, courtyard garden, breakfast buffet, rooftop bar, room service, gym, cinema, private boardroom, bikes for rent
Any personal neighborhood recs? Where to begin! If a leisurely afternoon sipping on wine and nibbling on a baguette by the river sounds appealing, you’ll be pleased to learn of the hotel’s close proximity to the Seine (like three-minute walk kind of close). Generally speaking, the Latin Quarter and next door neighbor Saint-Germain-des-Pres are both replete with iconic destinations you’ve likely already bookmarked, so once you’ve visited sites like Notre-Dame or Luxembourg Gardens, take a 10-minute stroll to Eugène Delacroix Museum, a small museum tucked away on Rue de Furstemberg, one of the city’s most picturesque squares.
Our favorite thing about the hotel: The rooftop bar is downright spectacular. A small elevator whizzes up a few floors and drops you off in an edenesque outdoor space with 360-degree views showcasing the city’s most iconic architectural landmarks—the Eiffel Tower, Sacré Coeur, and Notre-Dame, to name a few. Order a glass of Telmont Champagne or a bespoke cocktail and perch on one of the many plush sofas for a leisurely afternoon soaking in Paris from an intimate perspective.
What’s nearby? Sainte-Chapelle, Notre-Dame, Shakespeare and Company, Cluny Museum, Sorbonne University, and the Latin Quarter.
Pricing: Rates start at €330/£280/$337 per night.
Closest Airport: Paris Orly Airport or Charles de Gaulle Airport
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