Through a small passage off the north arcade of the Place des Vosges, sits the “Pavilion of the Queen” (Pavillon De La Reine), a place where you can lodge in the style of aristocrats of old, and walk in their footsteps through its historic arcades.
The Place des Vosges is always on our itinerary when visiting Paris. Usually we pick up some wine, cheese and bread, sit on the grass for a few hours enjoying the sun and architecture. Little did we know that hidden in plain sight just off the arcade is a gem of a hotel. In our opinion, this is one of the most desirable places to hang out in Paris. So we were thrilled for the opportunity to stay for a few days at the discreetly situated Hotel Pavillon de La Reine, on this beautiful and historic square.
Pavillon de la Reine, a Quiet Respite off the Busy Place des Vosges
Place des Vosges dates back to the 17th century and is the city’s oldest planned square. It really is a square, 140 meters x 140 meters, and situated between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements.
Henry IV commissioned the square sometime between 1605 and 1612 with a new idea in mind: he would have all the apartment facades constructed uniformly, with red brick and white stone, over vaulted arcades on square pillars. Two pavilions rise higher than the rest, marking the access points to the square.
Though these more prominent apartments are designated as Pavilions of the King and of the Queen, no royal ever lived on the Place des Vosges. However, this development started a building spree in Paris, spurring on the building of ever more impressive accommodations for aristocratic families around Paris.
Over the centuries many famous people lived on the square including Victor Hugo, whose former house is now the museum at No 6, infamous Cardinal Richelieu who lived at No 21, and Madame de Sevigny who lived at No 1. Today you can join the famous and infamous of the past, when you stay at No 28, The Pavillon de la Reine.
The hotel got its name from Queen Anne of Austria who once stayed in the apartments in front of the hotel looking onto the Place des Vosges.
What we particularly appreciated about The Pavillon de la Reine was its comfortable timelessness. We can thank architect Didier Benderli for the current interior, completed in the mid ’90s. By staying with a classic style rather than the trendy “modern” boutique hotel style of the time, the The Pavillon de la Reine has aged as well as the Place des Vosges itself. The use of elegant fabrics and wall coverings, mixed with both antiques and occasional modern paintings, make you feel very much at home—if your home happens to be on one of the most beautiful squares in Paris.
The lobby, two lounges and an outdoor courtyard are the hub of activity in the hotel. The lobby, set between the two dining/lounge spaces, is a classic columned space, a haven of tranquility from the busy streets of the city. In the morning, we recommend you take advantage of the hotel breakfast in these rooms. Classic Parisian fare as well as international options are available. Breakfast, as they say, “is the most important meal of the day”.
In the evening we enjoyed the “honesty” bar just off the lobby. Beverages are available on a help-your-self basis. Great idea. After our daily excursions, a drink, a book from the library and a plush chair were just the thing.
The staff is most helpful arranging reservations in local restaurants, organizing transport, and sharing recommendations of what to do and where to go. Of course, going anywhere from the hotel is easy because you are right in the middle of Paris. Should you need some additional exercise, a spa and exercise room are available.
We had a delightful stay at The Pavillon de la Reine and will return for sure.