Time Out Oliver Knight
Time Out says
If sleeping in a bank sounds weird, don't worry - there are no carpet tiles or pens screwed to the table at the Hôtel Banke. This swish establishment in the Opéra district occupies the former HQ of the CCF bank, a magnificent early 20th-century building designed by Paul Friesse and Cassien Bernard in the 'Eiffel style' - under the pastiche of its Pompeian red galleries and soaring glass ceiling there is actually an iron frame.
The Banke is owned by the Spanish Derby Hotels chain, and Catalan design flair comes through in a just-this-side-of-kitsch approach to dressing up the splendid lobby, with gold leather chesterfields and Swarovski-studded armchairs by Bretz, as well as Starck Perspex bar stools and transparent tables in the circular Lolabar.
Some of the executive rooms seem rather small for the price tag, but all is quality here, with parquet flooring, green Bizazza mosaics in the bathroom and luxurious burgundy taffeta on the bed. The lighting is particularly well done, with huge black pendulum lights either side of the bed, and a walk-in closet that lights up when you approach. The deluxe rooms are significantly bigger with a Jacuzzi bath, and there is also a romantic circular suite on the first floor complete with marble fireplace and gilded mouldings.
The Josefin restaurant serves fine Catalan food with a small choice of excellent Spanish wines. Stand-out dishes include carpaccio of lobster, artichokes with Iberian ham, and line-caught sea bass with broad beans.
It's just a shame that they haven't sorted out the music. Tinny pop echoes around the cavernous space when sultry lounge music would be a better match for the designer setting. Food, design and location are all pretty much spot on, but the ultimate treat here is the sleep you'll have. Perfect black-out curtains, perfect soundproofing and imperceptible air conditioning mean that you can bank on a decent night's slumber.
Hôtel Banke 20 rue La Fayette
- 20 rue La Fayette
- 20 rue La Fayette
- Hôtel Banke