Hôtel de la Bretonnerie

The gracious and knowledgeable staff at this elaborately decorated 29-room hotel in the Marais provide tailored travel advice for exploring the city.

By Valerie Rains, Friday, Mar 18, 2011, 1:00 AM

(Christian Kerber)

Hôtel de la Bretonnerie

About this Hotel

Price From $182

A few things might come to mind when you imagine a typical Parisian hotel: elaborate, old-world decor; a picturesque setting on a narrow, café-lined street; and, perhaps, a generous helping of haughty Gallic attitude. Fortunately, the Hôtel de la Bretonnerie delivers on all but the latter. The late-17th-century building in the art-focused Marais is rife with period details like floral-patterned wall coverings, antique engravings, and exposed beams—so much so that it’s become a popular backdrop for photo shoots by Japanese and French fashion magazines. No two of the 29 guest rooms are alike: Some have high ceilings, some low; there are duplexes and singles, and even a pair of rooms with double sinks and vanities, perfect for groups of girlfriends traveling together. In spite of all that quirky aesthetic appeal, the hotel’s savvy, solicitous staff is truly its most valuable asset. After directing each guest to the ideal room—an essential service, since they vary so widely—the staff sets about tailoring advice to each visitor’s needs. The hotel’s four front-desk agents, who speak a combined total of seven languages, regularly scour their corner of Paris for new restaurants, shops, and arts spaces worthy of endorsement. Each agent has his or her specialty: Ask Olga for opera and classical-music performances, Ludivine for food and local history, Patrick for theater and cinema, and Karen for jazz clubs, bars, and vintage clothing and design boutiques, many of which are within a short walk of the hotel’s front door.

Free Wi-Fi? Yes.

Credit Cards Accepted MC, Visa.

Details Doubles from $182, breakfast for $13.