The Da Vinci is a 4* Renaissance inspired boutique hotel with just 24 rooms located on the Left Bank near the river Seine, in my favourite part of Paris – the fashionable Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of the 6th arrondissement. The entire hotel Da Vinci is a masterpiece, and when the hotel is a work of art how could my stay be anything less? Let me tell you where the hotel got its name from as there is a fascinating history behind it.
In 1911, one of the greatest paintings of Italian art and certainly the masterpiece of Leonardo Vinci, La Gioconda, better known abroad as “Mona Lisa” was once hidden and slept in the hotel after a man called Vincenzo Perugia successfully committed the theft of the century by stealing the painting from inside the Louvre Museum. The masterpiece was only found two years later in Florence, Italy, when he attempted to sell it to an antiques dealer. The famous painting was then exhibited throughout Italy before finally being returned to Paris, on the 4th January 1914.
And alas, to commemorate the centenary of the painting’s return to France, the hotel after a complete renovation was re-opened and christened with a new name – the Da Vinci. The theme of Leonardo Da Vinci runs throughout the hotel, exuding charm, character and luxury in every detail: in the paintings that adorn the walls, the furniture, the antique telephones and magnificent Venetian mirrors and elegant furnishings.
The opulent bedrooms fall into three room categories; the Inspiration, Renaissance and Médicis. I stayed in a Médicis room with a view over Rue des Saints-Pères, lavishly decorated with a headboard that is modelled with details from the “Madonna of the Carnation”, one of the first works of Leonardo da Vinci and visible beams, the epitome of the French art de vivre. I love that the bathroom is stocked with Roberto Cavalli toiletries, a nice Italian touch!
As a travel wellness guide I’m always in search of a hotel with a spa and hidden in the basement is a privatised spa. A star-studded mosaic arches over the jacuzzi whirl pool in the colours of the Gioconda, where I relaxed and shared a toast to Da Vinci himself with my champagne gift!
The prime location of the hotel makes it a great base from where to explore the sights of Paris. The 6th Arrondissement is the literary heart of Paris. Known for its cafe culture, the 6th Arrondissement was the former haunt of writers, artists, and philosophers such as Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso. There are lots of restaurants, cafe bars and boutique shops. Be sure to stroll the grounds of the Luxembourg Gardens, surrounded by beautiful 19th-century architecture.
As they say all the best things come in small packages and this is certainly the case with the Da Vinci hotel with its historical past, warm and hospitable staff, beautiful interior, wellness spa and the best of Paris right on your doorstep.
Find the Da Vinci at 25 rue des Saint Pères , 75006