Courtney Whitaker stays at the renovated Hotel Lutetia, on the Rive Gauche, Paris.
: The Hotel Lutetia sits at a very chic address on Boulevard Raspail in Saint-Germain-de-Pres, in the 6th arrondissement, and is one of the grandest hotels on the Left Bank. It is across the road from the Sevres-Babylone metro station.
Check-in experience : We are warmly welcomed into the stunning marble reception area by Emma, who shows us to our room, while our bags are whisked upstairs by Gregory. The hotel is beautifully scented, immaculate and immediately calming after walking in off the busy street.
The room : A Junior Suite with Balcony. His and hers wardrobes line both sides of the entry and lead to the large bathroom. The lounge and bedroom are adjoined and have a flat-screen television (which can be cleverly detached from the wall and moved into the desired position), a luxurious bed, a couch, a desk and hidden bar area with Nespresso machine. French doors open to a balcony overlooking the Boulevard Raspail and a lovely view of the park across the road. The decor is in keeping with the era of the hotel with Art Deco touches, including a ceiling recess, and beautiful parquet floors. An iPad and several other panels control the lights and curtains, meaning you can customise the space and light to your liking from anywhere in the suite.
The bed : Giant, with fluffy pillows and lush linen.
What's in the neighbourhood : A wonderful selection of art, scenery and shopping. The famous Bon Marche luxury shopping mall is across the road, while the St-Germain area is ideal for cafe-sitting and people-watching. Nearby you'll find the Musee d'Orsay, the Latin Quarter and the Luxembourg gardens. The Eiffel Tower also sits on this side of the Seine.
Food and drink: There is plenty to choose from both within the hotel and in the surrounding areas. The hotel has the Brasserie Lutetia (with a 3 Michelin-starred chef), Le Saint Germain Restaurant, L'Orangerie (where breakfast happens: picture fresh pastries, fruit and eggs topped with caviar), while the stunning ground-floor Bar Josephine is a great spot to sip a cocktail.
Entertainment : The hotel hosts a live jazz evening once a week and music and dining events during summer on the outdoor patios.
Exercise : As well as a 17m heated pool in the basement, there is also an extremely well-equipped gym. Walking the streets is also a must in Paris — and an excellent calorie-burner.
Bathroom : Marble, marble and more marble.
This bathroom feels extremely luxe thanks to all of the marble, including an enormous marble bathtub and walk-in shower with brass fittings and a seat. The main bathroom mirror has a built-in television so you can catch up on the news while drying your hair with the amazing Dyson SuperSonic hairdryer (yes, ladies, these live up to the hype).
There is every piece of kit you will ever need in this bathroom, including a set of electronic scales, in case you feel you have been overindulging.
: Eau d'Orange Verte, by Hermes Paris. Needless to say we smelled incredible.
Noise : Super-quiet. Double-glazed doors and windows ensure you can shut yourself off from the world easily, though I enjoyed flinging open the balcony doors and listening to the buzz from the street.
Contact : hotellutetia.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; 45 Boulevard Raspail, Saint-Germain-de-Pres, Paris.
Perfect for : The ideal spot to base yourself while exploring the Rive Gauche. Perfect for honeymooners, art lovers, history buffs, and of course, shopaholics.
Would I return? Bien sur.