Surrounded by some of Paris’s most hip neighbourhoods, this bold boutique hotel offers a stay characterised by good design and great hospitality.
If there was ever a place saturated with good spaces to stay, it’s Paris. From Airbnb and One Fine Stay abodes to a sweep of luxury suites, Paris has no shortage of luxurious and aesthetically appealing spots for a sleep over – so on our recent jaunt to the city ahead of Paris Design Week, we were faced with a tough decision – where best to rest our heads? Fortunately we were spoilt with a stay at the charming Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers, a hotel with status as both a local go-to and favourite global find for fans of contemporary design.
Located near the Marais, Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers takes inspiration from the rich local history of its locale. Formed by uniting and updated two classic Haussmann buildings, the hotel draws its name and thematic identity from a historic engineering school nearby, referencing its industrial grounding with feature materials such as oxidised pure copper pipes and iron furniture.
Against these somewhat masculine, moodier elements, the design introduces contrast through contemporary French style, with cool grey tones and soft textiles throughout the rooms and a classic internal courtyard providing a communal hub for the hotel space. We hear that the sophisticated courtyard bar, l’Herbarium has become a local favourite for cocktails that conjure the best of the belle époque, while up atop the building an expansive rooftop bar overlooks the iconic city skyline.
Designed by local architect Raphael Navot, the hotel strikes a balance between the old and new, conventional and unexpected. From the striking hotel entrance, where six hand-carved ashlar pillars (each made from stone pulled from a Paris quarry) are laid over fossilised Granit marquetry flooring, it’s clear this is creativity with confidence.
Navot also teamed up with many local craftspeople to bring the design to life,from woodwork and the distinctive mineral wall coatings to the furniture and even the floral arrangements that add extra personality and character throughout the hotel.
Not far from another French favourite of ours, Hotel Bachaumont, the surrounding neighbourhood offers plenty for design and arts aficionados to enjoy.An easy walk will take you to the Marais, where you can get your full of small galleries, boutiques and design spaces (and do some damage to your credit card while you’re at it!), while cultural institutions like the Musée Picasso and Centre Georges Pompidou are a stone’s throw away. If you’re headed to the Centre Georges Pompidou, be sure to pay a visit to the Atelier Brancusi, which preserves the voluptuous sculptures of Constantin Brancusi in a space designed by architect Renzo Piano with a walled garden.
Surrounded by bars, cafes, bookshops and parks, the area isn’t as much a tourist hotspot is it is a glimpse into the local Parisian life – and when you’re coming back to a hotel like this every night, it’s a charmed life indeed.
Book a stay at the Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers through their website.