Former washing machine factory Maison Breguet spins off its retro-industrial roots and the creativity of Paris’ 11th arrondissement. London-based design studio Sagrada were behind the transformation, introducing bespoke furniture, Pierre Frey wallpaper and chevron-patterned Carrara marble to the upper floors. Downstairs, the workshop floor has become a light-flooded restaurant with a vaulted ceiling, greenery-girdled patio and a cocktail list created by globe-trotting mixologist Nicolas de Soto. Faithful to the spirit of Le Marais, the Maison hosts talks and workshops with Parisian artists, designers, writers and tastemakers, too.
Double rooms from $331.43 (€273), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.75 per person per night on check-out.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast. Keep it classic with the Continental buffet (€25) or pick and choose from the à la carte menu, which includes Viennese pastries (€4), avocado on toast (€7), homemade granola (€8) and eggs however you like them (€9).
Spotted an old map of Paris hidden on the ceiling of your room? That’s the work of Sagrada designer Juan Alvarez, who likes to include a surprise or two in his designs.
At the hotel
24-hour gym, patio garden, free WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, tea and a kettle, Maison Margiela bath products.
Our favourite rooms
There are no disappointing rooms here, but we’d go for a Deluxe Room or higher for the extra breathing space. All rooms have handsome hardwood floors, large windows, industrial-style lamps and retro furniture. Bathrooms have either a bathtub or a walk-in shower clad in Carrara marble tiles. If there’s more than two of you, the Little House Deluxe Suite is worth considering. Styled like a private apartment, this parquet-floored pied à terre has two spacious bedrooms, a living area and a private patio.
There’s a small indoor pool in the spa area.
The hotel has a 24-hour fitness studio, sauna, hammam and a treatment room, where you can get jet-lag busting massages and facials. Sessions can also take place in the privacy of your own room. There’s an extra charge for sessions before 9am and after 9pm.
Pare your wash kit down to the essentials – the Maison Margiela bath products will more than satisfy.
All of the public areas are wheelchair accessible, as are some of the guest rooms. There are accessible toilets in the bar and restaurant.
All ages are welcome at the hotel. Cots can be added to rooms on request, and the hotel can provide strollers, baby listening devices and changing mats. Babysitting can be arranged for an extra charge.
Request a table on the patio, surrounded by living plant walls.
Take inspiration from the new-blood designers on nearby Rue Charlot.
The restaurant is where the building’s industrial bones really come into their own. The bar and dining room are under a pitched glass roof supported by curving steel beams, a design that adds height and daylight. Retro-industrial furnishings complement the structure overhead and an open kitchen adds a touch of theatre. The menu has a mod-European lean, with a focus on first-rate produce, not least the veg. Try the artichoke salad with barley, fig & grilled halloumi to start, followed by the monkfish, served with crab, potatoes, fennel and tomatoes.
The marble-topped bar is the centrepiece of the restaurant, finished with rattan panels, two tiers of brass shelves and stools fashioned from iron and saffron-toned leather. It’s a favourite with locals, not least because the drinks list was put together by master mixologist Nicolas de Soto, who has visited 95 countries in the name of research. If you like your cocktails punchy, ask for the Vieux Pote, made with Pierre Ferrand cognac, coffee, red vermouth, peaty whisky and botanicals. For something more floral, try the Queen is Back, made with Citadelle gin, earl grey tea, fleur d’oranger and prosecco.
Breakfast is available from 7am to 10.30am (11am on weekends). Lunch is served from 12 noon to 2.30pm; dinner from 7pm to 10.30pm (11pm on weekends). Sunday brunch is served from 12 noon to 3pm.
A reduced menu is available during restaurant hours.
Maison Breguet is in the 11th arrondissement, on Paris’ well-heeled Right Bank. Le Marais is a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Paris’ Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports are both about an hour’s drive from the hotel.
Eurostar services from London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lausanne all pull in at Gare du Nord, the city’s largest station. From there, hop in a cab or take Métro Line 5 (the orange one) to Bréguet-Sabin, a two-minute walk from the hotel.
Haussmann’s Paris was designed for strolling, and the Métro has you covered when it’s too far to walk. If you do bring a car, there’s public parking nearby for €35 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
With the alluring 11th on the doorstep, you’ll want to be fighting fit if you’re to make the most of the local divertissements. Supercharge your morning with a session in the hammam or sauna, then swing by reception to book in a massage for late afternoon – there’s no better remedy if you’ve been flitting up and down the Marais all day. For lounging and libations, head to the greenery-girdled patio (a luxury in central Paris) or the vaulted bar, serving cocktails dreamt up by globe-trotting mixologist Nicolas de Soto.
On Thursdays and Sundays, the Marché Richard Lenoir (also known as Bastille Market) gets under way. It’s a minute’s walk from the hotel and one of the largest produce markets in Paris, making it an excellent place to stock up on saucisse, cheeses, patisseries and fruit. If the weather is in your favour, take your picnic to Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in the city. The square – and the regal houses that line it – attracted the fashionable elite in the 17th and 18th centuries, cementing the Marais’ reputation as a haunt of nobility. Former residents include writer Victor Hugo and lady of letters Madame de Sevigné. For space, silence and monumental masonry, stroll westward to the Cimetière du Père Lachaise, resting place of Edith Piaf, Frederic Chopin and Oscar Wilde. For shopping, try the southern end of Rue Oberkampf and Rue Charlot, populated with the ateliers and boutiques of the next generation of Parisian designers.
Café des Anges, on rue de la Roquette, is a quintessential Parisian bistro with a pastel green exterior and a terrasse shaded by a red awning. The menu is as classic as they come – beef entrecote, steak tartare, roast duck with thyme are among the mainstays – and the ambience is laid-back and convivial. Sporting a canary yellow livery, Vietnamese restaurant Paris Hanoï channels the flavours of Indochina, serving fragrant pho, spicy noodle salads and grilled lemongrass chicken. The portions are hearty and offer a lot of bang for buck given the central location. Septime, on rue de Charonne, is a quietly confident jewel that has snagged a spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List and an award for sustainability, but it’s chef Bertrand Grébaut’s creativity that keeps the diners coming. Best of all, it’s remarkably good value given the quality of the produce – venison plated with pine buds, fermented berries and caviar, for instance – and the talent in the kitchen. Your biggest hurdle will be getting a reservation; bookings open three weeks in advance.
Occupying the seventh floor of an industrial building, Le Perchoir Ménilmontant wouldn’t look out of place in LA. The bohemian-leaning roof terrace has a vine-wrapped pergola, rattan lamp shades, cushion-strewn sofas and planters filled with fragrant tomato plants. Get there in plenty of time for sunset, when the dome of the Sacre Coeur catches the last light.
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 leather goods made to order in the Marais, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Maison Breguet in Paris…
From the 13th century until the time of the Revolution, Paris’ Right Bank – and Le Marais in particular – was the haunt of kings and princes. It’s here that you’ll find some of the most impressive hôtel particulier in the city, but after the storming of the Bastille, it became a more down-to-earth quarter, filled with craftsmen and workshops. Maison Breguet, a former washing machine factory, is a prime example of the area’s shift towards craft, goods and creativity that persists to this day.
When entrepreneurial hoteliers Samuel Gelrubin and Brice Errera began the three-year transformation, they found that they didn’t have to go far to find the craftspeople for the job. When looking for someone to do bespoke panelling, for instance, the right man turned out to have a workshop across the street. Bespoke retro-industrial furniture, cabinets and parquet floors all celebrate the area’s reputation as a place of makers, and the in-house boutique, film selection, reading list and playlist were all put together by local creatives making waves in their respective fields.