If there’s one thing Paris does well, it’s a courtyard. Hidden behind Haussmann’s famous facades, courtyards exist as little sanctuaries, counterpoints to the city’s hustle and bustle. They also make great meeting places.
With this in mind, it’s a treat to find one at the heart of a hotel. At the Mandarin Oriental, on boutique-lined rue Saint-Honoré, the courtyard acts as a central hub, a space in which guests drink and dine al fresco, surrounded by camellia trees, flowers and fountains. This zen-like quality is echoed throughout the property, with lots natural light and walls of fresh orchids and plants. Below ground is the spa – home to a 15m pool – where guests can book in for Aromatherapy Associates treatments in private suites with their own vitality pools and steam rooms.
Upstairs, the bedrooms are similarly Asian-inspired, with silk curtains, rain showers, king-size beds and goose-down duvets. Serious soundproofing ensures an uninterrupted slumber. Many of the rooms face the courtyard; some have their own terrace. State-of-the-art technology keeps everyone connected and entertained while Diptique toiletries add a distinctly Parisian touch. The pièce de resistance, however, has to be the fabulous Sur Mesure restaurant, where two-Michelin-starred chef Thierry Marx whips up French-Asian creations, such as his signature soy and oyster risotto, and roasted lobster with sichuan pepper. The waiting list for a table speaks for itself.
If you want to stay in one of the most stylish hotels, in one of the most stylish districts of one of the most stylish cities, you can’t do much better than the Mandarin Oriental Paris.
Best room: Make like Rihanna and book the 1930s-feel, split-level Royale Mandarin Suite.
Dress code: Effortlessly polished.
Address: 251 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, +33 1 70 98 78 88, http://www.mandarinoriental.com/paris/
Book here: Doubles from £675