Le Marais in Paris is a part of Paris that has always fascinated me so when I was choosing a hotel for my October trip to Paris, I had to take into consideration my two teenagers since they would be travelling with me. As my daughter loves history as much as I do, I figured Le Marias was perfect in terms of it’s historic significance and the uber cool vibes of the area. This was their second visit in less than a year having visited with me last December. Back then, we chose to stay in the Saint Germain area – a favourite part of Paris for me, we were steps away from the Pantheon on Rue des Ecoles which was a fabulous location. This time and having stayed in the Marais in August, I decided it was a part of Paris that held a certain curiosity, I still had lots to discover and I couldn’t wait.
BRIEF HISTORY OF LE MARAIS
The Marias is an old historic part of Paris meaning “marsh” as in marsh land/swamp. It was known as Paris’ aristocratic region where nobility resided until about the 18th century. It’s now more familiar as the Jewish Quarter where many Jews settled as early as the 10th and 11th centuries. Shortly after in the 15th and 16th centuries it became illegal for Jews to live in Paris but were welcomed back after the French Revolution when France was the first country to grant civil rights to Jews. Rue des Rosiers is a prominent street in the Marais, it’s full of wonderful Jewish groceries, bakeries, restaurants, charcuteries and bookshops and just further down on Vieille du Temple, one of the finest creperies in Paris is located, BreizhCafé.
Vieille du Temple is also home to the cute hotel, Caron de Beaumarchais where I stayed in August, a review will follow soon. The Marais is spread over the 3rd and 4th arrondissements in the Right Bank of Paris, it’s largely untouched by Haussemann’s architecture and therefore retains an air of medievalness (is that even a word?) but you get the feeling of mystery and romance walking the narrow cobblestone alleyways. The charming square Place des Vosges is located in the Marias, it’s a green square with all sorts of wonderful boutiques, galleries, beautiful shops and bistros on it’s perimeter. Place des Vosges is home to the author and poet Victor Hugo. In the Marais, you will also find an interesting mix of museums, Musee Carnavalet (closed until the end of 2019 for renovation) Musee Picasso (a museum of Picasso’s works) Maison de Victor Hugo (Victor Hugo’s home, now a museum) Musee Cognacq-Jay and Memorial de la Shoah (museum of the Holocaust). The Marais district of Paris has so much to offer the discerning traveller, there’s so much I’ve yet to see and it’s somewhere I’d like to make my base again. If you’d like to hear more about the Marais, I will be writing posts on the different arrondissments of Paris soon and there will be a more in-depth post on the Marias.
Rue des Rosiers, a prominent street in the Marais full of Jewish shops and groceries.
The choice I made was the hotel, Turenne Le Marais on Rue de Turenne. It’s a 3* boutique hotel and the location is fantastic, just a stone’s throw away from Place des Vosges and Place du Marche-Sainte-Catherine with it’s charming little bistro’s, it’s one of the reasons why I picked it when deciding on a hotel for my October trip. The hotel is light and bright, very contemporary and the best part, it’s very affordable too. I know I’ve mentioned the fantastic location of the Turenne Le Marais so many times, but I forgot to also say it’s not too far from historic Bastille, it’s also feet away from Rue de Rivoli. Continue and you’ll be passing the Louvre Museum and then the famous Angelina coffee and patisserie shop, the walk is about 3 km which will take you a good 40 minutes but there is no better way to see Paris than on foot and what’s more, you get your daily 10,000 steps in so what’s not to love!
My son and my daughter aged 17 and 15 joined me for this trip during October half-term week. I had never visited Paris in the depths of Autumn and it was beautiful to see the vibrant leaves fall and cover the Parisian boulevards like a carpet of bright orange, red and deep golden brown. My children really liked the contemporary feel of the hotel, the large bedroom and bathroom. It’s central location meant we were able to walk to the Notre Dame crossing the Pont Saint-Louise bridge which is five minutes from the hotel. Further on from the NotreDame, is the Latin Quarter where I always take my teens to enjoy hot chocolate at Café de Flore. They remember with much fondness the rich dark hot chocolate they had on a bitterly cold day last December at this famous café, a trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a visit to either CafédeFlore or LeDeauxMagots. Both frequented by writers and poets, painters and intellectuals such as Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and Simone de Beauvoir.
