Boutique Hotels Paris Life

HOTEL DES GRANDS BOULEVARDS – GRANDS BOULEVARDS

28/12/2018
Hotel des Grands Boulevards Paris diaries

Discreetly tucked away in the Grand Boulevards district of Paris is the Hotel des Grands Boulevards. This vibrant bourgeois slice of Paris in the 2nd arrondissement is pulsating with life dotted with theatres, bars, cinemas and an expanse of café’s lining its long wide boulevards plus let’s not forget its historic covered passages. The hotels’ perfect location in close proximity to the major department stores, the Opera Garnier and Palais Royal is just waiting to be discovered.

I’ve been wanting to see more of the Grands Boulevards since my first visit in March and with that in mind, I set about looking for hotels in a slighter higher price bracket than The Chopin where we stayed in March. It was a choice between The Hoxton and the Hotel des Grands Boulevards, it was a close call, I honestly couldn’t choose. Both are beautiful trendy upcoming boutique hotels and both are taking Paris by storm; whichever hotel you choose, know that you will have chosen well, the Hoxton is firmly up there waiting to be crossed off my long list of Paris hotels.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

With its discreet entrance and long passage way leading to the hotel doors, one could be forgiven for thinking the hotel is one of Paris’ many covered passages but look up and you’ll see the name of the hotel in the shape of an arch in their iconic calligraphy, a familiar theme running throughout not just the Hotel des Grands Boulevards but all the hotels in this group. The hotel belongs to the Experimental Group, a swanky and ultra-cool cocktail and hotel brand made up of four partners who opened the Experimental Cocktail Club down a side street in Paris in 2007 and haven’t looked back since.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Designed by French interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon and inspired by the building’s history (pre the French Revolution), she set about converting this 18th century building into the elegant stylish hotel it is today with her unique style and retro touches. The signature curves and arches, the lights in the shape of giant light bulbs and the calligraphy is evident in all the Experimental Group of hotels which includes the Henrietta Hotel in London and their other hotel in Paris, The Pigalle. There are more hotels in the pipeline the most recent is opening this month in Verbier. Dorothée is responsible for designing many restaurants and hotels in Paris including the Panache, Paradis and Bachaumont.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

She cleverly uses the curved shape of the arch which is understated, elegant even sexy emulating the curves of the female body; evident in every part of the hotel from the hotel room doors, mirrors, the bedsteads even the long table and bar in the courtyard and breakfast area. The Shell Bar takes its name from the humble shell, they were a favourite motif in 18th century France and it was known that Marie Antoinette had a fascination with them hence the giant shell that adorns the wall next to this vibrant bar. There is also a rooftop bar called The Shed which is open throughout the year, weather permitting, unfortunately due to the cold and wet conditions, it was not open during our stay.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

The Shell Bar – photo courtesy of Mixology Magazine.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

I was struck by the romantic ambience of the hotel due in part to the subdued lighting in the lobby and in the rooms. A waft of the most delicious intoxicating aroma circles the reception area and I can’t help but ask what it is.  It is in fact the hotel’s signature candle which the hotel sells for 45 euros, a heady, spicy mesmerising scent perfect for winter, it really adds to the atmosphere of the reception and lobby area. Naturally, I bought a candle as a memory of our stay, also at reception, The Experimental Cocktail Books which sell for 15 and 25 euros, there is a copy for your perusal in all the rooms.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Julie head receptionist shows us around, I’m taken aback by the courtyard dining area, it’s unquestionably the hub of the hotel with the large bar in the centre, another option to enjoy cocktails is here.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

The concrete flooring is cleverly designed in the herringbone fashion to complement the herringbone parquet flooring of the breakfast area.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

The herringbone style concrete flooring meets the herringbone parquet of the adjoining breakfast area seamlessly, it’s a harmonious space to enjoy breakfast, a coffee or cocktail.

Hotel des Grand Boulevards

The courtyard roof is made entirely of glass flooding the area with natural light, with plants in every corner, I’m reminded of a greenhouse but certainly the impression is that of a garden orangery, something I’d really like in my own home.

Hotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands Boulevards

Gastronomy at the hotel is headed by talented Italian head chef Giovanni Passerini who draws on his Italian roots and serves a fusion of Italian country fare meets French.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Hotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands Boulevards

We head up to our room, the hotel has a total of 50 from classics to suites. Our room is called the Saint Fiacre which is a superior room with balcony which are slightly more expensive than the Saint Fiacre rooms without balcony. Balconies are offered in all style of rooms should you wish to pay slightly more, it’s definitely worth it. The Petit Boulevard is the equivalent of a classic room, Uzes, a deluxe room and right at the top of the hotel with fabulous views of Parisian rooftops, junior suites called Parisian Eaves and finally the grand dame – the Grands Boulevards rooms, extra special junior suites.  I think next visit, we’ll definitely choose one of those or the Parisian Eaves, a very romantic sounding alternative.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

The room itself has the same familiar curves seen throughout the hotel, my husband and I played a game, lets spot the curves which were everywhere from the main door, the door to the bathroom, the mirrors and the bedstead.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

The main door seen from inside the room with the large arch.

