Cool Romance in the City of Lights
Explore how Paris can still be the destination of choice for a romantic escape
Words: Damien Woolnough
Partners: The Hoxton - Paris
22th May 2018
Like florals for spring, Taylor Swift writing a breakup song and your Uber driver taking a circuitous route, Paris for a honeymoon is almost expected. Fortunately, The Hoxton in Paris adds edge for those wishing to escape the constraints of cliché.
The understated hotel group already has outposts in Shoreditch, Holborn, Amsterdam and Brooklyn, so they obviously know a cool address and this 18th Century building in the Sentier district fits the bill.
Within walking distance of the bars and cafés of the Marais and shopping fixes of Galeries Lafayette, the Sentier district was historically the home of the textile industry but now the only threads you’ll be counting are on your bed.
After laying dormant for 10 years, the building has been sensitively renovated, maintaining striking historical features such as soaring ceilings, cobbled courtyards and sinuous staircases but given a generous dose of postmodern hipster.
The foyer doubles as a café with louche types wearing APC, Acne and Gucci taking advantage of the free wifi on their laptops on artfully mismatched vintage furniture while ordering some of the city’s best coffee (not a Paris strong suit).
The bar staff know their way around a martini shaker and are happy to go off-menu to mix you the classics.
The rooms are spacious considering many Parisian equivalents, with on point herringbone, parquet floors [check] and a masculine energy with brown leather bedheads, lighting with an industrial edge and your bathroom in a grand metal box. If chintz is your preference, steer clear.
Beds are comfortable enough for Honeymoon exercise but this is Paris, so you will be wanting to explore, get your signature Eiffel Tower Instagram shot and people watch at Café Charlot.
Part of The Hoxton’s vibe is anti-hotel, so there are no over-priced bottles of Petit Chablis in your fridge, only complimentary water and milk. Buffets are also banned, with a breakfast bag filled with yoghurt, granola, an orange juice and banana left at your door in the morning.
The restaurant Rivie provides a more substantial breakfast but is better for lunch with the ever-present French fare of hamburgers and roast chicken. Make sure you book ahead, especially on a Sunday.
The lusious interiors of the Hoxten will give you a sense of envy at turn
For dinner walk to the nearby Fish Club in Les Halles from chef Julien Burlat, which has a chilled speakeasy vibe. In it’s a former butcher’s but if you’re after meat head to the Beef Club next door.
Before leaving the Hoxton head to the hotel’s upstairs bar Jacque’s. The bar staff know their way around a martini shaker and are happy to go off-menu to mix you the classics.
If you’re scared of the impact of all of the croissant nibbling you have planned, metres away from The Hoxton is the Club Med gym, but you will have to pay a 14 Euro entry fee.
The place is filled with fresh-faced staff, who are direct but happy to respond to any requests, such as a late checkout (just pay 10 Euro for each hour) but with a standard midday exit you should be able to stuff your Goyard bags in time to get to Charles De Gaulle airport.
Verdict: Chic and cool. Paris without the clichés in a good way.