Paris hotel

Maison Mère, a cute new Parisian hotel for a certain type of traveler

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American visitors to Paris generally fall into one of two categories. Some go to taste French luxury and stay in palaces, eat in multi-Michelin-starred restaurants and go shopping on rue Saint-Honoré.

The other stereotype, probably you if you’re reading this, is the American who wants to feel Parisian, or at least his cinematic vision. They stay in boutique hotels with simple elevators and staff ranging from curious to carefree. They shop in thrift stores and small boutiques. They picnic at Buttes-Chaumont, drink beers along the canal, frequent a beloved bakery, and are determined to master hanging out at a small table at a popular watering hole.

It’s tourists who are already filling the rooms at one of the City of Light’s newest boutique hotels, Hotel Maison Mere, the latest selection in our exciting new hotel series, Room Key.

The hotel is located in the 9th arrondissement in a quiet area a few steps from the Gare du Nord. The Rue Mayron on which the hotel is located is only one block away, ending at the picturesque Square Montholon with its giant plane trees and surrounding Haussmann buildings. The surrounding district, sandwiched between Montmartre to the northwest and the 2nd arrondissement to the south is at the heart of all the action here, not only for tourists but also for Parisians. (For those determined to find a good bakery, Union Boulangerie just past the square is hard to beat.)

Upon entering the hotel, one is first greeted by an elaborate and colorful floral mosaic with the hotel’s name in the center. The receptionists aren’t nosy, but they aren’t carefree either. They are young and friendly and, for those who fear such things, speak perfect English. Most of the ground floor is given over to public spaces – lounges for relaxing, eating, drinking, working, all decorated in a kind of 21st century “coffee shop cute” aesthetic characterized in this case by pink leather banquettes, hexagonal tiled floors, walls covered in mismatched size lockers and a bag of furniture styles.

The rooms are accessible by a spiral staircase or, you guessed it, a single elevator. (A note about said elevator. If you’re a light sleeper, ask for one of the rooms away from the elevator, because at certain times when everyone is using it, you might hear it.) The rooms are a continuation of this “cute” aesthetic and comfortable but not cramped. Some have shelves filled with art (for sale) and books (in French).

Most boutique hotel visitors tend to opt for rooms with balconies. But the real score in this case are the highest rooms at the back of the hotel, which overlook the rooftops of Paris with their infinity of cylindrical chimneys.

Basic rooms start at $150.

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