Husband-wife duo Claudine and Yves Camdeborde got their start as industry pioneers with their restaurant La Régélade, the city’s first “neo-bistro” (a trend marked by high-quality cooking at an accessible price point), which they managed for 13 years. Since 2005, their acclaim has come from their Relais Saint-Germain hotel-restaurant combo located in the beating heart of Saint-Germain. The hotel blends quaint Parisian style with a just-like-home atmosphere.
The design goal was to preserve the 17th-century soul of the building, keeping its original, exposed beams and stones and blending antique furnishings and old parquet floors with avant-garde decorative elements and rococo textiles hand-picked by Mme. Camdeborde. The result is an urban inn that guests would want to return to year after year. Each of the 22 rooms bears the name of a celebrated writer inspired by Paris—from Madame de Sévigné to Marcel Proust—and a unique aesthetic theme (Asian, African, Louis III) in a nod to the neighborhood’s literary past. What unites them is an intimate vibe that instantly makes guests feel at home.
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One of the oldest neighborhoods in Paris, Saint-Germain is largely known for its many art galleries, antique shops, chic boutiques, and narrow warrens of cobblestone streets—but is also home to some great food havens. Pastry king Pierre Hermé has an outpost several blocks away where you can pick up his emblematic Ispahan croissant (not available in all locations), and Colorova tearoom-cum-pâtisserie serves an excellent market-fresh lunch nearby. For a top-shelf neo-bistro dinner not associated with the hotel, Semilla earns high marks and is less than a 10-minute walk (reservations strongly recommended).
Need to Know
Rooms: 22 rooms, from $309. Check-in: 1 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Don’t be surprised if you dine elbow-to-elbow with locals at chef Camdeborde’s Le Comptoir and L’Avant Comptoir restaurants, both associated with the hotel. Le Comptoir plays host to a daily breakfast for hotel guests, then opens to the public for a robust brasserie menu at lunch, followed by a gastronomic fixed-price offering at dinner ($65) with an inventive, market-fresh selection that changes daily (like roasted scallops with cauliflower, lard, and hazelnut butter). L’Avant Comptoir has become an institution for elevated small plates and excellent wines. The standing-room-only space fills up quickly; head in for apéro hour to beat the crowds. Spa and gym details:Neither is offered at the hotel.
Who it’s best for: Die-hard Francophiles and foodies. Our favorite rooms:While each room has a distinct personality, it’s hard to beat the Margeurite de Navarre room on the fifth floor with its cozy, private terrace and spectacular view of Saint-Germain rooftops. For just over $1,000, the room can be yours for the night with a gastronomic dinner served in-room with a dedicated server. For a cozy, feminine space, we love the Guy de Maupassant room covered in blue toile and modern works of art, one of which was painted by a regular guest of the hotel. Plan ahead:Le Comptoir is a tough table to book, even for locals. Fortunately, guests of the hotel are a priority. Remember to make your evening reservation at breakfast.