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Relive The Golden Age Of Travel At This Parisian Hotel

Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs is one of the newest hotels in Paris, but offers guests a chance to step back in time for an experience reminiscent of travel’s golden age. 

In the French capital’s sixth arrondissement – a vibrant, chic and perfectly positioned area in the heart of Rive Gauche (the Left Bank) – Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs opened late last year. Designed by Milanese architect, Fabrizio Casiraghi, it’s a space that reflects nostalgia for travel’s heyday in every corner – from vintage decor to Franco-American cuisine. 

The Vibe

On arrival, you’re greeted by low-lit, art-deco style interiors, and a charming front of house team. The hotel has a cool and contemporary boutique feel; dark-wood interiors create a vintage, elegant vibe. Attesting to the hotel’s subdued yet creative glamour are four lesser-known framed prints and lithographs by Gustav Klimt.

There’s an open floor plan as you enter, where the lobby flows into a bar and restaurant on the same level. Lifts take you up to the 138 rooms, and a tucked away staircase takes you downstairs to another, speakeasy-esque style bar, Poppy

The Rooms

A transatlantic, ocean cruise-liner theme, in keeping with the theme throughout the hotel (ropes line the upstairs corridors and star-constellations cover the carpet) is reflected inside the bedrooms, too. Reasonably-sized (for Paris) and boasting a simple yet sophisticated decor, bedrooms display a neutral colour palette and are dotted with vintage-inspired wooden furniture.

Everything you might need for a city-break, both pre- and post-days exploring, is provided. In addition to a well-stocked mini-bar, Nespresso machine and a welcome selection of French biscuits, you’ll find a hair dryer and a steamer; USB-C and USB ports on each side of the bed (so there’s no need to worry about bringing an adaptor); TVs fitted with a Chromecast making it easy to play your own music; and Diptyque products in the bathroom. 

The Food + Drink

Grands Voyageurs brasserie takes inspiration from the first grand passenger ships to connect France to the east coast of the USA and serves a transatlantic-style, unpretentious menu of Franco-American cuisine. Dishes are classics – think moules marinière and New York steak – and are full of flavour, with all ingredients from locally-sourced food suppliers. The sea bream carpaccio to start is a must. Head for pre-dinner aperitifs at the lobby bar and try its signature lemon drop cocktail, mixed with unusual but perfectly-balanced ingredients including banana liqueur and yuzu. 

If you’re staying on a Thursday night you’ll be entertained during dinner as the restaurant transforms into an evening of piano-karaoke performances from 9PM. But, no matter the evening, there’s a vibrant energy to both dining and drinking here, thanks to large windows – in both the restaurant and the bar – overlooking the equally-spirited Parisian streets outside. Ideal for watching the world go by. 

Poppy bar, in the hotel’s basement, is perfect for a nightcap. It’s a dark and stylish space with a mirrored-panel ceiling and an incredible collection of art on the walls. Visit on a Friday or Saturday night for a DJ set to accompany you as you dance ‘til the early hours. 

The breakfast buffet, served in the brasserie, includes everything from freshly-baked breads and pastries to an overflowing cheeseboard. You are in France, after all. Food is largely organic and locally-sourced from producers such as Ferme de la Tremblaye

The Little Extras

For a hotel in the centre of the city, the little extras are exactly what you don’t realise you need. On check in, you’re welcomed with a drink of choice, inviting relaxation from the outset. As much as you might hope for a weekend of sunshine, a bit of rain isn’t uncommon in Paris, but a bucket of branded umbrellas waiting by the door has you covered. For those driving into the city, there’s private indoor parking, equipped with electric chargers. Pets are also welcome

The gym is as elegant as the rest of the hotel, featuring work by Osanna Visconti di Modrone alongside mustard tiled walls and a Persian rug, and fitted with all the latest equipment from NOHrD, secure lockers, and filtered water on tap. You’ll also find a Scandinavian-style infrared sauna, offering guests a moment of calm in a sometimes hectic city.

The To-Do List

The sixth arrondissement is filled with boutiques and concept stores; if you’re in Paris to shop, simply wander down Rue de Rennes towards Saint-Germain-des-Prés and you’ll find plenty of places to do so. For designer brands, Le Bon Marché is only a 10-minute walk away, and sits next to La Grande Épicerie food emporium, a great spot for a post-shop pick me up. Continuing the foodie theme, nearby Marché Raspail is one of the most popular markets in Paris. It runs on a Tuesday, Friday and Sunday (on Sundays the produce is 100 per cent organic, coming from farms across the country). Don’t miss the Château des Coccinelles, a wine from the southern Rhône valley.

It’ll take you about 40 minutes by foot or 15 minutes by metro to the Eiffel Tower from the hotel. Either way, stop at Bir Hakeim bridge for the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower – a stop even more appealing to Inception fans who can relive an iconic scene from the movie.

The French act, or even philosophy, of ‘être en terrasse’ is one that must be tried when visiting the city. Perfect in its simplicity, it’s all about becoming a spectator as the city continues to move around you. The Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs offers the perfect spot for this, with classic Parisian red chairs and tables lining its outside.

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