Above: Mazarin Suite, Le Grand Mazarin, Right Bank, Paris - VINCENT LEROUX

Paris Gets the Gold: New Hotels and Hideaways

Mazarin Suite living room, Le Grand Mazarin – Vincent Leroux

The hotel scene of Paris is always evolving, but with the start of the Summer Olympics at the end of the month, it’s in a veritable froth. Long-standing properties are upping their game, ardently renovating to accommodate the anticipated influx of visitors. And new openings have been mushrooming, with the best blending modern luxury with perennial Parisian elegance. Tempted though I was to check in on beloved grand palace hotels, it’s not really news that the Ritz Paris or Le Bristol are nice places to stay. Therefore, I dedicated my most recent trip to discovering new boutique hotels and re-reviewing two previously recommended hideaways. This is the Hideaway Report, after all.

Le Grand Mazarin

Boubalé restaurant, Le Grand Mazarin – Vincent Leroux
Designer Martin Brudnizki, Le Grand Mazarin – Vincent Leroux
Mazarin Suite, Le Grand Mazarin – Vincent Leroux
Grand Parisian Junior Suite bath, Le Grand Mazarin – Vincent Leroux
Grand Parisian Junior Suite, Le Grand Mazarin – Vincent Leroux

We first headed to the Marais, spanning the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris. The neighborhood has its origins in medieval times, when it was reclaimed from marshland by the Knights Templar. By the 17th century, it had become a fashionable hub for Parisian aristocrats, and today the Marais is celebrated for its fine restaurants, Jewish heritage, LGBTQ-friendly atmosphere and lively arts scene. I never tire of the charming cobblestone streets, hidden courtyards, many museums (including those dedicated to Pablo Picasso and Victor Hugo), independent galleries and quirky boutiques of this bohemian quarter.

In this historic neighborhood, where many hotels stick to a traditional French style, we found the 61-room Le Grand Mazarin to be a breath of fresh air. The cheeky interior décor, created by Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki, flaunts whimsical works of art and playful mismatched patterns and textiles.

An abundance of staff worked the front desk, day and night, and service was impeccable. Clad in retro deep-purple uniforms reminiscent of those worn by the bellhops in Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” the employees snagged us hard-to-get seats at Paris’ newest cabaret and last-minute reservations at starred restaurants. On one occasion, they sat us down in the lounge to draw directions on a map while plying us with sparkling wine and snacks. They seemed as excited as we were about our plans.

Our flamboyant Parisian Junior Suite came with painted wardrobes, a pink-and-white-striped bench, leopard-print side chairs and idiosyncratic bedside lamps embellished by ceramic curlicues. The most impressive feature was the Aubusson-style tapestry that served as the bed’s canopy. Our windows looked out to the inner dining courtyard, but since we could see into the rooms across, we would have preferred a more private street-facing accommodation.

Editor Photos (slideshow below)

Swimming pool, Le Grand Mazarin – Andrew Harper editor
Our Parisian Junior Suite, Le Grand Mazarin – Andrew Harper editor
Bath in our Parisian Junior Suite, Le Grand Mazarin – Andrew Harper editor
Boubalé winter garden terrace, Le Grand Mazarin – Andrew Harper editor
Boubalé main dining room, Le Grand Mazarin – Andrew Harper editor

The hotel’s restaurant, Boubalé (a Yiddish term meaning “my little darling”), offers a creative Eastern European menu. Dishes such as the tarama (cured cod roe) paired with challah brûlée and the olive-and-pine-nut-crusted sea bream with a yogurt sauce were unexpected and delightful. Meals are served in a main dining room decorated with folk-art-like motifs or on a bright winter-garden terrace decorated with trompe l’oeil frescoes. At the end of our evenings, we often went back to the latter to enjoy one of the unpredictable and delicious cocktails — the sababoush mixed boukha (an eau de vie made from figs) with eggplant and oregano essences, for example.

