The 'Eugène' in question at the new Hotel Eugène en Ville is the 19th century novelist Eugène Sue, and this well-heeled corner of Paris' 9th arrondissement is so untouched by modernity that you can almost sense him penning away in the mise-en-scène. The décor reflects the Paris of Sue's time, with atmospheric Mouille lighting, brass touches, baroque wallpapers and vintage objets on the bookshelves. The palette of pinstripe greys and tailored browns is dappled with French blue, as imagined by architect Monika Kappel with designers Carole Picard and Virginie Brisset. The bedrooms, too, avoid the temptation for feminine Parisienne touches in favour of chocolate brown carpets and valet stands. Downstairs, a canteen serves up charcuterie plates and iced Brittany oysters from a tin-faced bar under stamped-tin ceilings - fuel for a night at the Opéra or a stroll to the faded Pigalle.