Hotels where you can spend springtime in Paris
Author Nicholas DeRenzo Photography Warnecke/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images (Robinson)
With its narrow medieval streets and thrumming cafés and shops, Le Marais has developed a reputation for being one of Paris’s rowdier districts. But hidden in plain sight among the crowds is a small hotel where anonymity is literally the guiding principle. Opened in 2014 in a converted 17th-century mansion now decked out with Philippe Starck chairs and silk wall coverings by Hermès, the hotel names each of its eight rooms after a famous alias from history, such as John Doe, Alan Smithee (the pseudonym used by directors who want to disown their films), and Lord R’Hoone (the surname is an anagram of Honoré, as in de Balzac).
AROUND THE 4TH: April 3 marks the 40th running of the Paris Marathon. Follow the sound of the crowd to the 4 km mark, two blocks south of the hotel, to catch the runners as they pass by. This early in the race, most will still look semi-presentable.
Hôtel le Cinq Codet
Although it sits just a block from Les Invalides (Napoleon’s Baroque final resting place), Hôtel le Cinq Codet doesn’t go in for all that opulence and grandeur. Instead, this chic boutique property, which opened in 2014 in the 1930s France Telecom building, plays it cool. Taking their cue from the building’s curvy Art Deco facade, the Jean-Philippe Nuel interiors call to mind a midcentury artist’s studio, with creamy oak paneling, sleek minimalist furnishings, and nearly 400 art pieces by contemporary French painters, photographers, and sculptors.
AROUND THE 7TH: The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the Rodin Museum, which reopened in November after a three-year, $17 million renovation. The gardens—where you’ll find The Thinker—are still home to the “trusting rabbits” that poet Rainer Maria Rilke saw “leaping through the trellises like figures in an ancient tapestry.”
Grand Pigalle Hôtel
Paris’s old red light district, South Pigalle, has quietly transformed into one of the city’s trendiest quarters. Last spring, to go with its new nickname (SoPi), the area welcomed a “bed and beverage,” opened by the trio behind the international Experimental Cocktail Club speakeasy group. Inside, the digs are decidedly more subdued than the neon-lit Moulin Rouge just up the road. Expect brass lamps, custom mahogany desks, pineapple door knockers (a symbol of hospitality), and subtle nods to the hotel’s mixology background, such as martini-glass-patterned carpets and bottles of house cocktails in the minibar.
AROUND THE 9TH: A five-minute walk away, the Museum of Romantic Life celebrates luminaries like Frédéric Chopin and George Sand. Get in the spirit with tea in the garden, which is filled with bellflowers, roses, and clematis this time of year.