Best hotels near the Eiffel Tower

Within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower: half an hour

George Washington never went to Paris. The furthest he has ever been from his home was a short visit to Barbados. However, the citizens of Paris highly valued him, and in his honor he erected two fine statues and named a street after him. Each statue was located in a particularly exclusive part of the capital. Today, at number 17, a street named “Washington Street'' in his memory, stands a converted townhouse hotel that also bears his name. It's Monsieur Georges, a delicious bite-sized macaron. The beauty of this hotel is a credit to its interior designer, Anuska Hempel, a multi-talented woman with extraordinary energy. One of her claims to fame is the invention of her boutique hotel. This boutique hotel was born in 1978 when she opened Breaks in London and became an era-defining phenomenon. Breaks were full of mirrors, velvet, and exotic decorations reminiscent of wells. A well-travelled, sophisticated and perhaps quite decadent lifestyle. The same goes for Monsieur Georges.

Mirrors, velvets, and exotic flourishes are just a testament to Hempel's aesthetic, all of which still work so well and still look so fun and fresh, sexy and chic. It's proof of lasting strength. I must say that Monsieur George's rooms are not very spacious. Rather compact. So ask for one of his suites – Marley's in the back courtyard. It's like a miniature meow house, with a bedroom upstairs and lots of clever partitions and screens. Or Franklin on the Sixth Floor, a totally unexpected white-on-white affair under the eaves, a monochrome minimalist essay, more monastic than presidential, and that's a joy all its own. —S.K.

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