Built in 1910 by the owner of the Bon Marché department store to host his customers, the Lutetia (from €250) has beautifully preserved the original atmosphere enjoyed over the years by its illustrious guests, including Picasso, Matisse, Josephine Baker and General de Gaulle (who spent his honeymoon here). This Belle Epoque bijou lives up to its reputation with a pool, a renowned restaurant, a spa and impeccable service.
Final residence of Oscar Wilde, L’Hôtel (from €290) is another establishment steeped in history. In 2006 it was remodelled by superstar designer Jacques Garcia, who expertly conserved the essence of the building’s refined 19th-century elegance.
Built upon the ruins of a 13th-century abbey, the peaceful atmosphere, pleasant garden and period features at Relais Christine (from €280) offer guests an opportunity to savour the quintessential character of Saint-Germain. The Carita spa further reinforces the high status of the hotel. A little less luxurious but nonetheless packed with charm, the exposed beams, tapestries, antique parquet flooring and grand open fireplace at the Hôtel d’Aubusson (from €230) also create an atmospheric setting.
A celebrity favourite, the Placide is a star in its own right that benefits from a good deal of media attention. The secret behind its success is a shrewd balance between contemporary design and sober, understated luxury, topped with cutting-edge fixtures and fittings. Promotional rates start from €170.
Soft furnishings, gentle colours and dainty details make the light and bright Hôtel Madison (from €198) a popular choice in the area. The hotel’s prime location on the Boulevard Saint-Germain only increases its allure. Not far away on the animated Rue des Canettes, a street filled with small shops and café-bars, Hôtel La Perle (from €127) has also received a high number of glowing reviews. Guests are impressed by the elegant décor that mixes classic style with modern comfort, as well as the pretty courtyard garden.
Clean lines coupled with an expert use of colour and designer furniture all contribute towards the ultimate experience of contemporary luxury offered by the Bel Ami (from €295). The hotel also enjoys an exceptional location just behind the church of Saint-Germain and the famous literary café Les Deux Magots. Further west towards the 7th arrondissement, the Hôtel Pont Royal and the Duc de Saint-Simon (around €300) are two handsome addresses that propose discreet luxurious rooms. Award-winning chef Joël Robuchon has set up in the restaurant of the Pont Royale.
Good value in the area
If you’re prepared to move away from the centre of Saint-Germain, you’ll find some affordable accommodation options towards Rue de Sèvres, near to the upscale department store Bon Marché. The Hotel Vaneau Saint-Germain and the Hotel de Suède (between €90 and €110) have both come recommended, having received positive feedback for their friendly staff and warm, relaxing atmospheres. The same compliments are made about the Hôtel de l’Université, which proposes rooms from €120.
By far the best deal of the lot, the Résidence du Palais is located just behind the Jardin du Luxumbourg on the Rue d’Assas and offers rooms from an unbelievable €70, a rate that is practically unheard of in this neighbourhood. Furnished in a very basic style with shared toilets on the corridor, visitors still feel that they got a good deal for the area.