Paris is filled with boutique hotels, and one of the quirkiest has to be Hotel Crayon, with its arty vibe and unique, colourful, vintage-inspired interior. It’s a hotel that I’m sure will be a little like marmite, you’ll either embrace the kitsch and hand-painted graffiti walls or you’ll hate everything about it, but owners Julie Gauthron and Christophe Sauvage have scoured antique shops and flea markets to furnish the 26 rooms, to create a very unique and fun hotel.
I have to be honest, I truly loved the decor, it was fun, and when you’ve stayed in as many boring, grey-based hotels the Hotel Crayon is a refreshing change. But other than the incredibly unique interior, what really sets this hotel apart from others has to be its location, it is literally a 5 minute walk away from the Palais Royale, which is so lovely to just sit and watch Parisians going about their daily lives, as well as take the ultimate Instagram snaps on the black and white towers of the Colonnes de Buren, art installation by French artist Daniel Buren.
In turn, it’s only 10 minutes away from the Louvre and Tullieries Garden, 15 minutes from Musee Orangerie, a little less to the best hot chocolate at Angelina’s, and no more to the River Siene, where you can jump on the River Taxi or take a river cruise to see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. So, if you are coming to Paris for the first time, you’ll be very well located for all the major hot spots.
It is also close to the Metro, you can jump on at Louvre Rivoli (line 1), Châtelet or Les Halles (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14) or Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7), which means you can get to the Opera house, shopping fun at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, which FYI both amazing roof-top terraces with great views over Paris, including the incredible Eiffel Tower, as well as head out of central Paris to the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
Hotel Crayon, My Room
I was staying in a small double, and as soon as I opened the door I was taken back a little by the incredible colourful decor, with the walls a combination of pink, red and yellow, while the furniture added a pop of blue. Tame this isn’t, but I could have guessed from the crazy crayon print that greeted me as I got off the lift.
The Hotel Crayon only has 26 rooms, each one unique offering a wonderful illustration of the “colour block” style, and they call this the family room because it has family portraits up on the wall. It features a small double bed, so can comfortably sleep 2 for a night, but there is very little room either side of the bed, so more than one night you might be a little on top of one another.
There is also very limited wardrobe space, I couldn’t hang up any of my dresses as the space was too short, but for one night it is manageable.
The bathroom is tiny, but not cramped, I loved how it was decorated with the fun blue tiles of the shower and the cute, bright pink, vintage sink stand. These quirky touches really do distract from the lack of amenities, I forgot shampoo and conditioner, and all it had was shower gel, thank god for dry shampoo.
But the shower itself was nice, it had a waterfall shower head as well as a loose one, and the water pressure and temperature was amazing. I’ve stayed in other Paris hotels where having a shower is more like a trickle of water, so this was lovely and relaxing.
Overall impression of Hotel Crayon
For me, I was staying for work, it was comfortable enough for one night, any longer and I don’t think it would have been as comfortable. However, it has to be one of the nosiest hotels I’ve ever stayed in while in Paris, not only could I hear the other guests around me, but the bar on the corner has outdoor tables and they are open until well after
The other downside to this hotel-come-guest house is that it doesn’t have a restaurant, so you can’t order room service, which to be honest don’t we all love to do especially when tired, so if you have booked Hotel Crayon and have a late arrival it might be a pain to then head out into Paris to find somewhere to eat.
It also means that the breakfast, which was a staggering €14, is very limiting, a bit of granola, yoghurt, fresh fruit, breads with cheese and meats, as well as pastries and cakes, you couldn’t order any eggs, except to make your own hard boiled eggs, or for that matter have pancakes or waffles. For me, I do rate whether a hotel is worthy on its breakfast offering, and sadly this was very poor.
I would suggest if you did stay forgot the breakfast and head to Claus, which is a 10 minute walk, and has to be one of the best breakfasts in Paris. Just make sure to book at the weekend as it can get quite busy.
For a three star hotel I think Hotel Crayon was actually quite nice, as well as being affordable, it is around £120 for the room I stayed in. I just think you have to decide on what you like in a hotel, while for me the size didn’t bother me, the fact I was on a work trip meant I was disappointed with the noise, probably more so than if I was on holiday, as I probably would have been out later, and I would have like a proper restaurant and bar as part of the hotel. I know that Paris has lots of great places to eat, sometimes you just want something close and easy.
If you like more room but love the look of this hotel, book the junior suite, it has a bath and a seating area, as well as all the charm of the smaller rooms. It is also a great hotel for groups of friends or families as you can book adjacent rooms.