The vibe: A whimsical, colorful retreat in a vibrant Paris neighborhood
Location: 17 Rue de la Verrerie 75004 Paris, France | View on Google Maps
Book now: Website
The AFAR take
Maisons Pariente, the hospitality group behind beloved French resorts Crillon Le Brave, Lou Pinet, and Le Coucou, debuted its first urban hotel in September 2023 in the heart of buzzy Le Marais. Blink and you might miss Le Grand Mazarin’s discreet entrance, but even in the small lobby, with its pleated fabric ceiling, intricate basket-woven parquet wooden floor, and tasseled wall sconces, the interiors make a bold design statement. Swedish architect Martin Brudnizki is behind the maximalist interiors; he took his inspiration from 18th-century French literary salons to design everything from the restaurant and bar to the spa and pool area.
Who’s it for?
Design buffs who love color and beautiful baubles, and who want to be in one of the hippest parts of Paris. Couples and friends will fit right in at these chic digs. Families are warmly welcomed here, thanks to the large suites, connecting rooms, and available gear including cribs and baby tubs.
Sitting at the bustling corner of Rue de la Verrerie and Rue des Archives in trendy Le Marais, the hotel is right by the 14th-century Hôtel de Ville (the City Hall of Paris), close to the Seine and Île de la Cité, and within walking distance to tons of shops, cafés, and bars. Art lovers will appreciate the hotel’s proximity to such museums as Le Centre Pompidou, Musée National Picasso Paris, and Musée Carnavalet (the oldest museum in Paris). The district is lively enough during the day, but nighttime is when things really come alive. This area is farther from some of the city’s more visited landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, but that means fewer tourists.
Le Grand Mazarin is ideal for design buffs who love color and beautiful baubles, and who want to be in one of the hippest parts of Paris.
The 50 guest rooms and 11 suites, all with non-uniform shapes due to the historic building’s architecture, feature whimsical design and are filled with boldly patterned couches, chairs, and throw pillows custom designed by Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant. Throughout, there are one-of-a-kind details created in partnership with local artists. Ornate Aubusson-style tapestry canopies made by Art de Lys, a French Living Heritage Company, hang over the beds, channeling a bygone era of France. They’re juxtaposed with funky table lamps from artists Claudia Cauville (who created the curvy gilt legs) and Laura Horrocks (who painted the patterned shades). Painted wardrobes are lined with crustacean-inspired wallpaper, while sateen Garnier Thiébaut sheets are embellished with scalloped embroidery.
The food and drink
Israeli chef Assaf Granit celebrates Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine at Boubalé (a Yiddish term of endearment), with influences from Moroccan, Syrian, and Iraqi Sephardic cooking. Inventive menu items include seafood kneidlach, a spin on dumplings filled with beef; lakerda, pickled bonito served with crème fraîche, dates, and tomatoes; and for dessert, babka mousse. The coral and turquoise Le Bar de Boubalé offers craft cocktails, while the Library Bar is a venue that is transformed several times a week using modular décor, with a changing entertainment program. In warm weather, head to the enchanting patio terrace for a glass of champagne and to admire the garden frescoes on the walls by artist Sophia Pega.
Staff and service
Somewhat (pleasantly!) surprising in this bohemian environment is the bend-over-backwards service that’s ready for any request, whether you need neighborhood tips or want to arrange special tours or access to nearby attractions like chic lifestyle department store BHV Marais, the historic Marché des Enfants Rouges, or the Musée Carnavalet.
All public entrances and areas are wheelchair accessible, and all floors have elevator access. There are three rooms made to accommodate people with reduced mobility, including bathrooms fitted with larger doors and handrails.
Spa and swim
The basement-level wellness area feels like a secret sanctuary in the heart of Paris. The mosaic-tiled indoor pool and whirlpool feature a barrel-vaulted ceiling decorated with a fresco painted by Paris-based Jacques Merle. There’s a hammam, a fitness center, and a spa treatment room where guests can indulge in a treatment by Anne Cali, known among Parisians for her GAD (Glisser-Appuyer-Décoller) massage method, which aids in skin quality, fat reduction, and venous and lymphatic circulation.