When you become a Tablet Plus member, you gain exclusive access to a selection of the world’s finest hotels, each one committed to providing you with seamless, VIP-level hospitality. Fab Five is a series of collections dedicated to celebrating these truly exceptional properties.
The stereotype about Paris’ Left Bank — the six arrondissements south of the Seine — is that it’s where the city “learned to think.” Smaller than the Right Bank, it’s still remembered as the haunt of Picasso, Matisse, and Hemingway, where you can still enjoy the timeless Paris of old. Truthfully, nothing’s ever so obvious. To really form an opinion on your preferred Paris, you’ll have to go see for yourself. Although the following five hotels might irrevocably sway your opinion Left. These are the best of the best (of the Left), and all Tablet Plus.
If there’s a common thread that runs through most of Paris’s big-name hotels it’s this: whether they’re centuries-old grand hotels or cutting-edge design experiments, they tend to announce themselves with some fanfare. For that reason we’re always partial to the soft-spoken, to Parisian hotels that buck the trend by providing a place to hide away, rather than a place to be seen — hotels like the newly renovated and revamped Hotel Recamier.
Tour Eiffel/Musée D’Orsay
Most Parisian hotels, for better or worse, fit comfortably into one category or another — the bohemian boltholes, the lavish luxury hotels, the impeccably styled minimalist boutiques. But like a lot of the best hotels, the Hôtel Montalembert defies categorization. It’s on the Left Bank but it’s far from bohemian; it’s stylish but not without substance; it’s classic without being stuck in the past. For its versatility it misses out on a bit of publicity, but there are quite a few old Paris hands who try not to stay anywhere else.
Le Saint Hotel A Paris
Tour Eiffel/Musée D’Orsay
Rarely has the concept “more than the sum of its parts” been demonstrated so clearly in the world of hospitality. Hôtel Le Saint, in the Left Bank district of Saint-Germain, is stitched together from three smaller hotels, but proprietor (and decorator) Bertrand Plasmans has preserved the identity of the three distinct buildings, while connecting their interiors and redesigning them in a style that pays tribute to their 19th-century genesis.
Hotel Eiffel Blomet
Gare Montparnasse/Institut Pasteur
Not far from the Eiffel Tower in Paris’s 15th Arrondissement is the famous rue Blomet, home not just to the Bal Blomet, a famous Jazz Age cabaret bar, but also to the Hotel Eiffel Blomet, an Art Deco landmark that dates back to 1931. Thanks to a dream team of seven hoteliers, along with associated architects and designers — including interior designer Bruno Borrione — it’s back in fighting trim, looking better than ever, and paying tribute both to its Art Deco heritage and to the best in modern luxury hospitality.
Hotel Des Academies Et Des Arts
An utterly traditional Thirties hotel in Paris’s Montparnasse district is now, after a radical update, the very picture of the modern boutique hotel. With just twenty rooms, the Hotel des Académies et des Arts owes some debt to the cozy Left Bank lodgings of times past; but the bold colors, graphic décor, even the downbeat electronic music playing in the living-room/lobby make it clear that this is a design hotel of the new breed.