There is absolutely no shortage of hotels in Paris, from lavish palaces to luxury hostels and just about everything in between, from Saint-Germain to Belleville
Hospitality is highly competitive in Paris and it can often be difficult to find the most suitable option for your own set of needs.
Enter Hotel Opéra Richepanse, a recently-renovated 4* property with almost 400 years of history in the heart of one of the city’s’ most scenic neighbourhoods — and now my favourite hotel in Paris.
A first impression never lies. And Hotel Opéra Richepanse doesn’t contradict that with its stunning and intimate lobby, tastefully decorated with velvet furniture and lush carpets. Here, I spend a leisurely pause reading up about the long history of the building I’m in, which used to be the Filles de la Conception convent back in the 17th century and belonged to parliamentary nobleman Théodore de Nesmond. Nothing remains from this era aside from the atmospheric vaulted basement, which is now the hotel’s breakfast room. I also learn that none other than Russian composer Piotr Tchaïkovski was a regular guest in the late 1800s and wrote several letters to his family gushing about Hotel Richepanse’s (the original name) characteristics, emphasising on how he was looking forward to staying here once more. I truly am in awe.
Paris prides itself on its romantic heritage and long-lasting history, but in reality, very few hotels have successfully accomplished the mission of extending modern comforts while tastefully acknowledging the city’s heritage — with a majority of hoteliers too often opting for practicality over personality, unaware that they are complementary and not incompatible opposites — something that, clearly, Hotel Opéra Richepanse has skillfully avoided.
This feeling of enchantment carries on into my suite on the second floor, where I am pleased to discover an equally alluring setting.
I was assigned a Triple Room Deluxe with views of La Madeleine church (who was, unfortunately, undergoing refurbishment, which explains the lack of photographic evidence). At 27 square metres, this is an exceptionally spacious room even by North American standards — and the size is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the awesomeness of this room is concerned. The decor alone, with a contemporary colour palette and attractively appointed furniture, was a winner in my book.
Amongst the best amenities, let me mention the Nespresso coffee machine, the 55″ flat screen TV with gazillions of channels, an impossibly fluffy bathrobe and French doors opening onto the streets for a supremely, quintessentially Parisian experience.
The room also featured a king-size bed, a comfortable couch, ample storage space and a dazzling gold bathroom equipped with indulgent Annick Goutal toiletries.
The devil truly is in the details in hospitality and Hotel Opéra Richepanse understood that a long time ago by adding numerous USB and power outlets throughout the room, which allowed me to stay fully charged and connected 24 hours a day thanks to the lightning-fast WiFi, something rather unusual in the world of hotels. It truly was a treat not to have to worry about uploading photos to social media and emailing assignments to my editors, something I have unfortunately become accustomed to in hotels.
But not at Richepanse.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, you don’t even need to get out of the bed to close the lights or turn up the air conditioning: there’s a sleek tablet right next to your bed for that very purpose. Bliss!
Even if it was on the other side of Paris, Hotel Opéra Richepanse would still be a worthwhile trek. But, fortunately for time-pressed travellers, it is conveniently wedged between some of Paris’ most iconic landmarks, with La Madeleine church on one side and Faubourg Saint-Honoré on the other, and with Les Tuileries and the Louvre, Opéra Garnier, les Champs-Élysées and Galeries Lafayette within spitting distance.
Paris is indeed a very walkable city and it was quite delightful to be able to lazily stroll back towards the hotel after dinner and not have to worry about riding the metro. Not that it would’ve been complex, as Madeleine metro station (lines 8, 12 and 14) and Concorde 1, 8 and 12) are really quite close. And, lastly, the over packer in me was delighted to learn that the hotel is just 8 minutes away from the RoissyBus airport shuttle stop as I had no desire to either take my admittedly cumbersome suitcase up and down the metro stairs nor pay an expensive taxi. Sincerely, the hotel’s location couldn’t be better.
See also: Romantic Paris: Stay in Luxury