Tucked down a quiet alley in the lively 2nd Arrondissement, Hotel des Grands Boulevards pairs the splendour of 18th-century Paris with a touch of avant garde design. Stately Louis XVI furniture nods to the building’s revolution-era beginnings, including canopied beds and tables topped with fiery Rouge Royal marble, a favourite of the Sun King himself. Adding their own spin to the building’s history, the hotel have staged a revolution of their own, mingling aristocratic features with provincial furniture and rustic linens, as if tipping their hat to the tricolor-waving masses that reshaped the country. To cap it all, the drinks at the bar come courtesy of the Experimental Cocktail Club, a group of mixologist provocateurs who’ve pioneered the city’s craft cocktail scene.
Get this when you book through us:
Two cocktails at the hotel bar and VIP access to the Paris branch of the Experimental Cocktail Club
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $171.74 (€139), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.53 per person per night on check-out.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR139.09), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Room rates don’t usually include breakfast, a Continental buffet (€22 a person, per day) that includes freshly squeezed juices, pastries, home-made cakes, eggs and more.
Guests can make free VoIP phone calls from their rooms, letting you stay in touch without incurring a fee.
At the hotel
Internal patio with a retractable veranda, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV; Revo radio; minibar with bottled cocktails by Experimental Cocktail Club; tea- and coffee-making facilities; free bottled water.
Our favourite rooms
At 32sq m, the Grand Boulevard Junior Suites are on the large side for Parisian hotel rooms. The regally sized suites have a king- or superking-size bed, a living area with mid-century modern furniture, and large tiled bathrooms with sinks for both Mr and Mrs Smith.
Berets, stripes, wide-leg trousers and cropped leather jackets should attract approving nods as you saunter through the city.
All of the public areas are wheelchair accessible, and there are several specially adapted rooms.
All ages are welcome at the hotel, but it’s not particularly geared towards children. Baby cots (free) can be added to certain room types, and some rooms interconnect.
The hotel restaurant uses locally sourced, organic and fair-trade ingredients; the cleaning products, light bulbs and bath products at the hotel are also environmentally friendly.
A table on the terrace, from which you can admire the building’s historic details.
It’s Paris – you can’t go wrong with a chic, all-black ensemble.
The Grand Restaurant is at the heart of the hotel, set in and around the courtyard. The indoor section has Gallic charm galore with herringbone parquet flooring, round bistro tables and red banquettes, all of it bathed in the daylight that floods through the 1930s-style windows. The rest of the tables are in the terracotta-tiled courtyard, which has a retractable glass ceiling for warm summer days and balmy nights. The French-Italian menu has been masterminded by Rome-born chef Giovanni Passerini, who’s seen as something of a torchbearer when it comes to fine Italian food in the French capital. Alongside his restaurants, the ascendant chef also owns his own pasta shop, which makes dishes like the linguine with marinated calamari a safe bet. There’s also a selection of dishes for two; for classic French cuisine, try the Mesquer squab served with fennel gratin and pan dripping vinaigrette salad.
Cocktail bar the Shell is exactly what you want from a Parisian cocktail bar: an intimate and ever so slightly louche space with crimson walls, velvet armchairs and a bar that glints with burnished and brushed gold. The menu has been drawn up by the master mixologists at the Experimental Cocktail Club, the bar widely credited with kick-starting the city’s craft cocktail scene. They show no sign of slowing down, either, as the drinks are some of the most finely-tuned in town; try the black pear, a medley of pear-infused Bordeneuve 3-star armagnac, lapsang souchong, muscovado syrup and Peychaud’s bitters.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 10.30am; lunch from noon until 2pm; dinner from 7pm to 10.30pm. The bar opens at 6pm and serves until 2am.
The full menu is available during restaurant hours; a reduced after-hours selection keeps night owls sated.
Flights from all over the world land at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, a major international hub. It takes 45 minutes to drive from there to the hotel. The Smith24 team can arrange your flights and transfers; call anytime, day or night.
International services arrive at Gare du Nord, the city’s largest station. From London, you can hop on a Eurostar service at St Pancras International, which will whisk you to the French capital in two-and-a-half hours. Once you’ve arrived, you can reach the hotel by taxi (a 12-minute journey) or the Metro. For the latter, take the M4 line from Gare du Nord to Strasbourg – St-Denis, then change to the M8 towards Balard, jumping off at Grands Boulevards. The hotel is a three-minute walk away.
Driving from the UK is fairly straightforward thanks to the Eurotunnel, but you won’t really need a car once you’re in the city centre, where you’re likely to encounter traffic and a lack of parking spaces. There’s also the Peripherique – the city’s oft-congested ring road – to contend with. If you want to hire on arrival, the Smith24 team can arrange it.
