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Four volumes of SUITCASE Magazine, with a new issue delivered to your door each quarter
From the left Bank cafe habitué to the naughty Paris of Pigalle’s red-light bars, Paris is all things to all men. One of the great art repositories of the world, Paris harbours a pretty illustrious artistic pedigree, listing Renoir, Picasso, Monet, Rodin and Manet amongst it’s most prized. Despite its antiquities, the city’s cache of modern and contemporary art is no less fervent and can be found across of scores of smaller museums across the Marais and beyond.
With iconic postcard views and wicker-chair-lined terraces, Paris’s cuisine is second to none. Ranging from humble boulangeries, to cosy neighbourhood bistro to a triple-Michelin-starred flavour of the month, the city boasts a varied food scene of tradition and contemporaneity in equal parts.
Shopping is equally scintillating. Browse emerging and established designers in resplendent department stores, scour vintage shops and flea markets, and scan the bankside dark-green bouquiniste stalls for rare editions.
“To know Paris is to know a great deal.” – Henry Miller
“Sensual” is the word that instantly comes to mind when thinking of Maison Souquet; rich velvety fabrics, brocade wallpaper and silky quilts make this a place for romantic tête-à-têtes Montmartre-style. Once a belle-époque brothel, the hotel now emanates exotic and erotic chic, from each of the individually designed rooms to the sumptuous spa. Can’t get enough of Souquet’s allure? The hotel is just steps away from the gorgeous hôtel particulier that houses the Museum of Romantic Life.
While this hotel is set in classic Haussmannian buildings overlooking the Marais, it’s got full-on Scandi vibes. With bleached-wood walls, concrete washbasins and a muted colour scheme, it’s like a Swedish take on Right Bank sophistication. All of the design was dreamt up by Raphael Navot of Paris’ private club, Silencio, which is a favourite among the city’s hip jet-set crowd. When you’re not taking part in one of the hotel’s yoga workshops or catching rays on your terrace, head to the sexy Herbarium bar downstairs to mingle with the local freelance crowd over cocktails come happy hour.
Set smack in between the Bon Marché, Jardins du Luxembourg and Delacroix museum, Hotel Récamier is one of our favourite jumping-off points for a Left Bank extravaganza. St-Germain elegance at its best, it’s got 24 unique chocolate-box bedrooms and a leafy candlelit terrace decked out with tree-trunk based coffee tables. Every detail is done to perfection, including the adorable Petit Prince toiletries that you might just have to tuck into your carry-on at the end of your stay.
Left-bank chic at its best, D’Aubusson is one of the more sizeable Parisian hotels that won’t cost you an arm and a leg for a night’s stay. The old manor maintains much of its 17th-century charm, with a lavish tapestried parlour and roaring fireplace to greet you upon entry. The bedrooms are done in rich shades of burgundy and dove grey, and are perfect for cosy nights nestled under feathery duvets. The hotel’s Café Laurent is one of the city’s oldest cafés and is a buzzing spot for post-dinner cocktails and live jazz.
This homely stay, just across the street from the lush Square du Temple park and a few minutes’ walk from the Picasso Museum, will make you feel as though you’re crashing your interior designer friend’s pad rather than a hotel. The guest room-style suites have French windows opening out onto the park, so you can take in the morning breeze as you lean back against your bed’s velvet headboard and sip your first (of many) café au lait.
For stylish luxury at affordable prices, it’s hard to beat Hotel Parister with its debonair furniture, a sleek swimming pool lined with oversized potted plants and an incredible cocktail bar. Many of the Parister’s rooms have emblematic Parisian terraces, meaning lazy morning cups of coffee overlooking the rooftops of the ninth arrondissement and bang-on Instagram opportunities come sunset (with a glass of red wine in hand, bien sûr). Unlike most stays in the French capital, this one also pays extra attention to fitness. The gym, which has total Soul Cycle vibes, is fully equipped with boxing, yoga, Pilates and cross-training workshops.
Set in an old textile factory, this hotel is located just off Rue Oberkampf, which is rapidly transforming from rough-around-the-edges to cool stretch packed with pretty young things. The hotel maintains much of its industrial history with exposed-brick walls and iron window frames, while adding in colourful modern touches in each of the rooms. The Marais and its plentiful boutiques are just a stone’s throw from the hotel, but we recommend venturing further up Oberkampf to experience cool local bars and restaurants including PNY, Ober Mamma and Chez Justine.
The aptly named Hidden Hotel is ideal for a low-key escape. Tucked away just off the étoile of the Arc de Triomphe, its wooden façade dripping with ivy is an adorable welcome to this chic hideaway. Each room is a cosy cocoon, with ethereal canopy curtains draped around the beds. Despite the hotel’s discreet ambience, the bar and cigar room are spacious and fun for a nightcap after an evening out at nearby clubs Cartel and Titty Twister, just down the Champs Élysées.
The beautiful Hôtel Particulier is unlike any other stay in the city. Hidden away in a garden that feels more Jungle Book than Jardins du Luxembourg lies an all-white house with huge shuttered windows, each of which encloses one of five sweeping suites. The towering yet inviting building is reminiscent of the iconic townhouse in Bemelmans’ Madeline book series, and feels like a private home in the countryside despite its proximity to all that Montmartre has to offer. Check in with your other half for a luxurious weekend of lie-ins and long lunches on the terrace.
