For that traditional French feeling, book a room at this small, intimate, affordable, and totally romantic hotel, on a lively street in the historic and fashionable Marais, whose theme is the work of former next-door neighbor Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, the playwright who penned The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville and a financial backer of the American revolutionaries.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Rue Vieille du Temple, and nearby Rue de Rivoli, are two of the Marais's main arteries. If you were hoping for a small, quiet street away from it all, reconsider. That said, you couldn't be more convenient to, well, everything!
Intimate, comely rooms, with original hand-hewn beams, are richly decorated in soft colors and provincial fabrics with antique period furnishings and winsome artworks. Though on a bustling street, double glazing keeps rooms quiet, whether facing the street or courtyard.
Rooms on the second floor have small balconies.
Clean, modern white baths, with pretty hand-painted bathroom tiles, offer bathtubs with a shower and include all the contemporary amenities you'll need.
The small but lovely lobby reflects the taste of 18th-century French nobility—down to the floral wallpaper, harp and 1792 pianoforte.
A reasonably priced, classic French breakfast, served in your room or in the charming cellar breakfast room, includes croissants with jam and butter, a boiled egg, fruit, paté and good coffee or tea.
The Saint Paul metro station serves line no. 1, Paris's fast central line. You can also get several bus lines on the Rue de Rivoli in front of the hotel. The Marais is Paris’s epicenter for all things trendy and catnip for hipsters sporting a more “downtown” style, but it's also a beautiful historic neighborhood, with pretty small parks and an excellent cultural scene. Within a block of this fabulously located hotel you’ll find the elegant Place des Vosges (surrounded by a 17th-century palace), the last vestiges of Paris’s old Jewish quarter, on rue des Rosiers, and a lively gay scene. Interspersed with the scores of chic boutiques (it is Paris’s largest shopping district), are world-class art galleries, some truly great Paris museums, including the Musées Carnavalet, Picasso and Cognacq-Jay, and a handful of cultural centers. It's also a quick hop across the river to Notre Dame and the Ile Saint-Louis.
For budget dining head to the beloved Breizh Café (a few minutes away by foot, across the Rue Vieille du Temple from the Musée Picasso) for a sweet or savoy crêpe and a crisp artisanal cider. Or grab Paris's best falafel sandwich at the famous L'As du Fallafel (also minutes away) to savor in one of the Marais's many charming little parks. For a totally French experience, Café des Musées (a few minutes away on the rue Turenne near the Musée Picasso) is a favorite of the locals, and for a more upscale meal, especially in summer, we love Grand Coeur for it's soaring decor and lovely terrace.
For a glass of wine and great people watching, you can't go wrong at any of the cafés lining the lively Rue Vieille du Temple (we like Les Philosophes and Le Fer au Cheval). There are lots of gay bars along the Rue des Archives and the superchic haut Marais—the upper part of the 3rd arrondissement—is home to two of our very favorite cocktail lounges, Mary Celeste and Candelaria.
WHY WE LIKE IT
As the many repeat customers will tell you (or, maybe not, as they're in on a good secret), this welcoming, family-run hotel is long on charm, comfort, and coziness in a location that can't be beat. What's more, the price is right.