Here's a sneak peek inside Hôtel Le Cinq Codet, designed by Jean Philippe-Nuel, the same guy who brought you Molitor. When Kar jumped two stories from our balcony to slaughter and eat a delicious pigeon, their staff helped rescue him. The former French Telecom building is a surviving example of Art Deco architecture, a gleaming alabaster enclave with convex curved corner windows and views on Invalides and the Eiffel Tower.
Discreet staff dress elegantly in taupe and tails, and the genteel concierge wear crossed keys like Stefan Zweig's confectionary porters. Forget the delicious cocktails, beautiful terrace, and spa swings- artful rooms offer silence, giant soaking tubs, and up to 22m2 outdoor space with jacuzzi. I was worried about them being in the neighborhood, because sometimes I walk around in mismatched socks with my husband's sweatshirt over crazy pajamas, hair in a Mulan-inspired topknot. The hotel's thoughtful design means I can't see them, and they can't see me. Not one inch of space is wasted- 67 rooms, ranging from 20m2 to 83m2, all manage to feel gigantic, loftlike, and airy. I could see Paul Poiret throwing parties there in the summer and Georges Braque quietly collaging at the bar.
I like Le Cinq Codet better than Molitor. It's refined, the kind of hotel Singaporeans and Philip Roth characters would love. A keycard from Le Cinq Codet is the ultimate assertion of good taste, proving minimalism doesn't have to be sterile or boring- upon entering, you feel like you've left Paris and entered a Cartesian dream. The hotel is a much-needed departure from typically squalid Paris establishments, clean, serene, and bright without being tacky. Five stars! Hôtel Le Cinq Codet's actual star rating will be announced November 10. Update: Le Cinq Codet received five stars.