What:
A former bank dating back to the early 20th century, this is the Paris debut of the Spanish hotel group, the Derby Hotels Collection. Paying tribute to its previous incarnation, many original details remain, from medallions on the spandrels of the entrance portico, to the heavy wrought-iron grilles that close the arches. These, juxtaposed with the opulence of the imposingly large glass domed ceiling of the 19 meter-high space and diaphanous vermilion drapes that dominate the main lobby, suggest Hotel Banke evokes more theatrical flair than financial sobriety. Oversized Chesterfield sofas add to the austerity of this grand space.

Where:
Within credit card throwing distance of Paris’s main shopping meccas, in the heart of the French capital’s quartier Haussmann.

Why:
The avant-garde Mediterranean cuisine served in one of the hotel’s two restaurants, and the warm, rich tones of the decoration, which continues throughout, offer a cozy and intimate ambience, yet contrast to the cool Parisian chic of the elegant location for a cosmopolitan feel. However, the star attraction is the impressive collection of ancient jewels displayed throughout the hotel on each floor. For elegance and refinement, this four-star hits the spot.