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A Perfect Perch in Paris

 

Travelers going to Paris before, during, or after the Paris Olympics, should consider staying at the 4-star Padam Hotel, a charming and elegant boutique property ideally situated in Paris’ Golden Triangle. Located in the swanky 16th arrondisement, the Padam Hotel is a short stroll to the Eiffel Tower and an even shorter stroll to the renowned Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triumph, and the George V metro station.

Padam is located on a quiet side street – rue Jean Giraudoux – so staying at the six-story, red-brick Haussmanian-style hotel emits the sensation of staying in a lovely Parisian apartment with all the benefits of a hotel. And in five minutes, guests can easily get anywhere they need or want to go. Even for rooms facing the street, slumber is not disturbed by traffic or the ubiquitous Parisian sirens.

Opened last March following renovations and redesign by the chiefs of chic at Paris’ Artefak, French cabaret music lovers will appreciate that Padam Hotel is named with a nod to France’s greatest popular singer Édith Piaf, who once crooned, “Padam, Padam.”

Naturally in the days leading up to the Olympics, Paris looks a bit different as bleachers surround Place de la Concord, Hôtel de Ville, and other notable locales. However, there are some wonderful additions too. Take a walk to the grounds of l’Assemblée National and see the glorious installation by sculptor Laurent Perbos reflecting a metamorphosis of Venus de Milo with six sport disciplines – tennis, surfing, archery, basketball, boxing, and pole vaulting – all in in neon colors.

For all manner of retail therapy, in addition to the Champs-Élysées, the Padam Hotel is also close to Emporio Armani, Zegna, Hermès, Canali, Bulgari, and Christophe to name drop a few. And of course, all the shops on Avenue Montaigne including Tiffany and the Dior Gallery. For the latter, you will want to purchase advance tickets as otherwise the wait can be two hours even on a weekday. (Dior Gallery will be closed May 17-29 to rotate the collection.)

Comfort at Padam is Pervasive

Padam’s lobby reminded me of a well-off uncle’s large living room with comfortable furnishings facing an inviting travertine fireplace, stylish art, and all manner of interesting books on famous artists, art, and design. There were even actual newspapers for reading pleasure, including The NY Times. Several tables and chairs outside graced the large windows to enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine.

Padam Hotel has a small gym with a spinning bike, some free weights, yoga mats, and a punching bag. A private coach can be reserved. After a good work-out, guests can reserve Padam’s beautiful, black mosaic-tiled Hammam for private use.

Superior and Deluxe rooms are quite spacious by Parisian standards with high ceilings and blond hardwood floors. There is a total of 34 rooms including three suites. My Deluxe room had a Juliet balcony and a fantastic king-sized bed with dreamy high-count cotton sheets for perfect slumber. The modern fabric headboard had inserted nightlights making reading in bed a pleasure. There was also a small desk, several USB ports, and easily accessible electrical outlets, as well as a 42-inch flatscreen television. As an admitted caffeine addict, I was thrilled that the minibar had an Illy espresso machine and environmentally friendly complimentary glass bottles of both still and sparkling water. A mini-fridge and an eye-level safe completed the living area.

The bathroom, also spacious by Parisian standards, had dramatically gorgeous black, gray, and gold-veined marble walls throughout, oversized light travertine floor tiles, wall-mounted make-up mirror, a walk-in shower with both a 12-inch rain shower and a European showerhead, towel warmer, terry cloth robes, and a small granite vanity with Anna Semonim products. A handful of the rooms have bathtubs and full balconies where guests can enjoy morning coffee or order room service breakfast.  

Meals to Write Home About

Breakfasts are served buffet style at Padam’s light-filled Edith Restaurant and are a delight. All manner of baguettes, croissants, pain chocolate, and brioches, were next to daily changing quiches and crepes. In addition to fresh squeezed juices, there were Ulti shots with Granade, pomegranate, and Barbados cherry, fresh cut fruit, cheeses, charcuterie, scrambled eggs, and sausage or bacon. If that were not enough, also available were homemade granola, other cereals, and fabulous French yogurts and butter from Normandie. The steaming café au lait was so perfect I nearly wept.

Of course, Paris is a food mecca and near Padam choices abound. If craving Japanese fare, Yoshi Restaurant is right next-door. On the other side is Villa Sophia for homestyle Italian where I had good pasta Bolognese. A few meters away is Chez les Frisheurs for typical French bistro items such as escargot and steak frittes. Two blocks away is Casa Paco for delightful paella and calamari and Bistro Bassano for Greek food. Also nearby, serious foodies will appreciate Michelin-starred Plein Terre for a gastronomic tasting menu. A 10-minute stroll away is Al-Ajami, a nice spot for a Lebanese lunch of salads and mezzes.

Since breakfasts were so good at Edith, I had to try it for dinner as well. The weather cooperated and I was able to enjoy the outdoor patio. Chef Benoit Dumas and Sous Chef Paul Bauvier did not disappoint. Starting with a delectable amuse bouche of pollack cru with blond caviar, it was followed by grilled leeks with hazelnuts, and a main dish of delicious roasted cod in beurre blanc, accompanied course with the obligatory french-fries. Naturally I had no room for dessert. However, since Chef Dumas had a 70-percent Guanaja black chocolate soufflé on the menu, truly I had no choice. It was a very wise move. Starting May 13th Edith will be open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner.

If Piaf the diminutive musical giant, known as ‘la môme piaf’ still graced us, she would have been pleased as punch to stay at the Padam Hotel, and certainly would’ve “regretted nothing” about it. Happy travels!

Julie L. Kessler is a journalist, attorney, and the author of the award-winning memoir: “Fifty-Fifty, The Clarity of Hindsight.” Her work has appeared in several major publications around the world, including The L.A. Times, The S.F. Examiner, The Asia Times, The Jerusalem Post, and The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, among many others. She can be reached at Julie@VagabondLawyer.com  

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Julie L. Kessler

Written by Julie L. Kessler

Julie L. Kessler is Money Inc's Senior Travel & Luxury Editor and writes for several major media outlets in the U.S. and overseas. She is also an attorney and legal columnist and the author of the award-winning book "Fifty-Fifty: The Clarity of Hindsight." She can be reached at Julie@VagabondLawyer.com

Read more posts by Julie L. Kessler

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