To feel like you’re waking up in the hippest of Parisian apartments, book a stay at Le Pigalle, our favourite spot for a supercharged local feel. Mismatched framed posters and paintings hang above cloud-like beds juxtaposed with vintage furniture, while knick-knacks and claw-foot bathtubs bring out the space’s young, sexy and creative atmosphere. Spend a long weekend here and soak up the lived-in personality of your room alongside Pigalle’s naughty ambience.
Hotel Providence, crafted by Pierre Moussié, hot hotel and restaurant tycoon of the moment, is our top pick when it comes to design. The whole place just oozes sumptuousness, from the toasty fireplace that greets you upon entry to the rich dark wood floors and velour House of Hackney wallpaper. On top of being curated to a tee thanks to Moussié’s unbeatable attention to detail, it is located in the hip Haut Marais neighbourhood, a vibrant area studded with up-and-coming shops, galleries, and restaurants. With its cool surroundings and top-notch design standards, this exquisite boutique hotel is the place to be for a weekend tête-à-tête with your other half or a chic girls’ getaway.
Budget boutique at its best, this hotel has remained a reliable option in Paris since it opened in 2009. With its restaurant downstairs and rooftop terrace constantly sporting a uber-cool crew, it always promises an interesting stay. Designed by Philippe Starck, the large communal spaces are playful and inventive with chalk board ceilings covered in scribbled messages and a bar strung with children’s water floaties. Rooms are modern and urban in design and are kitted out with Apple gadgets and personalised products.
If you haven’t seen the pool at Hotel Molitor, shame on you. You’re obviously not following enough design accounts on Instagram. Originally opened in 1929, the Molitor was one of the most fashionable swimming baths in Paris before closing in 1989. The site in the 16th arrondissement was converted into an urban art space before recently reopening as a hotel. The space strikes the perfect balance between the hotel’s art deco past and its modern renovations with original features such as the blue doors on cabins, green railings and the pool’s original glass enclosed ticket booth (which now frames the indoor bar) making the space extra special.
South Pigalle, otherwise known as SoPi, once home to pussy parlours and erotic nightlife, is now the talk of Paris for different reasons with new restaurants, cocktail bars and boutiques opening up every week. Hotel Amour is at the heart of this new activity, bridging the gap between the new and old South Pigalle. Set in a former brothel, its trendy bistro and bar with a large outdoor terrace is the place to be. Upstairs, a black-walled corridor leads to 20 rooms, each designed by a different artist and designer and each with their own nod to the erotic. Ironically however, spending all day in bed isn’t something you’d want to do at the Hotel Amour as the rooms are small and walls are thin – drink downstairs until you don’t care about the noise.
This Thierry Costes hotel is a favourite with the fashion elite and buzzes with an exciting atmosphere. Although most famous for its Michelin-starred restaurant and cocktail list (Laura Bailey always has the caipirinha when she’s here) the 15 rooms here deserve the attention they demand. Flamboyant to say the least, leopard print throws clash wonderfully with bold wallpaper and patterned velvet carpets. Located in the 7th arrondissement with views of the Eiffel Tower and steps away from the Louvre, there’s no better location to see Paris’ highlights.
A night at Hôtel du Temps is like staying at your very trendy Parisian friend’s apartment. The friend in this case is in fact owner Yoan Marciano who teamed up with set designer and architect Laura Leonard and designer Alix Thompson to create a beautiful hotel in this former mansion house between the trendy 9th and 10th arrondissements. The hotel – made up of 23 rooms, a bar and small dining area and a hidden club in the basement – is quirky yet elegant and mixes bespoke furniture with tropical mismatched prints and art you will likely want to take home. The fact that it feels like a friend’s home could be a downside for some – walls are thin, spaces intimate and exterior facing rooms can be noisy.
Stepping inside Hotel Henriette is like stepping into the perfect DIY Pinterest board – wooden desks are built into walls, filament lamps hang from rope and headboards are fashioned out of large slabs of leather. Formerly the Hotel Résidence les Gobelins, the new budget boutique hotel stands as proof of what a bit of paint, a keen eye for design (courtesy of Paris designer Vanessa Scoffier) and an abundance of flowers can do for an establishment. With just 32 rooms, a small dining room, an idyllic outdoor courtyard and prices starting at €89 for a single, this is one of the best budget hotels in Paris.
Trendy, urban and unbelievably affordable for Paris, this hostel attracts the next generation of travellers who would rather spend their money discovering a city than on a five-star hotel room. Shared rooms start at €25 per person and private rooms at €32.50 per person based on four person occupancy, but large communal spaces such as a rooftop terrace and basement club will keep you out of your quarters for the most part. It’s the amount of space you have in comparison to the low price point that will make a lasting impression here. It doesn’t feel like a hostel, but the barefoot teenagers in the lift will remind you that it is.
Designer Philippe Starck has transformed this former sorting office with a vintage feel (and a mandatory modern flair). The newly opened luxury hotel Brach, dons a 30s modernist-era aesthetic, where walls are effortlessly speckled with multi-cultural art and the effortlessly cool vibe of the 16th is palpable. Soft light floods through expansive windows, bouncing off wood-varnished walls and gilded frames plotted above your bed. Take your morning coffee black on your private terrace, before heading inside and ascending the black marble staircase for a pre-breakfast bath. Alternatively, if you want to take your soak al fresco, head up to the rooftop where an outdoor hot tub awaits.
You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.
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