Hotel des Grands Boulevards, Paris

Hotel des Grands Boulevards, Paris

down an alley in the spirited 2nd Arrondissement you’ll
find Hotel des Grands Boulevards.
Displaying a primped and feminine mystique, this madame beguiles
from the outset. Identifiable by a wirework gate and sandstone
guard dogs stationed at either end of the entranceway, playfulness
and frivolity is par for the course here.

The second Paris-based
hotel from the Experimental Group is positioned as an upper-mid
level homestay catering to the more polished cool kid – think early
adopters of a gentrified area rather than part of the trailblazing
artistic coven. In line with a current generation of four-star
lifestyle hotels, service is friendly without being fawning, while
interiors weld romanticism with modern touches. Take the
mirror-flanked lift to your floor and teeter along the carpeted
“greige” corridor until you reach your bedroom door. Greeted by
inky hues and a kitsch golden bumblebee knocker, you’ll turn a
tasselled leather key and enter your weekend sanctum.


With a macaron palette of sky blue, pink and pale green to rival
Ladurée, bedroom interiors are peaceful and pretty as punch.
Frou-frou furnishings – canopied beds, scalloped curtains and
archway-style doors – are countered by oversized fishhook curtain
tie-backs and contemporary glassware. The hotel’s 50 bedrooms,
designed by French celebrity interior decorator Dorothée
Meilichzon, vary in size and stature but are uniform in their
grandiose look. It’s about mingling aristocratic designs with
provincial furnishings, playing with the splendour of the
pre-Revolution while allying to a more rustic aesthetic; linen and
distressed-wood furniture combine with glass cupboards and red
marble tabletops. Modern-day must-haves include an organic coffee
machine, 300 thread-count sheets, a mirror that transforms into a
TV, plus a mini bar cocktail collection by Experimental Cocktail
Club and a dinky (and purchasable) dial-up phone.

Bathrooms are worthy of their own paragraph thanks to a
sumptuous marble tub, double sink, trinity of mirrors and intricate
trellis detailing along the base of the bath. You’ll also spot cosy
waffle robes and slippers, embroidered with a pale-blue design that
is also found on the towelling. Guests are encouraged to take home
a complimentary range of organic beauty products by the likes of
Codage, Ren and Sachajuan.


Served from 7AM to 10.30AM daily (on Sunday brunch is also
available between 12PM-3PM), breakfast is a buffet-style
continental affair featuring eggs (though for a reason unbeknown to
us, they don’t do poached). The best petit déjeuner has got to be
taken in bed, however, and silver-tray service will make you feel
as extra as Louis XIV.

How about lunch and dinner?

Italian-born chef Giovanni Passerini focuses on French-Italian
country cooking in the Grand Restaurant which is centred in and
around a terracotta-tiled courtyard. The heart of the hotel, it’s
particularly alluring at 6PM when the light dances off 1930s-style
windows as golden-hour rears its head. A retractable glass ceiling
means warm summer days and balmy nights can run into one, festooned
on a red banquette. The chef is known for his pasta shop, but it’s
more about the atmosphere than the meal here.

Is there a bar?

The Shell is a mould from which all Parisian cocktail bars
should be cast; intimate, crimson walls, velvet armchairs and a
brushed gold bar top. The room is inspired by Marie Antoinette’s
love of sea shells and evokes and sultry boudoir mise-en-scène.
Open until 2AM, there’s ample time to sample their cocktail menu,
created by the master mixologists at the Experimental Cocktail

Within a short distance you’ll find…

Sunny days demand a trip to the Jardin des Tuileries followed by
a meander along the bohemian Left Bank. A short walk westwards will
bring you to the Place de l’Opéra, where you’ll find the sumptuous
Opéra National de Paris. Also within walking distance is the Musée
des Arts et Métiers; spend a few hours marvelling at some of the
2,400 inventions within its collection, among them Foucault’s

Renowned local restaurant Frenchie (owned by Chef Gregory
Marchand) is close by and a must if you haven’t been before. For
on-trend dining wander along the Faubourg Poissonnière, while it’s
worth noting that our new favourite neighbourhood, Pigalle, is just
a 15-minute walk away. If only The Experimental Group will do,
Hotel Panache is also in the area.

Things you should know

Despite its buzzing central location, bedrooms are entirely
silent – thank you, sound proofing. And if the Hotel des Grands
Boulevards is full, you can always stay at the group’s sister hotel
in the 9th – the Grand Pigalle.