Hôtel Saint-Louis en l’Isle in Paris

By Marilyn Hill
This item appears on page 30 of the September 2015 issue.

Sometimes it's “location, location, location.” Central to almost everything in Paris, including Notre-Dame on Île de la Cité, the Hôtel Saint-Louis en l’Isle (75 rue Saint-Louis en l'Île, 75004 Paris, France; phone +33 [0] 1 46 34 04 80, www.saintlouisenlisle.com), on the neighboring mid-Seine island of Île Saint-Louis, is a delightful, well-run hotel.

Having heard many good things about this 22-room hotel from a trusted friend, I booked directly with them about 10 months in advance, choosing the room category “Superior Double” for May 2-8, 2015. For the two of us, we paid €199 per person (near $223) plus the city tax of €3.30 per night.

I had requested an upper floor facing the little side street. Having been forewarned that hotel rooms in Paris are notoriously small, I was not disappointed in the size.

There was a spiral staircase as well as an elevator that stopped at a landing midway between floors. Therefore, we did have a few steps to either climb or descend in order to reach our room. (There were two lovely double rooms on the street level, too.) The business center and breakfast (13 per person) areas were downstairs.

For once, I never specified a bathtub, as I knew the choice for “a quiet location with lots of light” might limit us. Our room had a shower only, but the stall was spacious (about 6 feet long) and completely tiled, with a glass entry door at one end.

All of the floors were tile, and the bedroom ceiling was wood-beamed. There was a desk with a high-backed cushioned chair plus a reading chair, and the closet had shelves for clothing and accessories. Nice! 

Two long French windows provided glorious light. Looking slightly to the right, we could see one of the Berthillon ice cream shops. 

Denis and Bernard, the alternating concierges at the front desk, took very good care of us, and housekeeping each day left the rooms spotless.

As Linda and I always took our big meal of the day at 1 or 2 p.m., we never ate breakfast in the hotel, but we loved mixing the chocolate, cappuccino and other 1-cup coffee packets with hot water from the electric teapot provided. 

Just a few doors away was a tiny grocery store (closed Tuesdays), but it didn’t open until 10 a.m., so each night we would purchase bananas, apples and a local yogurt (1.60); the yogurt came in heavy blue pottery containers.

If requested in advance, the hotel provides a shuttle from Charles de Gaulle Airport at a cost of 70 (near $78) for one or two people and also transports passengers to any of the four train stations for 30.

I would consider this one of the best “boutique” hotels in Paris. But book early!


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