Pavillon des Lettres
Voltaire once wrote, “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” Paris’s 2010-opened Pavillon des Lettres takes this spirit to heart, and also pays homage to Voltaire himself, along with 25 other writers who were the inspiration for this chic hotel on a quiet street in the Eighth Arrondissement. Opened by the owners of the nearby Pavillon de la Reine, the 26 sleek guest rooms each channel an international author—from Hans Christian Andersen to Émile Zola—with their prose decorating the walls and their oeuvres on the shelves. Didier Benderli, the protégé of French architect Jacques Garcia, has imbued the hotel with a kind of masculine sexiness (dark velvet furnishings; stone floors). Accommodations are the first in France to have dedicated iPads, each with daily installments of Le Figaro news and a service app created just for the hotel. Thanks to the property’s location, on a little corner near the Champs-Élysées and the Faubourg St.-Honoré, bathrooms are ablaze with natural light. The cozy library, stocked with the works of the hotel’s muses, is the ideal spot for a relaxing afternoon tea. Or if you’re more inclined to follow the lead of some of the more decadent scribes—Proust, Baudelaire—the diminutive bar remains open until 2 a.m.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.