Tucked away in a quiet street in the 9th arrondissement of Paris is Hôtel de NELL, a beautiful five star in a restored 19th century building where we stayed for my birthday. It's a chic, minimalist masterpiece surrounded by historic architecture near the gothic Saint-Eugène church and Grands Boulevards stores, only a ten minute cab ride away from Gare du Nord.
Designed by renowned French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the elegant interiors balance warmth and simplicity perfectly with minimal furnishings, natural wood panelling, modern fireplaces, raw marble and polished parquet floors. The 33 rooms and suites are simple yet luxurious with comfortable queen size beds and sleek, wow-factor bathrooms featuring a deep Japanese bath, separate walk-in rain shower and double sinks (#housegoals) stocked with gentle toiletries for sensitive skin.
There's a pillow menu for the perfect night's sleep, underfloor heating, a selection of teas and coffees, a widescreen TV and La Maison du Chocolat chocolates on your pillow each night (the service here is excellent). When we arrived, we popped open the complimentary bottle of Gosset champagne waiting on ice in our gorgeous deluxe room and toasted the sunset on our private balcony before heading downstairs for dinner.
La Régalade Conservatoire, the in-house restaurant, is headed up by chef Bruno Doucet serving modern, down-to-earth "la bistronomie" cuisine and offers a great prix fixe menu of simple reinventions of traditional dishes. The creamy risotto with cuttlefish ink, garlic, prawns and laughing cow cheese was delicious, as were the scrambled eggs at breakfast, made with a little grated cheese and mushrooms, topped with chopped chives. The relaxed lobby bar is lovely too - each night we lounged with cocktails and champagne (it was my birthday after all!) until it was time to retire. It was a relaxing, indulgent weekend break and our stay was flawless from start to finish.
Hôtel de NELL, 7-9 Rue du Conservatoire, Paris 75009, France