Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Hôtel Lenox is a real bargain: situated in the heart of Saint-Germain, filled with history and interesting people, it just has been tastefully renovated and is incredibly good value for money. You can’t believe it? Well, than just have a look yourself.
Imagine a nice Parisian building at the corner of rue de l’Université and rue des Prés-aux-Clers. Hard to find a better spot if you want to stay in this neighbourhood full of museums, cafes, bookshops and antique dealers.
Until recently, the hotel belonged to a chain and was not in very good shape. Since the owner of two other neighbouring hotels bought it, every thing has changed. The rooms were renovated in 2009. They are all decorated differently in classic yet cotemporary style. Colours are warm and everything is matching.
Guests now have the choice between three hotels belonging to Bertrand Plasmans, each one just next to the other: you don’t want to spent a lot of money, you don’t care about the size of your room because you’re planning to stay the whole day strolling around Paris? Then go for Hôtel Saint Thomas d’Aquin.
You love the neighborhood but you want to be your room as sophisticated as the outside, then Hôtel Saint Vincet is for you. And if you are in between, go for the Hôtel Lenox. You can’t go wrong. Double rooms start at 170 Euros (Supérieure 210, Junior Suite 290 Euros).
There are 34 rooms overlooking the street or the courtyard. But my favourite is a little, cosy duplex above the Paris rooftops: perfect for a romantic hideaway. Adjoining rooms can be combined into family suites. Wi-Fi access is complementary.
Today, a lot of publishers and editors from the nearby publishing houses come to have a drink here at the bar. Florian Zeller, French novelist and playwright, married to Carla Bruni’s friend Marie Delterme, loves the place. But if you stay at the Lenox, don’t just people watch, also think a bit about the past: T.S. Elliot and Ezra Pound used to live here. And when James Joyce arrived from Zurich to spend the next 20 years in Paris, he first settled in the Lenox. Back then, it was too expensive for him and he moved out quickly – but he came back for short periods several times. The art déco bar still looks as if Joyce could sit there in one of the club chairs and this is the only notable aesthetic infringement: the bar is “dans son jus”, in its own juice, as the French say, whereas the rest is more modern and elegant.