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Hotel Highlights

  • Bold, playful decor: bright colours, antiques and instruments
  • The spa – a surprising extra for such a small, intimate hotel
  • Close to Saint-Germain’s best boutiques and bistros

Overview

As lovely as Ladurée macaroons – and similarly coloured – La Belle Juliette hotel on Paris’ Left Bank leaves a sweet taste in your mouth. Soft pink décor, violet-hued paints and humbug-striped sofas adorn its salons and boudoir rooms, but for a taste of its socialite namesake’s penchant for the avant-garde, book into the new garden wing, a haven in bright colours and striking contemporary lines.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking La Belle Juliette with us:

A glass of champagne at the bar

Facilities

View Gallery
La Belle Juliette Hotel - Paris - France

Need To Know

Rooms

45, including 10 suites.

Check–out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $227.38 (€182), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Continental breakfast is an additional €20 each. (Alternatively, stroll to one of the nearby patisseries.)

Also

Following in Juliette Récamier's footsteps, La Belle Juliette delights in supporting up-and-coming artists. In the garden-view rooms, look out for ethereal photos from the PHPA project, inspired by overnight stays at the hotel.

Please note

The hotel's new restaurant, Le Clos Belle Juliette, will open on 22 December 2014. Its terrace is currently being refurbished (expect some disruption 9.30am–4pm, Monday–Friday). Additionally, the Salon des Voyageurs will be closed 24–28 November.

At the hotel

Spa, steam room, lounge, courtyard terrace, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, iMac, minibar with free bottled water. Deluxe rooms and above have Nespresso machines.

Our favourite rooms

Spreading out from a grand central staircase, each floor has a distinctive feel, inspired by the ever-present Juliette’s colourful personality. The first floor’s romantic Junior Suite has a dusky-pink complexion and a stately roll-top bath (a perfect setting for a Parisian proposal scene). Decorated in deep royal blue and sea-green, the third floor’s Classic Room is peaceful and private, with a more masculine feel. Looking out over the garden, Duplex Suites have Sixties-screen-siren stylings, with dark purple sofas, a mod dressing table and industrial-chic stairs leading to an upstairs bedroom.

Poolside

Tucked away in the basement spa, the miniature pool has a seductive grotto feel and a powerful arificial current to practise your swimming strokes.

Spa

La Belle Juliette's hideaway spa is small but perfectly formed; with a bit of advance warning, you can ask to have the little pool and steam room to yourselves (ask for poolside candles and champagne for a truly indulgent treat). The treatment menu takes its cues from ancient Chinese medicine. Pick your pampering ritual according to which bits need TLC. Sore feet? Have the Peking at Your Feet soak, scrub and massage. Tired paws? Go for Happy Hands. DIY touchy-feely types can also learn the ropes from an expert massage therapist.

Packing tips

Candy-pink beach shorts/bikini for the spa; something dramatic for descending the ornate spiral staircase in style (silk or satin for Mrs; crisp tailoring for Mr). Leave plenty of space in your suitcase – Rue du Cherche-Midi is dotted with discerning boutiques.

Children

The hotel's not ideal for youngsters, and definitely not for under-12s. There are no interconnecting rooms and extra beds are not available.

Food & Drink

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La Belle Juliette hotel – Paris – France

Hotel Restaurant

Le Clos Belle Juliette is closed for refurbishment until 22 December 2014, but staff will happily arrange a packed meal from a local restaurant, such as steak tartare, braised leeks and orange-infused sauteed squid from nearby Café Trama. Breakfasts, served in the hotel's flashy salons, are true to their French roots: Le Boulanger de Monge bread, La Ferme d’Alexandre cheeses from Normandy, all-butter croissants and rich jams from Burgundy.

Hotel Bar

La Belle Juliette's shiny new bar will open on 1 December; in the meantime, sink into the hot pink sofa in the rococo Salon des Voyageurs and help yourself to a tipple from the honesty bar, stocked with beers, spirits and soft drinks. Next door, the Salon de la Musique has a piano and a collection of literary classics, should you wish to stage your own impromptu gathering. Take a glass of wine or champagne up to your room to savour with a long soak in the tub – it's what Juliette would have wanted.

Last orders

Breakfast is served between 7am and 11am.

