Tourists to Paris don’t often associate the lace trade with the neighbourhood around Place de la Madeleine, but historically that’s where the commodity was once sold. The latest hotel designed by architects Anne Peyroux and Emmanuèle Thisy pays homage to this heritage at Chavanel, a compact new four-star property of 31 rooms on the rue Tronchet, opened in September 2013.
It’s particularly appropriate this season for a boutique hotel located so tantalizingly near the Grands Magasins to feature lace motifs everywhere in the décor, accented by the team’s particular expertise in lighting and materials. You’ll even catch a glimpse of lace embedded in the elegant drinking glass on your bathroom counter. Look closely and you’ll find lace—or references to it—on most surfaces in one form or another, counterbalanced by subtle colours found on walls, the delicate touch of a cashmere coverlet on your bed or the plush fabric on a velvet pillow.
As always, these sensitive architects meld classic design with modern furnishings and provide a real alternative to the big-chain commodified hotel experience. You can choose from three categories of room, at a competitive price low season from €150, up to €600 per room night in high season, though tariff fluctuates weekly depending on season and if there’s a salon in town.
We liked room 51, smallest in the property, perfectly proportioned for the single traveller. Other rooms showcased Peyroux–Thisy’s talent for sourcing unique furnishings, like room 55’s distinctive German laminated wood tables. Room 61, with its slanted roof and exposed beams, had a wonderful club chair, backlit Corian headboard, generous seating area, wall mounted flat-screen TV, spacious bath, and walk-in shower. Double pane windows mean no street noise, despite the location in a bustling commercial district. All the rooms feature Roger Gallet amenities, state-of-the-art room safes and electronic locks. A range of magazines and newspapers, and free wifi throughout complete the offering.
With an average stay of three nights, Chavanel isn’t a business format hotel, more a tourist property. But single travellers, especially women, and those attending events, appreciate its secure central location only a block from the trendy food palaces of Fouquet and Maxim’s, the easily-reached Opera Garnier and shops on the Boulevard des Italiens, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, or Boulevard Haussmann. It’s a discreet property tucked away in the heart of Paris, refined, not showy, and a chance to be both incognito and at the centre of the action.
Hot tip: by booking on the web where the best packages can be found, you can get your breakfast included in the room rate. You will love this place.
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