Fifteen years on from its groundbreaking launch – the mix of sexed-up Napoleonic design and in-house DJs was scorchingly trendy in 1995 – Hôtel Costes is still something of a celebrity, not least in terms of the snooty service, though the clientele is more tourist than A-list these days. Much-copied designer Jacques Garcia created a destination bar and restaurant throbbing with louche, lowlit, boudoir appeal. Reception, guarded by a rather fabulous stuffed swan in a case, is loaded with enough merchandising (candles, the best-selling CDs) to give ’boutique hotel’ new meaning. The rooms are brothel-dark and seductive; go for one with a balcony if you can, and don’t miss the pool, one of the best in Paris. Incidentally, when you hear something described as a Costes café or a Costes hotel, it is increasingly likely to mean that the fingers in the pie are those of a son or nephew of fiftysomething brothers Jean-Louis and Gilbert Costes – it’s not a brand name.