WHAT’S IT LIKE? The newest Radisson Blu in Paris is a chic 48-room hotel with a boutique feel, friendly staff and unique design features. If you didn’t know it was there, you might miss the entrance. Go inside and you’ll immediately get a sense of the property’s understated elegance – the small black marble lobby leads through to the lounge area, with stylish white leather armchairs and glossy black tables. The six-storey building is effectively split in two above the ground floor, with the first set of lifts leading up to one set of rooms, the bar and swimming pool. The remaining rooms are accessible from a lift and staircase at the other end of a corridor, with the restaurant, breakfast area and meeting room in the middle area on the ground floor.
WHERE IS IT? The hotel is a five-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower, where the nearest metro station, Trocadéro, is also located. If travelling by metro, allow about 30 minutes to get to Paris Gare du Nord or Paris Est stations. Charles de Gaulle airport is a 40-minute drive away.
ROOM FACILITIES I stayed in a standard room, which was a little compact – hardly surprising given its central location in one of the most popular destinations in the world – but the floor-to-ceiling window looking out on to a small wrought-iron balcony made it feel light and airy. The cosmopolitan décor featured dark oak flooring, teak panelling, and a piece of original contemporary art by Gerard Trankandy. All rooms have a flatscreen TV, minibar, safe and Nespresso machine, and come with slippers and a dressing gown.
The bathrooms make use of white marble from Spain, contrasted with black granite from Zimbabwe. I had a combined bath and shower, while some rooms have only a shower. Toiletries are by Anne Semonin.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Metropolitan restaurant, serving international and French cuisine, seems a popular choice with locals and was full on the evening I passed by. My breakfast (served 7am-10am) consisted of warm French pastries – croissant, pain au chocolat, pain au raisin and a roll – served in a basket with jam and honey, made-to-order coffee and fresh orange juice.
The atmospheric Lounge bar, on the first floor, has an enviable position overlooking the Eiffel Tower. It is painted in International Klein Blue, a vivid hue developed and patented by the French artist Yves Klein, and furnished with grey velvet chairs and glossy black tables. The bartender has created a delicious champagne cocktail with lemon sherbet and Goldwasser vodka, to echo the sparkling lights that glitter on the tower every hour, on the hour – I was lucky enough to see this when a full moon was rising behind it, a stunning sight.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES There is a boardroom on the ground floor with natural light, which can host up to 12 people, while the Lounge bar can also be used as a meeting room for up to 30 people, with a pull-down projector screen at one end. As with all Radisson Blu hotels, wireless internet access is free throughout the building. The reception desk can also provide printing and fax services for free.
LEISURE FACILITIES A number of channels are free to watch, while films on demand are available for a fee (€15 for an unlimited number). There is an exercise room in the basement, along with a stunning black-tiled hammam, a swimming pool, and a treatment area with a real fireplace.
VERDICT This hotel has limited business facilities, but as a stylish bolthole with Parisian charm and views of the Eiffel Tower, it comes highly recommended.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 48 rooms, including 10 suites, four of which have views of the Eiffel Tower.
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The stylish décor creates a relaxing atmosphere and free wireless internet access is a boon.
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in September started from €232 for a Classic room.
CONTACT Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel, Paris Eiffel, 10 Place de Mexico, 16th arrondissement; tel +33 1 5690 4004; radissonblu.com