On the hunt for old school grandeur, TLE headed to the oldest square in Paris to stay at the Pavillon De La Reine which lived up to its promise of ‘discreet luxury’…
The Pavillon De La Reine is located in the Places de Vosges, which has the brag-worthy title of the oldest square in Paris. This picture-perfect example of classic early 17th-century Parisian architecture is in Le Marais, which is well known for being the historic beating heart of Paris. It has more pre-revolutionary buildings and streets left intact than any other area in Paris.
From a practical point of view, the hotel is just a short 4-minute walk from Chemin Vert metro station. If you don’t want to make your own way there, shuttles and taxis can be arranged from both Charles de Gaulle Airport (about 45 minutes) and Paris Orly Airport (40 minutes) by the hotel. Or – if you’re feeling exceptionally brave – there is a free private car park on the premises.
The Pavillon De La Reine was built in 1612 at the order of Henry IV, though he did not live to see its completion. Originally called the Place Royale, it was intended to be an official Royal Residence, but instead it became a mecca of high society gatherings including visits from the likes of Racine, La Fontaine and Molière.
As for today? The Pavillon De La Reine revels in its history and makes no apologies for its love of the classic luxury with hints of contemporary style. We’re talking rich tapestries, gigantic beams and sumptuous period furniture.
To access the hotel you have to walk through some arches of the Places de Vosges and through a glass door which takes you into the courtyard. Then you’re in the hotel! All this means the hotel is surprisingly quiet for its location and feels comfortably tucked away from the nearby crowds.
The lobby is pristinely maintained and populated with well-dressed travellers and very smart members of staff. One thing that strikes me in particular is a sense of calm and quiet that you don’t find in many hotels; it’s the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of glorious Paris found just on the other side of the door (and through the arches).
Check in and Welcome
The member of staff who checks us in is professional and doesn’t laugh at my abysmal attempts to improve my very amateur French, which is much appreciated! She shows us around the breakfast area and explains the honesty bar. It’s a great little system; you simply help yourself to a drink as you would at home and make a note of it at the honesty bar. She then escorts us to our junior suite before leaving us to decompress. One of the first things I notice is the little bag of Les Nicettes confectionary, a very nice touch.
There are 54 rooms and suites at the Pavillon De La Reine, all 4 stars. We are in a junior suite, which comprises of a lounge, bathroom and bedroom. For Paris – well known for its petite rooms – this is positively gargantuan!
The lounge features a sofa and two armchairs, so there is plenty of space for relaxing. There is also a writing desk and built-in wardrobe that also houses a safe and mini fridge. The view outside is over some typically romantic Parisian rooftops and down the adjacent street. It’s all very scenic.
The bedroom is spacious and cleverly facing away from the street, not that it’s remotely noisy in the lounge of an evening. As a room it is fairly plain and there is nothing striking about it, but perhaps that is for the best, as I sleep phenomenally well.
The bathroom features two sinks (one of my favourite hotel features), cosy dressing gowns and Molton Brown products.
Here is where things get even better, spa-lovers – a hotel spa in the heart of Paris! The 250 m² spa is made up of 2 treatment areas, a gym, Jacuzzi and a steam bath. I didn’t have a chance to try any of the treatments out, but I noted that they use Carita skincare described as ‘the alchemy of extreme luxury and refinement’.
I did, however, use the Jacuzzi. Having spent the day walking around 10 miles in total, a soak in the Jacuzzi was just what my tired legs needs. I left feeling relaxed and renewed, ready to head out and explore Paris by night.
There is no restaurant at the Pavillon De La Reine, but the staff are happy to help arrange a table for you elsewhere. They do do a delightful buffet breakfast each morning though, where guests can choose from croissants (naturally), pastries, pancakes, cold meat, cheeses along with a fantastic selection of fruit and cereal. The coffee, too, is wonderful.
This is a charming, intimate hotel set in a wonderful location for exploring the best of Paris. It feels to me like a slice of old school Parisian glamour and that is always a good thing in my books!
Finances and Details
Prices for a classic double room start at £245 without breakfast.
Address: Pavillon De La Reine, 28 Place Des Vosges, 75003, Paris
Tel: +33(0)1 40 29 19 19
This review was carried our by Abby Driver a luxury travel expert.