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The 25 Hours Hotel Company has hotels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland but the Paris outpost is the latest, opening in January 2019. You can’t miss the huge 200+ room hotel as you come out of Gare du Nord, not only for it’s sheer size but because it’s directly opposite the main exit.
Imagine the scenario: you’ve been up since 4:30am, you’ve travelled on a train and a tube to get to St Pancras, you’ve got the Eurostar to Paris (which was delayed – outside the tunnel – for an hour and a half) and you have a restless two-year-old with you. When you arrive in Paris, the last thing you want to do is get on the Metro or fork out for a taxi to your hotel.
This is why the location of 25 Hours is ideal. You get off the train, walk out the station, cross the road and – bam – you have arrived at your final destination. We dropped our luggage off just two minutes after the train pulled in to Paris, then went off to do exactly what we were in the city to do; explore… and, of course, eat.
What’s in the room
At 25 Hours Hotel you won’t find a soothing – or soulless – space to unwind, instead you open your door and step into an eclectic mishmash of beautiful African fabrics, bold patterned carpets, busy Asian-style wallpapers and quirky touches throughout.
As you might well imagine, our daughter was in her element exploring everything in the room. Plastic dolls, a bulls head made from old plastic bottles, cabinets covered in travel stickers… there was even a bike displayed on a wall!
Of course, all the standard elements you need for a great stay; comfortable beds with an assortment of pillows and cushions, air conditioning, TV, minibar, tea and coffee facilities (though you’ll have to call room service for fresh milk) and sustainable cosmetics (hoorah! No throw-away mini bottles here) come as standard.
What’s for breakfast?
It seemed a waste not to get out the hotel and in to all the wonderful Parisian boulangeries for croissants galore but the breakfast buffet at the hotel was so extremely satisfying, we couldn’t help but fill up first thing.
They have anything you could probably think of; continental, full English, traditional French, healthy vibes, bread or toast any which way (including proper buttery French toast, drool), Middle Eastern style with shakshuka, labneh and olives, fresh fruits… the list is endless.
What’s food at the hotel like?
On the first floor of the hotel is restaurant Neni. This is where breakfast is also served but by night the lights are dimmed and it’s almost as if the room is an entirely different space. Twinkling candles set the scene for a relaxed mezze-style dinner with lots of different Israeli dishes.
Choose starters such as babaganoush, houmous and falafels followed by gloriously grilled chicken skewers or, one of our favourites, ‘hamshuka’ made with spicy minced beef and lamb on a creamy houmous served with pitta bread. The best plan of action is to order a selection of dishes and share them between you all.
One thing you must save room for is the kataifi pastry dessert; fine pieces of shredded pastry filled with mozzarella and ricotta, served with pistachios and yogurt ice cream. It’s huge but you won’t be able to help eat it all.
What else is there to do in Paris?
I could spend all day talking about where to eat but here are my highlights for this trip.
Du Pain et des Idées: no breakfast in Paris is complete unless you’ve eaten a pastry and this is where to get the very best. They also have the much-Instagrammed pistachio and chocolate escargot.
Even saying its name, La Fontaine de Mars, conjures wonderful memories of blissful lunches gone by. It’s one of those restaurants that you’ll return to again and again and it will always be wonderful no matter what. Order the chicken with creamy mushroom sauce and chips, you won’t regret it. If you’re visiting the Eiffel Tower, La Fontaine de Mars is very close-by.
If people-watching is what you’re after Beau Regard, in the trendy sixth arrondissement, is a great spot for dinner. If you can, get a seat outside and watch the world of effortlessly chic Parisians go by while you feast on entrecôte steak, fries and herb butter with a glass of red.
What’s the damage?
Room prices start at €174 per night, including breakfast.