JC Stays: Pavillon de la Reine, Paris

This stylish spot is perfect for exploring the old Jewish quarter


While Paris is full of elegant hotels, they are thin on the ground in the old Jewish quarter of the Marais. Which makes Pavillon de la Reine a rare gem in the city of light.

This family-owned member of Small Luxury Hotels is the only five-star on the famous Place des Vosges, not only the glory of the Marais itself but, with its elegant 17th century facades and colonnades, one of the loveliest squares in Paris.

Built by Henri IV, it was the first great residential square in Europe, an aristocratic playground until the Revolution. Then newly emancipated Jews moved in as the 19th century dawned and have retained a presence through the neighbourhood’s decline and regentrification.

Today, the Marais is once again a chic place to live as well as dine and shop. As a prime visitor draw the Place des Vosges itself, lined with cafes, restaurants and galleries, can get packed by day and rowdy by night - which is where Pavillon de la Reine comes into its own.

A gracious old house with exquisite gardens, it’s set back from the Place behind a stone archway, providing a quiet refuge from the teeming tourist masses.

Some of the 56 bedrooms are small, squeezed into eaves beneath beamed ceilings but the eye-catching décor, including a bold mix of patterns, compensates for the muted light.

The clever decorators who gave the hotel its multi-million Euro refurb a few years ago have managed to preserve a sense of history undisturbed by large plasma screens, and there are handsome new suites for the deep-pocketed.

Perhaps the best thing about the hotel is the beautiful lounges off the lobby, in which an excellent breakfast, including fine French cheese and preserves, is laid out each morning.

There is also an honesty bar in which to relax with a digestif after a night out, while a new restaurant opens in September. In the basement is a Codage spa with gym, Jacuzzi, hammam and two treatment rooms.

With so much to discover in the neighbourhood, the hotel’s complimentary bikes help guests sample as many of its treasures as possible.

Elegant townhouses beckon with world-class collections at the Museum of Jewish Art and History, the Picasso Museum and the Carnavalet, telling the history of Paris’s most seminal centuries.

It’s also possible to visit the apartment on the Place des Vosges where Victor Hugo lived and wrote Les Miserables.

The rue des Francs Bourgeois, which runs all the way from the Place des Vosges to the Pompidou Centre, is the main thoroughfare of the Marais so a stroll from one end to the other is a must.

And of specific Jewish interest is the tiny Art Nouveau synagogue at 10 rue Pavee by Hector Guimard, famous for his wrought iron Paris Metro entrances, and the rue des Rosiers, still home to Jewish grocers.

While many of the old kosher provisioners have given way to fashion boutiques, there are some lively hummus joints which become a gathering place on Friday afternoons.


Like this? Sign up for more with our JC Life newsletter, coming soon

From fabulous recipes, to parenting tips;  travel and West End entertainment; insightful interviews and much more: there’s more to  the JC than news

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive