Of all the hotels in Paris's delightful rue St-Louis-en-l'Ile, this is the most original. Whereas the others are homely, the Jeu de Paume packs a stylish punch.
As its name implies, the building was the site of a 17thC jeu de paume court, built in the days when the 'palm game', forerunner to tennis, was all the rage; when the proprietors acquired it in the 1980s, however, it was a run-down warehouse. M Prache, Nathalie's father, is an architect and he wrought something of a miracle on the building, opening out the heart of it right up to the roof, exposing all the old timber construction and slinging mezzanine floors around a central well. The impression of light and transparency is reinforced by a glass-walled lift and glass balustrades around the upper floors. Stone walls and all those beams add a reasurringly rustic feel. The sitting area has the appearance of a sophisticated private apartment, with leather sofas, subtle lighting and handsome stone fireplace.
Bedrooms were recently refurbished and now look as stylish as the rest of the hotel, each one having been inspired by a modern artist.