The Chess Hotel
What We Love
- Super-central location, within walking distance of the Opera, Galeries Lafayette and the Louvre
- The hypnotizing black-and-white murals, specially created by three young French artists
- The ever-present music, which effortlessly segues from cool lounge tunes at breakfast to funky pop to Sinatra with a late night cognac
What To Know
- Afternoon tea is served daily and features delicious Popelini choux pastries and fragrant Mariage Frères tea
- The lobby is on the first floor; access is via a street-level corridor that leads to an elevator
- There's no gym on-site, but discounted rates are available at nearby L’Usine health club.
- Free WiFi
- The room service menu includes tapas from the da rosa deli
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Room Service
This sleek hipster hideaway just off Boulevard Haussmann is the brainchild of hot young Parisian design duo Gilles and Boissier (both Christian Liaigre alumni). While the floors subtly change color, from Bordeaux red to mustard to turquoise, the lobby is dominated by a huge, brooding monotone owl fresco by street artist Victor Ash. Graphic black-and-white mosaics in many of the bathrooms and bold checkerboard flooring in the lobby playfully echo the chess theme.
Bed and Bath
The 50 guestrooms are spacious for a central Paris hotel; they look out onto a quiet street or the interior courtyard. The decor is totally Zen, with pastel walls that contrast with handmade wooden furniture and floorboards. The Deluxe Rooms feature postmodern four-poster beds, bathrooms with large showers or a tub, and a Nespresso machine instead of a classic tea/coffeemaker. Both Superior and Deluxe Rooms offer 42-inch flat-screen TVs, marble or black and white tiled bathrooms, fluffy bathrobes and the hotel’s own range of toiletries enriched with fragrant argan oil.
The first-floor lobby is the hotel’s life and soul. Friendly, helpful receptionists busily plan shopping trips and snag concert tickets, and the designer sofas provide a comfy spot to relax over a game of chess or backgammon. An abundant breakfast buffet is served here along with afternoon tea between 3 and 6 p.m. In the early evening the lobby is transformed into a bar for cocktails, wine and digestifs. Although there is no actual restaurant, guests can choose from a tempting menu of Spanish and Portuguese tapas — sardines, Iberico ham, baby artichokes, even a risotto — prepared by the fashionable da rosa delicatessen, served either in the lobby or in your room.
In the Area
Step out of the hotel and you’ll find some of the city’s best shops on the doorstep, including Printemps, Galeries Lafayette and the Grands Magasins of Paris that rival Harrods and Bloomingdale’s. The world’s most famous jewelers line the exclusive Place Vendôme. The historic Café de la Paix offers the perfect sunny terrace for a plate of oysters and a glass of champagne, while the legendary Harry’s Bar serves a great Bloody Mary. In the evening head to the glittering Opera Garnier for a ballet or classical music performance, or catch a gig at the funky L’Olympia.
How to Get There
You enter the hotel from a narrow door, with an intercom, so they can buzz you in. Once in, you go through a dark hallway and take the elevator up to lobby. When we came in, we had to carry our suitcases since there was no bellboy. After searching to find our reservation for 15 min, they gave us a key and sent us to our room. The room was so small that 1 suitcase and 1 carry on bag did not fit. We had to re-arrange furniture, to be able to move around the room.
The toilet in the bathroom is so narrow that it is hard to move your arms to be able to clean yourself. The drains in the shower and the sink is broken and loose. The furniture looks like it was acquired from a thrift shop, 30 years ago.
The manager called on our third day to ask how we are doing and when I explained, he offered to upgrade me. I told him that he cannot upgrade the hotel, therefore we decided to stay in the same room.
Small and convenient hotel, literie and bathroom ok. Breakfast is ok well situated near restaurant chaussée d’antin lafayette metro and galeries Lafayette magasin, Printemps. Overall is ok and discreet situation.
Great Spot, Great Room, Clean and convenient. I would book again. Family Booking, almost like a suite with the way the rooms were connected. Everyone slept well. We do not speak French and the staff was always there to help.
Lovely hotel, perfect position for sightseeing. Plenty of restaurants and bars nearby. Very pleasant staff, breakfast very good and well presented. Bedroom compact but adequate and very clean. Highly recommend it
What has happened? No complimentary drinking water in the “deluxe” room, even though this is promised. Eggs at breakfast were very late and raw inside. Hotel cleanliness very good as always. Hope to see an improvement next time!