Walking distance from the Eiffel Tower: 30 minutes
George Washington never went to Paris. The farthest he ever got from home was a short visit to Barbados. Yet the Parisians held him in sufficiently high esteem to erect two fine statues in his honour and to name a street after him, each of them in a notably posh part of the capital. Now the street dubbed rue Washington in his memory has a hotel in a converted townhouse at number 17 that bears his name too: Monsieur George, a delicious bite-sized macaron of a place. Credit for the hotel’s deliciousness must go to its interior designer, Anouska Hempel, a woman of many talents and exceptional energy. Among her claims to fame is nothing less than the invention of the boutique hotel – an era-defining phenomenon that sprang into existence when she opened Blakes in London in 1978. Blakes was full of mirrors, velvet and exotic flourishes suggestive of a well-travelled, sophisticated, possibly rather decadent way of life. And so is Monsieur George.
The mirrors, the velvet and the exotic flourishes are very much in evidence – and it is testament to the enduring strength of the Hempel aesthetic that it all still works so nicely, that it all still seems so fun and fresh, sexy and chic. The rooms at Monsieur George, let it be said, are not large. Rather compact. Ask, therefore, for one of the suites, either the Marly, in the courtyard to the rear, a sort of miniature mews house with the bedroom upstairs and lots of clever partitions and screens; or the Franklin, on the sixth floor, an utterly unexpected white-on-white affair beneath the eaves, an essay in monochrome minimalism, more monastic than presidential – and only the more delightful for it. SK
Prices: Rooms from around £313 per night