In the shadow of France’s monument to its greatest men, Paris’ enchanting chanteuses, exotic beauties and literary darlings have left their mark on Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon. Decked out in jewel-toned prints, sumptuous silks and retro furnishings, six floors of coquettish rooms await inside – a boudoir bolthole just steps from the Latin Quarter’s historic cobbled streets.
Noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from $139.25 (€125), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.88 per person per night on check-out.
Continental buffet breakfast of fresh juices and fruits, breads and croissants, pancakes, hot drinks, cold cuts and omelettes costs from €17 a person (free for guests staying in Romantic Rooms or higher categories).
The beautiful brains behind Smith Parisian favourite La Belle Juliette, owner Corinne Moncelli has hung the breakfast room walls with her old photos. Conveniently, each frame has a magnifying glass, so you won’t have to play the sleuth too long to find her. Look out for hints to her heroines’ colourful love lives, too: vintage boxing gloves hang in one of the Edith Piaf rooms, a bittersweet tribute to boxer Marcel Cerdan, the great love of her life.
At the hotel
Lounge, gift shop, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, Carthusia toiletries. The Suite and Deluxe Rooms also have Nespresso coffee machines.
Our favourite rooms
Each floor pays subtle tribute to its muse: climb the stairs to discover Fifties-styled rooms fit for Edith Piaf, chic hideaways inspired by writer George Sand’s home in Nohan, bold references to Juliette Gréco’s jazz age, rich African prints in the Signares rooms and lustrous silks reminiscent of Marguerite Duras’ years in Indochina. The fifth and sixth floors have panoramic views over Paris’ rooftops. All rooms have bath tubs for long leisurely soaks, apart from Classic rooms (although some make up for it with lovely little balconies). If you’re planning on re-enacting the muses’ tumultuous affairs, opt for the Junior Suite Cocotte, a red-and-black boudoir with a seductive roll-top bath.
Take your cue from the dames: bring hair straighteners to perfect a sharp Juliette Gréco fringe, and a well-thumbed copy of Marguerite Duras’ L’Amant to leave on café terrace tables.
Room 1, on the ground floor, is wheelchair-accessible. Stock up on Carthusia toiletries in the shop: scented with heady Mediterranean aromatics, they’re tricky to find outside of Capri.
The hotel is more of a grown-up stay, but one free baby cot for under-2s is available on request. Staff can also arrange babysitting (€30 an hour; minimum booking, two hours).
Grab a seat by the lobby’s window for gossip over afternoon tea.
Vintage dresses and professorial tweeds.
None, but you need only venture down the hill for classic brasseries, traiteur picnics and lively cafés. Breakfast – a feast of buttery golden pastries and all manner of eggs – is brought up to guests or served beneath the arched ceiling of a stone-clad basement room.
Decorated with colour-block rugs and quirky hanging glassware, the lounge bar has a handful of inviting tufted banquettes overlooking the Place du Panthéon. It’s a pleasing spot for a pâtisserie and a glass of champagne; sit back and watch stylish Parisian students amble past on their way to class.
Breakfast is served 7am–11am; the bar is open round the clock.
Call for a romantic in-room picnic from 6pm to midnight: order classic French fare such as foie gras, steak tartare or a little helping of caviar served with vodka, rye bread and chive-laced cream.
Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon is an elegant corner building on the hilltop Place du Panthéon in the 5ème, a short walk from the Jardin du Luxembourg.
A 35-minute drive away, Paris Orly is the closest airport, with good domestic links to most of France. UK and international flights land at Paris Charles de Gaulle, a 45-minute drive away. A taxi from CdG to the centre costs about €50; direct trains run regularly to the nearby Luxembourg RER station at a fraction of the cost.
The Eurostar terminal at Gare du Nord is about 15 minutes away by car, or three stops on the RER. The hotel is well placed on the Métro network, with stops on lines 4, 6, 7 and 10 all within walking distance.
Driving in Paris is best left to the stout of heart; if you do decide to brave the traffic, the hotel can point you to parking spots close by.
With separated bike lanes and quiet back streets, the Left Bank can be a pleasure to explore on two wheels. Hire a self-service bike from a Vélib station; there are several near the hotel, although you might be best to try your luck at the bottom of the hill. You'll need a credit card to leave the €150 deposit required.
