Small and opulent (when Oscar Wilde died here in 1900, legend has it that his final words were, “I am dying beyond my means”), L’Hôtel sports 20 rooms, each with a different theme—leopard, Italian Baroque, Japanese pagoda—but all tastefully over-the-top. Expect red brocade walls, floor-length silk draperies, oversize tassels, and ornate patterns covering every surface. Once the site of Queen Margot’s Pavillion d’Amour, the current 18th-century structure has a stunning spiral staircase topped with a domed skylight and cozy niches near the bar, making this one of the Left Bank’s most romantic hideaways and an A-list destination for an aperitif, dinner, or tryst.
Tip: Upon check-in, book a time slot for the private two-person pool and steam bath in the hotel’s grotto-like Gallo-Roman cellar.
Room to Book: The Apartment, for its private terrace; for a tariff that’s less astronomical, ask for one of the smaller Bijoux rooms, which still offer all of the hotel’s characteristic opulence.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.