If Paris appeals to you in part because of its historic smoke filled, scarf-wearing, intellectual cafe culture (existentialists and philosophers changing the world whilst looking far better than any khaki wearing professor you ever had at uni), then you should probably give The Madison Hotel a try. After all, it’s where the one and only Albert Camus stayed in the spring of 1940 and where he finished his iconic novel L’Etranger. An impressive literary heritage then, but don’t worry if this holds little allure for you, as this chic hotel in the Latin Quarter of Saint-Germain-des-Près is well worth a stay anyway, not least because of its prime location on the Left Bank – a short walk from the Louvre, Nortre Dame, and any number of cafes and boutiques.
Inside, each of the hotel’s 50 rooms are tastefully decorated in soft neutral tones that don’t force a drastic aesthetic upon you like so many boutique hotels. Keeping it low-key has always seemed to me like the best policy when it comes to hotel decor – and The Madison does simple elegance with aplomb with an attentive service to match. The aesthetic of the place gets a bit jazzier when it comes to the newly-decorated breakfast room which is well appointed with books, flashes of print and light-washed mirrors. As for breakfast itself, a well appointed buffet with all the Continental luxuries you would expect will have you ready for a day of culture/shopping/people watching; until you stop for lunch in one of the many surrounding restaurants, that is. Trust me, you’ll be spoiled for choice.