Hotels and themes do not necessarily make for ideal bedfellows, but the Pavillon des Lettres has taken a bold stance by creating an homage to the spirit of individual writers and poets in their 26 rooms, one for each letter of the alphabet. And it works beautifully.
Whether you choose to cosy up with Diderot, Flaubert or Zola or, the only female available, the very English Virginia Woolf (where Colette? Where George Sand?), you will find French volumes of the signature author's work on the nightstand and their quotes etched onto the glass bathroom door or artfully scrolled onto the wall. Should you become carried away with the muse, then an iPad is at hand with further works to peruse at your leisure.
Didier Benderli, the creative guru behind hip sister hotel Pavillon de la Reine in the Marais, has created a seamless blend of chic luxury and whimsy with considerable Parisian panache. Inviting interiors feature vast pillowy beds surrounded by a soothing décor of pale mauves and shades of biscuit and stone — a refreshing alternative to the blinding gilt and glitz now vying for place at most top-end hotels in the prestigious 8th Arrondissement. The compact lobby is a haven with its velvet chairs, cream leather banquettes, ideal for sinking into between shopping sprees, preferably with a glass of Champagne from the honesty bar.
The location is central but almost uncannily peaceful. A short stroll in one direction takes you to the banks of the Seine, the Place de Concord and the Beaux-Arts for the latest exhibitions while the best of French designers including Prada and Pierre Cardin have set up corner shops. So, even if you don't consider yourself a fully paid-up member of the literati, take a leaf out of our book and check out this little gem.
Pavillon des Lettres, 12 rue des Saussaies, 75008 Paris (+33 (0) 1 49 24 26 26; pavillondeslettres.com). Room rates start from £255 per room per night