20 rue Lafayette, Paris, France, 75009
- Recommended for:
- Business travellers, Families with teenagers, Singles, Design and architecture, Shopping
Expert review of Banke Hôtel
This place used to be the headquarters of the Crédit Commerciale de France and the florid early 20th-century building provides just the sort of pomp for a grand hotel, with its heavy wrought iron gates and showstopping central rotonda. They've kept the glazed dome and original mosaic floors, turned mahogany cash desks into reception counters and decked out the whole thing in Pompeian red with black columns, porphyry cladding, gilded moulding and an XXL golden Chesterfield sofa – it's grandiose, shamelessly bling and just a little chilly.
In a businessy district near Opéra, which makes it lively by day, though a bit dead at weekends.
The hotel belongs to the Spanish Derby Hotels group and there's a distinctly Spanish touch to the 94 bedrooms, which are rich in (dare one say macho?) hardwood floors, maroon fabrics and thick textured leather rugs and bedheads. Deluxe rooms are spacious and have a sofa; some of the suites have original fireplaces and ceiling mouldings. Go for corner room 501 with its porthole window and egg chair, or sixth floor Lafayette-side rooms with views of Sacré-Coeur. Bathrooms are florid green marble affairs, though a few have glittery silver mosaic instead.
In my opinion, the best thing about the hotel – the imposing central rotonda reception area is a showstopper, the bar and restaurant are guiltfree bling. It's only a pity that would-be spectacular views from the balconies around the rotonda have been taken up by meeting rooms. Upstairs the triangular floor plan has left room for display cases of African and Egyptian sculpture and jewellery from the suitably bankable collection of the owner and archaeologist Jordi Clos.
Downstairs, it's cocktails and tapas bar on one side in the Lola Bar, where you can sit around the circular bar on golden bar stools, and Josefin, a Franco-Hispanic-Mediterranean restaurant on the other, already a lunch haunt of local bankers and insurance brokers. Buffet breakfast is served in a basement room with all white modern furnishings.
There's a small gym, steam room and sauna, and there are plans to open a nightclub.
Formal service – guys in uniform on the door and behind mahogany desks.
International business travellers and tourists, including, not surprisingly, plenty of Spanish who love the nearby department stores.
Rack rates are quite steep, but there are good discounts for stays of two nights or more and also gourmet packages that include lunch or dinner at the Josefin restaurant.
More information on Banke Hôtel:
- Price from:
- 20 rue Lafayette, Paris, France, 75009
- Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Pets Allowed, Restaurant, Room Service
- Grands Boulevards