Not at all what you’d expect of this town, in terms of style and design — the Bel Ami is all simple modernity, rather than fussy muséification, and the palette leans to the muted and earthy, almost Nordic, avoiding the rich crimsons and pinks on display in Parisian grand hotels. This sort of elegant simplicity is no accident — it’s an integral part of the signature style of the Franco-Chinese hotelier Grace Leo-Andrieu, who directed the conversion of this one-time print works into one of Paris’s first contemporary-styled boutique hotels.
Stylish and functional comfort is the philosophy, and the execution is just about pitch-perfect. Guest rooms are spare and minimal, designed to maximize contrast with the bustle of Parisian street life, and lull guests into tranquility with diffused lighting and a palette of caramel browns and soft greens and blues.
A suitably chic lobby lounge serves cocktails, and the Bel-Ami Cafe serves a buffet breakfast in a bright and sunny environment styled after a family kitchen. There’s no restaurant, and little in the way of luxury-hotel extravagance; the Bel Ami is meant to be more pied à terre than pleasure palace, an entryway into the Saint Germain-des-Prés district rather than an urban hideout. You’re welcome to lounge about all day, but most visitors are here to do the shops and galleries of the surrounding neighborhood, or at least daydream about writing that Great Expat Novel over coffee at the Deux Magots.
7-11 Rue St. Benoît, Paris