The gang at the Experimental Group continue to open incredible, stylish, and affordable hotels in Europe. Their latest Paris entry is a refined and chic meeting of old and new.
Hôtel des Grands Boulevards
2nd Arr., Paris
PARIS — Nestled between the historic Bourse and trendy Sentier neighborhoods, just steps away from the energy of Strasbourg Saint-Denis, I discovered l’Hôtel des Grands Boulevards, the latest Parisian lifestyle masterpiece from the Experimental Group, creators of the Experimental Cocktail Clubs and the Grand Pigalle and Henrietta Hotel. Built shortly after the French Revolution, l’Hôtel des Grands Boulevards was once a cinema before becoming a bourgeois residence. Its history permeates the air.
I walked through the long entry and felt I had found a secret enclave. The elegant and contemporary décor was done by famed designer Dorothée Meilichzon, who preserved the building’s history, including select elements from the era of Louis XVI, mixing interior and exterior elements; playing with vegetation, trellises, gates, and a fountain. The evocative rustic atmosphere is reminiscent of the 18th century, balanced with the pomp of the Grand Siècle. Cast-iron stoves, faded blue faience tiles, and red marble make an appearance — Meilichzon’s trademark retro accents are omnipresent.
After passing through the Grand Restaurant, a collaboration with Giovanni Passerini, the celebrated Parisian chef of Restaurant Passerini, I immediately booked a table for dinner, opting to dine at the trellis-like bar: The menu of French-Italian country classics set within a covered courtyard was hard to resist. I also had my eye on the dimly-lit cocktail bar, featuring creative libations listed on the menu according to their strength, served with or without spirits.
Taking the elevator to the fourth floor, I settled into my room, a spacious design haven reminiscent of a chic Parisian apartment. My Art Deco bed exhibited a regal canopy amid natural elements, including exposed wood beams and wooden night tables. The plush feather bed was fit for a queen, and certainly made me feel like one. One of the hotel’s two terraces was in view. I perched myself at the window to take it all in.
Access to the hotel is through a discreet gated entrance on bustling Boulevard Poissonniere, just in front of metro stop Grands Boulevards in the 2nd arrondissement near Sentier.
Modern and bright décor juxtaposed with elegant French details.
This Place Is Perfect For
Business travelers and couples looking for a tranquil sanctuary in the middle of Paris’s dynamic Right Bank. Children are welcome.
But Not So Perfect For
Couples seeking respite off the beaten path, away from Paris's vibrant restaurant and bar scene.
Food + Drink
The Experimental Cocktail Club has been opening notable restaurants and bars in global capitals for the past decade, leveraging culinary heavyweights to great effect. Following in the footsteps of Ollie Dabbous at Henrietta Hotel in London is superstar chef Giovanni Passerini (of Restaurant Passerini fame), who joined forces with chef Sho Ahizawa to create a modern yet rustic lunch and dinner menu of French-Italian classics. The neighboring bar serves some of Paris’s best cocktails.
Number of Rooms
50 rooms, including several spacious junior suites.
Tea and coffee, of course. Free WiFi. Bluetooth speaker to sync your device for custom tunes. Air-conditioning optional in all rooms. Toiletries are a mix of curated brands and change regularly.
The trellis bar in the middle of the sunlit restaurant is the perfect backdrop for a café or an apéro.
What to Do Nearby
The bustling Strasbourg Saint-Denis neighborhood is steps away, offering plenty of terraced cafes and trendy eateries. Notable restaurants nearby include Richer for fine dining, Bonhomie for shared plates and cocktails, Da Graziella and Pizza Popolare for pizza, and Restaurant 52 for modern French cuisine. Keep the night going at Silencio, David Lynch's semi-private club. Shoppers will love L'Appartement Sézane and the Passage des Panoramas, Paris's oldest covered walkway filled with charming eateries and craft shops, which is just a block away.