Boasting direct views over the historic Canal St-Martin and a setting close to the Marais, Le Citizen features a minimalist-chic decor, high-tech touches like loaner iPads, and a cool east-Paris vibe. The focus is urban and eco-friendly, and the spirit reflects the neighborhood, young, hip, friendly, and plugged-in.
For families or groups of four or five, the top-floor Citizen apartment is the way to go.
All but the smallest "City" rooms are quite spacious for Paris, and come with free Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs (with movies on demand), and coffee and tea machines for a homey feel. The views from floor-to-ceiling windows are lovely, but light sleepers may need to use the thoughtfully provided ear plugs for the active nightlife in the vicinity.
Rooms on the top floor have the best views over the treetops to the canal.
Big, brightly tiled baths have plenty of shelf space, with walk-in showers (some with bathtubs), Omnisens toiletries, and nice big mirrors.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some baths are showing their age, but spaciousness and a good layout make up for a bit of wear.
The creative use of modern design elements like light wood and ambient lighting to make the most of small lobby spaces.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The lobby is quite cozy, and though you can work and have a drink there, you may be more comfortable in your spacious room.
Served in the bright downstairs café overlooking the canal, breakfasts are plentiful, delicious and healthy, with fresh-squeezed OJ and an à la carte menu of hot items if so desired. From noon to four, the café is transformed into Maru, serving a 4-course Japanese lunch, including miso soup and green tea, for only 13 euros.
The hotel offers a small selection of drinks to enjoy in the café.
YOU SHOULD KNOW With so many great places for a drink, you might just skip the hotel and head out into the hood to explore.
At Place de la République five metro lines converge. The Canal St-Martin is one of Paris's buzziest neighborhoods and has grown exponentially in the last five years, a fact reflected in its great hip shopping (look for great concept stores, art books, vintage), dining, and drinking scenes. It's also an artsy area (there's a design school nearby) and has always attracted artists for its bucolic atmosphere and pretty light. A fairly central neighborhood, its close to transport and an easy walk from the Marais, Les Halles and the wonderful Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
The Canal St-Martin district has become a dining destination. Check out the rue des Vinaigriers for a nice choice of restaurants (we like Les Vinaigriers gastro bistro and La Taverne de Zhao for good, inexpensive Chinese) and on the rue de Lancry you'll find one of Paris's original wine bars, Le Verre Volé. Philou, a favorite neighborhood bistro, has outdoor dining a block from the canal. For breakfast, lunch and some of the city's best coffee, barista bars Ten Belles and Holybelly are not to miss.
Known for their imaginative and refreshing cocktails, Copper Bay is a convivial spot with a nice décor, and Gravity Bar a fun spot for the crowd. A few minutes from the hotel, star chef Iñaki Aizpitarte's Le Dauphin draws the hipsters for its sleek all-marble interiors (by Rem Koolhaas), well-priced wine list and fabulous tapas plates.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Paris's first eco-hotel, we like the youthful, trailblazing spirit of the place as well as the amazing friendliness of its (small) staff. With only 12 rooms—all with light and views—you'll also feel very much at home.