Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain makes a good first impression. Amid the café-lined streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, once the literary and artistic hub of Paris’s Left Bank, the new hotel occupies three elegant 17th-century stone buildings that are now connected aesthetically by way of ivy-filled planters, navy accents, and electric lanterns.
Since their construction during Louis XIII’s reign, the buildings that make up Pavillon Faubourg have played host to many remarkable guests, including literary greats like T.S. Eliot, a resident in 1910, and James Joyce, who penned the last words of Ulysses while staying at the property in 1921.
Even after a major makeover by French designer Didier Benderli begun in 2019, traces of this literary history are still found within the walls of the hotel. Its intimate library features the seminal Collection Blanche, a set of French classic literature published by Gallimard, whose headquarters are just around the corner from the hotel. Off the library, the airy, double-height lobby features a stunning onyx orb light fixture hanging overhead. There’s also a gorgeous little sitting room niche nearby, with a wood-burning fireplace and lacquered green walls—a modern tribute to Monet’s Water Lilies paintings, which are displayed in the Musée de l’Orangerie nearby.
Also just off the library, the handsome James Joyce Bar, with cobalt and salmon velvet seating, dreamy chinoiserie wall panels, and rich polished wood, has a vague sixties-mod vibe, which continues upstairs in the hotel’s 47 rooms.
Don Draper would feel at home in the midcentury-style T.S. Eliot Suite, which has oak chevron floors and pops of burnt orange. It’s also not short on luxuries, with a cavernous walk-in closet and the hotel’s only in-room steam shower. The 750-square-foot James Joyce Suite, up in the bohemian eaves with rooftop vistas, is the hotel’s signature room, but each has its own personality and plenty of Parisian touches, like Codage toiletries and charming views over Rue du Pré-aux-Clercs or Rue de l’Université.
Formerly a cabaret club, Pavillon Faubourg’s vaulted stone cellar has been transformed into a spa with two treatment rooms featuring Codage skin-care treatments, a small gym, a meditation/yoga room, steam and sauna areas, and even a pool—a rarity in this part of the City of Light.
Also not to be missed: the impossibly inviting Les Parisiens, a neo-brasserie of quartzite tables, mosaic floors, and curved booths by Top Chef finalist Thibault Sombardier. It’s the spot for bistro dishes like roasted pigeon from the Loire Valley with foie gras and green cabbage or even just a crisp chablis paired with the most magnifique French fries.