A charming boutique hotel in in Paris
51 Rooms / 51 Suites
Among the 20 districts within Paris, the Eighth Arrondissement is where France’s famous ruler is most remembered and where Hotel Napoleon Paris is located. His tribunal Arc de Triomphe attracts droves of visitors who shop along the Champs-Élysées and is a short walk from the tucked-away hotel.
Hotel Napoleon has a charming story behind it as well. A wealthy Russian traveler presented the place in 1928 to his bride, a young French woman he met and fell in love with while at a literary salon — her portrait is a warm welcome to hotel guests upon arrival.
People-watching is best performed while seated at the terrace outside the entrance, but once you step inside, a spacious lobby decked in opulent Napoleonic style leads to comfortable spots where guests flock to relax, enjoy tea or cocktails and snacks.
The Greco style within the Napoleonic era is everywhere in the luxury hotel, and so is Napoleon. A copy of the Louvre’s famous Coronation of Napoléon painting hangs over the fireplace (it has been accredited by the museum as a smaller but exact replica), a nearby hallway is adorned with several quirky portraits of Napoleon’s canines, each dressed in full military uniform. A framed family tree shows the extensive connections in Napoleon’s blood line and a portrait of one sister hangs in the lobby while another is placed in one of the guest rooms.
In traditional French style, a dramatic winding staircase leads to the guest rooms (there is an elevator as well). Along the way, a copy of an unfinished sketch of Napoleon is the first in myriad images of the emperor and his guests, including Errol Flynn, an actor known for his swashbuckler roles and playboy lifestyle, who would spend weeks in an upstairs suite. Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald enjoyed similar comforts as they were also frequent guests of the Paris hotel.
The classical décor is unique within each room and the feel is meant to emulate that of a stay in a private mansion. The hallway walls are decorated in multi-colored striped velvet with interior soundproofing material.
Inside rooms, expect rich tapestries and lines, gold accessories and pops of bold colors. All of the beds are crowned with majestic canopies known in Paris as ciel de lit, and marble sinks and floors add glamour to the spacious bathrooms.
The potential to connect six rooms into one large suite is easily accomplished with the opening of pocket doors and hidden doors under the guise of decorative wall coverings. Four junior and regular suites offer terraces with street views, but the top floor is the prime spot to see the Arc de Triomphe, Sacré Coeur and the sparkling Eiffel Tower.
While the area is brimming with eateries begging to be explored, the hotel’s Le Bivouac is a charming spot for a meal with a clubby feel, painted dome ceiling and warm woodwork. It serves French-influenced breakfast, lunch and lounge bites. There’s also an outdoor terrace where you can view Parisian street life while sipping a cocktail or tea.
And while there is no spa, massages may be arranged in a private room next to the cozy fitness area on the top floor.