"Feels like home" is a qualifier commonly used to describe boutique hotels, but few live up to the promise. Hotel Crayon Rouge, the little sister of five-year-old Hotel Crayon just around the corner, drives the homey atmosphere with a number of clever features: an honesty bar and kitchen with a readily stocked fridge accessible for late-night cravings, an intimate lounge in the entry, used books on bedside tables, and reading lights in bathrooms. Colorful guestrooms are like fantasy bedrooms, with retro-chic style, graphic illustrated wallpaper, antique furnishings, and vintage decorative touches. Though rooms are compact, smart use of mirrors make them feel more spacious. The design of the property has been masterminded by artist Julie Gauthron and is framed subtly around wine, the owners’ passion. You’ll find playful wine-themed wallpaper in the lounge, lamps in cork oak above the reception desk, and wine and whiskey carafes above the Rouge Bar dining table. Complimentary charcuterie is available in the Rouge Bar with the purchase of a glass of wine at apéro hour each evening.
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The hotel benefits from prime real estate within only a few blocks of major destinations (but without the noise): both the Louvre and the Palais Royal are a mere five minutes away by foot. For excellent specialty coffee nearby, head to Télescope Café (5 Rue Villedo). Have lunch at Ellsworth (34 Rue de Richelieu), the recently opened small-plates hot spot from the Verjus duo. And browse the latest collection at Franco-Japanese label Kitsuné (52 Rue de Richelieu). For edible goodies to take home, don't miss the impressive selection of cheeses at Hisada (47 Rue de Richelieu), run by a Japanese master cheesemaker known for her sake-aged cheeses.
Need to Know
Rooms: 17 rooms, from $183. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon (late check-out possible). Dining options:The breakfast spread is robust, but you’ll need to make dinner plans outside the hotel. A five-minute walk into the 2nd arrondissement will take you to Verjus wine bar, known for excellent small plates and wine selection; Kunitoraya, the city’s temple of Japanese Udon; or Willie’s Wine Bar, an institution with simple but exemplary French dishes. If even that’s too far, Lobster Bar sits just around the corner from the hotel. Spa and gym details: No spa or gym.
Who it’s best for: Young couples and families who want the comforts of a hotel but prefer the privacy and independence that an apartment affords. Our favorite rooms: Each room has a different vibe, but the Sans Modération suite earns top marks for its Jacuzzi tub and separate Italian shower, perfect for a weekend à deux. Don’t forget: Since the hotel owner is passionate about wine, a nice selection is available for guests to try. The wines are on tap, available from a refrigerated, environment-controlled wine serving machine in the Rouge Bar. Ask for a payment card for the machine at the reception desk.