luxe - Le Placide, Paris
Written by Heather Stimmler-Hall
Le Placide is the perfect Parisian pied-à-terre for discerning clients who want to experience the discreet luxury, intellectual atmosphere, and historic charm of the St-Germain-des-Prés district. With just 11 rooms, this intimate boutique hotel ensures every guest receives personalised attention.
Located in a 19th-century townhouse a few steps from the chic Bon Marché department store, Le Placide features a contemporary yet cosy lobby lounge inspired by the 1960s St-Germain spirit. Custom designed by Philippe Starck collaborator Bruno Borrione, the rosewood wall panelling, brushed concrete floors, and chrome tables are softened by Missoni-striped cushions, milk chocolate velour banquettes, fresh flowers, and a crackling fire.
Rooms have a fresh, spacious feel with double-exposure windows, whimsical Cole & Son wallpaper, and white Moroccan leather headboards and benches. Natural light also fills the white marble bathrooms, separated from the room by a glass wall and velvet privacy curtain. Each floor features a different accent colour to suit your mood – red, black and white, taupe, pale green, violet or ochre – while luxurious down comforters, Molton Brown toiletries, 24-hour room service, and free Wi-Fi are standard for all rooms. The two rooms per floor can be privatised for families, while the top-floor Exclusive room has its own private balcony with a table for two overlooking the city.
The historic Bon Marché department store – and its gourmet supermarket Le Grand Epicérie – are at the heart of one of the city’s finest shopping districts. The surrounding streets are home to many designer clothing boutiques, upscale pastry and chocolate shops, chic home décor and art galleries, and even a few hidden outlet stores for bargain hunters. And ever since Hermès opened its first Left Bank location around the corner in December, luxury addicts accustomed to the Right Bank ‘bling’ now have one more reason to cross the Seine.
Hotel Le Placide
Medical Secrets of Paris
Some of the city’s most fascinating museums are often ignored by the masses. The Museum of Medical History (Musée de l’Histoire de la Médecine, 12 rue de l’Ecole de Médecine, Metro Odéon), located within the 18th-century buildings of the University René Descartes Medical School, features the oldest collection of surgical instruments and medical models in Europe, displayed in a beautifully wood-panelled gallery. The small Pasteur Museum (Musée Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, Metro Pasteur) is located in the former home of the scientist Louis Pasteur, who is buried in a stunning crypt decorated with mosaic-tiled depictions of his discoveries, including the rabies vaccination and pasteurisation.