Perfect for exploring the trendy 10th arrondissement, Le Citizen Hotel overlooks the bank of the Canal de Midi, footsteps from where Amélie skipped stones in the French movie of the same name. The location is convenient for walking or using public transportation to get to famous sites, but why leave this gentrifying neighborhood? The restaurants and shops have become a boho magnet, and the monuments, such as Henry IV’s 16th-century Hospital St Louis (which replicated the pleasures of the Place des Vosges for plague victims), offer much beauty and history without the tourists.
Narrow guestrooms have multiple windows and are laid out to take advantage of canal views. The design sensibility is Nordic, with bright colors, pale woods, and modular furniture. If you didn’t bring an iPad, the hotel offers loaners.
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On Sundays, streets on both sides of the Canal St Martin, an epicenter of the happening 10th arrondissement, close to traffic and fill with strolling couples, joggers, and kids of all ages on bicycles; during the week you may see a few hobos sleeping on park benches. Canal businesses cater to a gentrified population who lunch at the Hotel du Nord and Chez Prune and shop for ethnic-designed adult and kids clothes at Antoine et Lili (95 Quai de Valmy), art books and pop-up design objects at Artazart (83 Quai de Valmy), and discounted fashion (APC, Maje, Claudie Perlot) on the Rue de Marseille. Nearby places to dine include Bones, Le Verre Vole, and Du Pain et les Idées.
Need to Know
Rooms: 12 rooms. From $190. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: After serving a European breakfast, the dining area transforms into a lunch-only Japanese Bento box restaurant. Spa and gym details: There is no gym or spa, but the hotel is close to a Velib bikesharing station at 148 Quai de Jemmapes and a path along the Canal St Martin that continues 17 miles to the parks and forests of Bobigny. Parks lining the Canal St Martin have playgrounds, outdoor ping-pong tables, and adult exercise stations.
Who’s it for: Design-conscious couples and young families who want to explore a trendy neighborhood without the tourist crowds—or prices—of the Marais. Our favorite rooms: No. 44 has a canal view and long window bay seat with modular cushions that can be arranged into a daybed or dining nook. For bicyclists: For pedalers who prefer lighter wheels than the heavy city Velib bikes, the Bicycle Store at 17 Boulevard du Temple sells Brompton folding bikes and other high-end touring models and fixies.