Situated in Paris’ haute couture and arts district, Hotel Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg is a lesson in stylish hospitality. The road where the hotel is located, Rue Boissy d’Anglas, runs between the luxury shopping street Rue Le Faubourg Saint-Honoré and the Place de la Concorde, where the obelisk – a gift from Egypt – celebrates the rule of Pharaoh Rameses II. Rue Boissy d’Anglas is a narrow street, which looks like the Paris one sees on postcards, and the classical Haussman-style façade belies the hotel’s modern interior. Despite having been home to Mary Queen of Naples in the early twentieth century, the lobby has been refurbished under the direction of the interior designer, Didier Gomez, and the result is one of elegant and refined luxury.
Upon entering the reception, Charlotte and I were greeted at once by the modern art pieces that Sofitel had selected to display for a short period. This changing exhibition indicates the hotel’s affinity with the cultural side of the Parisian experience. At the time of our visit, work on display was by an artist called Marielle Lipmann. One piece in particular caught my eye – a cat sculpture lounging within a fittingly Bespoke Black Book-looking birdcage! There was, unfortunately, a little confusion about our reservation but, while some calls were made and the problem very efficiently resolved, we were shown to the very comfortable seating area and served champagne and nibbles while perusing the art– a good start indeed.
Our room, overlooking the courtyard garden, was a junior suite with an interesting layout. All the rooms in the hotel are unique and have their own character. Upon entering, I found myself in a seating area, with a coffee table, sofa and television, with the sleeping area half-partitioned by walls that, on the bedroom side, contained spacious wardrobes. The bathroom was beyond this, the bath on one side and the shower on the other, forming a little corridor that led to a separate WC. As a result of this layout, the room felt very long and slim, but it was quite substantial and definitely enough room for two. The décor was masculine, with a dark grey theme across the walls and furnishings. There was no question that a considerable amount of thought had gone into the design, as much as one might give to a piece of art, and the straightforward facilities and understated style added to a sense of luxurious sophistication. The bathroom was the real showstopper though, covered as it was in dark slate with a deep bathtub and large shower area with our favourite, a rain shower.
We immediately decided to spend some quality time with the sumptuous bathroom before heading down to the hotel’s Bar 30 for a cocktail and out for dinner at Caffé Burlot. Bar 30 is, at first glance, also quite masculine with its 1930s wood panelling, but the design team have clearly been at work here too and the edges are softened with printed fabrics, rich purples and pink lighting behind the optics. It was not difficult to select a cocktail in a bar where they create signature Mojitos, possibly my top pre-dinner cocktail with its refreshing, palate-cleansing zing, and Charlotte – naturally – chose a champagne cocktail with raspberry. On a balmy evening, the courtyard garden is a lovely place to sit and enjoy the last of the evening’s sun – so lovely, in fact, that we returned there after our meal for a nightcap and found it just as pleasant once the sun had gone down.
In the morning, we had our breakfast delivered to the room. We felt so attuned to the elegance of our suite that we wanted to avoid the more boorish breakfast options, such as eggs and bacon, however delicious these might have been. Instead, we ordered a black coffee and sumptuous croissant each and our day in typically Parisian style. Heading out through the immaculate lobby to see some more of the city, it was clear that the Sofitel had given us a fabulous introduction to some of the defining characteristics of Paris, a city that is so grand, so fashionable, so sophisticated.
Hotel Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg
15 Rue Boissy d’Anglas