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I sat at a table overlooking a small Parisian square, with a carafe of chilled white wine next to a plate of assorted soft cheeses and a basket of crusty bread. The Saturday afternoon market was in full swing, with fish vendors, produce and hanging cured meats. It was a sun-soaked Paris day at its best. I was experiencing the city the local way, with a blend of creature comforts and haute living — also the perfect way to describe my hotel, Le Roch Hotel & Spa, which, fortunately for me in my afternoon wine haze, was just around the corner.
The boutique city hotel, which opened in July, scored a swanky address in Paris, in the 1st Arrondissement between Place de Vendome and Place de l’Opera. Its 37 rooms overlook Rue Saint-Roche, a charming side street dotted with iconic wrought-iron balconies. The street leads directly out to Rue de Rivoli, putting the hotel within walking distance of the Louvre and Jardin des Tuileries.
The design-focused hotel is modern yet homey, with dark-blue walls trimmed in black, leather couches and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lined with design books. The lobby gives way to a small restaurant with blue and green velvet banquettes and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto a small terrace and flood the restaurant with natural light. It might be a hard sell to recommend dining at the hotel restaurant when the kitchens of Paris are calling, but it won’t be a mistake to eat here, with menu items such as burrata, lamb and ricotta ravioli. But a short walk out the hotel door leads to a small square ringed with restaurants selling typical French bistro cuisine. Le Zinc d’Honore was my oasis my first afternoon in town.
The hotel’s 32 guestrooms and five suites are decked out in five different color schemes, all with black trim and a modern edge. At the most basic level are the Cosy Rooms, with a shower or bath and a twin or double bed. Deluxe Rooms are the next step up, with a bit more space. A Deluxe Indulgent Room offers its own private en-suite hammam (Turkish bath). The Saint Roch Suite has its own private terrace overlooking the inner patio, as well as its own private en-suite hammam and includes transfers to the airports or railway stations. But the room to beat at this hotel is The Parisian Apartment, which combines The Saint Roch Suite with the adjoining Deluxe Indulgence Room to block out the entire sixth floor of the building.
The lower level of the hotel has a small fitness center with free weights, a treadmill and a stationary bike. But Spa Codage will be the real retreat within the hotel once it officially opens later this year. For now, the downstairs spa area has a long lap pool lit by small lanterns that line the edge, as well as a hammam, and treatments are currently available in-room, 24 hours per day.
The overall vibe of the hotel swings chic and edgy — not necessarily for the Ritz-Carlton crowd, but for travelers more accustomed to being in the heart of the action without sacrificing luxury touches. The property is tech-friendly, with iPads in every room and a young concierge team. It’s modern, multifaceted and aimed at millennials with a little extra money to burn. But it’s worth every penny.