Case in point, the hidden-in-plain-sight Hotel Beauchamps, a boutique 89-room property that opened back in March 2010 just a block from the bustle of the Champs-Elysées and within spitting distance of the Hotel Le Bristol.
Taking inspiration from the Old World antiques dealers and art galleries in the surrounding arrondisement, the hotel is conceived as the imaginary home of a globetrotting arts collector with an eye-catching mash-up of décor styles that span the globe and the decades of the 20th century—for instance, the lobby is a mix of Mondrian’s sharp-lined minimalism and bright slashes of color with the Art Deco style of the 1930’s Far East…with some wall-mounted African-inspired sculptures thrown in.
Guests can hang out in the cozy library alcove around a fireplace, surrounded by rosewood bookcases and mirrors, or get some work done at the internet-connected computer or in the other small seating areas of the eclectically decorated lobby, with world art knickknacks adorning most surfaces, and brightly painted Modernist-style furniture arranged in convivial groupings throughout.
Upstairs, the guest rooms and suites are a little more uniform in style with earthy palettes of taupe and earth shades with white-sheeted beds and fabric reproductions of a Victor Hugo drawing covering a wall in most. All bedrooms have views either onto rue de Ponthieu or rue du Colisée as well as LCT flat-screen TV’s, air-conditioning (must in summertime Paris) and, a huge money-saver in France, free WiFi.
The Privilege Room I stayed in had a queen-size bed, a loveseat and coffee table, a cedar-wood work desk and a spacious (by Paris standards) bathroom separated from the main room by a sliding glass door, and with a shower-tub combo and a single vanity lit both overhead and by a red-tinged light from behind the mirror.
The hotel also has a restaurant called Velvet overseen by Nice-born chef Alain Parodi, with a menu drawing upon the flavors of the South of France, though I just had the modest buffet breakfast included in the room rate.
Speaking of rates, what sets this hotel apart from the rest in Paris, and most dramatically from others in its tony neighborhood is that, despite the high level of service and the general size and high style of the rooms, rates in July start at just 170 euros ($212) a night, and 150 euros ($187) a night in August.
There are also a couple of ongoing packages including one titled “Meet with Parisians” that includes a 1.5-hour conversation course (starting at 250 euros for a single), the “Rendez-vous Oenologie Alain Ducasse” package with a two-hour wine-tasting class on Tuesday or Thursday evenings (from 230 euros for a single) and the “French Fashion, Fragrance and Fun” package that pairs guests with a fashionista guide to take them around some of Paris’s exclusive boutiques (available Tuesday-Friday starting at 225 euros for singles).
Full disclosure: Eric Rosen was a guest of the Hotel Beauchamps for one night, but all opinions expressed are entirely his own.