But the highlight of this property is its subterranean pool. Featuring a vaulted hand-painted ceiling with a dreamlike botanical mural that spans the entire room, the space is striking and utterly tranquil.

While the hotel’s décor is eclectic, it never crosses the line to kitschy. Every choice feels intentional. Brudnizki has created a lavish universe at Le Grand Mazarin that pairs well with a stay at a more traditional hotel, and with a switch to the Cour des Vosges, we did just that.


Le Grand Mazarin 95


The playful interior décor; the proactive service; the gorgeous hand-painted ceiling above the swimming pool.


Our room-service breakfast arrived cold, but they quickly replaced the dishes and removed the meal from our bill.

Good to Know

The on-site cabaret space (currently closed to the public) can be rented for private events.

Room to Book: A Grand Parisian Junior Suite for its private balcony. Avoid courtyard-facing rooms, which offer less privacy.

Rates: $$

Address: 17 Rue de la Verrerie, 4th arr.

View Le Grand Mazarin listing

Cour des Vosges

Superior Suite, Cour des Vosges – Guillaume De Laubier
Deluxe Suite, Cour des Vosges – Guillaume De Laubier
Deluxe Room bath, Cour de Vosges – Guillaume De Laubier
Spa, Cour des Vosges – Guillaume De Laubier
Brach-La Pâtisserie, Cour des Vosges – Guillaume De Laubier

Occupying a 17th-century townhouse of red brick and limestone, this hotel is ideally situated on the magnificent Place des Vosges, one of the most beautiful squares in Paris. We pushed through a heavy unmarked door squeezed between a new-age patisserie and a classic brasserie and stepped into an intimate space facing a flower-filled inner courtyard. There is no formal lobby or reception desk, but a staff member is always working at a table in the entry.

Because the elevator is small, the amiable woman who checked us in ran up the three floors to meet us at the top. Each of the 12 rooms is individually decorated, but they all come with uninterrupted views of the Place des Vosges and expertly curated collections of sculptures and ceramics. The best, most spacious accommodations are on the first floor (above the ground level); lodgings and their windows get smaller the higher up you go.

Editor Photos (slideshow below)

View from our Junior Suite, Cour des Vosges – Andrew Harper editor
Our Junior Suite, Cour des Vosges – Andrew Harper editor
Sitting area in our Junior Suite, Cour des Vosges – Andrew Harper editor
Bath in our Junior Suite, Cour des Vosges – Andrew Harper editor
Roman bath, Cour des Vosges – Andrew Harper editor

Our Junior Suite was perfectly peaceful. We soon settled into the couch in our living room, getting lost flipping through the art books stacked high. Our windows were not large, but the vistas over the top of the square’s linden trees were mesmerizing. It wasn’t until evening that we realized the room had no ceiling lights and only a few low-wattage floor lamps. The only illumination in the bath was the light around the mirror, making shaving and makeup application nearly impossible. Unfortunately, certain limitations are inevitable in a building that has historic landmark status.

Cour des Vosges does not have a spa, gym or restaurant, but we loved the thoughtful touches throughout: welcome pastries sourced from Yann Brys’ patisserie downstairs, complimentary fruit juices, a Dyson hair-dryer menu, Devialet speakers and reusable branded water bottles. We did book a private session in the Roman bath-inspired heated pool set under a vaulted ceiling in the hotel’s basement and floated serenely, feeling far removed from the city.

Despite the inadequate lighting and limited on-site amenities, this property’s cocoonlike atmosphere and profoundly Parisian style make it special. Guests in search of constant attention should stay elsewhere; Cour des Vosges is better-suited to self-sufficient travelers seeking a high degree of privacy.


Cour des Vosges 91


The prime location overlooking the Place des Vosges; the well-stocked bookshelves with English and French selections; the fresh juices and pastries in our room.


The lack of a bar or formal restaurant; our Junior Suite’s limited lighting and small windows.

Good to Know

A fitness program created for the hotel’s parent company is available via a QR code; Superior Suites allow in-room smoking.

