Hotel Edgar has been luring trendy travelers to Paris’ second arrondissement since opening in spring 2013. With its creatively designed rooms and its buzzing restaurant and bar, the boutique hotel has a little something for everyone in the heart of the textile district. Here are five things you should know about the new locale:
1. Location. While the neighborhood around the metro Sentier has established a reputation over the last century for its mass of wholesale shops and textile factories, it is now the center of the Paris startup movement and home to some major foodie favorites. Just one block away from the quaint square where the chic Hotel Edgar resides is rue du Nil, where you’ll find one of Paris’s most popular restaurants, Frenchie, as well as the gourmet market shops by Terroirs d’Avenir.
Hotel Edgar is located in a pocket of this neighborhood that is called Little Egypt, for the streets named after various Egyptian armies overtaken by Napoleon I in the late 18th century. Prior to this, on the very site of the hotel, once stood a 16th-century convent Les Filles-Dieu (“the daughters of God”). After the modernization of Paris by Haussmann in the mid-19th century, this spot housed a textile workshop until Guillaume Rouget-Luchaire and his business partner, chef Xavier Thiéry, bought it and turned it into the design-centric hotel it is today.
2. The restaurant. With a distinctly international influence and a menu proudly centered on seafood, Edgar is open daily for lunch and dinner, and offers a Sunday brunch with anglophone-inspired specialties, such as organic eggs Benedict and fish and chips.
Under the direction of chef Thiéry, the menu boasts fresh oysters from Normandy, roasted octopus, smoked herring and prawns with Bordier butter, as well as nice filets of cod served with fresh seasonal vegetables, and charcuterie plates by the venerable Basque producer Louis Ospital.
As for the drinks, Edgar offers a well-edited wine list with several choices from around France, like a sancerre from the Loire Valley, whose round, fruity and citrus notes pair nicely with the delicate seafood flavors on the menu.
3. The rooms. When Rouget-Luchaire decided to close his Marais restaurant and open Hotel Edgar, named after his son, he called upon his friends and family to help him create each of the quaint rooms and suites for the hotel. Luckily for him, his family and friends are some of the most talented artists, designers and filmmakers in the industry. Spanning over three floors, the boutique hotel provides just 12 rooms, each of which has its own personality and design aesthetic.
The rooms are quite cozy, so the design lends its self to minimal wasted space. Bathrooms are stocked with products by Molton Brown, and each of the accommodations has a view of the historic square in front of the hotel.
Take your pick from rooms such as “Ebène Rock,” created by Chanel designer Pascal Braultand and set designer Stéphane Lubrina, and “Milagros,” whose distinct Southwestern flair and photos adorning the walls were produced by Carla Talopp and Thomas Millet. Or maybe you’d like to be in the tree house room, designed by French tree house architect Alain Laurens and his partner Daniel Dufour. The personal touch in each room gives you the impression you’re staying in the designer’s home. Rooms range from €185 to €245 (US$251 to US$333) per night in low season, and from €195 to €275 (US$265 to US$374) in high season.
4. The design. Rouget-Luchaire is passionate about design, but wouldn’t call himself an interior designer. However, the aesthetic of Hotel Edgar’s restaurant — for which Guillaume himself handpicked each chair, lamp, fork and plate — suggests otherwise.
The Scandinavian influence found in the furniture mixed with elements of Art Deco seen in the gold light fixtures translates into an inviting space. Every detail of Hotel Edgar was chosen for a reason, including the patterned tile floors and turquoise walls of the restaurant evoking the sea, and the plush low couches mixed with traditional wooden chairs creating conversational dining areas open to the bustling patio.
5. The bonuses. What could make Hotel Edgar even better after its 12 chic (and pet-friendly) rooms and suites, stunning restaurant and historic location? How about bocce ball sets and pre-packed Edgar picnic baskets for an afternoon in the park? Or perhaps live jazz and a ’50s-style happy hour that brings locals and visitors alike to the spacious patio? Bottled water and apples always in the room, Kusmi tea, free Internet and bikes at your disposal certainly help the hotel’s case. It looks like Edgar is shaping up to be the perfect gentleman.
Photos Courtesy of Thomas Millet