Travel to 44 countries in 4 decades has caused me to form opinions. Among them is that Paris has the world's best grand elegant palace hotels (eg. Ritz, Bristol, Athenee, etc.) and the best small ones (Hong Kong And Singapore have the best contemporary ones, but that's for another review some day).
l'Abbaye is a delightful example of the excellent smal hotels in Paris. It's about 5 minutes walk to the St. Germain/Rennes intersection, on a quiet side street, close to Luxembourg and all of the left banks sites and shopping areas. Herme and Laduree (for macaron afficionados), Poilane for the best bread, Barthelemy for cheese, Ryst Dupeyron for armagnac and wine...all a short walk.
The lobby area is elegant, with beautiful paintings, tasteful fabrics, multiple sitting areas that lead to the rear courtyard punctuated by a fountain, singing birds and again, multiple sitting areas. The bedrooms are left bank small, and not cheap, but tasteful with contemporary fabrics. l'Abbaye has (mercifully) avoided the trend in small Paris hotels to get funky modern and hasn't lost its character. There is a phenomenon in France to want contemporary; after all, they grow up surrounded by grand architecture, so its different for them as the same grand architecture is different for Americans raised with sterility. But l'Abbaye feels like...Paris, but well refurbished, nice small bathrooms, etc.
The 5th, 6th and 7th are filled with delightful 2 and 3 star hotels; l'Abbaye is one of the gems of the genre, a sound, tasteful, charming left bank 4 star.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- HISTORICAL HOME, since 1973 Located in the very centre of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, renowned for its array of cafés, restaurants, clubs and theatres, the peaceful Hotel de l'Abbaye offers a pleasant contrast with this symbolic district of Paris. L'Hôtel de l'Abbaye perpetuates its legend through enduring values. A shared passion for the art of French living. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel De l Abbaye