19 rue Caumartin, Paris, France, 75009
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Culture vultures, Honeymooners, Relaxation, Romance, Shopping
Expert review of Hôtel Athénée
Opera forms the leitmotif at this brand new bijou hotel, a cheerfully over-the-top retreat inspired by opera's great tragic heroes and heroines and the Second Empire opulence of the nearby Palais Garnier. This is decorator Jacques Garcia at his best on a small and intimate scale where you can totally immerse yourself in a fantasy amid rich fabrics, low lighting, and plush comfort.
Pretty much halfway between the Palais Garnier and the Madeleine, this street of hotels may not seem an obvious choice at first but is actually very well placed whether you're into opera and museums or shopping at the nearby department stores.
20 rooms made for romance are decorated according to four great operatic pot-boilers: Aida, La Traviata, Faust and Don Giovanni. Pierre Frey fabrics, swagged and tasselled curtains and Garcia's trademark pleated lamps create snug havens, with bathrooms rich in mosaic, black granite and terracotta floor tiles. The mansarded fifth-floor rooms are really just a little too cosy, so go for one of the higher ceilinged lower floors. Deluxe rooms have Neo-Empire table and chairs, and sumptuous bathtubs.
All is a dramatic feast of red damasks and velvets, with soulful paintings in the gallery and melodramatic black and white portrait photos of opera singers who adorn the boudoir-style Red Bar.
Breakfast served in the boudoir Red Bar. Later on, it's ideal for an intimate tea or glass of Champagne.
A fumoir in the cellar, where smokers can puff away in high-backed chairs, under a state-of-the-art extractor system.
Plenty of staff to organise bookings or room service.
It's just made for snuggling up à deux, although there will no doubt be business travellers and eclectic holiday-makers, too.
It's undeniably expensive but you're paying for the atmosphere. Breakfast is 18 or 27 euros.
More information on Hôtel Athénée:
- Price from:
- 19 rue Caumartin, Paris, France, 75009
- High-Speed Internet, Room Service