For a healthy dose of considered eclecticism and a home-away-from home in the hip heart of Paris, check in to Hotel Les Deux Gares.
When it comes to choosing a city-break hotel, convenience and luxury are too often mutually exclusive. Rarely are the hotels surrounding the city’s central stations the ones coveted by the stylish set. Standard practise is to endure at least one stop-start taxi ride through the hooting Paris traffic before arriving at any hotel lobby worth dropping your bags at. But in true Parisian style, the city is rewriting the rules with the opening of Hotel Les Deux Gares – a Luke Edward Hall-designed boutique hotel a stone’s throw away from Gare du Nord. Couples can hop off the Eurostar and fall back into a bed within minutes, free to explore this on-the-up arrondissement’s warren of cafes and boutiques in search of their first macaroon or kir royale.
Set the scene
There is an instant buzz of excitement upon entering the lobby at Hotel Les Deux Gares. Bottle green walls frame the sleek monochrome zigzagged marble floor. Candy striped curtains clash unashamedly against a leopard print sofa. The lamp bases are bubble-gum pink, the velvet chairs cerulean blue, and the coffee table is adorned with the latest volumes of Vogue, Haper’s Bazaar and independent French fashion magazines. It’s as though you’ve stepped into someone’s imaginative home, each corner telling its own story. Even for the bleary-eyed couples who caught the achingly early morning Eurostar, arriving at Hotel Les Deux Gares elicits an inescapable zest for life. One glimpse of the city’s rootops from the bedrooms’ windows and couples are off. Some beating the morning crowds at the Musée d’Orsay whilst others set off with no plan at all other than to lose themselves in the wonders of the city of Paris.
Food and drink
Guests wake up to a classic Parisian hotel breakfast at Hotel Les Deux Gares. Fresh baguettes lean up against the wall with a turquoise Smeg toaster waiting nearby, and there’s an array of preserves, cheeses, proper French butter and eggs available to order. Whilst the hotel doesn’t offer all day dining, Café Les Deux Gares sits just opposite and is buzzing with hip, in-the-know-locals. Also designed by Luke Edward Hall, the interiors embody that offbeat Parisian cool. Expect canary-yellow and blue striped benches, and glossy cherry-wood bar stools. Jonathan Schweizer is behind a creative, brasserie-style menu whilst Frederic Lesire is behind the restaurant’s excellent wine list. Couples seeking out a city’s natural wine scene will definitely want to add Café Les Deux Gares to their list.
In terms of where to eat nearby, it’s hard to go wrong. From the delicate and divine pain au chocolats at the city’s unassuming bakeries and Cedric Groulets skilful sugar-glazed works of art, to Seine-side moules frites and the small plates and natural wine bars of Le Marais and Le Pigalle, it is near impossible to eat badly in Paris. Harder is whittling down the restaurant list but one to definitely bookmark is Le Servan (a twenty minute walk from the hotel). Run by two sisters, the food is French Bistro with an Asian Twist. The menu changes regularly with recent highlights including a pickle plate with chive cream and a dish of raw sardines on brioche with a chilli browned butter. For a classic French bistro with a modern edge head to Le Petit Célestin, La Vierge, and Bistot Paul Bert.
In true Luke Edward Hall style, each room at Hotel Les Deux Gares offers its own unique quirk. Sky-blue painted walls contrast red-striped headboards, bedside lamps are hand illustrated with Hall’s hallmark inky style, depicting dreamlike faces, lips, and juicy olives floating in martini glasses. Bathrooms are the classically compact Parisian sort but feature all the essentials including French bathroom products from CODAGE and heated towel rails. It’s worth adding that despite the hotel’s proximity to Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est, the rooms are exceptionally quiet. Come morning, couples pull open the curtains to the soft morning light rippling over the rooftops of Paris and the comforting hum of a city waking up.
It was expert boutique hotelier and founder of Touriste Group Adrien Gloaguen who saw the potential in an old station hotel on the narrow Rue Des Deux Gares. Working with one of England’s most in-demand interior designers Luke Edward Hall, the hotel opened in 2020 and has since been a honey-pot stay for the art-fashion crowd. At a time where many of the hotel openings seem to be riding a hamster wheel of monotonous minimalism or opulent, old world maximalism, Hotel Les Deux Gares is eccentric prints and offbeat maximalism at its finest. Daringly refreshing interiors provide an intoxicatingly whimsical backdrop from which to enjoy Paris, marrying art deco flourishes with English eccentricity, all with the polish of excellent boutique hotel service.
Although not explicitly adults only, Hotel Le Deux Gares is definitely more of a playground for adults than it is for children. Ideal for a mini break, this is a hotel that invites couples to drop their worries and their bags and wonder the streets of Paris until tired feet require a compulsory stop for Champagne, oysters and oeuf mayonnaise.
Naturally the gym at Hotel Les Deux Gares only contains the chicest of equipment. Weights are furnished from soft leather and bear closer resemblance to a handbag than a dumbbell. The small-but-chic hotel gym also offers the latest WaterRower machines and there is a traditional wooden sauna which can be turned on at couples’ request.
Nestled between the Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est, Hotel Les Deux Gares could not be better located for a romantic getaway. The Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and city’s best shopping arrondissements are all within seriously scenic walking distance, as are some of the city’s best restaurants.
Doubles from £129
To book visit: hoteldeuxgares.com
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