GEM - Grand Hotel du Palais Royal, France

Neighborhood - As I approached the hotel, I wasn't sure if I was actually in the right area, as it seemed to be quite residential. As we traveled down the one-way cobble-stoned side street, I saw the bellhop standing outside, my only indication I was at the right place. I entered quickly while my friend unloaded the bags and asked to use the washroom and immediately escorted without question. I was impressed as there was no question as to whether I was staying there or just walking by, yet treated with great respect. The hotel is filled with black and white photos, modern artwork and a touch of quirkiness like the luggage storage room that is a large suitcase. After settling into the spacious room which has a sitting area and even a 'juliet' balcony, with some rooms having iconic views of the Eiffel Tower, I went for a walk around the hotel. Even though it's located very close to the famous Louvre, it did not feel touristic at all, with small cafes, eateries and local shops. It was quaint, exciting and very Parisian. When I returned, both the bellhop and front desk welcomed me back by name, which only added to the feeling of being at home. There is a courtyard just behind the hotel which was being renovated to allow for an outdoor seating area for the hotel, making it the quintessential experience. That evening after enjoying a cocktail at the bar and sharing stories with the bartender. The next morning, we enjoyed a delightful breakfast with the most beautiful spread of pastries and departed with much regret of leaving a new family.