Room service

Have small plates (caesar salads, soups and plates of charcuterie, smoked salmon or cheeses) brought to your room between 7am and 11pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Dip into the hotel’s pretty palette of pinks, parma violet, purple and blue. Nothing’s too frivolous here – model gold lace, berry-bright velvets and a witty little hat.

Top table

We like the cosy spot by the open fire: order chocolat chaud and snuggle up.

Local Guide

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La Belle Juliette Hotel - Paris - France
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Tucked away in the 6ème arrondissement just a stone's throw from Rue de Rennes' high-street shops, La Belle Juliette makes an enviable base from which to live out your Left Bank fantasies. Spend some time relaxing in the hammam and swimming pool, and of course, stretched out on the massage bed in one of the treatment rooms. Brush up on French history with a walk to Notre Dame and the Abbey of Saint-Germain des Prés on Rue Bonaparte. Stroll up and down the hotel’s own street, Rue du Cherche-Midi, exploring the boutiques and bistros. Leave your diet at the door and venture out to Pierre Hermé’s first pastry boutique; savour passion fruit macaroons and light-as-air millefeuilles by Saint Sulpice's gloriously over-the-top fountain. Cross the Jardin du Luxembourg's serene, palm-fringed parterres for a night at the Théâtre de l'Odéon. Nearby, Le Bon Marché's three scintillating floors are a shopper's delight, sure to relieve any Parisian existentialist malaise you might pick up on the way.

Local restaurants

Les Garçons (+33 (0)1 45 49 08 59), a five-minute walk from the hotel at number 79, has blackboard menus, a lively crowd of loyal diners, and a chef that waits on tables. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Saint-Germain (+33 (0)1 42 22 56 565) on Rue de Montalembert is known for its elegance, both in terms of decor and cuisine. Follow in the footsteps of Pablo Picasso, Jean-Paul Sartre and Ernest Hemingway, and visit the famous Les Deux Magots (+33 (0)1 45 48 55 25) at 6 place Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Order omelettes and café au lait, or apéritifs and nibbles. Poets and artists have always loved La Closerie des Lilas (+33 (0)1 40 51 34 50) at 171 boulevard du Montparnasse. Lenin used to play chess with Paul Fort on the terrace.

Local cafés

Pause at left-bank institution Brasserie Lipp (+33 (0)1 45 48 53 91) on Boulevard Saint-Germain for a quick crème, cognac or sole meunière (take a box of matches home with you as a souvenir.) Café de Flore (+33 (0)1 45 48 55 26) at 172 boulevard Saint-Germain has a cocktail buffet involving champagne and petits fours. That alone is enough to get us there, but there’s also the lure of French snacks (onion soup, croque-monsieur, oeufs in various guises) and lipstick-red leather booths.

+ Enlarge
Central Saint-Germain

La Belle Juliette

92, rue du Cherche Midi, 75006, Paris, France

La Belle Juliette is on a lively boutique-lined street in the 6th arrondissement, just a quick jaunt from Pierre Hermé and the shopping haven of the Bon Marché.

Planes

A 20-minute drive away, Paris Orly is the closest airport, with good domestic links to most of France. UK and international flights land at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, a 30-minute drive away. A taxi from Charles de Gaulle international airport to the centre costs about €50; buses and trains run regularly into town at a fraction of the cost. Air France runs regular airport shuttle buses to the nearby Montparnasse station, a 10-minute walk away.

Trains

Montparnasse station, a 10-minute walk away, has connections to cities such as Bordeaux, Toulouse and Rennes (www.sncf.co.uk). The Eurostar terminal at Gare du Nord is about 20 minutes away by car, or 25 minutes away on the metro. The hotel is well placed on the metro network, with stops on lines 4, 6, 10, 12 and 13 all within walking distance.

Automobiles

Paris is not a fun city to drive in. If you do decide to brave the traffic, the hotel can point you to parking spots close by.

Other

With separated bike lanes and quiet back streets, the Left Bank can be a pleasure to explore on two wheels. Hire a self-service bike from a Vélib station; there are several near the hotel. You'll need a credit card to leave the €150 deposit required.