Room to Book: A brighter Deluxe Suite, for its kitchenette and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Rates: $$

Address: 19 Place des Vosges, 4th arr.

View Cour des Vosges listing

Maison Proust

Opened in January 2023 on a quiet side street in the Marais, this hotel pays homage to one of France’s greatest literary legends, Marcel Proust. Best known for his magnum opus “Remembrance of Things Past,” Proust was a significant figure in the cultural landscape of the Belle Epoque.

The discreet exterior of this hotel did not prepare us for the extravagance inside. We were met with a beguiling fin-de-siècle décor designed by Jacques Garcia. Since the front desk was empty, we looked around, discovering a glamorous bar furnished with giant gilded antique mirrors, vintage crystal chandeliers and smoky-blue banquettes. Farther on was a circular domed salon holding more than 500 leather-bound books. Many of the rare editions are signed. Later, we came across the hotel’s chief amenity: a subtly lit spa featuring a Moorish-style pool surrounded by blue-and-gray zellij-mosaic-tiled columns. Eventually we returned to the lounge, where a staff member checked us in while simultaneously texting. She then pointed us in the direction of the elevator.

Editor Photos (slideshow below)

Salon, Maison Proust – Andrew Harper editor
Our Suite Edouard Manet, Maison Proust – Andrew Harper editor
Seating area of our Suite Edouard Manet, Maison Proust – Andrew Harper editor
Spa La Mer, Maison Proust – Andrew Harper editor

The 23 guest rooms, each devoted to a muse or creative contemporary of Proust, are decorated with the same 19th-century-inspired panache. In our romantic suite, I admired the bath’s leather-lined walls embossed with flowers and birds and the bedroom’s patterned-silk walls. Most charming was a secret desk tucked away in a corner behind thick red-velvet drapes.

Though the hotel lacks a formal dining menu, we enjoyed breakfast each morning in a sunny glassed-in winter garden. Maison Proust is particularly popular on Fridays, when Colin Field, the celebrated bartender formerly of Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris, is the guest mixologist. He’s best known for creating bespoke cocktails for customers just by looking at them.

I’d recommend Maison Proust but for the unprofessional staff, who gossiped about clients in public and sometimes treated our requests as inconveniences. We consistently contended with delays and excuses. This is a hotel where I could have easily imagined spotting Josephine Baker sharing a drink with Colette. If only the staff could live up to the setting.


Maison Proust 89


The subterranean Moroccan-style pool; the transporting atmosphere dedicated to the Belle Epoque era; the intricate Pierre Frey wallpaper throughout the hotel.


The poorly trained and pretentious staff.

Good to Know

Private use of the pool is complimentary for hotel guests; renowned mixologist Colin Field is a guest bartender every Friday.

Room to Book: An Executive Suite, for its extra space.

Rates: $$

Address: 26 Rue de Picardie, 3rd arr.

Maison Villeroy

For our next few nights, we relocated to the Right Bank’s prestigious 8th arrondissement, home to the Golden Triangle. Delineated by the avenues Montaigne, Georges V and Champs-Élysées, this neighborhood is synonymous with upscale shopping and fine dining. 

We were drawn to the Maison Villeroy for its setting within a graceful 1908 mansion and its Michelin-starred restaurant. The petite undecorated reception area was in stark contrast to the grandiose lobby set beneath a multilevel rotunda illuminated by alabaster globes. Curved marble stairs with intricate wrought-iron banisters lead to the 11 residential-style accommodations that range from 300 to 2,540 square feet, the size of our Thimonnier Premier Suite.

