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April 16, 2024

Two New Paris Hotels for Your Next Jaunt to the City of Lights

Understated yet glamorous, these sister hotels on the Left Bank are causing quite a stir.

By Becca Hensley

Sometimes you want something more convivial and casual than a palace hotel – something that almost feels like a secret, a lair away from home. Even in Paris. Two new sister hotels on the Left Bank – Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs and Hôtel Dame des Arts – lured me to return recently to one of my favorite cities. Cleverly rethinking, facelifting and revamping a duo of once ho-hum structures under the guidance of inventive designers, the hotels deliberately bring a contemporary and urbane perspective to the ancient city as cosmopolitan havens.

Elegantly informal, unstuffy, friendly, understatedly glamorous and purposefully global in perspective (think vegan options, lobster rolls – even a Mexican restaurant) yet unashamedly  French, (Thank God), the hotels – in distinctive ways – reflect their unique niches in the Rive Gauche. They excel at celebrating and unveiling lesser touristed neighborhoods as deftly as advice from a well-entrenched resident friend. You’ll want to book them for fashion week, hen parties, romantic trysts, art buying jaunts and those times you yearn to live like a local – but still be in a hotel. More on both below. 

[See also: The Best Restaurants in Paris]

Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs


hotel des grands voyageurs bedroom
These two new sister hotels in Paris are glamorous yet understated / ©Hotel des Grands Voyageurs

Unless you’re a dogged traveler to Paris’ jewel box-like, less heralded nooks, you may not know the St. Placide neighborhood—though likely, if you’ve frolicked much on the Left Bank, you’ve passed by it. Near Bon Marche, the mostly residential area in the 6th wedges between St. Germain des Pres and Montparnasse, 10 minutes from Luxembourg Gardens. Here, on a corner off the main drags, the recently launched Hotel des Grands Voyageurs pampers stylish jet setters with a penchant for exquisite design and personable service.

With aplomb, the team doles out the sort of insider knowledge we expect and crave when traveling. “We’re like home, but better,” says one team member who, as a sister might, sends me to her favorite, diminutive watering hole, La Barra. “Ask for Pierre,” she says. And I do (Note: it’s quintessentially Parisian with a red-painted storefront around the corner and Pierre pours bio-dynamic French wine.).


Hotel des Grands Voyageurs lobby
Vintage mirrors and velvet-sheathed chairs subtly reference the golden age of transatlantic travel / ©Hotel des Grands Voyageurs

Designer Fabrizio Casiraghi creates a residential-style hotel, awash with exquisite artwork, such as lithographs by Klimt and Chagall. Vintage mirrors, green velvet-sheathed chairs, mid-century shapes and markedly retro embellishments subtly reference bygone cruise ships and the golden age of transatlantic travel, imposing a pleasingly alternative reality. I loved the whimsical velvet ropes strung along the hallways, the 1930s-esque frescoes in the small gym and the curvy moldings throughout – not to mention the ceiling windows in the top floor’s rooms.

Fun touches such as vinyl players with classic records add atmosphere aplenty. Overall,  Casiraghi’s design references history but doesn’t overdo realism. It summons the sense of being inside an art collector’s unpretentious residence with fine art appearing throughout like little gifts. Bas reliefs by Francois Gilles are the mainstays of each room, all 138 of which take on unique configurations.  

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Dine and Drink

brasserie at Hotel des Grands Voyageurs
The stylish all-day brasserie / ©Hotel des Grands Voyageurs

An all-day brasserie Grand Voyageurs Restaurant continues to play up the idea of the transatlantic crossing era by paying homage to the connection (on every level) between the US and France. Though totally French in ambiance the menu runs the gamut. Offerings range from lobster rolls to classic French Onion soup.

The connected Le Bar serves inspired cocktails. Be sure to sip the Martini, an extravagance of oyster-leaf-infused vodka and green chartreuse. The house champagne is Telmont Reserve Blanc – need we say more? Wednesday to Sunday night, intimate Poppy, a speakeasy-style bar, adorned with lithographs by Marc Chagall, features music and elevated cocktails. 

Top Suite

As often happens in Paris, rooms are small. There are eight airy Junior Suites on upper floors with prime views, extra-ample king-sized beds and pampering bathrooms with tubs. Connect to an adjoining room for more space or if traveling with kids. 


Shop Bon Marche, play in Luxembourg Gardens and gadabout in St-Germain-des-Pres (read: drinks at Cafe de Flore, at the very least). 

Hôtel Dame des Arts 


Hôtel Dame des Arts bedroom
The rooms exude the sort of satisfying minimalism that suggests lavishness / ©Hôtel Dame des Arts

On Rue Danton in the Latin Quarter, Hôtel Dame des Arts captures the attention from the street. It’s a modern signpost amid bits of Belle Epoque architecture, and just a stone’s throw from medieval Notre Dame cathedral. When I check in, I overhear two women, dressed to the nines, asking supreme concierge Edwin to point them toward Paris’ most colossal croissant. He’s dutiful – though I sense skeptical – and would rather send them to the Picasso Museum or on his favorite outing: a private boat ride on the Seine complete with a gourmet picnic. TikTok ready, the croissant seekers exit the building singing his praises, while I ascend the elevator to the rooftop terrace (seasonally a vivacious bar) to have a coffee and peruse the 360-degree eye-popping views of Paris.


Hôtel Dame des Arts fitness studio
The fitness studio is capped with a curved wood ceiling / ©Hôtel Dame des Arts

The coppery-sheathed facade feels sexy and provocative even before you enter to stand within the theatrical, but restrained contemporary interiors by Raphael Navot. As befits a deliciously design-centric hotel, its elements include glass, porcelain, rich woods and metals. Inspired by film’s Nouvelle Vague, the design imparts a fantasy feel – as if you’ve walked onto a movie set. But Hotel Dame des Arts is thankfully very real. One third of the 109 rooms have balconies. They exude the sort of satisfying minimalism that suggests lavishness. There’s a hidden courtyard below and Paris’ most exciting rooftop bar on top. A small, stylish fitness studio, capped with a curved wood ceiling features handcrafted exercise machines and a sauna. 

Dine and Drink

Hôtel Dame des Arts restaurant
The hotel’s all-day eatery / ©Hôtel Dame des Arts

Like the best chefs hailing from Mexico, Chef Othoniel Álvarez Castaneda learned cooking from his grandmother. He brings interior Mexican flavors, plus French training and savoir-faire, accented by a passion for Japanese cuisine to his sustainable table at Dame Restaurant, the hotel’s all-day eatery. For dinner, dishes such as Tataki de Canard and Tostada de Thun Rouge exemplify his fusion technique. Open in season, the rooftop bar can’t be beat. In town off-season? You can grab a golden latte or cocktail at the restaurant bar and take it to the rooftop to sip and enjoy the view. 

Top Suite

While the snazzy Suite Dame is the hotel’s most spacious guest room, it occupies the ground floor, ensconced in the garden. Take the slightly smaller Junior Suite Terrace with Eiffel Tower Views on a higher floor to experience the Hotel Dame des Arts’ sensational vista over the rooftops of Paris. 


new hotel in paris
The hotel lies within minutes of the Marais / ©Hôtel Dame des Arts

With a peerless location, the hotel lies within minutes of the Marais, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Île Saint-Louis, the Louvre and more. 

[See also: In the City of Light, Le Bristol Paris Dazzles]

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