WHEN IN PARIS
Business Traveller UK|March 2020
Historic hotels are having lavish makeovers while stylish new properties are launching to meet visitor demand
HANNAH BRANDLER

The Parisian hotel industry has not had an easy ride over the past couple of years. It has been rocked by a drop in occupancy rates caused by the gilets jaunes protests and seemingly never-ending rail and metro strikes. Competition from Airbnb hasn’t helped, either – the city represents one of the home-stay company’s biggest markets, with about 60,000 listings.

Still, there are plenty of visitors to go around – the French capital saw a record-breaking 38 million tourists and 24.5 million hotel check-ins in 2018, according to France’s national statistics bureau, INSEE. These figures will undoubtedly increase when Paris hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, when an anticipated 500,000 tourists will descend.

To prepare for the future, a host of renowned hotels have undergone lavish refurbishments, while new properties with quirky interiors are embracing a certain je ne sais quoi. Stylish hotels by well-known fashion houses and avant-garde skyscraper properties are also on the horizon.

NEW

HOTEL BANKE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION

Marriott’s Autograph Collection made its Paris debut in May last year with this 90room property in Opéra, located in a former bank headquarters. Rooms are decorated in a palette of cream and chocolate, with marble bathrooms and plaited leather rugs, and the hotel has an impressive art and jewellery collection sourced from around the world. There are two restaurants – the gold-heavy Josefin and more minimalist Banke – and a bar with an extensive list of cognacs. The Salle des Coffres meeting room has 460 of the bank’s safes on display, hence the name. hotelbanke.com

25 HOURS HOTEL TERMINUS NORD

The German-based 25 Hours group opened this 237-room Parisian outpost in January last year, opposite Gare du Nord in the cosmopolitan tenth arrondissement. Designers have incorporated the area’s multicultural history into the decor – expect floral motifs, ceramics and portraits of the locals throughout. There’s a two-floor lobby with a shop and café, and Middle Eastern restaurant Neni and Sape Bar. The hotel also has bikes for hire or a complimentary Mini to take around the city. Read our review at businesstraveller.com/tried-andtested. 25hours-hotels.com

COURS DES VOSGES

French hotel group Evok launched this intimate hotel in October last year in a 17th-century residence in Le Marais. There are 12 rooms and suites over four floors, with fourposter beds, candelabra lamps, and windows overlooking the regal Place des Vosges. There’s also a tearoom, a patisserie and, on the lower-ground floor, a guest-only Roman bath. courdesvosges.com

FRENCH THEORY

This “hotel, concept store and musical laboratory” opened in September last year in the Latin Quarter. In keeping with its literary surroundings, the 48 rooms and suites have shelves of books, with accommodations categorised from “Study” to “Professor” rooms. The ground floor houses a café and restaurant, and downstairs the Audio Lab has studio equipment and a lounge with an LP collection. frtheory.com

HOTEL PARTICULIER VILLEROY

The Collection group’s first hotel opened in January in the affluent eighth arrondissement. Housed in a 20th-century private mansion, it has 11 spacious apartments, suites and rooms serviced by butlers. Décor is sophisticated, with natural colours and Calacatta marble fireplaces, and there’s a spa, a gym and a classic French restaurant. hotelvilleroy.com

JK PLACE RIVE GAUCHE

Italian hotel group JK Place debuted its first international hotel in Saint-Germain-des-Prés last month. Located in the former European consulate, overlooking the Seine, its 29 rooms and suites combine marble fireplaces, signature geometric rugs and cashmere throws with items sourced from Parisian flea markets. There’s also an Italian restaurant, spa and gym. jkplace.paris

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