I was kidnapped in the Castille Paris. Or so it felt. This, however, was a thoroughly pleasant and even welcome form of abduction. It happened whilst I slumbered, nestled in the folds of sheets made of 120-stitch Egyptian cotton, my head lying aslant on deep, plushy pillows, which amazingly felt cool on both sides – itself a small miracle of nocturnal science.
For my abductor, you see, was the bed itself, a glorious creation so comfortable it was hard to prise myself from its billowy embrace the next day until the clock was closing in on noon.
There is a risk of overcooking this theme. A bed, after all, is just a bed, and there is so much more to the Castille Paris, one of the most luxurious hotels in a city that luxuriates in offering luxury on tap, than a mere place to rest your head.
Think about it one more time though. How many times down the years have you loved your hotel experience… only to find the bed is too high, too hard, too soft, too short.. too weird. You will never, ever have to suffer this ignominy at the Castille Paris, a place with beds that are built and furnished by angels.
But to the hotel itself. The Castille Paris is the sort of place in which you could happily live. It has staff that seem to know what you want before you have formulated your query. Baths with length and depth, topped by power-showers. Spacious, well-appointed rooms, each with a view out onto the quiet Rue Cambon, or internally, into a fabulous courtyard decked with greenery and a wall-mounted fountain. Food to die for – the breakfast buffet alone is worth the admission price, as is the excellent inhouse L’Assaggio restaurant.
And then there is the location. Castille Paris pulls off a double trick in this respect. It doesn’t feel like you are plum in the heart of Europe’s cultural capital. The hotel, on a quiet little street, is so serene and peaceful, you barely imagine you are in a city at all, let alone one that thrums and hums with a visceral mixture of perfume, car horns, and industrial quantities of gossip.
Yet wander a few minutes in any direction, and you find sights that even Caesar would goggle at. Concorde, Vendôme, Madeleine: three of the city’s most famous squares, all within ambling distance. The Tuileries Gardens, with its world famous art galleries (and a great spot in which to jog – any early risers would be well advised to pick up a pocket-sized map from the hotel, pop on their Reeboks and head directly there).
For those inclined to make good use of their credit cards, the Champs-Elysées sits on the other side of the Place de la Concorde, one of Paris’s foremost shopping meccas. Or there’s Coco Chanel's original Atelier - and the company’s current global flagship store – literally on the doorstep of the hotel itself. Around the corner on Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré and Rue Saint Honoré sit the Parisian homes of Hermès, Lanvin, Versace, and many others. If you can’t buy it here, it probably doesn’t exist.
The Castille Paris is a glorious place to stay a night or two – or a year or two. It’s simply one of the best and most comfortable hotels anywhere in Europe, a place of effortless chic, a hotel you can work in, relax in, loaf around in, even reside in. The food is wonderful, the staff among the best around. And then, of course, there is the great embracing bed. Cast me away on a desert island or set me adrift on an ice floe. I wouldn’t care, so long as I was sleeping in one of Castille Paris’s beds.