PHOTO: Louis Pellissier | Unsplash

Fodor's Expert Review Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers

243 Rue Saint-Martin, Paris, 75003, France See on Map

A plum location between the up-and-coming Sentier neighborhood and the ultra-chic Haut Marais is just one feather in this recently opened hotel's very stylish cap. Add to that a timeless beauty and an ecological ethos, thanks to a phalanx of French artisans mobilized to give two elegant Haussmannian buildings a total makeover using all-natural materials: marble, stone, copper, ceramic, linen, natural wood. A rooftop bar, Italian trattoria, and dusky cocktail lounge all contribute to placing this hotel among the area's best.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Only a few months old at this writing, the hotel is still ironing out some wrinkles. But we're entirely confident this will be one of Paris's great success stories.


Refined rooms follow more or less the same footprint: sleek furnishings in lustrous wood and velvet, original artworks that highlight the historic neighborhood, chic lighting, and classic parquet floors. Some rooms come with a balcony or small planted terrace some with views over a splendid 17th-century Gothic church across the way, others with views over the inner courtyard.

All rooms come with a Nespresso machine and well-equipped minibar, with some local delicacies.


Bathrooms are uniform throughout, with handsome terrazzo tiling, wood details, huge walk-in rain showers, robes and slippers, and bespoke bath products scented with the house perfume with a delicate hint of pine.


The architecturally sophisticated lobby-reception area contains a small boutique—with chic knicknacks, books, and Paris mementoes—and a light-filled atrium thanks to the Gustave Eiffel-inspired retractable glass roof. Easy chairs and sofas invite lounging with or without a drink or coffee from the Venetian-style cicchetteria bistro.


The stylish Ristorante National and the cicchetteria bar and bistro tapped some veteran Parisian culinary talents to raise their profiles from hotel restaurant and bistro to neighborhood destination, relying on the template du jour: the best ingredients for an ambitious Italian cuisine. Prices may be on the steep side, but there's no arguing with the exquisite setting: ice-blue velvet banquettes and vintage chairs, marble tables and handmade tableware all surrounded by beautiful hand-painted linen panels and a stunning wall sculpture of copper tubes by Paris artists.

A copious, top-quality buffet breakfast is served in the bistro or in the atrium.


Unique in Paris, the dusky Herbarium is already a neighborhood favorite for its mad-scientist-meets-perfumer-themed drinks, based on botanical infusions of plants and flowers: verbena, iris, jasmine, kaffir lime, fermented black olive, etc. Everything is house-made and you can test your olfactory match with a spritz of whichever drink takes your fancy before ordering. Live music on weekends. We mustn't forget the rooftop bar, with its dazzling panoramas of Paris's zinc rooftops, Sacré Coeur, and a distant Eiffel Tower. It's small, so get there early.


For shopping, four concept stores not to miss: Merci, the fashionistas go-to shop for everything from stationery and housewares to shoes, and Empreintes, featuring handmade housewares and artworks from Paris-based artists and artisans, The Broken Arm for a small, curated collection of top designers, and L'Eclaireur, a fabulous architectural space chock full of the best designers around. For the best jewelry selection, Hod on rue Vieilles du Temple and the wonderful WhiteBird a few steps from Merci, have you covered.


Getting Around

Within a two-to-five-minute walk of metro stations Arts et Métiers, Etienne Marcel, and République, which, between the three, get you pretty much anywhere you need to go in Paris.

Between the hip Sentier-Arts et Métier neighborhood and the Haut Marais, this is really an ideal spot for foodies and fashionistas alike. Chic restaurants and cocktail bars abound, along with the scores of fabulous boutiques of the Upper Marais. Foodies shouldn't miss a stroll on tiny rue de Nil, home of the Frenchie empire, gourmet coffee, grocers, etc., and there's plenty culturally too, beginning with the Musée des Arts et Métiers, devoted to the great inventions of Paris's past, the fabulously art-centric Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, and the Centre Pompidou, all minutes away. Within easy walking distance of Canal St-Martin, Palais-Royal and the Louvre, and the lower Marais, you're in a plum spot.


There's so much so close that you'd better do your homework, but here are a few standouts: the Frenchie Empire on the rue de Nil, including Frenchie Bar à Vins, one of the city's best wine bars with food to match; Daroco for a good wood-fired pizza in a stunning setting (designer J-P Gaultier's ex-atelier in the gorgeous Galerie Vivienne) with its super-stylish cocktail bar Danico in back. And Le Rubis wine bar, a pared-down foodie favorite, offers a straightforward menu of bistro classics and great wines by the glass. For vegetarians, Merci's basement café is tops.


Arts et Métiers's sister hotel, Le Bachaumont (a few minutes away) is home to Le Night Flight, a comely lounge and chic spot for a craft cocktail. There's also the Experimental Cocktail Club, one of Paris's trailblazers, and Mabel, a minimalist speakeasy on nearby rue d'Aboukir. You can also head over to the much-loved Candelaria and Mary Celeste in the Haut Marais (10-minute walk).


It's no mistake that Arts et Métiers landed here, as you couldn't find a better spot in Paris for hip shopping, dining, and nightlife. After a day revelling in chicdom, the enchantment continues in this beautiful, ultra-refined abode.



Phones: +33 1 80 97 22 80

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