Charmingly wonky, with an intriguing jigsaw of room shapes, and super chic, thanks to Dorothée Meilichzon’s textile-led design, Hôtel Panache occupies a wedge-shaped corner of the 9th arrondissement.
Salubrious and central, yet often overlooked by visitors, the 9th has a lot to recommend it. Its shopping and clubbing credentials are bold and landmarks such as Opéra Garnier unmissable; look closer to find the kind of neighbourhood bars and restaurants, independent stores and walkable side streets that make Paris so alluring.
– trendy cocktail bars
– local chefs’ favourite Japanese
– Aussie-style coffee shop
– perfect patisserie
– neighbourhood bistro
Husband-and-wife team Julie and Adrien Gloaguen opened Panache in summer 2016, a follow-up to their first conversion of an old-school address, Hôtel Paradis. The Paradis swiftly became a hit among the fashion and pop crowd, who relish its cool décor and affordable rooms, but the Panache is bigger and, they say, “more fully realised”, with a bar and bistrot, and a less edgy, more family-friendly appeal, as well as the same excellent value.
What are the rooms like at Hotel Panache?
Spread over seven higgledy-piggledly floors, the hotel’s 40 bedrooms share certain features, such as fancy filament pendant lights, tiled bathrooms, and lots of fabric and colour toning (blues or pinks, depending on the floor). Some individual rooms are decorated with striking wallpaper or metallics, and a few have tiny balconies – not to be sniffed at in summer.
Junior suite 307 has “concrete” trompe d’oeil wallpaper and a big bathroom; room 101 is a corner suite with a corridor and an odd little courtyard garden; lovely (and quite small) superior double 102 has window seats.
What’s the food like at Hotel Panache?
Julie and Adrien are delighted to see Panache bistrot becoming a hit in its own right. At lunch (from €24 for two courses) ex-Racines chef Paul Landre tweaks classic ideas, serving onion soup with Mont d’Or cream, or plaice with endives and popcorn. At dinner, dishes such as octopus with chickpeas and sauce diable, and suckling pig with artichoke, parsley root and pickles, are ingredient-led, accomplished yet not over-fussy. Locals are keen, so there’s always a good buzz.
What is there to drink at Hotel Panache?
Anglophilia is rife among bon vivants in Paris, and there’s a White Tips IPA from Surrey on the drinks list here to prove it. At apéritif time, you can order an Aperol Spritz (made with champagne – they wouldn’t go that far) or the house cocktail, a refreshing fix of Suze, gin, lemon, cucumber and mint.
Wines lean toward the low-intervention style, with reds by the glass such as Domaine des Foulards Rouge cinsault from the Languedoc, and whites including Xavier Vignon’s heavenly Côtes du Rhône. Non-boozers can sip mandarin or carrot juice from Atelier Patrick Font.
What’s breakfast like at Hotel Panache?
Your everyday spread (not included in the room rate: it’s €18 extra) is an enjoyable offering of viennoiseries, thick yoghurt, hams, cheeses and dried figs, apricots and almonds. We loved the seasonal fruit juices from Provençal producers Kookabarra. At weekends, the popular brunch menu runs from Iberian charcuterie and scrambled eggs to an excellent club sandwich or fish n’ chips, via granola and maple syrup crêpes.
This corner of the 9th is a great jumping-off point for trendy SoPi, or South Pigalle, and the gastronomically blessed Rue des Martyrs, where Sébastien Gaudard’s pâtisserie at number 22, and Arnaud Delmontel bakery and pâtisserie at 39 are sweet-toothed highlights. The local restaurant scene is crowded with cool and classic bistrots: two affordable friends are the wine-loving Autour d’un Verre on Rue Trévise, and living legend Chartier, hidden away on Rue du Faubourg Montmartre.
Words by Sophie Dening