Need to know
Forty-nine, including 21 Junior Suites, four Suites, six Prestige Suites, and two lovely villas.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $389.65 (€348), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.53 per person per night on check-out.
Breakfast is usually extra (although included with some rates): €29 for Continental; €36 for the buffet.
This is likely to be the only time you will use a gym with chandeliers and a parquet floor.
At the hotel
Spa, gym, library, private dining rooms, gardens, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, a private bar, Nespresso coffee machine, and Guerlain bath products.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms are unique, with witty details to make each memorable: bowler-hat lampshades and tweed accents, chairs sporting pointe ballet shoes, grand pianos, indoor-outdoor feel terraces and a curio cabinet that – on closer inspection – is not quite what it seems… Our hearts lifted at the sight of room 204, a junior suite on the first floor. This two-level suite overlooks the grand entrance and the grounds, and has plenty of witty details, including a trompe l'oeil 'parquet' carpet (a design evident throughout the hotel, to stop the noise from wooden flooring) and ‘library’, and a tweed armchair with elbow patches on its armrests. The bedroom feels more classically French, with its grey-and-white patterned wallpaper, although the bright red bedspread keeps things zingy. Room 303 is a calm white space with low pendant lights and a bed topped with an ornate white-and-cream bedspread.
No pool, but the spa has two Turkish baths.
Decked out with gilded mirrors and plush sofas, the spa has a boudoir feel, incorporating elements of east and west; try one of the decadent Guerlain facials, infused with orchid extract or royal jelly, in one of the two treatment rooms, tucked away in a peaceful part of the hotel, or steam away any tension in one of two hammams. If you're staying in one of the two villas that flank the gate, you – or you and your fellow Smith – can enjoy treatments in your own private spa room.
Flying goggles and headscarf: should the hot-air balloons in the grounds decide to head skywards, you’ve come prepared. Alternatively, leopard-print scarves or stilettos and sexy smalls for your grand boudoir – it’d be a shame to let Bambi Sloan’s come-hither decor go to waste.
The mansion was originally built by the widow of French prime minister, Adolphe Thiers, to provide a learning centre for some of France’s most talented students.
Dogs and cats are welcome (owners are charged €35 a night). Just let the hotel know when booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Paris.
Little Smiths are welcome, too: baby cots are free, as are extra beds for under-12s (€55 a night for over-12s); babysitting can be arranged with 24 hours’ notice (€20 an hour). On request, the hotel can arrange child-friendly tours and other activities.