At the hotel, I had requested a triple room which accommodated us perfectly. There are two separate spaces between the sliding doors of this large bedroom with two comfy beds (as this was a triple room) to the large bathroom plus a single bed in the entrance/hallway of the room which my son had and was perfectly acceptable and large enough for him, he was very happy to have this little bit of privacy to chill when we came back from a long day of sightseeing. I’d say it was a definite plus and so happy the room had this option. This part of the room also had a small television whilst the main bedroom had a large TV and was very easy to navigate.
Two large single beds in the triple room.
A sliding door separates this space between the large bathroom and the hallway which is equiped with the third single bed.
The bathroom is what surprised me the most about this hotel, it was huge, obviously I don’t know if all the bathrooms in the hotel are this big, but it was very welcome and bigger than most 5* star deluxe hotels I’ve been to. The shower reminded me a little of a wet room just because of the panel of glass which separated it from the rest of the bathroom. Also provided were the usual bath products, large fluffy bathrobes and towels. Full size bath products, shampoo and shower gel were also provided in the shower itself, the only thing the hotel overlooked was replenishing the toilet paper.
The room has complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, this is something I always look for in a hotel but unfortunately not always provided especially in a 3* or 4* or boutique hotel, it’s something I believe all hotels should offer so I was very happy about that. The only thing I would say is there weren’t enough coffee pods or tea bags and milk wasn’t replenished so the following day. I had black coffee which was a bit annoying. I’m sure a call to reception would soon rectify this minor issue but more toilet paper is essential, so I feel I need to point this out to the hotel. The room was pleasantly warm, unfortunately I am not great with gadgets and wasn’t sure how the heating worked but luckily, it was set at perfect temperature. The other thing I really liked was the lighting, it was bright, easy to control right by your bedside. There were electricity sockets a plenty which pleased us all with three mobiles and ipods to charge!
During our stay, what we didn’t have was breakfast at the hotel. I always choose to add breakfast to a booking if available, in some hotel’s you pay for breakfast when you check out. This is the case at Turenne Le Marias but you can opt to add it at time of booking, this time, we didn’t take it as my teens aren’t really fond of continental breakfast preferring to have a more substantial cooked breakfast. In this case, we were fortunate to find a fab little café which does a satisfying continental breakfast for about 11 euros which includes a hot drink, juice, croissant, gorgeous French bread with butter and jam which the French call Tartine, it’s their breakfast staple and that suited me just fine, but both my daughter and son chose to have an omelette which kept them nice and full until lunch and provided enough energy for all that walking and sightseeing. I really recommend this café for a quick and satisfying breakfast, it’s called Au Bouquet Saint Paul and it’s literally just steps away from the hotel on the corner of rue Saint Paul and Rue Saint-Antoine which leads on to Rue de Rivoli.
The breakfast area at the hotel with reception/lobby further on. A bright, light contemporary hotel.
We had a brilliant time in Paris again, Alex and Zoe really enjoyed their three days and as much as they loved December in Paris, I think they preferred it this time as it wasn’t as busy or cold. Last December was really crowded especially on the Champs Elysee with all the Christmas Markets and trying to get into the Paris Saint-Germain football shop was excruciatingly long but this time round, my son was happy to walk in and buy what he wanted in less than 10 minutes. I liked Paris during the festive period, it twinkled liked sparkly jewels at night and there was a certain magical aura about it so I know I will visit during a December again to enjoy Paris at Christmastime.
I stumbled on a gem in choosing Turenne Le Marais Hotel, the staff were so hospitable especially morning and afternoon receptionist, I think his name was Majid. He couldn’t do enough for us guiding us and hailing cabs for us in the evening, he was very chatty and my son found him really amusing. It’s a very down to earth hotel with a casual atmosphere, we felt at home. It surpassed all my expectations, it was value for money and it’s somewhere I really recommend. I’ll definitely choose to stay here again especially on my solo visits to Paris and beeing in the heart of this historic, bohemian and captivating part of Paris is a definite plus.
Turenne Le Marais
6 Rue de Turenne
+33 1 42 78 43 25
Opinions are my own and most of the photographs, a few supplied by the hotel.