Tucked away in the Trinité quartier of Paris’ 9th arrondissement, Hotel Design Secret de Paris is a short stroll from the heart of the city, with Montmartre a 15 minute walk on one side and Opera on the other.
With just 29 rooms, Hotel Design Secret de Paris has a very homely feel, also including a spa and fitness centre, which was ideal for escaping to after a busy day pounding the pavements.
Each room is designed to a Parisian theme (in case you’d forgotten where you were), with Moulin Rouge, Eiffel Tower and Musée d’Orsay just a few examples of the rooms on offer.
Upon arrival we were offered a drink at the bar before the smiley receptionist showed us to our room on the top floor. On the way he pointed out the discreet placards dotted around the hotel, each revealing a ‘secret’ about the city.
Admittedly, I’d been feeling a bit dubious about the hotel’s themed rooms, the thought of which had immediately conjured images of cheesy wallpaper, cheap accessories and garish colours. Our Eiffel Tower room, however, was tasteful and charming, with only one wall lined with images of views across Paris and some steel fittings denoting the iconic Parisian structure. The rose petals scattered across the bed and welcome note on the desk were also sweet touches.
Despite one gripe which I will get to later, I loved our marble bathroom, which was well-stocked with yummy toiletries from Maison Azzaro and fitted with a large, LED-light-filled tub and overhead rain shower.
The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant but there is a comfortable bar and lounge area on the ground floor with house cocktails and light refreshments.
Before heading out in the evening, anticipating that we might feel a little the worse for wear the next day, we opted for breakfast in bed to be delivered and ticked almost all of the boxes on offer. As we lazily opened the door the next morning, a Continental feast was brought in with a selection of fresh croissants and breads, cheese, ham, yoghurt, coffee and juice laid out. It was the perfect restorative set up for two very sore heads to make their way through.
Who goes there?
We didn’t cross paths with many of the other patrons at the hotel but those we did see appeared to be young couples taking advantage of the good location and reasonable prices.
Out & about:
The hotel is situated in the 9th arrondissement, which boasts many of the capital’s heavy hitters, including the Palais Garnier and the Paris Opera, as well as the Belle Epoque shopping meccas, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
It’s also just below Montmartre and Abbesses, which—as an ex-Paris inhabitant—I can safely say have some of the best little bars and cafés in the city.
The worst thing:
There are certain intimacies I see as pretty sacrosanct to keeping the mystery in a relationship, which the panel of clear glass separating the bathroom from the bedroom did little to retain.
The best thing:
The staff. From the moment we arrived and were warmly welcomed across the hotel’s threshold, to the moment we left, we were made to feel completely at home. The staff went out of their way, offering refreshments, showing us around the hotel and passing on travel and restaurant advice. It was certainly service with a smile, and golly does that make up for any shortcomings.
The hotel may not hold all the cards on the luxury front, but the fun yet understated interiors and charming staff certainly make this one worth returning to.