Worth getting out of bed for
The most famous of the city’s sites need no introduction, and are easily reached from the 2nd Arrondissement, whether you want to go goat-spotting in the Jardin des Tuileries or wander the bohemian-leaning Left Bank. In terms of the local area, a short walk westwards will bring you to the Place de l'Opéra, where you’ll find the sumptuous Opéra National de Paris, which puts on world-class performances within its cavernous auditorium. It’s well worth a look in even if you don’t plan to buy tickets, as this is Paris at its most splendid. For something a little less high-brow – and if your French is up to the task – you could try Le Comedy Club, just north of the hotel in the 10th Arrondissement. The venue attracts many of France’s most famous comics, and the drinks are fairly reasonable to boot. Also within walking distance is the Musée des Arts et Métiers, in which you can spend a few hours marvelling over some of the 2,400 inventions within its collection, among them Foucault's pendulum. The 2nd Arrondissement still has a fine collection of covered arcades, too, many of which have glass ceilings and charming period detailing. The Galerie Vivienne and the Passage du Panoramas are particularly noteworthy contenders.
Named after the Greek god of agriculture, stylish and modern Saturne has forged strong relationships with organic farmers and vineyards, prizing the best seasonal ingredients and natural wines. The interior is pared back and contemporary, with an open kitchen adding to the atmosphere. Frenchie is owned by Chef Gregory Marchand, who earned the nickname from Jamie Oliver while working in the kitchen at the latter's london-based restaurant, Fifteen. Clearly, the name stuck, with Marchand moving to Paris in 2009 to open the eponymous restaurant. Fittingly, the food is Gallic at heart, but shows all the best influences from his international training. The restaurant also doubles as a wine bar, so you can be sure that the drinking will be every bit as good as the dining. La Bourse et La Vie is owned by American-born chef Daniel Rose, who has taken all he loves about the French bistro scene and distilled it into a single venue. Dine on elevated pot-au-feu dishes, steak frites and crème caramel in a thoroughly Parisian setting.
For brunch, coffee or a pre-theatre cocktail, try Lockwood on Rue d’Aboukir. It might not be the most traditional Parisian café, but the food, friendly service and music have made it a firm local favourite. For something more grand and traditional, head to Café de la Paix, a lavish Parisian institution with gilded ceilings and Napoleon III-style furniture. Its prestige and historical importance puts it on the pricey side, but it's well worth a visit even if you’re just stopping in for a quick café creme.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Experimental Cocktail Club on Rue Saint-Sauveur, whose team created the hotel’s own drinks list. Widely lauded, the bar is almost always busy, but the drinks more than make up for any jostling.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Paris and unpacked their beret, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel des Grands Boulevards in Paris…
Originally built as a grand hôtel particulier, Hotel des Grands Boulevards came into being at the turn of the 18th century, when the French Revolution was in full swing and Parisian society was in a state of flux. Despite all the change, the building has held onto its Haussmann-designed exterior over the years, and although the original interiors have gone, it’s managed to stay true to its roots in a more novel way, using design to play with the idea of change. Old meets new and the elite comes up against the everyday, with regal Louis XVI styles sitting alongside rustic furniture and shiny modern lighting, acting out a choreographed encounter between the ages. You’ll find TVs masquerading as mirrors, and rotary dial phones that turn out to have VoiP capabilities, letting you speak to friends on the other side of the world without spending so much as a centime. As we said, this hotel’s kept the spirit of revolution alive and kicking.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Hotel des Grands Boulevards’s Guestbook below.
A beautiful hotel, tucked back from the main street. Our room, which was at the back of the hotel, was peaceful, calm and relaxing; a haven from the hustle and bustle! Staff were fantastic and keen to ensure that our celebratory trip went smoothly and was a special occasion – thank you so much! The few issues that did arise were resolved quickly and without hesitation. The Shell (bar) and restaurant downstairs was busy on Saturday night – great cocktails, atmosphere and service! Although we didn't eat at the restaurant for lunch or during the evening (next time...) the breakfast buffet on the final morning of our stay was delicious. Fancy a pint of craft beer? Head round the corner to the Frog Underground (rue Montmartre).
Stayed on 10 Mar 2018
The decor: it was very beautiful and modern yet simple interior design. The bar/restaurant is chic and extremely popular with locals, which had a great atmosphere. Amazing local restaurants in the streets behind the hotel.
It wasn't super child friendly, the service in the restaurant was extremely slow and the menu was not at all child friendly. Nevertheless, there are so great restaurants around and a little creperie next door, which was fantastic and good for the children.