The bed is a large queen size with a dramatic velvet green canopy stretching as far up as the ceiling, definitely an elegant and romantic touch. The colour scheme is green and again, its something I’ve noticed throughout the hotel.

Hotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands Boulevards

Hotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands Boulevards

Keeping the rooms elegant but modern, designer Dorothée adds a rustic touch with the wooden bedside stools and the retro radio but at the same time, high tech gadgets such as the large mirror-come-telly opposite the bed and the cool Nespresso coffee machine equip the room with all the modern essentials.  The lighting is very subdued which is lovely but we both felt that there should have been an option to increase the intensity of light in the room as getting ready to go out was a bit of problem but perhaps I missed the dim switch?

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

The cool TV doubles up as a mirror when switched off.

The doors open leading the visitor to the largest terrace full of young trees and other plants, the view is of Boulevard Poissonière where there was a peaceful demonstration happening, Women Against Male Violence & Abuse, this area must be so welcome during the spring and summer where you can just sit and enjoy the warm sun with a glass of something chilled, wine or champagne, why not?

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

The garden terrace

The bathroom is beautiful, no bath but a very large shower the width of the bathroom, a curved mirror of course, bathrobes and slippers and what I loved most was the cute hessian bag with the hotel’s logo emblazoned on and full of miniature toiletries; this I decided to take to my daughter, it’s become a bit of a tradition that wherever I visit, I save the toiletries for her.Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

The ultra-cool toiletry bag.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Hotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands Boulevards

After a much needed coffee using the sleek Nespresso machine, every hotel room should have tea/coffee making facilities in my opinion, we decide to venture out to discover more of the 2nd arrondissement.

Hotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands Boulevards

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

It’s the little touches that count!

Later in the evening, we look forward to drinks at the Shell Bar, a special invitation by the hotel as it’s my husband’s birthday, we are kindly complimented with two cocktails. The Shell Bar has a very subterranean feel, it’s warm and inviting and although a bit small, it’s cosy and vibrant and guests from outside can book ahead for drinks and dinner in the beautiful courtyard which looks completely different in the evening festooned with fairy lights. I’m reliably informed that the hotel has many outside visitors both at the bar and at the restaurant. We had a dinner reservation at one of Paris’ most popular and hard-to-get-into bistro’s, L’Ami Jean after drinks which was incredible, more on that in a later review.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

The breakfast area

 

The following morning, we decided to enjoy breakfast at the hotel.  We don’t always do this preferring instead to venture out and enjoy every little bit of our time in Paris, but breakfast is something I particularly wanted to eat here at the Hotel des Grands Boulevards and I promise you, it lived up to all expectations.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Hotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands BoulevardsHotel des Grands Boulevards

A small but plentiful buffet with a rich selection of jams, conserves and compotes, natural yoghurt, crispy light croissants and other pastries, that gorgeous full of flavour French bread and baguettes, cereals and granola, last but not least French cheese and charcuterie.  The hotel also offers eggs any way you like, my husband chose a fluffy omelette and I had the creamiest scrambled eggs sprinkled with wild oregano to which I added pieces of the most delicious butter soft smoked salmon.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

As part of my breakfast, I had a small bowl of yoghurt with a couple of tablespoons of the nutty granola which was the highlight of breakfast plus rather greedy I know, a croissant, how can you come to Paris and not have a croissant or two?

Breakfast was just delicious and is priced at 22 euros per person, I recommend that you have breakfast while staying at the Hotel des Grands Boulevards, it set us up for the long day ahead.

Sadly, our adventure was coming to an end, we checked out after breakfast although check out is officially at noon, luggage can be left in the safe hands of reception, so you can enjoy your day ahead if leaving in the evening as we were.

The Hotel des Grands Boulevards was the perfect hotel for our very short stay in Paris, it’s a truly beautiful, vibrant, chic and classy hotel and I only wish we were able to spend more than a night here but that’s all the more reason to come again. My husband was so very impressed and very happy that I had chosen this hotel for his birthday, it surpassed our expectations, the Grands Boulevards district is the perfect location to enjoy the delights of Paris’ 1st, 2nd and 9th arrondissements.

Our one-night stay cost 269 euros, all photos and opinions are my own.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

17 Boulevard Poissonnière

Paris 75002

00 33 (0) 185733333

info@grandsboulevardshotel.com

https://www.grandsboulevardshotel.com/

Top tips:

Definitely have breakfast at the hotel and drinks at the Shell Bar.
Push the boat and stay in the Grands Boulevards Suite or the Parisian Eaves.
Buy the hotel’s signature candle and Experimental Cocktail Book.
Make sure you visit all the covered passages in the 2nd arrondissement.
Take a sneak peak inside the Hoxton Hotel 5 minutes away.
Have lunch at Canard & Champagne inside the Passage des Panoramas.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: