Three Nights, Three Paris Hotels and One Contest
I was recently on a whirlwind trip through Paris and decided to check out some new Paris hotels. I simply had to stay at the Legend, in the 6th Arrondissement, as we are currently partnering with the hotel and offering a free two-night stay there through a photo contest with our partner Tempting Places.
I wanted to make sure that our winner would be very happy with the hotel’s surroundings. The recently opened Legend hotel is on the rue de Rennes, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. It’s nicely situated, close to Montparnasse and the area’s large brasseries and movie theaters, and the stellar shopping and history of the Saint-Germain area. Nearby is the rue Saint-Placide, where I found several stock shops, including Stock Caroll, Moda and la Générale de Pharmacie.
A stock shop is a store that offers discounts on designer clothing or accessories. Often the store will be a discount shop for one designer only, such as Stock Caroll (30, rue Saint-Placide). I lucked into some patent leather booties by Marc Jacobs at Moda (45, rue Saint-Placide), which sells shoes and boots by Jacobs as well as Chloé, YSL and Paul Smith, among other names that you’ll recognize. From the outside the store is unimpressive, but inside you’ll find only gems at a significant discount, up to 60 percent off. La Générale de Pharmacie (58, rue Saint-Placide) sells luxury French creams and makeup at up to 40 percent off. Another special shop I found in the neighborhood was Moloko (53, rue du Cherche Midi), an independent designer offering a small selection of asymmetrical artistic designs mostly in black and gray for winter. To discover other stores in the neighborhood, download our rue du Cherche Midi tour.
For dining options, you can walk around the Montparnasse neighborhood and hit famous and historic brasseries such as le Dôme or la Coupole for fruits de mer (seafood platters) or check out the well-known restaurant Epi Dupin for something more gourmet less than five minutes from the Legend hotel. Le Nemrod, a café on the rue du Cherche Midi, is reliable for a quick snack or a drink outside on the terrace.
The Legend hotel, which opened in June, is modern in design, with special attention paid to the lighting, which was innovative and interesting in both my room and the breakfast/bar area. Service was nice, and the room was comfortable and quiet. Everything has been designed to have a place in these small yet efficient rooms.
If you want to splurge, each of the large suites on the top floor has its own story or legend and is quite divine, especially the Dreamcatcher Suite. Rates at the Legend hotel begin at around 250 euros and go up from there. If you win our contest, your prize will be worth at least 500 euros, which is about $650.
The next night we went to the recently opened Hôtel O, in the 1st Arrondissement. It’s also very contemporary and was opened by the same company that opened the Legend.
The green entrance piece in the lobby is intriguing, and the bar is inviting, but the rooms are quite small.
I love this area, however, as you are steps from fabulous shopping on the rue Etienne Marcel and fabulous dining on the rue Montorgueil. If you can get a room for the right price, it’s absolutely worth it! Rates begin at 150 euros. Any hotel in Paris that’s nice and has rates under 200 euros, like this one, is a true bargain.
Finally, I packed my bags yet again (I do not recommend this kind of tour for a relaxing vacation!) and headed to the Hôtel Jules et Jim in the upper Marais on the rue des Gravilliers. This hotel I really adored. The outdoor space makes it quite special, as does the sprinkling of truly unique and innovate art throughout.
The Czech breakfast server was the icing on the cake. I’m half Czech, so perhaps I’m biased, but she was so friendly and nice that she made my morning. The attention to every detail is impressive here, not only in the design but also in the layout of the rooms as well as the lighting, curtains (including blackout curtains) and space around the bed. While the rooms aren’t large, I didn’t feel cramped. Rates range from 200 to 400 euros, depending on the room and season. And of course, when I walked outside, I was in the Marais.
Located in the upper Marais, the hotel isn’t right in the thick of things, so this area is quieter than the one a bit farther south and east. Yet if you walk one block up, you’ll find three well-known restaurants: le 404, which has great Moroccan; Andy Wahloo, which is fun for its late-night scene; and Bob’s Kitchen, which is great for the day after, when you need a refreshing juice and some healthy food. If you walk in the other direction, you’ll soon be at the much adored Marché des Enfants Rouges, on the rue Bretagne (a great stop for lunch), as well as the fabulous shopping street rue Charlot.
45, rue Saint-Placide, in the 6th Arrondissement. 01 45 49 32 60.
La Générale de Pharmacie
Hôtel Jules et Jim
Editor’s note: Don’t forget to enter the photo contest—it’s been extended to October 28!—so you can shop, eat and sightsee in Paris, enjoying everything the city has to offer, with a free roof over your head at the Legend Hotel.