Hôtel Bel Ami
7-11 Rue Saint Benoit, Paris, France, 75006
- Recommended for:
- Business travellers, Couples, Culture vultures, Families with younger children, Honeymooners, People watching, Relaxation, Shopping, Special occasions, Trendiness
Expert review of Hôtel Bel Ami
When this place opened in the 1990s as a chic design hotel firmly aimed at the fashion set it was perhaps just a little too cool for its own good. Since then, I think it's actually improved, there's an undeniable buzz about this place, yet it's also warmed up, both colour-wise and in the genuine welcome, with attentive service, comfortable sofas in the lobby and an all-day bar and café.
It's hard to find a better St-Germain location than this: shops, art galleries and the social hub of the Flore, Deux Magots and Lipp on boulevard St-Germain at the end of the street.
The 114 rooms come in different spice colours (think cinnamon, cumin, etc) and clean modern lines and have all recently been refreshed; "orange" rooms are more trad, "ivory" have a 60s touch. Some rooms have very large windows – from the building's days as a printworks (but with double double glazing to keep street noise out); others on the rue Apollinaire side have views of the Eglise St-Germain-des-Prés; fourth floor rooms are mansarded. For a special occasion go for one of the four two-room suites, which take a nod at St-Germain's arty heritage: I particularly like the artist's "atelier" (No. 419) – a sort of chic vision of bohemia with dark parquet, cowskin rug and art books.
The ground floor has real ambience, with plenty of places to sit, long concierges' desk and glimpses of St-Germain action outside.
Breakfast is served in the agreeable BA Café – with a bright café-style decor and a huge choice including classic croissants and eggs and bacon. You can have light meals, drinks and cocktails all day in the BA Bar, which is also a meeting spot for Parisians, and there's also a room service menu.
There's a very zen Payot spa and a fitness room. Piano bar in the bar every Thursday to Saturday and a jazz or classical concert on the first Thursday of the month.
Lots of eager reception staff, all of whom speak French, English and at least one other language. I was impressed by how they seemed genuinely keen to meet the different needs of each guest.
Over half the clientele are Anglophones, though you'll also find plenty of Japanese. A favourite with the fashion trade, it also makes a real effort for children, with special family packages and the possibility of either adding an extra bed or interconnecting rooms.
Breakfast is a steep 25 euros, so try to get a deal with breakfast included. Also look out for special offers for advance booking, longer stays and packages with spa treatments.
More information on Hôtel Bel Ami:
- Price from:
- 7-11 Rue Saint Benoit, Paris, France, 75006
- Free tags / Keywords:
- Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Pets Allowed, Restaurant, Room Service