Courtney Whitaker finds there are many reasons to enjoy a stay at the Hotel Bastille Boutet MGallery by Sofitel, Paris.


Slightly east, in the Bastille district of Paris. A very easy Metro ride from the centre of the city, and close to the very popular Marais district.

Check-in experience: Friendly and efficient. We arrived a few hours early and our room was already organised for us.

History: The Maison Boutet building was built in 1926 by Achille Champy to house exotic wood supplier Vichy, and was later used for the manufacture of Swiss chocolates from 1944-1983. In 2015, the nearby Ecole Boulle (school for fine arts) assisted in renovating the building into the stunning hotel. Every detail of the hotel is a tribute to its past, from the chocolate box wallpaper in the lifts, to the old black-and-white photos of woodworking tools on the walls.


Room: Our large Deluxe room had a king-size bed, generous 55-inch flat screen TV, desk, Nespresso machine, free wi-fi, air conditioning and a JBL docking station with Bluetooth and in-built surround sound. The universal plug adapter was a thoughtful touch.

Bathroom: Brilliant white subway-tiled walls and clever full-length mirrors on either side of the door made for a very functional bathroom. Attention to detail was evident in the backlit shaving mirror, massive push-button rain shower with detachable showerhead, big fluffy towels, and monogrammed bathrobes. In-built bathroom speakers allow you to sing in the shower without drowning your iPhone.

Toiletries: Lovely citrus-scented products by Anne Semonin Paris.

Facilities: The downstairs bar offers a selection of cocktails and bar snacks. There is even a dedicated Boutet hot chocolate menu. The building's lower level houses an indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna and a spa offering hammam, and signature treatments using products from Decleor Paris. The "Inspired by Her" service provides custom-made bathrobes for women, and hair straighteners and curlers are available on request.

The bed: If that big, bad glorious bed had fitted into my suitcase, I would have taken it with me. Soft, king-size, utterly perfect.

What's so good about this place: Aside from the beds, the attention to detail was wonderful. The hotel embodies old-time industrial elegance, and the designers have carefully chosen soft leather furnishings and handmade wooden furniture to add to the ambience. The hotel also offers guests a "Memorable Moment": the opportunity to travel back in time and learn about the art of woodworking, and the history of the Boutet building.

Food & drinks: Breakfast was served downstairs near reception, with a choice of eating inside or on one of two outdoor terraces. The buffet had all the usual suspects; eggs, bacon, pancakes, as well as an extensive selection of gluten-free products and organic detox juices. The sweet-toothed will love that staff deliver chocolates to guests' rooms at 8pm every evening.

What's in the neighbourhood: Walk to see the July Column up close in the historic Place de la Bastille, discover the streets of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine or take a Metro line into the centre of Paris for shopping.


Price: Rooms start at $305 per night.

Noise: None. The hotel was perfectly quiet, as was the neighbourhood.

Would I stay here again? Oui, bien sur!