Hôtel Bourg Tibourg
Jacques Garcia, the legendary designer behind many a Paris boutique hotel (Costes, L’Hôtel and Villa d’Estrées to name but three), has here blended Orientalism with elegant Victoriana and neo-Gothic. Tasselled lampshades, opulent striped drapes, silky fringes and dark-wood furniture decorate all the communal areas and 30 rooms. Narrow passageways and dimly lit stairwells, with their kaleidoscope of colours and textures, conjure up the atmosphere of a Belle Epoque luxury whorehouse. Bourg Tibourg belongs to a tributary of the Costes mafia, so it comes with good-looking, slightly snooty staff, as well as all the necessary mod cons. Its location is a winner, right in the heart of the Marais, and it occupies the same street as the tea merchants Mariage Frères. But there is a sacrifice to be made, and that is space: the hotel is tiny, with the smallest bathrooms and lift in Paris.