Editor Photos (slideshow below)

Our Thimonnier Premier Suite, Maison Villeroy – Andrew Harper editor
Bath in our Thimonnier Premier Suite, Maison Villeroy – Andrew Harper editor
Lights on the second floor, Maison Villeroy – Andrew Harper editor
Jean Goujon bar, Maison Villeroy – Andrew Harper editor
Seasonal vegetables à la barigoule, Trente-Trois restaurant, Maison Villeroy – Andrew Harper editor

As we snacked on housemade hazelnut cookies, we took in the room’s tall windows, elegant contemporary décor, understated gold-tinted artwork and calming, earthy tones of chocolate brown and dark beige. The plush featherbed was a delight, but the curved velour chairs fronting it were clunky. Indeed, the whole room was overfurnished, so despite its large size, it felt cramped. 

Before dinner, we popped into the swanky Jean Goujon bar, made homey by a fireplace and plush sofas. Our sense of comfort was short-lived, alas, as no server ever arrived, even after we asked at reception. Giving up, we headed to dinner early. Contrary to the bar, our experience at one-star Trente-Trois was an absolute delight. The clubby dining room was a handsome space in which to enjoy chef Sébastien Sanjou’s modern French cooking. Every dish impressed in both presentation and creative flavor combinations, and the staff doted on us.

This hotel exudes exclusivity and could be mistaken for a wealthy friend’s beautifully decorated townhouse. The Maison Villeroy is alluring in theory, but it lacks spirit. Most of the time, the bar was empty and the lobby unattended. We often felt forgotten.


Maison Villeroy 89


The sense of exclusivity; the modern European cooking in the atmospheric restaurant; the lengthy list of Japanese whiskies.


The lack of service at the bar; the emptiness of the public spaces; the tiny spa treatment room; our overfurnished suite.

Good to Know

The hotel operates a private club offering members unlimited access to the restaurant and gym.

Room to Book: A Thimonnier Premier Suite, for its extra half-bath and separate living area.

Rates: $$

Address: 33 Rue Jean Goujon, 8th arr.

San Régis

San Régis – Romain Ricard
Lobby, San Régis – Romain Ricard

Just a five-minute walk from Maison Villeroy in a 19th-century neoclassical mansion, the San Régis displays a quintessentially French style with no signs of the contemporary. Opened as a hotel in 1923 by Simon André Terrail, the founder of La Tour d’Argent restaurant, this family-run property offers a calming respite from the bustle of the nearby Avenue des Champs-Élysées. I had heard rumblings that the long-recommended 42-room property had faded a bit, so I decided it was time for an anonymous reassessment.

Thanks to the benefits confirmed by the Travel Office, we were upgraded to a spacious Junior Suite. It featured Pierre-Yves Rochon interiors: sumptuous silk-lined walls, toile de Jouy patterns and exquisite antiques including crystal objets d’art, jade vases and gold-accented lamps. Yet the ostensibly formal space invited relaxation, with warm lighting, a comfy couch and soft carpeting.

Les Confidences restaurant, San Régis
Junior Suite, San Régis – Fabrice Rambert
Terrace Junior Suite bath, San Régis – Romain Ricard
Terrace Junior Suite, San Régis – Fabrice Rambert

Several lounges, some decorated in soft beiges and others in deep navy blues with gilded chandeliers, provided convivial places to relax and meet other guests. The restaurant, Les Confidences, set under a glass roof, resembles a winter garden, and its design flawlessly juxtaposes Belle Epoque and Japanese elements. Here, we dined on sea bass and shrimp in hazelnut butter, followed by a pecan-praline mille-feuille drizzled with a bourbon-vanilla sauce. Another culinary highlight is the hotel’s popular goûter, a sort of afternoon tea in which pastry chef Jessica Préalpato serves sweet biscuits followed by savory tarts, pepper choux and an array of desserts. As we passed guests enjoying little cakes and flutes of Champagne one afternoon, we regretted not making reservations.

The staff was highly professional, greeting us with an enchanting Old World formality, though at times we were frustrated by their inflexibility. One evening, we were in search of an avant-garde restaurant, but they kept directing us toward traditional, decades-old establishments.