Reviews

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La Belle Juliette Hotel - Paris - France

Anonymous review

by Carli Ratcliff , Food writer

I've always thought it unfair that the French have a reputation for being unfriendly to tourists. Thankfully the characters behind La Belle Juliette could double as ambassadors for France’s tourist board. Nowhere have we experienced service like this: from the €2,000-a-night digs overlooking the Eiffel Tower to quaint country inns with Michelin-starred chefs in the basement. Nothing is…
Read more

La Belle Juliette

Anonymous review by Carli Ratcliff, Food writer

I've always thought it unfair that the French have a reputation for being unfriendly to tourists. Thankfully the characters behind La Belle Juliette could double as ambassadors for France’s tourist board. Nowhere have we experienced service like this: from the €2,000-a-night digs overlooking the Eiffel Tower to quaint country inns with Michelin-starred chefs in the basement.

Nothing is a problem for beautiful Juliette’s staff. Every request, however large or trivial, is greeted with a smile and a ‘pas de problème’ attitude. From the teeny: ‘A taxi, madame?’ – which elicits a clean car with a charming driver who’s been fully briefed on our destination and the fee negotiated, to the big: the all-important late check-out. No unspeakably snide glances or terse replies or exorbitant quotes in exchange for the trouble. Here, as we discover, such an appeal is met with good grace and a cup of tea in the garden.

The ability of the staff to maintain such joie de vivre is especially surprising considering that we are staying during Paris Fashion Week when the drama, urgency and bizarre nature of requests are at their peak. Polar bear needed for a photoshoot? The concierge phones Deyrolle, a taxidermy store on nearby Rue du Bac, to beg a full-size white-fur stuffed beast for the afternoon.

Named after an 18th-century socialite, the hotel is delightfully feminine befitting of its muse, Juliet Récamier (yes, we have her to thank for the récamier sofa), born 4 December 1777. A voluptuous bohemian socialite, she nabbed herself a wealthy husband at just 15 (some say he was her father). Known for her artistic soirées, the Saint Germain des Pres hotel also hosts its own monthly musical gathering in her honour.

The hotel’s decor is dictated by Juliette’s loves and friendships, with each floor dedicated to a different chapter in her life. Designed by Anne Gelbard (who also creates fabrics for Dior, Balenciaga and Hermès), the lavender tones chosen for the lobby prove a welcome reprieve from Paris’ bustle. Little wonder the hotel is popular with radar-ducking editors and designers. Located on the Left Bank, on a quiet street of the bustling sixth arrondissement, the building is discretely squeezed between foreign embassies and antique shops. This is the Rive Gauche of your imagination, a world away from the heaving boulevards of sweaty tourists stamping their way up St Germain.

There may be no views, and you could almost be anywhere, but with that anonymity comes serenity. As lovely as a selection box of Ladurée macaroons, rooms are styled with sugar-sweet shades – strawberry and raspberry, cherry-red and violet; and deeper darts of blackcurrant, chocolate and liquorice. And the pretty cake stands aren’t just ornamental – afternoon tea is a daily ritual. Pastries are supplied by the biodynamic bakers of Boulanger de Monge and at breakfast they are accompanied by a pot of Tea Forté tea – parfait. When a bowl of exemplary muesli is placed in front of us, Mr Smith and I gasp. We haven’t seen a wholegrain for over a week, and the notion that anyone would choose bird feed over a basket of wonderfully bittersweet pains au chocolat and buttery croissants leaves us positively perplexed.

By night, this pastry parlour morphs into the hotel’s bar, Le Talma. A grand piano is tucked into one corner, a mean looking salumi slicer in another. Despite being located near some of Paris’ best suppliers of heart-stopping artisanal charcuterie and cheeses, it’s a wonder the hotel chooses to serve snacks with an Italian provenance. Regardless of this swerve from nationalism, the room feels utterly French. Bookshelves line the walls, the piano is put to good use with concerts, which enhances the salon feel, and the small fireplace insures it is cosy in winter.

Our autumn visit sees the sun out and the doors flung open onto a small, gravelly garden. Afternoons appear to be frequented by Left Bank ladies for a spot of tea; at cocktail hour in flock well-heeled chain-smoking Brazilian business people, and British fashion editors poring over the next day’s show schedule. The passing parade means Mr Smith and I can indulge in Paris’ favourite past time, people-watching, with a glass of wine in hand and a salumi plate to pick at.

