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Paris openings: Silicon Sentier

Paris’s techy second arrondissement draws in a cool crowd and has just welcomed a hip new Hoxton Hotel

Paris openings: Silicon Sentier
Hoxton Hotel, Paris

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Nothing cements the development of an up-and-coming neighbourhood like the arrival of a Hoxton Hotel — and the boutique brand has landed right in the centre of the French capital. A previously unassuming quarter, the second arrondissement has shaken off its past reputation as a centre for the rag trade and adopted the moniker ‘Silicon Sentier’ now it’s home to influencers like Google, Facebook and French ride-sharing company BlaBlaCar.

Housed in a former hôtel particulier, the Hoxton includes Jacques’ Bar, all tasselled lampshades and floral wallpaper, a 300-year-old spiral staircase, plus plenty of distressed plaster walls in the Rivié brasserie. There’s free wi-fi, a mini fridge to fill with products from the lobby shop and a daily emergency breakfast bag. The 176-room abode is the largest so far for the burgeoning brand (but watch out for the Williamsburg outpost to open later this year). The French capital’s smallest arrondissement has big plans, it seems.

Also In the 2eme

Eat: Frenchie
Eschew the capital’s haughty culinary vibe and try this restaurant, named after one of Jamie Oliver’s ex-chefs that he nicknamed ‘Frenchie’.

Drink: Mabel
As pairings go, this is the first grilled cheese and rum den we’ve come across. The cocktail list will keep you hostage for hours.

Do: Passages couverts
Meander through the warren of 18th-century covered arcades that traverse the district. Passage des Panoramas is the must-see but there are 11 in total.

Bed down: New digs

Hôtel de Crillon
This grande old dame of Paris reopened in July after four years of renovations. There are 124 exquisite rooms — a couple were even decorated by Karl Lagerfeld.

The Grands Boulevards
The experimental Cocktail Club shook up the libation scene and now the company’s doing the same with hotels. There’s even a rooftop bar.

Yooma Urban Lodge
This hotel hides 106 rooms behind a facade by contemporary artist Daniel Buren. Think riverside retreat meets urban lodge.

Zadig & Voltaire
The iconic, chic clothing brand is set to open its first hotel in 2018 — the building will have 40 rooms and, of course, a luxury boutique.

Published in the October 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)