Esprit Saint Germain Paris: Right Choice On The Left Bank
One of the most private five-star hotels in Paris is also one of the best situated for enjoying the city as Parisians do. Tucked away behind the Saint Sulpice Church, of which it has beautiful views, the award-winning Esprit Saint Germain is the antithesis of the stereotypical five-star property. Rather than a lobby, there is a living room; instead of a bar with a bartender and a running tab, there is a bar without these where guests can help themselves to their favourite drinks just as they would do at home. No charge.
While the majority of visitors to the French capital flock to the attractions on the Right Bank and stay in hotels in their vicinity, those seeking a low-key, high-quality experience may opt for a stay at Esprit Saint Germain on the Left Bank, itself replete with appealing sights and activities such as the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée du Quai Branly, and a simple metal structure known as the Eiffel Tower. Situated in a chic neighbourhood among some of the most expensive real estate in Paris, Esprit Saint Germain makes a perfect base for visiting these sights as well as exploring the areas of the city that have characterised ‘the real Paris’ for centuries. Near the Odéon Theatre, Esprit Saint Germain is only a block away from the grand avenue that is part of its name. Just a few short blocks in the other direction is the Jardin du Luxembourg, where Parisians love to relax and enjoy the expansive gardens throughout the year but especially in summer and fall when the flowers and foliage are at their most colourful. Beyond the Jardin is the Latin Quarter, where the Sorbonne and other academic institutions have kept this part of the city one of the most vibrant. The vendors of the famous outdoor market on rue Mouffetard sell all those delicious French food items Parisians simply can’t do without, from cheese, bread, and pastries to mustard, chocolate, and tea. The lively Place de la Contrescarpe is also here, a superb place for people-watching while enjoying a coffee or a cocktail at one of its many cafés.
Back at Esprit Saint Germain, the quiet rooms allow for appreciation of French living just by looking out the window at the typical Haussmannian architecture that gives the city its classic look so beloved by international visitors. Though there is no restaurant on the premises, the breakfast room is as glamorous as any restaurant in Paris and provides guests with a gourmet start to the day in plush surroundings. With a mere 28 rooms, Esprit Saint Germain has the feel of a private mansion with staff to look after the owner’s guests; in essence, that is exactly what it is. There are no tour groups or loud people crowding the lobby because they do not come to this hotel (and there is no lobby); individuals who seek the comfort and discretion of a small hotel where the number of guests is measured in only two digits love Esprit Saint Germain as much for its small size as for its big heart, personified by the vivacious general manager, Francesca La Mastra, who sees to it that every aspect of the hotel reaches the highest standards. That includes guest satisfaction.