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Picture this − you’re sitting behind your screen one night, with only days to go before your dream trip to France, scrambling to find the perfect place to stay in one of the world's most sought-after vacation destinations.
And you're thinking...
“Every property looks the same!”
Where are those fab and beautiful Paris hotels you’ve heard so much about?
Sometimes, finding and staying at unique Paris hotels is not as easy as it could be: unless you know where to look, you might walk right past all those trendy hotels Paris is so known for.
I jumped online and started researching the cool hotels Paris had to offer because next time, I plan to try something different. Just for fun!
There seems to be no dearth of cool places to stay in Paris, from quirky hotels to high-end luxury estates or one-of-a-kind boutique properties.
I tried to avoid cookie-cutter accommodations and came up with these ten remarkable hotels that stand out from the crowd.
The French capital's first ever floating hotel/boat hybrid certainly qualifies as a unique hotel in Paris. OFF Paris Seine is a one-of-a-kind take on hotel accommodation in Paris, right on the Quai d'Austerlitz.
The hotel is made up of two river barges, which have been transformed into 54 rooms and four suites.
Each room is decorated with chic elements of wood, glass, copper, and brushed concrete, all blended into modern minimalism − very much a four-star hotel, but also very much a barge on the river. AND... you can control the colour of the lights in the shower. A detail, I know, but one that sounds like fun.
Apparently you’re guaranteed impressive views from every room, either over the waterfront and docks, or the Seine (although a friend of mine who has stayed here says that when water levels drop, the view might not be so impressive). In normal times, though, you may just feel you're on a cruise, and if you love the water, you won't find a hotel any closer to it than this one.
NEARBY ➽ Gare d'Austerlitz, Notre-Dame, Jardin des Plantes (Métro: Austerlitz)
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From the banks of the Seine to a former textile factory, the number of hip hotels in Paris keeps growing. Located in the trendy Bastille area, the industrious (pardon the pun) owners of the Hôtel Fabric kept this former textile factory exterior mostly intact.
What they did transform was the interior, into something spacious, luxurious, and modern, with 33 rooms, including sprawling suites. Each is decorated with vintage furniture, colorful contemporary, and exposed brick walls. It looks absolutely stunning.
If you’re a foodie, you won't be far from a variety of cool restaurants and bars in Paris.
And by the way, it's an interesting play on words... Fabric could refer to its former textile role, while in French, fabrique means factory.
NEARBY ➽ Marais, Popincourt food market, Place d'Aligre flea market (Métro: Oberkampf)
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The Seven Hotel bills itself as one where you can leave the bustling 5th arrondissement behind you, and emerge into a world of supreme wellness. Step through the elegant Haussmann façade into a cocoon of care and pampering you won't find elsewhere nearby. (I'm a sucker for Haussmannian façades...)
This is a collector's hotel, for those who love collections of things – books, objects, photos, designed to appeal for those seeking that cultured, quiet moment.
Why Seven? Because beyond the rooms, it has seven suites, each dedicated (and decorated) in a style... related to the number seven.
This is one of the cool boutique hotels in Paris, of course, but it's also a wellness spa – which here is called a Wellness Chapel (a homage to the peace and serenity of the place?) The hotel partners with Holissence, provider of wellness experiences, from yoga to chakra realignment to meditation.
The hotel and wellness spa combo does appeal to me...
NEARBY ➽ Rue Mouffetard, Paris Mosque, Jardins du Luxembourg, Jardin des Plantes (RER: Port Royal)
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The name of the hotel is a reminder of its main attraction, the Ice Kube Bar inside the Kube Hotel Paris. It alludes to the sub-zero temperature you’ll experience in the bar, which is supposed to expertly mimic the Arctic.
The hotel's interior and rooms are attractive, featuring muted tones of cool colors in combinations I particularly like. As for furniture, expect to find designer pieces, hanging bubble chairs, and a floating bed illuminated by blue lights.
To add to the hotel's quirky features, the Ice Bar serves up a collection of (naturally) vodka-inspired drinks. From a counter carved out of 25 tons of ice, no less.
NEARBY ➽ Gare du Nord, Bassin de la Villete (Métro: La Chapelle)
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Living in sin might not sound like a good idea, unless you're staying at the Vice Versa Hotel – each of its seven floors represents one of the seven deadly sins.
