Trocadero Dokhan's, Paris
Where is it? Trocadero Dokhan's is tucked around a corner from the buzzing Trocadero Square, with its two lively upmarket cafes, which spill onto the street. From its vantage point in a narrow, quiet street in the desirable 16th arrondissement, the Eiffel Tower can be spotted.
Parisian hotel rooms are usually 'compact': the hotel is small, or 'boutique', to use today's preferred term. It's a converted private town house but the rooms are airy and spacious. Tall ceilings and a light interior palette help give a sense of space. The four suites at the top of the building offer the most comfort and The Eiffel duplex suite is like a stylish apartment, with a large bathtub under a skylight window.
What about the ambience? The hotel, built in 1910, is an unusual amalgam of period influences. The facade features ornate 19th-century-style wrought-iron balconies and tastefully carved stonework. For the inside, French interior-design maestro Frederic Mechiche decided on an 18th-century English flavour, which has resulted in a feeling of discreet luxury rather than opulence. Canopied beds are paired with fabric-covered walls. Wedgwood-style porcelain, marbled walls, Regency-striped chairs, wooden floors, gorgeous paintings, antiques and engravings abound. A tiny lift has been decked out like a vintage steamer trunk while the Ming Suite, with its domed ceiling, is home to an interior that strays from neo-classical European into Chinoiserie.
Anything else we should know? The wood-panelled breakfast room (right), whose 18th-century walls were salvaged from a grand Parisian house, is transformed into a candle-lit champagne bar every evening. At the imaginatively named 'Bar', drinks can be taken around a log fire in winter or in an adjoining courtyard garden in summer. A monthly musique et champagne soiree consists of tasteful live music, a champagne tasting menu and canapes, plus the attentions of representatives of a selected vineyard, who wander the floor, mixing with the consumers. A guaranteed 75 champagne varieties are always available. The Grand Salon lounge is an ideal spot in which to enjoy a tipple while perusing international newspapers and magazines in the company of original engravings by, among others, Picasso and Matisse. Meanwhile, back in the rooms, broadband internet access awaits; laptop computers are available at reception for those travelling without. Pampering needs are comfortably met by Roger & Gallet toiletries.
What's the bottom line? Rooms cost from Euro235 (HK$2,400) a night. Trocadero Dokhan's is at 117 Rue Lauriston, Paris, tel: 33 1 5365 6699; www.dokhans.com.