Paul Lamarra visits Hôtel Wilson-Opéra in Paris
Hidden away in a quiet back street between the Gare Saint-Lazare and the exclusive Boulevard Malesherbes is the Hôtel Wilson-Opéra, or ‘Hôtel WO’, as it prefers to style itself.
Refurbished in 2007, the Hôtel WO is part of the Châteaux & Hôtels Collection and has made its presence felt in Paris’s crowded three-star accommodation market by reinventing itself as a contemporary boutique hotel.
In the small lobby, where you can sit with a coffee, the furniture is quirky in colour and design. Mauves contrast stylishly with deep pinks while leather and wood chairs sit alongside a purple velour sofa, yet the overall look is a success. Hôtel WO is classy without being ostentatious. This tone is repeated throughout, from the breakfast room in the basement to each of the 30 bedrooms.
As befits a modern-thinking hotel, each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV and a handy iPhone dock.
The best room in the house is No. 602, which is on the top floor. This deluxe hideaway has a snug roof terrace furnished with two wicker chairs where you can sit back with a glass of champagne and enjoy views over the rooftops to the huge dome of the nearby 19th-century Église Saint-Augustin and the Eiffel Tower beyond. The next best thing is a room with a balcony.
When it comes to getting around Paris, the hotel could not be better placed. A Vélib’ bicycle hire station is right outside, and the métro hub at Gare Saint-Lazare is less than five minutes’ walk away. If you are exploring the capital on foot, keep walking for a few more minutes and you will reach Boulevard Haussmann in the heart of the capital’s shopping district.
Despite keeping a low profile on Rue de Stockholm, Hôtel WO has plenty of personality; while retaining a flavour of the stylish city that lies outside, it remains an oasis of calm.
10 Rue de Stockholm
Tel: (Fr) 1 45 22 10 85
In the area
The Musée Jacquemart-André on Boulevard Haussmann was the home of art enthusiasts Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart in the late 19th century. The couple bequeathed the house and their collection as a museum and visitors can now admire works by Canaletto, Rembrandt and Gainsborough, among others.
Tel: (Fr) 1 45 62 11 59
www.musee-jacquemart-andre.comAria of interest
Probably best-known for its role in Gaston Leroux’s novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, the 2,000-seater Palais Garnier opera house is an impressive landmark with its wedding cake-style exterior. Visitors can take in an opera, ballet or orchestral concert, as well as joining daily guided tours behind the scenes.
Tel: (Fr) 1 71 25 24 23