When you want romance, chicness, cafe culture and croissants, you head for Paris, and when you want to live your best Left Bank life you head for the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood. And the place you want to be staying at after you’ve hopped off the Eurostar and hot-footed it across the Seine is the five-star Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain. Refurbished during the pandemic, the hotel is actually made up of three different 17th century buildings that housed smaller hotels, merged into one property, with 47 rooms and suites, a spa, the James Joyce bar and the Les Parisiens restaurant run by Michelin-starred chef, Thibault Sombardier.

The interiors have come courtesy of Didier Benderli who has managed to preserve the classic elements of the three different buildings whilst joining them all together cohesively through design. The place is modern yet cosy, with lots of neutrals accented by one or two vibrant elements in each area, plus a beautiful spiral staircase running up through the main building. The natural textures, forest green colour palette and big skylight in the lobby is reminiscent of an indoor garden and evokes a real sense of peacefulness and calm away from the hustle of the city.

There’s more tranquility to be found in the Spa des Prés, formerly a wine store, which makes use of the natural stone to create a minimalist, zen feel. It’s boast a pool, meditation room, hammam, gym and massage cabins with treatments in collab with CODAGE Paris, which is impressive for a hotel of this size. The James Joyce bar (named after the author who finished writing Ulysses on the Rue du Pré-aux-Clercs where the hotel is located) adds the glamour, with wood pannelling, lots of book-filled shelved and plush jewel-toned furniture, with a cocktail menu that nods to the bar’s literary connection.

We stayed in a spacious (especially by Parisian standards) deluxe room, with a super king bed, walk-in rain head shower, robes and CODAGE products in the bathroom, a Nespresso machine and LCD flat screen TV – the perfect crash pad after a day spent cafe hopping.

Sadly Les Parisiens wasn’t open for dinner service the night we stayed but the menu, which takes inspiration from Thibault Sombardier’s childhood spent growing up between Burgundy and Beaujolais, looked excellent, and we did a get a little taster of what the kitchen can do with a buffet breakfast, consisting of fresh juices, great coffee, pastries, fruit, yoghurts, cured meats, cheeses and bacon and eggs.

If you’re planning to hop across the Channel for a little Parisian mini break, you can visit the James Joyce bar and Les Parisiens even if you’re not sleeping over at Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain, but you’d be massively missing out if you don’t stay the night.

Rates start at 350EUR / £291 a night 
3 Rue du Pré aux Clercs, 75007 Paris, France