Set in Paris’ trendsetting SoPi (South Pigalle) and created by the team behind the Experimental Cocktail Club, Grand Pigalle Hotel captures the casual hedonism of its neighbourhood’s streets and distills it into a buzzing hotel and bar. It’s a retro-styled design den, where art deco angles sit happily alongside geometric patterns, brassy pineapple door knockers and martini motif carpets in interiors created by Dorothée Meilichzon. Frenchie restaurant has a zhuzhed-up bistro menu (and a top-drawer drinks list). Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur are a short walk away, but here the ethos is ‘bed and beverage’ and cocktail culture is king; so don’t fret if you put sightseeing on ice and settle in for one more round…
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in is 3pm, also flexible subject to availability.
Double rooms from £169.58 (€198), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €8.13 per person per night on check-out.
Rates do not include breakfast. A Parisian-style breakfast with pastries, bread, butter, yoghurt and juice is €22 a person and there's a range of à la carte dishes.
All communal areas are wheelchair-accessible. There is a wheelchair lift to rooms; one Sopi and one Grand Pigalle room are designed for guests with mobility issues.
At the hotel
Restaurant and wine bar, laundry service, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: HD TV, Revo sound system, minibar with Experimental Cocktail Club drinks, free bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine, tea-making facilities, plug adaptor and LA Bruket bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The top picks are the Parisian Roof suites; they have under-the-eaves charm, high ceilings, and oeil-de-boeuf windows looking out on Montmartre. Otherwise, ask for a room with a terrace balcony (there are some in each category) and enjoy some Parisian people watching from on high.
Bring a notepad and pen in case you’re inspired by the storied past of Pigalle.
Find out where it all started for the trio of friends behind the hotel, with a trip to their original venture, the Experimental Cocktail Club. The esteemed New York speakeasy-style bar is in the 2nd arrondissement, at number 37 on Rue Saint-Sauveur.
All ages are welcome. Interconnecting rooms can be booked on request, and a cot can be added to all rooms except Sopi; highchairs are available in the restaurant.
Frenchie Pigalle restaurant uses only local and seasonal fresh products and the hotel chooses its providers and suppliers based on their social and sustainability commitments. Single use plastics are not used and water and energy consumption are monitored as part of the hotel’s Green Key label certification process. Guests are encouraged to support local ecological associations that the hotel has partnered with and to use greener transport options around the city.
Casual clean lines, jaunty angles and geometric patterns.
Frenchie's menu has a saucy attitude and scintillating dishes with playful ingredients. Small plates include bacon scones, red tuna with strawberry and cucumber granita, and apricots and smoked ricotta with a chives sabayon. Larger dishes include honeyed, spiced duck with harossa and Medjool dates or salt-crusted Basque pig chin. Breakfasts include eggy bits, viennoiseries and excellent bread and butter and the drinks list has white to orange wines and craft beers – and some rare and robust cocktails, naturally.
The bar is the chatter-filled centrepiece of Frenchie. It's led by those with a nose for wine; the selection changes on the sommelier's whim, but you can be assured they're all winners plucked from France's most gluggable regions. There are za-atar-laced gougères, tomato and cherry salads and more imaginative small plates to peck at too.
Breakfast runs from 7am to 10.30am (8am to 12pm on Sunday), tea time from 11am to 5pm and dinner from 6.30pm to 11pm. Cocktails are shaken at the bar till 1am.
Room service runs 24 hours a day. Breakfast, afternoon tea, Frenchie's dinner menu and ham and cheese plates will keep you sated round the clock.
The hotel is in South Pigalle, a once-seedy enclave of the 9th arrondissement now packed with cocktail bars and vintage cafés. Up the hill to the north is Montmartre and its hilltop basilica Sacré-Coeur; downhill to the south are the ‘grand boulevards’.
Charles de Gaulle (www.charlesdegaulleairport.co.uk) is Paris’ main airport for international flights; it’s half an hour away by car (if the traffic behaves itself), and a taxi costs €45 to the hotel. The smaller Orly airport is the same distance in the other direction; cabs also cost €45. To arrange a transfer in advance just ask the hotel.
The closest Metro station is Pigalle, on the main drag, Boulevard de Clichy, two minutes’ walk from the hotel. From the Eurostar terminal (www.eurostar.com) at Gare du Nord the hotel’s less than 10 minutes away by taxi, or take the Metro line 2 from La Chapelle (which is connected to Gare du Nord by a tunnel) to Pigalle.
Driving in Paris is not for the faint-hearted, but if you do arrive by car, there’s a place to park on Rue Mansart, two minutes’ from the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel is fairly close to the red-light district, so plan your excursions somewhat carefully if you'd rather not end up somewhere saucier than you'd planned. For boutique shopping, head to SoPi’s fashion street, Rue Clauzel; Troc en Stockat number 6 has vintage and second-hand threads, while at number 13 Zach & Sam sells covetable mens vêtements and more. For more classic souvenirs, seek out 10–12 Boulevard Montmartre to take a trip down Passage Jouffroy, a 19th-century covered arcae lined with antiques shops, or spend some serious Euros in megawatt malls Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. Climb the cobbled streets through the artists’ quarter of Montmartre, and your reward is a face-to-face encounter with the gleaming-white stone of Sacré-Coeur basilica, and a not-half-bad view across the City of Lights. Once you’re fully enamoured, amble to Le Musée de la Vie Romantique to admire the villa of artist Ary Scheffer and swat up on George Sand (among others), the enigmatic, Romantic (yes, with a capital ‘R’) writer who lived and loved in 19th-century Paris. By night, allow yourself to be seduced by the bright lights of Le Moulin Rouge and enjoy a good old-fashioned knees-up.
