Five Things We Love: Esprit Saint Germain

A Parisian pied-à-terre with all the right connections.

Almost as an afterthought, I added two nights in Paris to a recent trip to France. Paris certainly deserves more, but I made the most of it. The whole trip felt infused with kismet, from a sudden break in the winter weather to chance encounters with friends. I ate well (lunch at Michelin Green-starred Anona, whose chef, Thibaut Spiwack, was behind the on-screen cuisine in Emily in Paris; smoked salmon, escargot, and kir royales at Les Deux Magots), spent too many hours at the Musée d’Orsay, and wedged in a couple of shopping excursions (to Officine Universelle El Buly for monogrammed lip balms and to Merci for gifts). One element I didn’t leave to chance: my hotel. I knew Esprit Saint Germain was the best home base for this tactical mission. Here’s why.

Location, Location, Location 

This is total Left Bank immersion. The 28-room hotel could not be better situated for living out romantic daydreams of long strolls along Parisian byways. Tucked away on a Saint-Germain-des-Prés side street in the sixth arrondissement, the hotel has a residential vibe and an address that puts guests within walking distance of the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Jardin du Luxembourg, and Notre Dame (slated to reopen later this year), among other attractions. But let’s be honest: Almost as thrilling is the proximity of boutiques such as CélineIsabel MarantJérôme Dreyfuss, and others – not to mention the Bon Marché.

Cozy quarters: The hotel’s salon.

At Home in Paris

The hotel’s intimate reception area is flanked by a cozy salon complete with a fireplace and an inviting library. It feels like a charming, well-appointed luxury apartment – one where the staff will set you up with an afternoon wine and cheese spread wherever you choose. My two-bath suite was outfitted in non-boring neutrals (yes, there was leopard print carpet), and the walk-in closet could have accommodated enough clothes for a whole season (if only!).

A very Parisian breakfast spread.

Scrambled Eggs I Would Marry 

I love a European breakfast spread, and Esprit Saint Germain’s is no exception: Staff hustle a buffet out to a handsome sideboard in the library every morning, complete with all the usual delights: fresh-baked croissants, tiny jars of jam, fresh yogurt and fruit, meats and cheeses. But my heart belonged to the made-to-order scrambled eggs. Did they owe their hot, fluffy perfection to the kiss of an angel or to an unholy amount of butter? I didn’t care. Paired with a cappuccino and leisurely consumed while lounging on the banquette, they started a day in Paris off right. (It’s worth noting that Virtuoso guests get à la carte breakfast included in their room rate in addition to the buffet.) 

Staff That Goes the Extra Mile (Literally) 

A friend who stayed at the hotel recently lived my travel nightmare: She was panicked to discover on arrival at Charles de Gaulle that she had left her passport and jewelry in the hotel’s safe. Esprit Saint Germain staff members leaped to the rescue, rushing her valuables to her at the airport just in time to make her flight.

An afternoon pick-me-up. 

Thoughtful Extras 

Perhaps in keeping with the homey vibe, the hotel sent me off with a sleeve of petite butter cookies from Poilâne, the nearly century-old temple of baked goods a short walk away from the property. I popped them in the freezer at home, saving them to serve to guests when I started feeling wistful about my short stopover in the City of Light.

Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a wine and cheese plate, plus Poilâne cookies on departure.