Worth getting out of bed for
Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon sits pretty atop the Sainte-Geneviève hill, a lofty position at the heart (and height) of Paris’ Left Bank. Just steps from its most prestigious schools and the Sorbonne universities, this is the lively stomping ground for France’s finest and brightest. You could spend a few hours visiting history’s greats in their monumental shrine across the road (Victor Hugo and Jean Moulin are buried here alongside Marie Curie, the only woman so far distinguished with this honour), but more earthly pleasures await in the neighbourhood. Grab a picnic from the upscale traiteurDalloyau (+33 (0)1 43 29 31 10) on nearby Place Edmond Rostand – its avocado and crab choux pastry is quite the savoury surprise – and head for the Jardin du Luxembourg, where Parisians, their handbag pooches and a small herd of ponies can be found soaking up the rays at the merest hint of sunshine. Spend an afternoon brushing up on French literature: bookshop L’Ecume des Pages (+33 (0)1 45 48 54 48), next door to the legendary Café de Flore (+33 (0)1 45 48 55 26), is the erudite’s hangout of choice. Seventh-art aficionados may prefer L’Epée de Bois (+33 (0)1 43 37 54 59), a diminutive arthouse cinema on the atmospheric rue Mouffetard, which, with its street market and cheap-and-cheerful pit stops, is as good a place as any to stock up on wine, spectacular bread and the whiffiest of cheeses.
A guide to Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon’s neighbourhood inevitably reads like a who’s who of iconic Parisian eateries. On the Boulevard Saint-Germain, Brasserie Lipp (+33 (0)1 45 48 53 91) does a fine line in art deco mouldings, classic French fare and efficient (if every so slightly frosty) service. Looking out over the Seine and Notre Dame’s fine Gothic buttresses, La Tour d’Argent (+33 (0)1 43 54 23 31) has made a name for itself with its pressed duck and prestigious wine cellar; you’ll need plenty of advance warning, the hotel’s helping hand and a well-padded wallet to secure a table. No bookings necessary at Le Comptoir du Relais (+33 (0)1 44 27 07 97) – in fact, they don’t take any, so just join the queue and pray you’ve arrived early enough to bag one of the coveted seats. Start with a basket of saucissons, move on to buttery seared scallops and see where the day’s menu takes you.
In a sleek, airy loft above a tiny cinema, Le Salon du Panthéon (+33 (0)1 40 46 01 21) flaunts comfortable vintage chairs, rotating art exhibits and a pretty outdoor terrace – a pleasant spot for an afternoon tea and a leaf through Les Cahiers du Cinéma. Bypass Ladurée and head straight to Port Royal’s Saduharu Aoki (+33 (0)1 45 35 36 80) for all your sweet needs: the eponymous baker does inspired things with Japanese ingredients such as sesame and matcha tea, cleverly disguised in classic French pastry.
Paris’ recent influx of mixologists hailing from New York and London is finally paying off; squeeze in to the Prescription Cocktail Club (+33 (0)9 50 35 72 87) for tipples shaken, frosted and stirred. Nearby, Le Montana (+33 1(0) 44 39 71 00) is a fashionista’s den of debauchery, with baroque interiors, free-flowing champagne and unshakeable bouncers.
Where’s the boulangerie madame who stares blankly through you as you plead for ‘une baguette s’il vous plaît’ as if she’d never heard of a long stick of crunchy bread? And what about the cab driver who takes you from Gare du Nord to Notre-Dame via Marseille?
We just spent a delightful few days in the City of Light only to discover that Paris has become the ‘friendly’ capital of Europe. Everywhere you go people are happy. They smile and want to help you. And even as you murder their language in a pathetic attempt to ask directions, they reward you with warmth and friendliness for at least attempting a few words of le française. I almost missed the snort and the shrug.
Nowhere is this bonhomie more present than at the wonderful little hotel we stayed at in the 6th arrondissement, right smack bang on the edge of the Place du Panthéon. Ah, oui, the excellent Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon. You discover the six-storey stone cornerblock, almost by mistake. We dragged our bags from the local Métro station alongside the Luxembourg Garden, through the cobbled streets and into the Place du Panthéon. So spectacular is the view as you enter the large square and see the neoclassical church for the first time, that we walked right past the hotel, it’s closest neighbour. Doubling back, you rediscover the incredible vista reflected in this boutique hotel’s large glass frontage, a view only bettered by the panoramic spectacle that greets you from any one of the 30 or so rooms that are situated at the front of the building.
