Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Le Pavillon des Lettres

21 Jun 2011 by Jenny Southan

WHAT’S IT LIKE? A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (, This boutique property is positioned on a quiet street and occupies a converted townhouse with black wrought-iron balconies. It opened at the end of last year and its 26 bedrooms are named after an A to Z of literary figures – so you could be staying in Goethe, Kafka, Ovid, Proust, Shakespeare, Tolstoy or Xenophon, for example. Inside, each bedroom has a copy of one of the author’s books and extracts of the texts written on the walls. For the technophile, there is also an iPad provided as standard, complete with free wifi access.

The four-star property is contemporary in style, with a unifying palette of fawn, grey and cappuccino, but with blocks of black and copper from key pieces of furniture and shelving that add definition. It has a masculine look to it but is also cosy and compact, with modest-sized rooms and an intimate reception, library and salon on the ground floor. Staff are helpful and welcoming, and are always on hand to offer you a drink from the honesty bar.

WHERE IS IT? Near the Champs-Elysées and Place de la Madeleine on the right bank in the Eighth Arrondissement. It’s a 15-minute drive to Gare du Nord, where the Eurostar ( connects the French capital with London.

ROOM FACILITIES I was staying in “La Fontaine”, a compact room with a street view and slate-grey walls. The technology offering was excellent – with an iPad, iPod dock, flatscreen TV and free wifi to hand. The bed was also very comfortable, and there was a minibar, safe and air conditioning.

The adjacent en suite bathroom was small but well designed with high-end fittings and a walk-in rainshower (no bath). My only criticism was of the door to the bathroom, which was made of glass as, even though it had some words etched into it, it was still really hard to tell whether it was open or closed so you could easily walk into it if you were half asleep.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS A continental breakfast buffet is laid out in the salon each morning, with options including bread, cheese, cold meats, croissants, fruit and cereal. There is waiter service for hot drinks. Apart from this, there are no dedicated dining venues in the hotel, and guests who want a drink simply help themselves from the honesty bar, which is stocked with full-size bottles of spirits, wine and champagne. (The idea is then to make a note of what you have and pay on check-out.) 



VERDICT Le Pavillon des Lettres is probably going to be a more popular option for leisure travellers, but if you’re bored of chain hotels and are looking for a stylish boutique option, this will be a good choice. The personal iPads are a nice touch.  


HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 26 rooms across Superior, Deluxe and Junior suite categories.

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The iPad and free wifi.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in August started from €250 for a Superior room. 

CONTACT 12 Rue des Saussaies; tel +33 149 242 626;

Jenny Southan

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