When we eventually stumble upstairs the elevator door opens to a black void. Mr Smith is falling all over me; it is not the Vouvray, or the aphrodisiac effect of the most romantic city in the world: it is the fact that there is no light. We eventually grope our way to the hushed lilac tones of our boudoir where a well-sized bathroom is illuminated by long windows that let in the City of Light’s golden glow.

A Nespresso machine, quickly becoming ubiquitous in boutique hotels the world over, earns snaps from Mr Smith who is so far struggling with the Parisian coffee. (Australians are notoriously particular about their blends and brews, even in France.) A 24-inch iMac, standard in every room, is another beloved amenity, and it makes researching dinner spots and museum opening hours the most pleasant chore.

While la Belle Juliette may not have an award-winning chef in the basement, there is a spa offering massages and a small subterranean pool. After investigating the local bistros, salons de thé and Poliane, the revered bakery, I treat myself to a Claret Coquet foot therapy. I deserve my Parisian pampering: my hooves have copped a pounding from Mr Smith’s insistence we walk everywhere, and having had so many gastronomic temptations to investigate. Besides, we needed to clock up some serious kilometres a day just trying to counter all those calories. On that note, Mr Smith do order us another cup of la Belle Juliette’s special hot chocolate with some of their financier cakes would you?
 

The Guestbook

Reviews of La Belle Juliette from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The locations, the rooms and the staff. Nine out of 10.

Don’t expect

Very dark in the corridors; I would prefer a little less mood lighting.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The room and bathroom were beautiful and the location was great.

Don’t expect

The bar/restaurant facilities were being built so it would be unfair to criticise but we missed having them.

Rating: 7/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The decor was beautiful, and the location was perfect mix of quiet but on a great street with many restaurants and shops. The spa was a great addition and the service was impeccable. Ten out of ten!

Don’t expect

Our hairdryer outlet blew; the TV/computer screen flashed all night in both our room and our friend's.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We stayed in Room 105 for our anniversary, and it was lovely. We were at the other end of the hotel to the building work so we weren't bothered by any noise. The staff was extremely polite, friendly and  helpful. The honesty bar was novel but rather nice we had the place to ourselves the two nights we came back after eating out. Similarly after a day in the rain we came back had the cute little pool and steam room all to ourselves – lovely! The staff told us all about the new restaurant, bar, garden, etc, that are in the process of being built – these will make a fantastic addition to the hotel, and we will be back next year to see the changes! It's really easy walk to all the shops so it's a great location, too.

Don’t expect

It might be nice to have a minibar in the room.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on none

We loved

The staff and service were excellent, the rooms were beautifully decorated and the champagne was a nice touch.

Don’t expect

Tea and coffee-making facilities could be provided in rooms.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the friendless of the staff – they couldn't do enough for us!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the fantastic location, amazing interior design and very friendly staff.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is a beautiful hotel on a quintessentially Parisian street within easy strolling distance of the shops, cafés and hustle and bustle of St Germain, and a scenic walk away from the major Paris sites. There's no need to sample the expensive-sounding breakfast as local options abound. Ongoing building works next door sounded noisy on arrival but weren't a problem in practice as they finished by 4pm and didn't start early on a Saturday and we were out all day.

Rating: 8/10 stars

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The lounge/reception/bar area is cool. The decor throughout is tasteful and unusual, and the staff were very helpful.

Don’t expect

Our room was a little dark, which is fine at night but less attractive during the day. There is significant building work going on in the street so the façade is not as attractive right now as it will be.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the friendly staff, beautiful room, great bathroom, great breakfast and fantastic decor.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Lovely hotel in an excellent situation. The staff was very helpful and charming.

Don’t expect

We thought breakfast bar prices were expensive. There is building work next door that stopped our taxi getting close to the front door but it doesn't intrude otherwise.

Rating: 9/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel looked amazing and perfect was perfect for a romantic getaway. We really enjoyed exploring the local area and the shops and cafés on Rue de Cherche-Midi are great, as is the local area. The hotel staff were very friendly and were happy to help us with any requests and reservations, etc.

Don’t expect

Only a small gripe but the complimentary bottle of water was not replenished each day during our five-night stay.

Rating: 9/10 stars