Even in a city filled with so many remarkable stone buildings that they become individually unremarkable, the edifice of the old Louvre post office stands out. Perhaps it is because it positively gleams after a restoration, but there is something so unforgettably imposing about its arcaded facade.
More remarkable, though, is that this building now has a glassed-in rooftop which is part of one of Paris’s newest luxury hotels and the latest selection for our series The New Room with a View, Madame Rêve. It’s a terrace offering a 360 view of Paris skyline, perhaps making it the city’s best new rendez-vous spot.
The hotel has 82 rooms, starting at €500 a night, spread out over the top couple of floors of the building. Some look out on the leafy internal gardens, another sign of how greened-up buildings are very much on trend for Paris these days. But many look out over the city—from the nearby bulky St. Eustache to the Eiffel Tower in the distance. A number of the rooms have terraces, not just mere balconies like most Haussmann-era buildings.
Madame Rêve is located around the corner from the Jardin du Palais Royal and near the buzzy new art museum from billionaire François Pinault, the Bourse du Commerce.
After a day walking all around Paris in late October, I arrived back at the hotel, and took the journey I came to love from its historicist lobby up the elevator to the modern hotel. Walking inside my room, I was ready to pass out. But, when I laid down in bed I realized that above me was a skylight window and, surprise, I could see a couple of stars.
The idea of sleeping under the stars in Paris felt extremely romantic even if I was actually alone. This spectacular view is possible because of the angled windows in the room constituting an entire wall. (My first jaded thought upon seeing it was to wonder if the light would wake me up in the morning, but there are blackout shades.) The rooms themselves are modern but warm. They are decorated in light woods with golden-yellow furniture and accents, and love-it-or-hate-it pink mosaic bathrooms.
The hotel also has two restaurants. On the ground floor is Madame Rêve Café, a Mediterranean café-brasserie with late 19th century decor. The ceilings and columns are original to the historic post office and the space feels like it could have been a see-and-be-seen spot in the Belle Époque. While the food is delightful, the drinks are the highlight here, and a welcome respite from the daily dose of wine.
On the top floor is the Japanese-French restaurant La Plume, which has panoramic views of the city and is also where breakfast at Madame Rêve was served. And a croissant with Paris quite literally at your feet is quite a unique way to start the day.