Next time you’re in Paris you might find yourself staying not in a hotel or an Airbnb, but in a grocery store, bookshop or perfumery.
That’s because Paris Boutik is taking shuttered small businesses across the French capital and turning them into quirky hotel rooms and guest apartments.
La Librairie du Marais was the first to open in November 2016. The former bookstore has been transformed into a luxury suite just moments from Enfants Rouges – the oldest market in Paris – and surrounded by trendy shops.
The cosy hideaway has a double bed, bath, shower, fully equipped kitchen corner and extensive library for guests to enjoy. ‘It’s like a cocoon in the centre of Paris,’ says co-founder David Lécullier.
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Paris Boutik is fulfilling every millennial travel fantasy, from the need for authenticity to the desire for local experiences.
Converted grocers L’Epicerie is close to some fantastic local restaurants in Bastille and Gare de Lyon. Guests can also order room service or cook their own meals (after visiting the local delicatessen).
By keeping their original facades Paris Boutik have made sure both La Librairie and L’Epicerie blend perfectly into their surroundings.
Designers CKA Paris used a second glass partition in front of the display window to block sounds from the busy high street and to stop passers by from seeing in.
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‘Parisian boutiques belong to the spirit of the city,’ says Lécullier. ‘I’ve always felt very sad when I saw them closing, and I wanted to propose a different experience to visitors so they could discover Paris in a new way.’
This year Paris Boutik plans to open another five spaces in the city, including a toy store, perfumery and wine cellar. ‘I love Paris,’ says Lécullier. ‘This is a way to share a different experience of the city with visitors.’