These days, ‘boutique’ has come to mean all sorts of things, but often with hotels, boutique is the new minuscule: tiny, cramped, and more like a cupboard. A place you couldn’t even get a cat in let alone give it a good swing. Especially in Paris. But not so at the Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon, where boutique means what it should: cosy, stylish, well designed and intimate. Where the hotel staff is neither brusque nor ridiculously subservient, but rather, warm, friendly, and welcoming. They’re people who appear to take great pride in the hotel that they run which is reflected in the casual atmosphere that they create and the way they interact with their guests.
We’d booked a Panoramic Deluxe room for three nights and couldn’t have been happier. Perched at the top of the building on the sixth floor with a couple of gargoyles next door for company, panoramic it most certainly was. The height gave us a prime perch to appreciate Paris’ mansard rooftops all the way to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and that unique experience of being able to look down and get a sense of the whole city spread before you. There was a sense of place and direction that makes you desperate to get out and explore it. And that feeling of excitement that lies at the heart of arriving at a great destination.
From the sleek reception and intimate bar on the ground floor an ancient staircase descends to what appears to be a 16th-century stone dungeon – used for breakfast rather than scenes from the Spanish Inquisition. (A highlight proved to be a freshly cooked omelette which put many a cheese soufflé to shame, plus great coffee, of course, fresh warm baguette with preserves, prosciutto, fresh fruits, and juices. Délicieux.) Large, and recently redecorated, room 62 was on the corner of the building, which gave us large windows on two sides. With sunlight streaming in all day, each lookout totally pulled its weight. It was also spacious enough to easily swing two cats simultaneously either side of the kingsize bed. We’d read a description on the hotel’s website that ‘the Asian-inspired interior design will enchant and calm you’. But this was Paris – we didn’t want calm, we wanted mayhem!
Clean, fresh, sunny, comfortable. That wonderful Julie Delpy film had it wrong – three days in Paris was never going to be enough. Of course part of a hotel’s appeal is what goes on outside and around it. The Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon is situated in a great neighbourhood just south of the Seine and the famous Rive Gauche – Left Bank, to us English speakers. Cluttered with a million restaurants and bars, shops and cafés, it’s begging to be explored.
A few years back I’d hear from visitors that it was ‘hard to find a good meal in Paris’. I’m not sure that was ever strictly true, but it certainly isn’t the case now. We had three lunches and three dinners to look forward to. The only hard part was only working out which to miss. Dining wise, the greatest discovery of our trip was Le Comptoir du Relais, a brilliant little restaurant at the end of Carrefour de l’Odeon. A tasty contemporary version of classic French bistro cooking. A big menu full of impossible-to-decide choices, extremely friendly staff and a chef with a cracking sense of humour (in terms of his personality rather than any comedy deliveries of food).
Next door, owned by the same chef, Yves Camdeborde, is L’Avant Comptoir. A thin artery of a bar/restaurant which plays great music and offers an extensive collection of delicious small plates. The menu hangs on cards from the ceiling – it’s a great little place for a glass of wine and a packs-a-punch Basque snack. The patrons are the waiters, everyone just hands the food and booze across.
Our whole hotel-reviewing experience was sensational – in a delicious, refreshing, experience-rich way that only three days in Paris can be – and our little base at the hotel Les Dame du Panthéon was exactly how a Parisian hotel should be.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon’s Guestbook below.
The charming room with a view of the Panthéon. Nice and friendly staff. The proximity to Jardin du Luxembourg and Boulevard Saint Germain.
Breakfast was ok but we preferred the nice cafés in the neighborhood.
Stayed on 14 Mar 2019
Charming rooms with an eclectic design that gives a really cosy and romantic feel. Great location near enough to main sights but still off the beaten track.
Large rooms. Grand dining room.
