Nestled in Paris’ glitzy 7th Arrondissement, just out of view of the river, Le Cinq Codet is one of the city’s more modest five-star hotels. What it lacks in sheer opulence however, it more than makes up for in style. Fittingly for a building that dates back to the 1930s, Le Cinq Codet feels like an art deco establishment that has been dragged into the 2020s. The hotel’s designer, Jean Philippe Nuel, has found refuge in geometry and intimacy; this is a hotel full of corners, colours and neat little design quirks. Paintings by contemporary French artists litter the walls of each room. Everything has shape. Essentially: Le Cinq Codet feels like a luxury ocean liner from the 31st century — it even has a prow, facing out towards the nearby Les Invalides.
Considering it only opened relatively recently, I can’t help but think that this might be the future of Parisian hotels.
Le Cinq Codet offers 67 rooms and suites, many of which are duplexes. These particular rooms are designed in the style of a Parisian loft and are far larger and brighter than the standard bedrooms. If you’re looking for some real breathing space, they’re probably your best bet. That’s not to say the other rooms aren’t perfectly pleasant, of course — the deluxe rooms in particular offer an impressive amount of space, as well as some lovely street views — but the duplex will get you as close to a suite as you can without having to shell out quite as much cash.
The hotel’s six suites aren’t to be sniffed at, though. Each is uniquely designed, with the largest (that’ll be the Dome Suite) hitting a mighty 83m² — and coming with a private terrace and jacuzzi. Other suites offer Eiffel Tower views, loft-style decor or duplex setups. Each is different; just figure out what you like and choose accordingly. Considering each suite and room is just as overwhelmingly chic and bright as the rest of the hotel, however, you’ll probably be impressed with whatever choice you make.
Chiquette is the star of the show here. Headed by chef David Maroleau, the hotel’s restaurant offers a tantalising menu of French-Japanese fusion gastronomy. Think pork confit in Char Siu sauce, club sandwiches on Japanese soft bread and sherbets with Calamansi and candied ginger. Best of all, though — and take my word for this — is Maroleau’s own signature dish: organic tiger shrimps, served on Koshihikari rice and poured over with a lemongrass broth. Maroleau himself practically insisted we try this dish (it was wheeled out to our table prior to the other main courses we had ordered) and honestly, I can’t blame him. That rice soaks up the broth before you’ve even picked up your fork, and the sharp flavour of the shrimp balances perfectly with the warm heartiness of the broth and rice. It’s one of the best things I’ve eaten in Paris, full stop. France has always been slow to accept the rising wave of fusion food, but if this is what their best chefs can pull off — well, let’s just say “Vive Le Japon.”
Out and about:
Lots of fun nearby for history fans, since Les Invalides is quite literally a stone’s throw away from the hotel’s front door. Most notable as the home to Napoleon’s tomb, Les Invalides is a genuine treasure trove for anyone interested in French history, especially French military history.
If that’s not your speed, however, the 7th Arrondissement has plenty more to offer. There’s the Eiffel Tower, for one, as well as the Musée d’Orsay, Musée Rodin, and the Musée du Quai Branly. Honestly, the 7th is pure Paris — and the perfect place to stay for a first-timer looking for those iconic postcard views.
And if you’re not a first-timer? Get thee to the Metro.
Who goes there:
Honestly, during our visit it was extremely quiet. We saw practically no other guests in the hotel itself, while the only other people we saw in Chiquette were a table of pilots and aircrew and an unspeakably fashionable-looking young woman doing a photoshoot in the hotel’s outdoor areas. She was probably famous.
The worst thing:
Can a hotel be too stylish? That’s up to your personal preference — but if you think it can, then Le Cinq Codet probably is.
The best thing:
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my personal apologies to Monsieur Maroleau for not immediately ordering the tiger shrimps. Twice.