Ermitage Hôtel Sacré-Coeur

The owner's careful attention to detail and comfort, including a breakfast of freshly-baked croissants delivered door side, keep guests coming back to this 12-room townhouse, minutes from Montmartre's Sacré-Coeur.

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

The foyer at Ermitage Hotel, a town house minutes from Montmartre's Sacre-Coeur cathedral.

(Christian Kerber)

Ermitage Hôtel Sacré-Coeur

About this Hotel

Price From $131

Constructed in 1895 as a gift from a banker to his mistress, the 12-room Ermitage Hôtel Sacré-Coeur is a relic in the best sense of the word. The landmarked building, on a hillside near the Montmartre cathedral, has had only five owners, a rare continuity that enhances the hotel’s trapped-in-amber feeling. The current proprietors, the Canipel family, have held the keys for 36 years, and their heirlooms (a grandfather clock from the 1800s, a turn-of-the-century wood china cabinet) are perfect complements to the English floral tapestries that appear everywhere from footstool to ceiling. Modern conveniences are notably absent—don’t expect central A/C or an elevator. But while the dated atmosphere may seem like a by-product of neglect, every choice at the Ermitage is deliberate, from the cash-only rule (which helps keep prices low) to the no-TV policy (“You can always hear a television through the walls,” explains Sophie Canipel, the hotel’s manager). Canipel even maintains a strict reservations policy: only by phone. “It’s just friendlier to talk directly with someone,” she explains. “You can answer specific questions much more easily that way.” Such singular attention to comfort keeps guests coming back, time and again. A handful of American families have returned to Ermitage every year for three decades, and a number of repeat visitors first stayed here as small children. Each regular has his or her favorite room—the two garden-level doubles (with their matching terraces perfectly positioned to catch the sunrise) are particularly popular. Whatever their history with the hotel, everyone is treated to one pretty sweet perk: A daily breakfast of just-baked croissants, strong European-style coffee, and fresh-squeezed orange juice, delivered right to your door.

Free Wi-Fi? Yes.

Credit Cards Accepted Cash only.

Details Doubles from $131, breakfast included.