It’s hard to beat the Latin Quarter location of this lovely gem of a hotel: directly facing the Panthéon in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. The four-star hotel is situated within walking distance of the Jardin du Luxembourg, the lovely boutiques of Saint-Germain des Prés, Notre-Dame cathedral and the riverside quays along the Seine.
Half the hotel’s rooms overlook the Panthéon, the great neoclassical monument where all the heroic “great men” of France are buried. The inscription above the entrance reads, AUX GRANDS HOMMES LA PATRIE RECONNAISSANTE (“To great men, the grateful homeland”), and there are only a handful of woman, like Marie Curie. The hotels’ name, Les Dames du Panthéon, is a tongue-and-cheek reference to this.
What it also means is that the 35 rooms are decorated with elegant feminine touches. Newly renovated, the Hotel Les Dames du Panthéon reflects the art de vivre à la Française. Like your very own bourgeois pied-à-terre in Paris, this chic little hotel has a welcoming, “at home” ambiance. In the lobby, for example, you’ll find shelving that evokes a cabinet of curiosities, and in the bar, you’ll find a cozy and refined corner for sipping drinks while gazing out over the Panthéon.
The guest rooms are spread out over six floors, and each reflects the universe of a great woman of France. There’s one dedicated to Edith Piaf, George Sand, Juliette Greco, Marguerite Duras, the Cocottes (the 19th century ladies of the boudoirs who inspired the likes of Emile Zola), and les Signares (the Mestizo French-African women of the island of Gorée in French Senegal).
Calm and well-equipped, these rooms were imagined by designer Valérie Manoïl, who chose precious fabrics and even custom designed some of the furniture. Note that there are connecting rooms for families traveling together. A nice perk in the rooms are the bath products by Carthusia, a beauty line that’s manufactured in Capri, that’s only rarely become available to the public outside its native island.
There are a number of hotel services available: concierge, 24-hour room service, free wifi, drycleaning on demand, and a coffee and tea lounge in the afternoon.
Breakfast is served in a beautiful vaulted room lined with white stone. It’s a copious buffet, with fresh juices and pastries made on the premises. A perfect start to your perfect day in Paris!
Hotel Les Dames du Panthéon, 19 Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 43 54 32 95. www.hotellesdamesdupantheon.com. Rooms from 200 €.
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