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Hotel Dupond-Smith 4.0

4th Arrondissement (Notre-Dame), Paris, France

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Intimate eight-room boutique hotel with a private atmosphere 
  • Excellent location in the trendy Marais, near shops and cafes 
  • Beautiful rooms with thoughtfully curated decor and chic details
  • All rooms include iPads, espresso machines, and minibars
  • Bathrooms come with plush bathrobes and slippers
  • Continental breakfast included in most room rates 
  • Daily honor bar in the hotel’s tiny lounge 
  • Free Wi-Fi and free tickets to the nearby Picasso museum 
  • Dog-friendly

Cons

  • No full service restaurant, spa, or fitness center 
  • Discreet location a bit removed from major tourist sights  
  • High rates for a hotel with so few communal features

Bottom Line

A hidden gem in the middle of the Marais, Hotel Dupond-Smith feels more like a members-only club than an upscale hotel. Dupond-Smith plays off this theme of discretion with an unmarked entrance and eight rooms named after Hollywood aliases and French pseudonyms. Rooms are attractively decorated and thoughtfully curated with luxe amenities like iPads, espresso machines, and scented shower diffusers. Continental breakfast is included in most room rates, but the hotel lacks public amenities like a restaurant, spa, or fitness center. Travelers looking for an equally discreet address with a few more frills might prefer Relais Christine. It’s comparably priced to Dupond-Smith but offers more amenities. 

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Scene

A private hotel with an exclusive, in-the-know atmosphere 

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Tucked away on a narrow side street in the trendy Marais, Hotel Dupond-Smith looks different from the average Parisian hotel. The entrance is marked by a discreet sign that reads “Dupond-Smith” in upside down lettering, but otherwise it looks like a local storefront. Automatic doors lead inside to the tiny lobby, where chic decor contrasts nicely with the building’s medieval stone walls. Lots of splashy decorative details give an arresting first impression -- gigantic globular light fixtures hang from the ceiling, Rorschach-patterned wallpaper acts as a focal point, and mirrors catch passing reflections across the front desk. The reality versus fantasy aesthetic alludes to the hotel’s themes of privacy, discretion, and secret identities -- a motif guests will notice when they check in to their rooms. Named after Hollywood aliases and French noms des plume, Dupond-Smith’s eight rooms invite guests to embody a range of private personas, from Jim Morrison to Balzac. This sense of secrecy creates an alluring “who’s who” atmosphere, where guests will feel less like ordinary tourists, and more like privileged members of an elite club.  

Despite having an in-the-know atmosphere, Dupond Smith doesn’t feel pretentious. Staff members are warm and welcoming, and offer excellent insider tips about the local neighborhood. Still, we’d recommend Dupond-Smith for seasoned Paris travelers who are looking for something out of the ordinary. The hotel’s location in the Marais is excellent for travelers who anticipate spending their days exploring local art galleries, visiting lesser-known museums, or sipping coffee at under-the-radar cafes -- not those who have the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Champs Elysees on their minds. Though the hotel advertises itself as family-friendly, we only encountered couples during our visit. Plus, Dupond-Smith’s hushed atmosphere isn’t great for children, and there aren’t any kid-focused amenities here.

Location

On a quiet side street in the middle of the trendy Marais 

Map of Hotel Dupond-Smith

Occupying parts of the 3rd and 4th Arrondissements, the Marais is best known for its medieval appearance. Its labyrinthine streets, narrow alleyways, and simple stone architecture contrast sharply with Paris’s grand Hausmannian boulevards. Throughout history, the Marais has played a unique and ever-changing role. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was home to the French aristocracy, but after the revolution, it became a squalid bohemian enclave. Between the first and second World Wars, the Marais transformed into a working-class Jewish neighborhood, and many of the neighborhood’s Jewish roots are still visible today. In the 1980s, the Marais became the center of gay rights activism in Paris, and is still considered the city's hub of LGBT culture. The Marais has the highest concentration of gay bars and nightclubs in the city, and is where the majority of pride celebrations take place each year. Across the Marais, travelers will find boutique hotels, trendy shops, hip cafes, and loads of local galleries. The Pompidou Center, a quirky modern art museum, is the area’s most notable tourist attraction; it's a nine-minute walk away. The Marais is also home to the Picasso Museum and the Museum of Jewish Art and History both seven minutes away on foot. Popular tourist attractions like Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Tuileries Gardens are within a 15 to 30 minute walk. Hotel Dupond-Smith's closest metro stations are Saint Paul (line 1) and Hotel de Ville (lines 1 and 11), both of which are within a five-minute walk of the hotel. Charles de Gaulle Airport is a 38-minute drive away or about an hour by public transportation.

Rooms

Three room types, all with exceptional decor and nice amenities 

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There are only eight rooms at Dupond-Smith -- two on each of the hotel’s four floors. Rooms are individually decorated with luxe design elements like textured wall coverings, plush drapery, eclectic light fixtures, and rich wood accents. The furniture brings a hint of '70s mod -- think curved wingback chairs and swanky glass coffee tables. A handful of rooms feature original Marais-style exposed beams, which look particularly striking when paired with the hotel’s bold color schemes. But apart from looks, Dupond-Smith’s rooms are replete with posh amenities, including espresso machines, fully stocked minibars (for a fee), iPod docks, and U.S. & U.K. outlet convertors. Closets are equipped with plush bathrobes and slippers, electronic safes, and umbrellas for Paris’s notoriously rainy weather. Electronics include flat-screen TVs, local cell phones, and iPads upon request. Spa-like bathrooms feature beautifully patterned tile work, and they're thoughtfully equipped with pampering extras like rainfall showerheads, scented shower diffusers, and towel warmers. Additionally, suites have separate water closets and large soaking tubs. Some rooms have tiny outdoor balconies that overlook the interior courtyard, but most rooms lack outdoor space. 

Dupond-Smith has three room categories: Les Alias (standard rooms), Les Incognito (deluxe rooms), and Les Intuitu (suites). Standard rooms are around 250 square feet -- surprisingly large by Paris standards -- while suites measure around 415 square feet. Rather than room numbers, each room sports a name like Alan Smithee (an old Hollywood pseudonym used by directors), Lord R’Hoone (a pen name used by French playwright Honore de Balzac), and Mr. Mojo Risin (an anagram of Jim Morrison, which can be found in the lyrics of the Doors’ song “L.A. Woman”). 

Features

Short on features, but freebies include Wi-Fi and tickets to the Picasso Museum 

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There aren’t many amenities at Hotel Dupond-Smith, which can feel disappointing -- especially when considering the hotel’s pricey rates. The property lacks a full service restaurant, a spa, and a fitness center, though there are plenty of eateries within walking distance and the hotel can arrange in-room massages and personal training sessions. Continental breakfast is included in most room rates, and it's served in the hotel’s tiny lounge or delivered to rooms upon request. In the evenings, the lounge transforms to an honor bar, where guests can serve themselves a variety of top-shelf liquors. Hotel freebies include Wi-Fi and tickets to the nearby Picasso Museum. Dupond-Smith is dog-friendly, but guests should consult with the hotel before arriving with pets. 

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Address

2 rue des Guillemites, Paris, Ile-de-France 75004, France

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