Discover the new Paris address that everyone’s talking about.
A chic new hotel discreetly opened this past spring in the St. Germain district, and word quickly spread to Le Tout Paris. It wasn’t a splashy opening, but rather the confident launch of a veteran hotel group. The Chevalier family has honed its hospitality concept in over 40 years on the Paris hotel scene. They are behind the Pavillon des Lettres, a literary-themed hotel facing the Elysée Palace; Le Petit Moulin, designed by Christian Lacroix in the Marais district; and Le Pavillon de la Reine, one of our absolute favorite Paris hotels, housed inside a splendid, 17th-century hôtel particulier on the Place des Vosges, the prettiest square in Paris.
Now, after scouting for the perfect location for many years, the Chevalier family has added the Pavillon Faubourg-Saint Germain to their portfolio. This is one of the most sought-after districts in the city, and the address at the corner of rue de l’Université and rue du Pré-aux-Clercs is a calm oasis, yet just a minute’s walk from all the action. After the Chevalier family’s acquisition of the former Hotel Le Saint, the new five-star hotel is the result of two years of renovation work during the pandemic. The 17th-century building now shows off contemporary interiors by designer Didier Benderli.
This is a place with a storied history. James Joyce finished Ulysses here, and to pay homage to the great Irish writer, the bar is named in his honor. It’s a stylish, intimate space and the bartenders are friendly and fun. You can’t go wrong with any of the cocktails on the menu— the Pré No. 5 is the house signature, made with Vodka 42 Bellow infused with chili pepper, litchi, rose and raspberry cordial, and hibiscus— but there’s something for every mood. Another winner? The Coup de Foudre à St Germain, a concoction of Electric Mezcal Koch infused with kaffir leaves, Chartreuse Verse, lime and ginger beer. And the Prométhée, a whisky drink which arrives at your table under a dome of smoke.
The adjacent library is stocked with books (you’ll also find a copy of Ulysses in the lobby), a nod to the literary reputation of the neighborhood. Oh and by the way, Joyce wasn’t the only famous author to stay here; T.S. Eliot also chose this spot back in the day.
Arrive hungry at the Les Parisiens. And make sure you reserve in advance. The lively, light-filled bistro has quickly become a neighborhood favorite for the haute bistronomy cuisine, with a seasonally changing menu, by chef Thibault Sombardier. Previously he had a Michelin star at the (now shuttered) restaurant Antoine, and he currently oversees two other restaurants in Paris: Mensae in the 19th and Sellae in the 13th. Start with shared plates of oysters, pâté en croûte de foie gras, or truffle-accented charcuterie. Or skip the sharing and go straight for the avocado and shrimp tart (pictured below) or melon gazpacho, followed by sole meunière or chicken supreme with an artichoke puree. Just don’t skip the pistachio soufflé for dessert.
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Following a digestif, step out into the balmy summer night for a walk through the party-loving streets of St. Germain, or walk just a few minutes to the banks of the Seine to see the moon rising over the river. Or book a stay and sleep off your food coma in one of the 47 exquisite guest rooms. The best room in the house is on the top floor- named, what else?, the James Joyce suite. But there are a number of room categories, including family rooms and cozy classic rooms, depending on your needs. All rooms come with coffee/tea-making facilities, LCD flat screen TVs with satellite channels, mini bars, and luxury bath products.
The Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain checks all the boxes for an elegant hotel stay channeling the Parisian art de vivre. Note: There’s also a Codage spa on the lower level, in the space that once housed a subterranean cabaret club. The massage cabins are complemented by a small pool, fitness room, and meditation/yoga room.
Les Parisiens is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12 to 2:15 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. Lunch menu available from Tuesday to Friday, except on public holidays: starter / main course or main course / dessert: 32€. Starter, main course and dessert: 38€; excluding drinks.
Lead photo credit : Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain