You’ll find Hôtel Providence on the border between Paris’ 3rd and 10th arrondissements, at the mouth of the increasingly cool Haut-Marais neighbourhood. It’s a 15-minute walk from Centre Georges Pompidou and a 30-minute walk from Place des Vosges.
Paris Charles de Gaulle airport is a 40-minute taxi ride from the hotel; British Airways, EasyJet and Vueling fly direct from major European cities, and Air France flies direct from the US and major destinations in Asia. Orly airport is a 40-minute drive south from the hotel, for EasyJet and Vueling flights. The hotel can arrange one-way transfers from either hub for €50.
The Eurostar departs frequently for Paris Gare du Nord from St Pancras International, London; on arrival, the hotel’s a 20-minute taxi ride away. Direct trains from Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne also terminate here; book tickets via Thalys. Strasbourg Saint-Denis, less than a five-minute walk away, is the nearest Metro Station; from Charles de Gaulle, ride the RER B line to Gare du Nord, then hop on line 4 and head south. A Paris Visite pass allows unlimited Metro trips on all lines (from €25.85 a person, for one-day passes).
If you’re ready to face labyrinthine alleyways, madcap ring roads and largely theoretical parking rules, then we wish you luck. The Metro is far less nerve-rattling than navigating the city by car. If you must drive, there’s a car-hire booth at Charles de Gaulle, and parking a 20-minute walk away on Rue des Trois Bornes (€29 a day).
Worth getting out of bed for
Overlooking Rue René Boulanger and the prop entrance of the Théâtre du Petit Saint-Martin (+33 1 42 08 00 32), the hotel occupies a quiet corner of the city, steps from the Porte Saint-Martin. Head east along Boulevard Saint-Martin to Place de la République where the Haut-Marais begins – or ‘Norma’ (a portmanteau of North Marais), as locals affectionately dub it. This constantly evolving neighbourhood is fast catching up with the – now a little too ‘bobo’ – Lower Marais; artsy and edgily cool, bon vivant pursuits are weaved into the its tangle of alleys. Food, fashion and art loom large here; the Merci concept store on Boulevard Beaumarchais (+33 1 42 77 00 33) and Mobilier 54 at 54–56 Rue Charlot stock famed retro and au courant design pieces; pick up French foodie essentials in Première Pression Provence on Rue Antoine Vollon (+33 1 53 33 03 59) and Paris’ oldest market, 17th-century Marché des Enfants Rouges, laid out around Rue de Bretagne. Revered labels – Isabel Marant, Maje, APC – display their wares in chic, atelier-style boutiques, and before you hit the Lower Marais, the Picasso Museum, and beyond that the Carnavalet Museum present objets d’art in grand mansions. Canal Saint-Martin was eye-catching enough to earn a star turn in Amélie – cruises can be arranged through Canauxrama (+33 1 42 39 15 00) or Paris Canal (+33 1 42 40 96 97). Beaubourg, in the 4th arrondissement, may lack the Haut-Marais’ oh-so-cool cache; however, as home to the Centre Georges Pompidou (+33 1 44 78 12 33), Atelier Brancusi (+33 1 44 78 12 33) and bijou Passage Molière (home to the Théâtre Molière), it’s not to be overlooked.
If the hotel’s made you a fan of Pierre Moussié’s handiwork, stroll up Boulevard de Magenta to his elegant Brasserie Barbès (+33 1 42 64 52 23), which draws in Paris’s cool kids. Septime on Rue de Charonne (+33 1 43 67 38 29), in the 11th arrondissement, is run by Passard-trained chef Bertrand Grebaut; reservations aren’t easy to come by, so if you secure a table go all out and order the fabulous five-course tasting menu. For light meals – and liquid lunches – Vivant on Rue des Petites Ecuries serves small plates to enhance its lengthy list of natural wines (+33 1 42 46 43 55), and fine-dining fish restaurant Le Mary Celeste, on Rue Commines, keeps things fresh by changing its always enticing menu daily.
Holybelly is a very popular brunch joint in Paris, a 10-minute walk north from the hotel; for pancake stacks and eggs with myriad accompaniments, arrive early and be prepared to queue. Tartes Kluger (+33 1 53 01 53 53) on Rue Trousseau is worth the 20-minute walk from the hotel for it’s sweet (green-tea cheesecake, coconut meringue pie) and savoury (fish-tagine pie, tomato tartlettes with basil and mint) treats. Nanashi on Rue Charlot (+33 1 44 61 45 49) crafts beautiful bento boxes and sushi platters, and Café Charlot (+33 1 44 54 03 30), across from the Marché des Enfants Rouges, dishes up light brasserie fare. Chocolatier Jacques Genin’s fruit-infused caramels and chocolates (flavoured with tonka bean, chestnut honey, bergamot, basil and other curious concoctions) have won the pâtisserie-weary hearts of Parisians (Rue de Turenne, +33 1 45 77 29 01). Overindulged? Detox at Bob’s Kitchen juice bar (+33 9 52 55 11 66) close to the Arts et Metiers Metro stop.
Andy Wahloo (+ 33 1 42 71 20 38) is as outlandishly decorated as the hotel, with bright-pink neon signage and fern wallpaper – pick your poison from the little cubby-hole shelves behind the bar, or choose from the cocktail menu of martinis, negronis, sazeracs and other tried and true classics.