Game Time: In Olympic Paris, Sexy Boutique Hotels Go for Gold

Game Time: In Olympic Paris, Sexy Boutique Hotels Go for Gold

"Le poireau brûlé" at Monsieur George

PARIS IN SPRINGTIME is already a thing, of course, but the city is getting more attention than usual these days, as its turn hosting the Olympics approaches. One hotelier is quite ready: The Addresses Hotels group is touting the opening of a new design hotel in the 2nd arrondissement a couple months ago, as a restaurant in its sister hotel celebrates its young chef having just earned a Michelin star.

The newbie — Hotel Hana, on the Rue du Quatre Septembre in what’s sometimes called “Little Tokyo” — is, with just 26 rooms, the boutiquest of boutique hotels. And while the surrounding neighborhood boasts Paris’ oldest Japanese restaurant and no shortage of yakitori, and while the property’s décor is warmly spare per the crisp elegance associated with Land of the Rising Sun, the Hana vibe ultimately is pure Parisian.

It’s hard to avoid the Parisian feels with views in the guestrooms like this! Think blocks-long Haussmann-style sweeps of ivory-colored stone buildings, with wrought iron details and dormer windows on top. Those in corner rooms will feel absorbed on two sides, with five sets of French double windows to open wide.

Hana (which Vogue predicted will be the hit of the next Fashion Week) was prettied up by in-demand designers Oliver Leone and Laura Gonzalez, who broke with their typical boldly vivid work to post a cozy minimalism. There are grasscloth-wallpapered rooms and rich wood tones everywhere, with sweet notes of terracotta, mustard and rust. The lobby doubles as a quaint cocktail bar, ringed with pale plum banquettes. A similarly arranged little restaurant with an open kitchen, bleeding in from the opposite side of the check-in desk, offers a spin on traditional steak au poivre, infused with Japanese sansho pepper. The cheesecake is flavored with sake and sesame.

The hotel’s location is hard to beat. Boisterous brasseries and fab patisseries — one barely bigger than a closet, drawing crowds every time they pull a batch of salted double-chocolate-chip cookies from the oven — abound. The Louvre is close, the Opera House closer. And all of Paris is easily in reach, with a Métro station on the block; one must consider a trek to the artsy hilltop neighborhood of Montmartre, where the creperie near Sacré-Cœur Basilica produces a Comté cheese crepe, folded in half twice, and handed over looking a bit like an ice cream cone.

Meanwhile, at Monsieur George in the 8th, another one of Addresses’ hotels — they have six in Paris, plus two in the South of France — handsome chef Thomas Danigo, 32, is basking in the glow of his first Michelin star. And glow is the right word for Galanga restaurant, secreted away in back of a classic Haussmannian building just off the Champs-Élysées.

As Hana is bright and fresh, George and Galanga are dark and sexy. At night the antique mirrors in the restaurant reflect the twinkle lights strewn through the climbing ivy in the courtyard outside. It’s tasting-menu only, with exquisite wine pairings; the “burnt leek” course has become famous, the leaves folded tightly and offered with shaved pecorino and lots of soft, savory sabayon.

Bienvenue à Paris. Let the games begin.

Checking in at Hotel Hana

Night falls at Galanga

Flank steak au poivre at Hotel Hana’s Hananbi

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