Jean-Michel Wilmotte's revival of this graceful 19th-century building is a testament to sensitive, sophisticated design, where every detail, from the beautiful internal staircase to the serenely cozy public spaces and guest rooms, invites repose. A warm and sophisticated oasis in a stately but low-key Parisian neighborhood that remains close enough but still outside the bustle of nearby Boulevard Haussmann.
With more than a nod to haute Japanese design, all of the rooms' spare but sumptuous interiors hinge on the use of luxurious natural materials—wood, marble, linen, wool, cotton—deluxe modern furniture, and designer lighting, all in soft, elegant neutrals. All of the rooms are notably larger than the Paris average, and capitalize on views over quintessentially Parisian buildings, especially the Saint-Eugène-Sainte-Cécile church across the way. A few of the 33 rooms have balconies, and if you can handle the extra splurge, it's well worth it.
The higher category rooms come with kettles, Nespresso machines, and a complementary bottle of champagne, but everyone gets an elegant little gift box from Maison de Chocolat.
Deep Japanese baths in wood or luminous marble are the highlight of the bathrooms, with wooden interior seats for a long, comforting soak in the tub. Mood lighting, organic Nuxe products, and a little shelf for a book or, as the hotel advertises, a glass of champagne, make that proposition all the more appealing.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Lower category rooms come with a big walk-in rain shower. Nice, but we highly recommend a tub.
Just past the handsome reception area and mini-boutique, the cozy lounge-bar, clad in the hotel's signature pale wood and complete with a snug little fireplace in winter, is open all day for a hot or cold drink and a menu of bar snacks. Or you can lounge in the library over a book, magazine, or newspaper.
There is no formal spa, but you can book a massage or a range of Nuxe spa treatments (a well-known organic Paris beauty brand with its own Paris spa) in-house between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
A superb hot and cold buffet breakfast is served downstairs in a dedicated breakfast room that's part of La Régalade Conservatoire, the hotel restaurant, one of chef Bruno Doucet's trio of gourmet bistros around Paris. (Doucet took over the first and hugely famous La Régalade from Yves Camdeborde, who made it a benchmark in classic, well-priced bistro fare and he has not veered from this winning formula.) Régalade's 37 euro bistro menu for dinner is a bargain: starting with its trademark country terrine with cornichons and finishing with the famously rich riz au lait, a recipe from someone's French grandma, all washed down with an excellent natural wine.
YOU SHOULD KNOW We hope you're staying longer than a night because you've got plenty of tempting out-of-hotel dining choices (see our Restaurant notes).
You've got plenty of choices for settling in with a drink, whether at the wraparound marble restaurant bar, with a snack or dinner, or in the comfy hotel lounge. Or on your very own balcony with a view.
A 15-minute walk from the hotel, you'll discover two gem-like museums in the beautiful Nouvelle Athènes neighborhood: Musée de la Vie Romantique, with its charming garden café, and the Musée National Gustave Moreau. You’re also an easy walk to the rue des Martyrs, one of the best market streets in the capital, loaded with cafés, chic boutiques, vintage shops and gourmet foods. Five minutes away, on Bld Haussmann, the historic early 19th-century covered passages Jouffroy, Verdeau, and Panoramas are lovely to walk through to get a feel for what the first shopping malls were like and explore the atmospheric bookstores, galleries, and cafés.
A five-minute walk from the Cadet and Grands Boulevards metro stations.
You're going to love this neighborhood, and it's worth investing in a guide to show you why. From the historic covered passages on the Boulevard Haussmann and Boulevard Strassbourg (Passage Brady), the museums and architecture of Nouvelle Athènes to the north, shopping on the wonderful old market streets Rue Montorgeuil and the fabulous Rue des Martyrs, and exploring the bustling foodie havens of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis and Rue du Nil, and the many little streets surrounding the hotel. You explorations will be well rewarded.
You wouldn't think it, but this area is full of fabulous dining options that you'll want to exploit at every opportunity, starting with the sensational, postage-stamp-sized Abri, whose Japanese chef routinely blows away the critics. Don't worry if you can't get reservations (few can), on nearby Rue Richer, L'Office and Le Richer offer the kind of low-key gastronomic bistro fare that's reinstated Paris as a foodie capital (all within a 5-minute walk). In the atmospheric Passage Panoramas, a must-see anyway, you'll find no less than a half-dozen worthy dining spots, including Racines wine bar, two-Michelin-star Passage 53, Café Stern, Canard et Champagne, Noglu (non-gluten restaurant), etc. (10-minute walk).
You've got lots of choices for cocktails too, but one we like a lot is the sweetly intimate Jacques Bar at the new Hoxton Hotel, we recommend you get there on the early side, though, since it seats about 20 comfortably (5-minute walk) and it's hot. If you like to sample a choice selection of wines from around the world, at Frenchie Bar à Vins you can order a glass from any bottle on the menu—and what a menu! And the bar snacks are some of the best in town (10-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
It may seem pricey for an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood you may not be familiar with, but trust us on this one: If you've got the budget, it won't disappoint. With so much to see in the area, and quick transport from nearby Boulevard Haussmann to the tourist sites, you'll love returning home to this peaceful and ultra-stylish haven.