Waxed woods and royal-green banquettes give Le Pantruche the cosy feel of a classic Parisian bistro, but kitchen starlet Franck Baranger’s menu is altogether more contemporary – think pot-au-feu fired up with wasabi cream, black-truffle risotto, and gravity-defying Grand Marnier soufflé. The wines are good in taste and value, and the waiting list can be lengthy, so book well ahead. Les Afranchis is a neighbourhood favourite with hearty and homey dishes including hare terrine with armagnac, chicken in a kumquat sauce and salted-caramel mousse with mango. For a lazy lunch drop into self-styled ‘gastrothèque’ Buvette, an earthy bistro with mismatched furniture and smash-hit menu imported from its big sister restaurant in New York.
For morning pastries and, well, anytime macarons, pay a visit to boulanger extraordinaire Arnaud Delmontel’s boutique bakery. Family-run and fiercely authentic Sébastien Gaudard is the go-to for homemade chocolates, ice cream and perfectly formed puddings. Mesdemoiselles Madeleines is dedicated to the art of baking the classic French bite-size cake, rethought with myriad gourmet flavourings.
South Pigalle is alive with the sound of cocktail shakers. Light-flooded L'Entrée des Artistes serves them up with a backdrop of white-washed brick walls and an all-vinyl soundtrack; and it’s handily located opposite the Grand Pigalle. The menu at vintage-styled Les Artisans is divided into those that are shaken and those that are stirred, but in any case the result is an expertly crafted and charmingly presented. To live it up like a local, try Glass for late-night dancing and DJ sets.
After years of visiting and trying out a lot of places in the city, I’ve finally found my perfect spot in Paris. The Grand Pigalle Hotel is brilliantly located in the newly revamped and trendy SoPi (South Pigalle) neighbourhood, nice and close to the Gare du Nord train station. From here it’s easy enough to wander; everywhere I wanted to see was within a reasonable 40-minute stroll. Like any flâneur worth her pumps, I like to walk in Paris, because it’s the best way to see it and I just can’t face the city’s chaotic traffic. While staying in SoPi, be sure to wander up to the art district of Montmartre, just a few minutes away from the hotel by foot, and check out the Sacré-Cœur basilica. This is one of the most important monuments in Paris, from which there’s a beautiful view of the city laid out below its hilly perch. If you're lucky like us, a street musician will play classic, romantic French songs as you gaze adoringly at the City of Light.
Our room in the Grand Pigalle is modestly sized with very limited wardrobe space, but what it lacks in elbow room, it makes up in glamorous Gallic design. Our little hideaway is super stylish with vintage furniture and – my number-one hotel desire, duly checked off – a greatly-sized bed with a firm mattress. I love having a bath tub in the elegantly tiled, dark-green bathroom, and I thoroughly enjoy a relaxing, pre-dinner soak accompanied with an excellent Negroni ordered up from the bar downstairs. The terraced balcony is furnished with a little table and two chairs; and, as it’s situated on a corner, the people-watching opportunities are excellent. I immediately create a Pinterest board populated with lots of the room’s features as inspiration for my future house renovation. There are some charming touches, including a radio next to the bed and very flattering lighting, which is always appreciated…
The scent wafting in from the highly rated bakery next door ensures you wake up ravenous, so it’s a welcome treat that breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant is delicious, with great coffee to wash it down. A surprise birthday party we attend runs rather late, and the next morning my boyfriend runs down to catch the last call for breakfast (which – I think – is a very generous 11am on a weekday); the lovely staff load him up with a heaving tray of eggs, bacon and fruits to bring upstairs for me to eat in bed.
For later dining, the restaurant serves tempting Italian food all day and night, we arrive to find it thronged with hip Parisians who add a buzzy ambience. We plunder the menu and decide to share several plates: figs with burrata with artichokes, fried mushrooms with hazelnuts and smoked ricotta, and lamb meatballs with garlic and capers. The restaurant are justly proud of their vast wine selection and the drinks list is, it must be said, ‘mega’ (the liquid-connoisseurs behind Grand Pigalle Hotel are the brains and talent behind the Experimental Cocktail Club). Of course, one must try the city’s other gastronomic hotspots, so when we decide to eat out, the receptionist marks up a map with some of his favourite cafés, bars and restaurants in the surrounding streets. We can highly recommended Le Pantruche bistro, and if you overindulge, there’s a petite health-food shop with organic wares close by (if that’s your kind of thing…) – it’s a very cool little neighbourhood; SoPi is deserving of its hipster cachet. On the day you leave, before you head home, be sure to go down historic Rue des Martyrs, a extremely attractive boulevard (scandalously immortalised in Emile Zola’s novel Nana) lined with cheese, wine and charcuterie shops. Fill a bag, or several, for a reverie-inducing nip of nostalgia for Paris and the Grand Pigalle back home.