Located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, each quirky room's decor is in keeping with one sin. Cupcake beds and pastel colours embody gluttony. Greed features papered banknotes everywhere, and wrath is coloured in red and black with revolvers. Definitely one of the more unique hotels in Paris.
The other sins? You'll have to go see for yourself, but I like a place where tongue-in-cheek humour reigns supreme.
NEARBY ➽ Petite Ceinture, Parc André Citroën (Métro: Porte de Versailles)
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Truly a designer hotel in Paris, this renovated workshop takes vintage styling to the next level. What the owners did was recruit a panoply of stylists, designers, and even film set designers to make this accommodation unique. The result? Hôtel Edgar & Achille and its 13 individually styled rooms, one of the small hotels in Paris with a truly individualistic vibe.
Each of the rooms has a different ambience — the Ma Nuit (or “my night”) room with its dark blue shades, the Dream room with action figures paired with neon lights, and Ebène Rock, based on a photo lab. Eclectic, surprising, and fun, I would think.
Step outside and you’ll find a Parisian great, the Grand Rex Cinema, one of Europe's largest, where pop culture and art-deco mix.
NEARBY ➽ Grands Boulevards, Centre Pompidou, Musée des Arts et Métiers (Métro: Réaumur-Sébastopol)
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Located in one of the cool areas in Paris, the fashionable and hip Marais district, the Hotel 1K mixes bold and bright styling with luxury. A 4-star contemporary hotel in Paris, the common areas are a funky fusion of Mexican and South American influences.
Throughout the hotel, shades of white in the rooms contrast with splashes of brightness. Each room is “fully connected” − in other words, you can wirelessly connect to and manage almost everything in your room from your mobile phone, if that's your thing.
More interestingly, for me, you can feast on the hotel's Peruvian buffet breakfast, enjoy a prohibition-style speakeasy, or take part in the annual Day of the Dead celebrations. All contributing to it possibly being one of the Paris cool hotels you have to try.
NEARBY ➽ Musée Carnavalet, Place des Vosges (Métro: Filles du Calvaire)
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If the artsy district of Pigalle had a physical embodiment in the form of a hotel… No, wait, it does. Le Pigalle Hotel brings together elements from the surroundings, such as creativity and artistic vibes.
This is probably a hotel for those of you who dislike hotels: you'll feel just like a friend dropped off the keys to their Paris apartment, its rooms filled with a mix of neoclassical and vintage furniture and suites that include turntables and tailor-made vinyl record collections.
It's a hotel about Pigalle, and the many photographs decorating the walls were taken by locals who love where they live.
Grab your Chai Latte or Aero Press, or settle into the basement lounge to enjoy its curated jukebox or monthly live music performances. It may not quite be your apartment, but if you want to live in Pigalle, this should do the trick.
NEARBY ➽ Moulin Rouge, Montmartre (Métro: Pigalle)
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A member of the Hoxton group, the largest iteration of its hotels, The Hoxton Paris, is in the 2nd arrondissement, housed in 18th-century rowhouse.
This would be my choice for an uber-chic hotel, where the owners mix classical elements with opulent and modern touches, all with apparent taste. Somehow, the outcome seems to be some sort of rustic French styling that's hugely appealing.
As for the location, it’s surrounded by some of the best places to dine, while attractions such as the Louvre are within walking distance. Definitely worth checking out if you're in a designer mood.
NEARBY ➽ Central Paris (Métro: Bonne Nouvelle / Grands Boulevards)
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If you're one for nostalgia and would like to take a step back in time and experience a mostly forgotten side of the capital, the Maison Souquet finds its roots in the early 20th century. It sits a few meters from the iconic Moulin Rouge and is set within a former brothel – definitely one of the more unique hotels in Paris, and for my money, one of the coolest and zaniest choices.
Red lighting and muted colours bring the hotel to life, and each of its 20 rooms (including six suites and two apartments) is named after famous courtesans. There's just something unspeakably plush about it.
None of this opulence is a surprise: the Maison Souquet is a small luxury hotel in Paris, and member of the very select (and elite) Small Luxury Hotels of the World network.
NEARBY ➽ Montmartre (Métro: Blanche)
These are definitely among the most charming hotels in Paris, and they do seem to bring something different to the table. If you're looking for unique places to stay in Paris, these accommodations are far from the everyday rooms you'll find in most of the city's hotels.
－Header photo: By Benh LIEU SONG (Flickr) - Louvre Courtyard, Looking West, CC BY-SA