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Set in a historic 1920s building that has housed both a wood carving and chocolate factory, Boutet's art deco facade holds clues to what's held within; a beautifully designed boutique hotel.
The elegant wood-panelled corridors that lead to the hotel's 80 rooms are centred around one of those spiral staircases you enviously spy on Instagram. But the piece de resistance is the indoor heated pool; a sublime navy and white retro affair with the words "Boutet'' splashed across the walls. The pool is attached to a sauna and, unusually, a hamman, perfect on those chilly Paris nights. There's also a decent gym offering plenty to the health-conscious traveller. For the not-so health conscious, a small bar in the lobby buzzes in the early evening.
On a tree-lined street near the achingly hip Marais district and some of the City of Light's best restaurants, wine caves and boulangeries, you couldn't ask for a better location. The Faidherbe Chaligny Metro station is an eight-minute walk, and the hotel is within walking distance of central Paris.
The rooms are spacious, and simply designed with wooden floors and furnishings, including a free-standing wardrobe, which reflects the building's history in the wood industry. My room overlooks a bright lush courtyard, and there is plenty of natural light. The bathroom is impressive too, large with a double shower and several lighting options. The sliding door to the bathroom is a double-sided, full-length mirror. After a long day of sightseeing in Paris, the bed feels like a huge comfortable cloud. There's also excellent free Wi-Fi.
Delicious French pastries and bread, cheese, yoghurt, fresh fruit and decent coffee await guests in the morning – I couldn't resist the bowls of bright green fresh kiwifruit and sweet pineapple and glass jars of yoghurt, though, this being my first morning in Paris, I was soon slathering French butter and fancy jams on baguettes, followed up by flaky pain au chocolat. In the evening, simple meals are also served in the lobby.
Those who get tired legs after a few days of hitting the pavement will find no end of bike and scooter sharing schemes available outside the hotel for getting around. But right on the hotel doorstep are some of Paris' favourite Michelin-starred restaurants such as Bistro Paul Bert and Septime, as well as a host of top-notch wine bars. There's no better location to "live like a local".
Comfort and subtle style in an area tucked away from the tourist hordes.
Unbeatable location, space and comfort.
Having to tear myself away from this utterly perfect location.
Rates start from $640 a night.
22, 24 Rue Faidherbe, 75011 Paris, France, see accorhotels.com
The writer was a guest of Accor