Red letter stay at the Pavillon des Lettres

24th August 2011 (Last Updated August 24th, 2011 18:30)

The Pavillon des Lettres has positioned itself as a cultural retreat for anyone who loves art and literature. Looking forward to a poetic departure from the big five-star destination hotels in its midst, Christopher Kanal packed his reading glasses and headed for Paris.

Red letter stay at the Pavillon des Lettres

In a city that boasts some of the finest hotels in the world, a new opening in Paris has bravely chosen to differentiate itself from the competition. Surprisingly, despite the French capital’s reputation for inspiring so many writers and hosting the remains of so many dead ones, the new Pavillon des Lettres is the first hotel to have an outright literary theme.

The new sister hotel to the 54-room Pavillon de la Reine on the Places des Vosges takes its literature seriously. The property’s 26 eloquently designed rooms are named after noted writers: it’s a literal A–Z of some of the literary greats, from Hans Christian Andersen to Émile Zola.

The boutique property, which is set in a classic Haussmann townhouse in the 8th arrondissement, is located a stone’s throw from the L’Elysee Palace and the British Embassy, and is cosy and luxurious without being too ostentatious.

There is a low-key reception and lobby, decorated with subtle colours and tended by knowledgeable staff under the guidance of affable managing director Tim Goddard.

A room with a hue

"The boutique Pavillon des Lettres is cosy and luxurious without being ostentatious."

The Pavillon des Lettres has done away with room numbers, instead featuring just a letter on the door. Each of the themed bedrooms has quotations of a particular author’s work etched on the walls. I was in ‘Proust’, imaginatively designed in muted greys and dark wood, with a volume of Swann’s Way by my pillow.

The bed itself, furnished with French linen, was extremely comfortable while the bathroom was spacious and luxurious.

All rooms come with iPod docks and iPads uploaded with books, and daily international newspapers. The two junior suites on the top floor have magnificent panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais.

But this is not solely a destination for unsociable bookworms. Guests seeking the company of fellow travellers rather than dead authors make great use of the hotel’s honesty bar, which offers a range of gourmet teas as well as more traditional refreshments, and stays open until 2am.

Literally located

The hotel was bought by the Chevalier family in 2008 when still a three-star, 32-bedroom property. It was closed in August 2009 and transformed by Didier Benderli, who created the Kitsch restaurant in New York and provided designs for its sister Pavillon de la Reine.

"This boutique hotel is the first to have an outright literary theme."

The property reopened as the Pavillon des Lettres, a four-star destination boasting an aesthetic and concept entirely its own, unique on the Parisian hospitality scene.

The hotel is also very well located to explore what else the city has to offer, sitting on the Rive Droite and tucked away off the Place de la Madeleine and the nearby Rue Saint Honore.

Within walking distance is the Jardin des Tuileries and the arcades of the Palais Royal and the Galerie Belle Époque.

CityJet operates several daily flights from London City Airport to Paris. To book, call +44 20 7111 8454 or visit www.cityjet.com.

Pavillon des Lettres, 12 rue des Saussaies, 75008 Paris, France.