Concierge.com's insider take:
Oscar Wilde moved to this Saint-Germain address (then the Hôtel Alsace pension house) in the late 19th century and died here in 1900—but not before quipping, "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death; one or other of us has got to go." Unfortunately, the wallpaper won; in 2000, Jacques Garcia revamped what is believed to be Wilde's room with a phoenix mural flanked by the writer's unpaid bills. Actually, Garcia's ongoing refurb has wrapped everything—except the fabulous arcaded spiral staircase—in his signature neo-Baroque style. Plush velvet curtains flow from molded ceilings down to faux-leopard runners. Marble columns, crystal chandeliers, and brass wall sconces dress the secluded lobby and bar. A mosaic-paved pool occupies the vaulted cellar. And the atrium restaurant, which serves classic French cuisine, comes as a sunny, dress code–free surprise. Each of the 20 rooms is individually themed: Art Deco furniture, including a mirrored bed owned by 1930s singer Mistinguett, fills the room she preferred; original Belle Époque oil paintings depict idealized city scenes in the Rues de Paris room; lavish chinoiseries bedeck the Pagode room. In its mid-20th-century heyday, L' Hôtel attracted the likes of Salvador Dalí, Frank Sinatra, and Ava Gardner, and word has spread again: The glitterati and sophisticated couples keep this 20-room property booked solid, so reserve two to three months in advance for high-season accommodation.