All is calm at the Relais Christine, a charming establishment on the Left Bank that makes the ideal classic-contempary base for an unreconstructed, traditional Paris trip. It’s handy for the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the river and, though it’s a peaceful choice in itself, it’s surrounded by buzzing restaurants and bars – those on rue Saint-André-des-Arts, for a start. You can still discern the building’s former incarnation as a 16th-century mansion (built on the ruins of a 13th-century Augustinian cloister), as you approach the entrance through the old courtyard; the resident coat of armour has been here for centuries, too. Try to get a beamed room for extra historic atmosphere, or one with a terrace for summer chilling. There’s no restaurant or bar as such, but the plushly inviting sitting room has an honesty bar; and a super spa awaits in the converted basement vaults.