Interlude in a Romantic Paris Hotel

romantic Paris hotel

Our romantic Paris hotel

A romantic Paris hotel is a sequestered cocoon from which we can conjure imaginative stories about our fellow travelers. These may or may not be true.

Few would argue that there is no better place to be in the City of Light than a romantic Paris hotel with the one you love.

The appeal would be far, far less without its temporary nature, of course. Others who share the space during your stay will move on, just as you. But for a brief interlude, you’ll have something in common: a sequestered cocoon from which the outside world secedes. A hushed serenity in which footfalls are muffled by thick carpets and upholstered walls. A world within a world.

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Our room reflected in a mirror

Gilded details befitting a regent.

romantic Paris hotel

Gilded details

A princess canopy with pillows and coverlets in profusion. Windows with elaborate wrought-iron latches which when open, send sheer curtains billowing.

romantic Paris hotel

Our room

If a romantic Paris hotel is the ideal way to spend your city sojourn, then second best would have to be at quiet breakfast in the same romantic Paris hotel with an hour or two to spare. Not only to dine, but to take in.

Part of the appeal of travel is freedom from outcome. Unfettered by the complications of familiarity, a traveler may observe a moment’s tiniest details in stark relief as it unfolds. Adornments painted and carved long ago, monograms on silver cutlery, incense mimicking woodsmoke in a public room to welcome a newcomer. The way a person is dressed, the things they carry, their set of mannerisms – all can evoke an imaginative story in the traveler’s mind, the truth of which is immaterial.

romantic paris hotel

The salon where woodsmoke incense sets a wintry mood

The woman who dines alone, hair effortlessly arranged with a tortoise shell comb, paisley shawl with fringe artlessly draped and wrapped, impossibly chic. Did she leave a lover languishing upstairs? Here he arrives with a hand on the portiere, older than expected, eyes alighting on her as she turns to meet his gaze. They smile rather than speak.

romantic Paris hotel

Velvet portieres in the dining room entrance

The businessman reading a German newspaper from the entry table. The older Japanese couple, he tapping on his phone, she pouring his tea. The fashion buyers going over their notes. All too soon they will fade away, and you wonder how many others like them – and you – have transited through this room in the three centuries since it was part of a family home.

romantic Paris hotel

Marcel disappears through a secret panel door. Can you guess where it is?

The waiter, Marcel, glides swiftly and soundlessly about his tasks, disappearing and reappearing by way of a secret panel door. In an instant he is before you with a discreetly-whispered, “Madame?” Silver tongs proffer the perfect croissant or rounded hard roll from a plate draped with white linen. Another minute and he returns with vivid raspberry juice, flawlessly seedless, each sip staining your winter lips with a bit of heavenly promise.

romantic Paris hotel

Seedless raspberry juice – how does it happen?

Your coffee is poured from a personal pot sized for no more than a half cup extra at a time – it should never be cold. Marcel will replace it with a white-gloved flourish before you ask. Your omelet lies in a golden triangular fold on a porcelain plate, toast points are cosseted in a napkin, the salt and pepper are spooned. The charcutiér has shaved today’s délicieux jambon transparently thin. You may have as much of anything as you like and linger as long as you wish.

romantic Paris hotel

Savor every detail

 

Comments

  1. says

    I loved how you described the other people. I felt as if I was there. This place sounds wonderful. My husband and I have a trip to England planned in fall – this post has me thinking how we night add some days and manage a romantic interlude in Paris.
    Donna Janke has an awesome blog post here: Contemplating CubaMy Profile

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Donna – It’s been about a year since this stay, and I would love to go back. Hope you can manage it!

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Nancie – Neither would I. I’d just hang out in the champagne bar and hope to meet an interesting person or two. 🙂

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Anita – It definitely is a vivid moment. With my memory these days, it’s amazing how many details I can recall from a year ago.

  2. says

    What a beautiful hotel and you described it in such a lovely way!. I’ve only ever stayed alone in Paris and in budget rooms with bathrooms down the halls at that but I still thought the city was one of the most romantic places to be. I wonder what Carlson points are? They look worth collecting if you can get such a beauty of a hotel room.
    Michele Peterson has an awesome blog post here: 7 awesome natural wonders in Puerto EscondidoMy Profile

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Michele – Carlson points are the rewards program the Radissons and their related properties have: http://clubcarlson.com. We’d managed to stockpile quite a few in anticipation of our trip with various programs and stayed for our month in Europe in luxury hotels for next to nothing.

