Hotel Chopin is a tiny 2* hotel nestled inside the passage Jouffroy next to the waxworks museum, Musée Grévin, the equivalent of our Madame Tussauds on the Grands Boulevards. Paris’ Grands Boulevards district is known for its old-world charm, a wide network of boulevards that span from the Madeleine church in the 9th arrondissement to the 2nd stretching to the 11th. Hausmann restructured the boulevards giving them their characteristic architecture and form, long and straight and with wide pavements making them perfect for cafés with large terraces to enjoy a leisurely drink and to coin that popular phrase, “people watching” a favourite Parisian pastime.
As well as cafés and bistros, the area is dotted with theatres and clubs, probably the most iconic part of this neighbourhood are the covered passages/arcades which are full of unique and authentic gifts, they’re steeped in history and glamour and are chic and timeless. Staying in this part of Paris would not be complete without visiting these elegant passages.
Having never really explored this area at any great length, I decided it’s where I wanted to stay on my recent visit to Paris. Proving that Paris is most certainly affordable, I wanted to put this to the test and that’s how I came to pick this cute hotel, the Hotel Chopin. Was the hotel named after the Polish composer Frederic Chopin? Well his father was certainly French, and we do know that Chopin spent a great deal of time in this district of Paris. The hotel is one of the oldest in Paris first opening in 1846 when the passage Jouffroy was first constructed. It’s a small hotel that oozes charm and romance, the 36 rooms overlook the rooftops of Paris. The exterior of the hotel cannot be missed, right at the end of passage Jouffroy, it resembles an antique shop with its name Chopin blazoned above. Passage Jouffroy with its glass roof is one of the most visited in Paris, a charming array of shops line both sides including a very old-fashioned looking sweet shop, La Cure Gourmande which I love, antique books, a tea shop, a shop selling unusually designed walking sticks and even a small Marks and Spencer’s food store which is handy for that extra bottle of water for your room.
The lobby is small and very pretty with a tiny reception area and authentic 19th century artefacts adding to its already old-world charm. It has a comfy sofa, a grand piano, a large bust of Chopin himself and a beautiful Persian rug in the centre, next to the reception desk, stairs leading up to the hallway, the breakfast area and lifts. The receptionist was a lovely lady in the latter stages of pregnancy and extremely kind and helpful offering our room key and letting us know about one important fact to take into consideration when staying in any hotel housed inside a passage and that is, after 9:00pm, it’s closed to the public however a bell alerts the receptionist to buzz you in by releasing the gate to the front of the passage Jouffroy.
The hotel has 36 rooms ranging from budget, classic and family. The budget rooms start at 99 euros with classics at 115 and triple/family rooms are around 130 euros. The budget rooms are just that, no frills, they’re intended to maximise your budget and spend your hard-earned money out and about in Paris instead, perfectly comfortable though, they’re just on the small side. These rooms as well as the others are equipped with wifi, shower and/or bath, safety deposit box, direct phone and TV. We chose a classic room for our stay which was cute, tastefully decorated in blue and white fabrics with the feel of a cosy country cottage.
For this rating of hotel, I was really impressed with the quality of the bathroom, not as small as I expected and with a super powerful shower, I think this was the star of the room. The only thing this room does not have is a mini bar and there are no bathrobes, when you’re used to having such comforts, it comes as a bit of shock not to, but this is a 2* hotel after all. Also missing are bedside cabinets just little shelves but the wardrobe space is ample for a short one or two-night stay.
The other thing Mr LmP was annoyed about was the difficulty in navigating the TV, well to be honest, he couldn’t switch it on, so I had to get some printed instructions from reception. Classic rooms are surprisingly not as small as some 4* hotels I’ve stayed in and that’s a definite plus making up for some of the amenities and comforts that are missing from a basic hotel such as the Chopin. The windows open to a view of Paris rooftops as described on the website, but we had a lower level room with a ledge, so we were very kindly welcomed by the hotels’ resident cat who is adorable. The hotel though not very refined, has a lovable warmth about it and you can’t but help to feel cocooned in its charm.
As a 2* hotel, facilities are basic but include 24 hour a day, 7 day a week fully operational reception proficient in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian. Hotel Chopin offer a concierge service for all your sightseeing and eating out needs. Knowing the area inside out, they can assist you in all aspects of essential sightseeing, what to do, what to see and what to eat and are more than happy to offer their recommendations of where to dine in the Grands Boulevards area and making those important bookings for you. Breakfast is optional and served between 7:00am-10:30am at a very reasonable 8 euros per person. It’s a buffet continental offering with freshly squeezed juices, tea/coffee, delicious French pastries, cereals, yoghurt, daily fresh bread with butter and preserves. The hotel very graciously accepts your lovable pets as guests and the hotel’s cute resident black cat, Clarinette is also happy to welcome fellow furry friends.
Unfortunately, the hotel is not wheelchair friendly however, the Hotel Ronceray also in passage Jouffroy can accommodate wheelchair users. As we were there for only a night, we decided to eat at the café just outside passage Jouffroy, le café Zéphyr which has all-day dining and serves a delicious breakfast starting at 8 euros. It’s a typical Parisian café with those familiar and iconic checkered chairs, outdoor heating even offering blankets to keep the chill at bay which we didn’t need to use when we visited at the end of March. It was just lovely to sit here for an hour or so after sight seeing enjoying a beer and a glass of wine. Many of the bars and cafés along Boulevard Montmartre have Happy Hours between 5:00pm-7:00pm where drinks and cocktails are 50% cheaper.
We were both really impressed with Hotel Chopin, inside the picturesque passage Jouffroy and amongst the hustle and bustle of the Grands Boulevards, the location is perfect for accessing most of the other delightful covered passages such as passage des Panoramas, passage du Grand-Cerf and Galerie Vivienne, my personal favourite.
Also, nearby, the iconic brasserie, Boullion Chartier, the foodie street of rue Montorgueil and a stone’s throw from the Louvre, the Palais Royal and Place Collette, home to one of Paris’ most photographed café’s, le Nemours, a fabulous spot for yes, people watching!! A favourite local restaurant of mine is Restaurant Gallopin, they serve delicious affordable food and they have a cool cocktail bar, literally about 5 minutes from the hotel, Gallopin is at 40, rue Notre Dame des Victoires. Chartier is a restaurant I visited when I was in Paris in December 2016 and unfortunately, it did not live up to the hype. Sure, it’s beautiful to look at, typical Parisian Belle Époque style and queues that are at least 90 minutes long, but I see the reason why it’s so popular and it’s because it’s cheap, a meal for three costs 65 euros.
Without straying away from the post which is all about the Hotel Chopin, I hope to write a more in-depth post on the 1st and 2nd arrondissements which border the 9th and the Grands Boulevards a bit later in the year when I visit Paris again. The Hotel Chopin is an affordable hotel providing the necessary facilities and comfort for about £100 per night, a good breakfast should you choose to have it and the advantage of staying in a very pretty, charming old hotel inside one of Paris’ famous passages. Remembering when I last stayed at a 2* hotel many years ago, the Hotel Chopin goes over and above its 2* status in my opinion. I think Parisian 2* and 3* hotels are improving and providing good facilities for a quick weekend getaway and with more money in your pocket to spend on experiencing all the good things that Paris has to offer, you really can’t go wrong.
46 Passage Jouffroy
+33 1 47 70 58 10
As always, views are my own, photo’s are my own.