Lucire: Volante


People watching The scene at Hôtel da Vinci


Artistic licence in Paris

Stanley Moss looks at three of Paris’s most fashionable hotels, with themes ranging from Leonardo da Vinci to the plays of Sascha Guitry
photographed by Paula Sweet
from issue 36 of


Hôtel da Vinci Touches to remind you of the hotel’s history


Stanley Moss is travel editor of Lucire.

Mona Lisa slept here

One hundred fifteen years ago Vincenzo Peruggia removed la Gioconda from her frame in the Louvre and spirited her across the Seine to Saint Germain des Pres, to a seedy, top floor apartment. There the most famous painting in history slept unmolested, secreted away from the masses, even evading a visit by Paris police. Today, you can occupy the same room (‘Adorateur’) where Mona Lisa slumbered, at the marvellous Hôtel da Vinci, a charming Left Bank four-star of only 24 rooms which opened in June 2014. Great location aside, steps from Café de Flore, ornate Belle Époque ambience prevails, coloured with blue and gold and dark wood accents. Many rooms with private terraces. Leonardo-inspired motifs drawn from his works complete the décor. Can’t take our eyes off the old-style room phone, branded slippers and the classy umbrellas available at the entry! Special appreciation for the ornate breakfast room with its groovy marble floor, and the very cool round window table, perfect for people-watching as you sip your café au lait. Through the back door you’ll find a little garden–meeting space which seats up to eight. Downstairs, a spa and hammam await you, which da Vinci includes in some romantic package offerings. Very attractive special deals can be found on the website, and a call to the property may yield even better rates. This extremely fun hotel doesn’t have the biggest rooms in the world, but you will always be happy to return to it, especially once you learn the “missing piece”, the eccentric location of the secret release button at the lower left by the entry door.

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Above: Breakfast is ideal for people-watching; and the room has a retro-styled phone (though it is digital)


Star design team does it again

Hôtel de Sèze, the latest design adventure from architects Anne Peyroux and Emmanuèle Thisy, adds another fine lodging choice to the neighbourhood near the Place de la Madeleine. As always, lush fabrics, sleek furnishings and modern carpets contribute to the signature gloss. Telling signs like joyful laughter from the reception area attest to the property’s general amiability, as does the very happy lady who presides over the cozy breakfast room of only eight tables. Comfort, texture and shopping are the keywords which describe this new boutique hotel of only 22 rooms and suites, set between the Faubourg St Honoré and the department stores of the Grands Boulevards, a stone’s throw from the Boulevard des Italiens and the Opéra Garnier. Midst a symphony of calm greys, the brand spanking new four-star exudes discretion and cool. We loved room 61, a top-floor junior suite with skylit bathroom, and priceless view over typical rooftops all the way up to Sacré-Cœur. Plop yourself down in the cozy sitting area and empty your shopping bags—there’s abundant space to spread out the choices for your evening’s ensemble.

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Above: Sleek at the Hôtel de Sèze.

Theatrically speaking

Hôtel Monsieur, a bright new lodging tribute to Sascha Guitry (who’s he? Ask any French person!) has opened in a prime location in the 8th arrondissement, near many celebrated gastronomic institutions. A property of only 29 rooms, with two exceptional suites, you can get in on the first act of a comfortable entrance to the Parisian hotel scene, set in a typical residential quartier. Decorated with images from Guitry’s greatest plays and productions, and walking distance from the Théâtre des Mathurins (originally named Théâtre de Monsieur a century ago, from which the hotel takes its name) you’ll find many options in décor. Impresario-grade 602, the Sascha Guitry suite and biggest in the property, takes a bow with two bathrooms; breakfast on its private terrace highly recommended, weather permitting. Room 605 features a flamboyant yellow bed, lovely view, and ornate tile details. The romantic 404 is a tour de force of passionate red like a proscenium, scarlet floor accented with black lacquer highlights. The ground floor breakfast room adjacent lounge, and constant coffee bar with gluten-free pastries make the public areas a pleasurable launchpad for your active day. This stylish hotel delivers great value, modern design, and dramatic flourishes well worth your standing ovation.


Hôtel Monsieur decorated with tributes to the works of Sascha Guitry.




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