The brochure speaks of the bureaucracy which almost prevented the owners of this pricey little hotel from transforming the run-down 16thC building which they had bought. Its outlook is the Ile de la Cité across the traffic-heavy quai Saint-Michel and the Seine, but the owners’ hearts are firmly in Provence and Tuscany, and the decoration is designed to transport you to the south. In our case, the ground floor reception and glass-and-beam roofed sitting room managed to take us no further than a fashionable Paris flower shop, thanks to the banks of plants and dried flowers arranged on the tiled floor, the garden-style furniture and the floral collages decorating the walls.
   By contrast, the well-proportioned bedrooms are stylish but less precious than downstairs and have a genuine feel of the sun, with Provençal fabrics, wood-framed windows shaded by the prettiest of white cotton curtains, and charming fabric bedheads held in a frame of verdigris ironwork flowers. The superior double rooms have a sofa that converts into an extra bed. The bathrooms are attractive, with terracotta floors and lovely basins. Breakfast in bed, brought by uniformed staff, feels like a treat – but you can also eat downstairs in the breakfast room.