  3. says

    Oh you make me long for a romantic escape! We’ve just completed a wonderful week of Umbria Jazz Winter in Italy, and though we had as much fun as our Music and Markets guests, after those late jazzy nights we jumped right back into our kitchen renovation. Oh would a restful getaway be welcome! I’ll just look at your beautiful photos and dream…
    Anne has an awesome blog post here: From Florence to Jazzy OrvietoMy Profile

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Marilyn – It is a great little hotel, fairly reasonable by comparison with others of its calibre in Paris. Glad you enjoyed this post.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Carole – They certainly do. Everyone there works very hard to maintain the standard, but they make it look effortless.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Irene – We actually had the choice of two in this neighborhood with Carlson points and it was hard to know. Perhaps we would pick the other next time, but they would have to work very hard to match this experience.

  4. says

    Happy New Year Betsy!

    Your writing is indeed lovely, transporting me back to Paris. You have captured the details that make travel fun — the differences in culture and histories evident in everything you see, smell, taste, and feel. Paris holds so much inspiration!

    And portieres! I love that they were there — and that you knew the correct term for them!

    Well done, Betsy! Wishing you happy and safe travels.

    Josie
    Josie has an awesome blog post here: Home Exchange vs. House Sitting: Which is Right for You?My Profile

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Josie – Yeah, portieres! Historically used to keep the cold out before central heating. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  5. LarsErikNYC says

    While Radisson’s program is called Club Carlson (after Curt Carlson, their founder), the points are called Gold Points (not Carlson points). That name too refers back in time to when Curt Carlson ran Gold Stamps. Along with S&H Green stamps, these were early customer appreciation/loyalty programs where you actually had to paste the stamps into little booklets. My how times of changed! I look forward to my first trip to Paris, but it’s on my list for this year!

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi LarsErikNYC – Thanks for clarifying. Club Carlson is a relative newcomer from our hometown of Minneapolis within the last five years to hotel points. We were fortunate to get in on the early days and rack up tens of thousands with fairly little effort. 🙂

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Janice – I think you’d love the experience. And doesn’t everyone speculate when they people watch? Where’s the fun, otherwise. 😉

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Linda – Yes, indeed. I finally realized this about myself a year ago on this inspiring trip, and I know it resonates with many. We just don’t have to vest in everything that goes on, which is easier said than done in a familiar milieu with expectations, etc.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Lisa – We were just talking about this stay again over dinner. Posting about it brought up so many additional details. It truly is a gem. Glad you liked it.

  6. says

    Damn, that place is nice man. The last time I was in Paris I slept on an air mattress in my friends apartment. Next time I’m hoping to upgrade to her couch. Maybe one day I’ll finally make it to an actual hotel. I do love a bit of people watching as well.
    Conor Walsh has an awesome blog post here: 7 Alternative Sources of InspirationMy Profile

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Conor – I would think people watching in the champagne bar (the same as the breakfast room) in the evening would bring even more imaginative results. 🙂

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Stephen and Jess – I hope you do consider staying at Le Dohan’s Trocadéro. It was really the quintessential Paris experience for us.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Neva – If you look in the photo, you’ll see a faint horizontal line above the picture hanging above the bar counter; that’s the top of the door panel. That wall is actually perpendicular to the bar and the kitchen lies behind. So the whole thing, picture and all, swings inward to the kitchen. 🙂

  7. santafetraveler says

    Loved the hotel- it was so mysterious not knowing the name until the end. Great evocative post. There’s nothing like fresh croissant and petit pan for breakfast with great butter and jam. Whenever I have this at home, I pretend I’m in Paris.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Billie – Glad you enjoyed it. I agree, it’s fun to pretend we’re there when the things we have remind us.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Kristen – I love trying to imagine the various experiences. Sometimes the energy they have left behind is palpable. This space was very peaceful.

  8. Margot says

    Paris my fav city in the world Now being widowed I can only dream of another romantic holiday
    I too notice such details when I travel many of my friends are taken by the things I retain from a dinner, visit, journey. I consider writing but feel others would only be bored. After reading your essay I see I am not alone
    Thank God
    Thank you for a lovely revisit to my beautiful Paris

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Margot – Write! If you’re an observer and a reader, and it sounds like you are both, you can be a writer. You’ll never know until you try. 🙂

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