Editor Photos (slideshow below)

Our Junior Suite, San Régis – Andrew Harper editor
Bath in our Junior Suite, San Régis – Andrew Harper editor
Sitting area in our Junior Suite, San Régis – Andrew Harper editor
Salon, San Régis – Andrew Harper editor
Les Confidences, San Régis – Andrew Harper editor

But overall, I’m pleased to say that the rumors of this hotel’s decline are much exaggerated. The San Régis remains a polished Parisian bolthole ideal for travelers looking for a small property that exemplifies the architecture, character and style of traditional 19th-century France.


San Régis 93


The classic décor and atmosphere, reminiscent of a traditional Paris residence; the original Impressionist art throughout the property; the convivial lounges.


The staff’s inflexibility in their dining recommendations; the restaurant’s lack of daily specials.

Good to Know

Advance reservations for the hotel’s gourmet goûter are required.

Room to Book: A Terrace Junior Suite, for superior Eiffel Tower views from a private balcony.

Rates: $$

Address: 12 Rue Jean Goujon, 8th arr.

View San Régis listing

Maison Delano

The final hotel of our trip, the Maison Delano, was hidden among the embassies of the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States. Helmed by the same team behind the original Delano Miami, a hot spot for celebrities in the 1990s, this establishment opened in March 2023 to much fanfare. The trendy, designer-bag-toting travelers passing through the lobby could not have been more different from the unflashy guests we had met at the San Régis. There is a lively buzz to this 56-room hotel and our late-evening arrival meant that we were just in time to listen to a DJ playing incongruous funk music to a courtyard crowded with tourists and locals alike.

Editor Photos (slideshow below)

Delano Bar, Maison Delano Paris – Andrew Harper editor
Our Deluxe Suite, Maison Delano Paris – Andrew Harper editor
Bath in our Deluxe Suite, Maison Delano Paris – Andrew Harper editor
La Chambre Bleue restaurant, Maison Delano Paris – Andrew Harper editor

A staff member escorted us past contemporary-art-covered walls to our Deluxe Suite. The minimally furnished room was a study in white and beige, punctuated by a rich-green velvet bench at the foot of the bed and abstract pictures of neon-colored geometric shapes. The postmodern aesthetic was further heightened by black-and-white conical pedestal sinks in the bath. While I loved the view over the courtyard filled with potted greenery, the smell of cigarette smoke wafted in, and even the double-paned windows couldn’t keep out the noise.

Covered in winter, the beautiful dining courtyard is the centerpiece of the hotel and is surrounded by welcoming salons and sparkling open kitchens with colorful ceramic-tiled murals and rows of paella pans. The restaurant at the time of our visit, La Chambre Bleue, served the French-Andalusian fare of star chef Dani García. The service was curt: When we asked for water, the waitress spilled some in her impatience. As we debated between the octopus paella or the suckling pig, we observed another waiter informing a solo diner that she could only select from the appetizers, since she was dining alone. The main courses are primarily intended for two, but we were shocked to witness the level of disrespect with which the guest was treated and surprised that the restaurant was unwilling to make any accommodations.

This year-old hotel may have the Delano brand behind it and a clientele that will Instagram it to new heights, but it lacks poise and polish. All the pieces are there — the 18th-century neoclassical mansion, the central location, the chef — but the property needs an infusion of sophistication and grace. As of now, any of my other numerous recommendations in Paris would be a superior choice.


Maison Delano 87


The hotel’s lively ambience; the grand, neoclassical mansion setting; the creative cocktails served at the discreet bar.


The brusque staff at the restaurant; the 20-plus light switches in our room, many of which had no clear purpose; the loud music from the courtyard that kept us awake at night.

Good to Know

The restaurant’s courtyard allows smoking; solo diners should eat elsewhere.

Room to Book: A Deluxe Suite, for its separate living area and larger bath with a soaking tub.

Rates: $$

Address: 4 Rue d’Anjou, 8th arr.

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Above: Mazarin Suite, Le Grand Mazarin, Right Bank, Paris - VINCENT LEROUX

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