L’Hotel Paris Hotel Review

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

If this spectacular green wallpaper with gilded Oriental peacocks could speak it would protest, “Not guilty.” At the aptly named boutique Paris hotel, L’Hotel the wallpaper in a certain famous suite was once suspected of homicide.

Well, sort of.

Why is L’Hotel famous?

L'Hôtel Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, the great Irish poet, playwright and conversationalist passed away in this Left Bank hotel in 1900 and right until the end couldn’t resist a quip.

A famous quote and his last words reportedly were, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death: either it goes or I do.”

Ever since, L’Hotel guests have viewed their wallpaper with curiosity if not extreme caution, and nowhere more so than in the Oscar Wilde Suite.

It’s the perfect hotel to base yourself if you’re planning 3 days in Paris exploring famous French landmarks, or to go on a leisurely walking tour in Paris

L'Hotel, Paris hotel review

Oscar’s eponymous rooms might be L’Hotel’s star turn but there is far more to the story of this fine St-Germain-des-Prés luxury escape than one celeb send-off.


What about the bedrooms in L’Hotel?

With just 20 bedrooms, L’Hotel, built in 1828, is the smallest five-star hotel in Paris.

Those rooms are lavish yet uncluttered recreations of the Victorian era (plus television, WiFi, et al) but the décor never dips to bordello-esque faux Victoriana.

luxury hotel in Saint Germain des Prés

My room, 35 metres square and named for femme fatale and alleged spy Mata Hari, has French windows (with blackout curtains), antique desk, a discrete chandelier, wine-dark walls and a semi-canopied bed, but the piece de resistance is the bathroom — specifically, the bath-tub.

Deep and long, elevated and curtained, it suggests a glorious crypt in which one could happily soak for a well-scrubbed eternity.

Also read: 15 Incredible Things To Do In Nice

Who else has stayed in L’Hotel?

The beautiful Oscar Wilde suite

The circular, six-storey hotel, featuring a central light well with spiral stairway, boasts plenty of creative cred beyond poor Wilde’s sojourn and swan song.

Like Oscar, the great Argentine scribe, Jorge Luis Borges, a frequent visitor between 1977 and 1984, is also honored with a commemorative plaque on the street-front façade.

The guest register carries the scrawls of Dali, Sinatra, Grace of Monaco, Taylor and Burton, and Jim Morrison, among other notables.

L'Hotel, Paris hotel Accommodation

Where is L’Hotel?

L’Hotel sits unobtrusively amid private art galleries on Rue Des Beaux Artes, a five-minute stroll from the Seine.

Five minutes in the opposite direction up Rue Bonaparte you come to Rue Guillaume Apollinaire and Place Sartre-Beauvoir with its celebrated Café Les Deux Magots, the former hangout of namesakes Jean-Paul and Simone, plus Hemingway, Camus, Brecht, Joyce and Baldwin.

Welcome to St-Germain-des-Prés, preferred turf of demised scribes.

Le Bar de L'Hotel in Paris

What else should I know about L’Hotel?

L’Hotel’s celebrated ground floor eatery (named, naturally, Le Restaurant?), is justifiably billed as one of the most romantic and seductive in Paris and amid its plush seating, columns and silk-draped walls, you might expect Oscar’s glamorous pals like Lily Langtree or Sarah Bernhardt to make a swirling entrance.

If not there, then surely sipping absinthe in the tiny alcove bar — called Le Bar, of course — or even drifting diaphanously in L’Hotel’s beautiful, blue-tiled, subterranean pool, The Hammam.

Cool Stuff in Paris

Room 16 L’Hotel

Meanwhile back in Room 16, the Oscar Wilde Suite (which is not generally open for inspection) has several of his still unpaid bills framed on the wall, plus the manager’s letter of demand.

As Wilde quipped in this famous quote “I am dying as I have lived — beyond my means.”

But the truth must out.

The bed, a grand double, is not the one on which Oscar set sail for the great salon beyond.

His actual cot, I am told, was an austere single. But what of the room’s sumptuous albeit infamous wallpaper?

The motif peacocks that strut upon its silken stage refuse to talk.

History, however, reveals that the room has been re-decorated many times in the 117 years since the poet posted his last epigram.

Not only may the discrete peacocks rightly insist they saw nothing — they weren’t even there, Your Honour.

l'hotel paris oscar wilde

In fact, this first-floor suite was not even Wilde’s room. His humble digs were on the ground floor and demolished long ago, to boot.

Thus: wallpaper acquitted.

Case dismissed.

Even so, like its brilliant former resident, L’Hotel remains intriguing, even inspiring.

L’Hotel, 13 Rue Des Beaux Artes, Paris, is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

More: Call 1800 219 010

L'hotel Parks LONG PINS

Plan Your Trip

best car rental

Rent A Car – Find the best car rental rates at Discover Cars. They compare car hire companies to provide you with the best deal right now.

Find A Hotel – If you’re curious about this article and are looking for somewhere to stay, take a look at these amazing hotels.

Previous articleMacao Light Festival 2017 – A Fairyland of Lights
Next articleScoot Airline – Flight Review Singapore to Sydney
John Borthwick
A travel writer is a home body who’s almost never home. I’ve been writing and photographing distant places for three decades and then bolting back to Sydney to render them down to magazine and newspaper articles, and occasional books. The latter include the travel collections, Summer In Siam, Chasing Gauguin's Ghost and The Circumference of the Knowable World. It all started with a hitch-hiking trip to Coolangatta in my teens and hasn’t ended yet. In between I’ve managed to fit in, among other diversions, a PhD in travel literature and a swim at the North Pole. Awards I've won include a PATA Gold Award for best destination journalism and a Friend of Thailand gong, plus many Australian Society of Travel Writers’ awards for writing and photography. My feature stories appear regularly in The Weekend Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, The West Australian and colour magazines.