Le Damantin in Paris is a 19th-century mansion house on a tree-lined bank of the Seine, with pinch-yourself views of the Eiffel Tower and light-flooded contemporary interiors. There’s a pool (in Paris!) and a sauna-toting spa, for an indulgent massage-for-two after a day of sights and shopping. Dine on reassuringly traditional French cuisine by the antique fireplace in the restaurant, or settle down with a cocktail among Christian Lacroix fabrics in the library. And don’t forget to investigate the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ in the courtyard garden…
For optimal intimacy, snag a table in the library.
Shop your way along the upscale Avenue Montaigne, then break out your haute couture.
You can sit down and order anywhere on the ground floor, so take your pick from tables by the bar, in the library, or next to the 17th-century fireplace. Chef Yann Gesret’s focused menu sticks to traditional principles of French cuisine – after all, why change a winning formula. Options change with the seasons, but expect dishes such as ballotine of monkfish, slow-roasted beef, and black risotto with eryngii mushrooms.
You can order just about any classic cocktail from the resident mixologists, but try one of the house specialties instead. The ‘Bords de Seine’ is a velvety blend of dark rum, red wine and honey, while the signature ‘Damantin’ cocktail uses French gin, rose syrup and Chambord.
Breakfast is served from 7am until 10.30am, lunch is from noon until 3pm and dinner hours vary.
No need to venture downstairs if you feel like staying in your boudoir – the room service menu includes tarama and buckwheat toast, smoked salmon, cheese tasting boards and the house guacamole.
You’ll find Le Damantin on the north bank of the Seine, a short walk from the Grand Palais, the Louvre, and the upscale boutiques of Avenue Montaigne.
The closest airport is Charles de Gaulle, a major international hub with direct flights across Europe, Asia and the Americas. It’s 35 kilometres from there to the hotel; the drive takes around an hour in a taxi (a private transfer in a limousine costs €180).
The Eurostar zips from London to Paris’ Gare du Nord in two hours and 15 minutes. From the station, take a 25-minute taxi to the hotel (a private transfer costs €120). If you need the metro during your stay, the nearest stations are Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau and Alma-Marceau, both around seven minutes’ walk from the hotel.
You have to be brave (or très stupide) to take on driving in Paris, but if a car is essential to your trip, you can hire one at the airport. It’s €50 a day to park in the public car park five minutes’ walk from the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Start the day with a dip in the pool, a workout in the fitness room, or a session in the sauna, if that’s more your speed. Then, the city is yours to explore – just choose a direction and amble to the Grand Palais, Arc de Triomphe or Eiffel Tower in a matter of minutes. Later, return for cocktails in the library and fine French food by the fire.
You’re practically on the river, so actually get on the river – preferably aboard a super-suave Riva motorboat (the hotel concierge can arrange private cruises). Shop for high-fashion finds along Avenue Montaigne, which is home to Dior, Chanel, Vuitton and co. Or admire the clothing creations of another French master at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum (5 Avenue Marceau).
You can tick off Paris’ most famous sight just by looking out of the window, but next on your bucket list should be the world-leading art museum, the Louvre (Rue de Rivoli).
If you’re in town at a weekend, brunch at the art deco Monsieur Bleu (20 Avenue de New York) is a must; that’s not to say you shouldn’t go during the week though, especially if it’s warm enough to sit out on the Eiffel Tower-facing terrace. La Durée (75 Avenue Champs Elysées) may be macaron-maker to the stars, but don’t ignore the restaurant for its pink avocado toast and signature vol-au-vents. Book in at Chez Monsieur (11 Rue de Saint-George) for French cuisine par excellence – this is the place to get your onion soup fix, and finally swallow your first snail. For a special occasion (say, just being in Paris), head to L’Apicius (20 Rue d’Artois), where chef Mathieu Pacaud’s reimagined classics taste just as good as they look.
Go for champagne under the chandeliers at Hôtel Costes (239 Rue Saint-Honoré), or stick to boulevardiers at Le Damantin’s own bar.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this palatial hotel in the 8th arrondissement and unpacked their perfumes and pâtisseries, a full account of their Paris break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Le Damantin in Paris…
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a mega-city like Paris. You end up taking on too much, tearing across arrondissements on a mission to see all of the places on your bucket list. Le Damantin offers another way. Make the converted mansion your adopted home, and you’ll have a base in the Triangle d’Or. Now, you could still insist on criss-crossing the city in search of Montmartre, the Catacombs et al, but you might think twice when the 8th arrondissement is your local ‘hood. The Champs Elysees, the Louvre and the Grand Palais are all a short walk away, and you can shop-hop along the boutique-lined Avenue Montaigne. Hell, you don’t even have to go to the Eiffel Tower any more – just look out of the window and: hey presto. Suddenly, you’ve got a whole lot more time on your hands, to just explore Paris at your leisure. This, you’ll agree, is how it 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 Le Damantin Hotel & Spa’s Guestbook below.
A very smart, design led hotel. Gorgeous modern design. Fantastic staff. Nice cave-like pool.
Easy breakfast options – it seemed to be really expensive so we hiked off looking for the clichéd French café but found none in this very smart part of town. Room choice is vital – avoid the first floor overlooking a busy road with traffic noise.
Stayed on 26 Sep 2019
We loved everything about this hotel: our bedroom was fabulous, the bed was so comfortable and everything was immaculate. The staff were always really friendly and helpful! Finally, the decor and smell of the whole place was amazing too.