Stayed on 23 Jan 2019
Sprinkle of petals on the bed when we arrived, along with an iced bottle of champagne; the incredible view from the window all the way to Montmartre via Notre Dame, the cleverly planned use of space, the high quality bed linen and shower, and lovely smelly toiletries, and the wonderful location. On the sixth floor, it was blissfully quiet. The air-conditioning in the room worked perfectly? Yes, I know it was December.
A big room. Everything here was very small-scale. The desk was also small.
Stayed on 12 Dec 2018
The location is lovely – right across the Pantheon. Surrounded by beautiful buildings. The area is full of young students, which we loved. Staff was polite and helpful. Restaurant recommendations were spot on. Room was cute. Lovely view! Loved a morning walk in the area before things got busy. Close to most sights yet still away from the tourist hordes.
An active bar or restaurant at the hotel. It is in the quiet side.
Stayed on 19 Oct 2018
We loved the proximity to the Latin quarter and Luxembourg gardens. So much to see and casually meander through the cobbled streets. Do visit the Pantheon - it's opposite and absolutely stunning. Around the corner (literally), is the Cafe de la Nouvelle Marie - fabulous food.
Stayed on 1 Jul 2018
Central location, easy parking, walking distance to everywhere, cleanliness, friendliness of staff, decor of room and comfortable bed with a brilliant bathroom. Views over the Pantheon make it very special. Restaurants are literally round the corner and all the other attractions the South Bank has to offer are in easy walking distance.
Huge rooms, but they're very well kitted out with everything you need.
Stayed on 20 Jun 2018
Charming staff and chic spaces.
To be in the center of things. Feels a bit off the beaten path.
Stayed on 12 May 2018
In the centre of everything – we walked everywhere.
A busy bar. Breakfast room is very small.
Stayed on 7 Apr 2018
The location, service and views. The hotel is close enough to walk to all the sights of Paris but away from the hustle and bustle. Amazing food and bars are very close by. The staff were lovely and our room had a beautiful view out on to the Pantheon. Just the break we needed.
A huge hotel. This is a small, intimate and cosy environment.
Stayed on 22 Mar 2018
The location, in the Latin Quarter and five minutes walk from the river; the spacious room and large comfortable bed; the fantastic spiral staircase in the hotel. Great bars and restaurants all around the Latin quarter particularly on Rue Mouffetard.
Great service: the hotel doesn't seem to be able to handle being fully occupied. E.g. when our hairdryer broke there were no replacements, they run out of umbrellas in a thunderstorm etc (the offered explanation just being, "we are busy").
Stayed on 16 Mar 2018
Great little boutique hotel with amazing views from the balcony rooms over the Pantheon. Very helpful staff and in a great location for the latin quarter. Very good restaurants nearby and easy for lovely walks down to the Seine.
Much happening in the hotel. No bar to really speak of so it's very quiet and you go out for everything.
Stayed on 28 Feb 2018
The fantastic central location in the dazzling setting of the Pantheon – a short walk from the Metro, the Jardin du Luxembourg and all the shops and bars of the Left Bank. Our room which was exquisite with its exposed beams, subtle lighting and double balcony doors opening onto the most breathtaking view of the Pantheon and surroundings. It was well equipped and felt luxurious. The hotel generally oozed style and humour in equal measure. From the velvet curtains to the frog perched on a swing and of course the references to les dames throughout. The helpful staff who were very friendly and helpful with reservations and recommendations. Le Caveau de la Huchette. We asked the hotel to recommend a jazz bar and this did not disappoint. Fantastic live music and atmosphere, though a little crowded. The Moulin Rouge. We went for the full dinner and show option and it was incredible! Such an amazing show and very tasteful.
Masses of space. It is a boutique hotel and a little on the petite side (as you would expect from the location) but beautifully done.
Stayed on 11 Feb 2018
Amazing location, right outside the Pantheon. A short walk to the restaurants in the Latin Quarter. The hotel itself is charming. The cafés outside the Sorbonne are a super place for lunch.
Stayed on 24 Nov 2017
The location! There are lots of local restaurants, cafes, bars nearby. You can walk to most locations you want to see in Paris.
Stayed on 1 Oct 2017
The room was very nice, and had pretty much everything you need. We loved our balcony with a beautiful view of the Pantheon – a great place to have a glass of wine in the evening.