I travel to Paris a lot. At least once a month, usually for work in some way, whether for the shows, (couture and pret a porter) or to visit clients, or attend press events. That means I am slowly working my way through a list of Parisian hotels, and am trying to stay in a different arrondisement each time to break out of my Paris rut .
Historically I have always gravitated to the 1st (for show season), or to the 4th, 6th & 11th, because I know them well from hanging out with friends. But last summer I spread my Paris wings, and stayed in the 8th for the first time, at the Hotel de la Tremoille, and this February I made it to the 17th, hard by the Arc de Triomphe, to stay at Hidden Hotel.
I’m a big fan of Elegancia Hotels, the small hotel group which owns not just Hidden Hotel, but several other interesting properties in the city, of which I have stayed in the Seven (the bonkers Alice in Wonderland suite) in the 5th and, most recently, in the Legend in the 6th, so I had high expectations of Hidden Hotel.
It was simple to spot from my cab: it’s certainly the only Parisian hotel I have stayed in which has wooden cladding.
It’s a small, quirky but chic, hotel, which extends down the street into the next building (depending on the location of your room, you may have to exit out into the street and back again to get to the (properly lovely) breakfast room. But the intimate reception area and bar are a splendid place to hang out for a drink,
and the staff are universally charming. They are all bilingual, and they could not be more helpful.
A case in point: when I discovered that by ‘room service’, the hotel means ‘food delivered from an offsite restaurant that could take well over an hour to arrive’, they went to infinite pains to show me where I could buy immediate supplies, with a staff member actually walking me around the corner to show me an excellent organic supermarket and a neighbouring Chinese traiteur that could furnish supper rather more quickly than their supplier.
I’d also like to mention the free, gratis, libre, fast wifi for ALL my devices, for which I give them MUCH love. Even if the nice receptionist did laugh when I requested five codes to cover all my devices (laptop, tablet, phones).
So: the room. Falling under the hotel’s Sensation category (starting from 169EUR), it was not enormous, but by the clever use of sheer linen drapes around the bed to separate the sleeping area from the in room bathing arrangements, it managed to be so much more than the sum of its parts. (If the bathroom had been placed behind a wall, the room would have been tiny.)
After all, what’s not to love about a curtained bed? Somehow it just feels extraordinarily luxurious. The beds have Coco-Mat mattresses, made from natural coconut fibres, (I slept like a baby), and the sheets are linen. Reading some online reviews, there were a very few complaints about the sheets not being soft enough, but that’s the nature of linen. I guess you either like it or you don’t. Me? I love it.
It reminded me, in the best possible way, of being a child again, building forts under tables.
There was a view from the room over the backs of other buildings, so it was extremely quiet, with no street noise whatsoever. (Although the hotel is situated on a very narrow, quiet street, so this is unlikely to be an issue anyway.)
And again, by making the wardrobe part of the room, it gave up more space to move around.
Regular readers will know that I approve of proper desks to do work on. There were plenty of sockets too for the charging of multiple devices.
The door leads to a loo. (Some things do require privacy.)
Breakfast was delicious, with a nice man making omelettes and scrambled eggs to order, and an array of fruit, artisanal breads, beurre d’Isigny and freshly squeezed juices.
I couldn’t fault the location: the Arc de Triomphe was a five minute walk, as is the Metro, and a bus from Charles de Gaulle stops the same distance away. It was perfect for accessing the Champs Elysees and the Tour Eiffel too. I had a 9am at the Dior mothership on Avenue Montaigne, and a cab took about five minutes. (I could have walked but, you know, heels etc…)
28, Rue de l’Arc de Triomphe, 75017 Paris
Telephone: +33(0) 1 40 55 03 57
Rooms from 135EUR.
LLG was a happy complimentary guest of Hidden Hotel for one night in February 2013.