A Sunny & Lively Stay in the Ninth Arrondissement

There’s no shortage of charm in the City of Light, and the unapologetically French Chouchou Hotel near the Paris Opera House has just the je ne sais quoi you’re looking for in a boutique Parisian hotel. This small but lively stay offers guests the full city-on-the-Siene experience, right down to the wrought-iron balconies and freshly baked croissants every morning. 

Arriving guests make their way down a long, mirrored hallway to the small but accommodating lobby. The staff is welcoming and exceedingly helpful with luggage management, neighborhood recommendations, and general city knowledge. Several staff members are always at the front desk and bar, ready to fill guests’ hands with complimentary cappuccinos and carafes of sparkling water.  

Past the lobby, the hotel’s grandest feature is a light-filled internal courtyard with a glass ceiling, glowing strings of exposed bulbs, and lush green foliage. Bright French blue bar stools, communal-style long tables, and gleaming brass appliances behind the bar erase any potential confusion about where you are–this hotel’s aesthetic is pure French. 

The building has six floors and just 63 rooms of various sizes and layouts. Some, such as the penthouse suite, offer a glimpse of the nearby Parisian opera house from the window as well as a spacious sitting room and an expansive bookcase packed with French paperbacks. Other rooms, such as La Vie En Rose junior suite, have an old-fashioned horned phonograph for decor and an enchanting pale pink color palate. All rooms have immaculate white tiled bathrooms stocked with premium toiletries, and get plenty of natural light from ample windows. 

Guests who opt into the hotel’s daily breakfast dine on a simple but quality spread in the courtyard. After ordering a frothy espresso drink from the bar, guests can help themselves to the buffet of crusty country bread, sliced cheese and charcuterie, creamy scrambled eggs, and of course, French pastries. The food is tasty and the options are varied, but your surroundings really steal the show. With Parisian sun shining on your shoulders as you dunk your pain au chocolat in a latte, it’s hard not to imagine a better way to start the morning. 

The hotel is located in the ninth arrondissement, a great central location with easy access to sights like the Musee d du Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, and the Seine. To the north, Montmartre is easily accessible by public transportation, including the breathtaking Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. To the east, the Marais district is full of lively restaurants, second-hand shopping, and more under-the-radar museums, including the Musee Picasso, which is not to be missed. 

When you return to the hotel after dinner, don’t be surprised to find the courtyard transformed into an entirely different scene that shows another side of the city. The restaurant regularly hosts DJ parties when the sun goes down, so the darkened courtyard becomes boisterous, drumming to a beat that’s far different from the birdsong of the morning. 

In this way, Chouchou expertly walks the tightrope between a classic and comfortable urban oasis and a nightlife destination. It offers just enough music and entertainment to draw visitors who aren’t staying at the hotel but things never get so loud as to keep guests up, and the parties are kept strictly in the courtyard. The staff is excellent across the board, and the rooms have the delightful sense of being whimsical and eclectic but carefully designed. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind stay in the heart of the ninth, Chouchou will not disappoint.

Top Takeaways

Location: Ninth Arrondissement, Paris

Address: 11, rue du Helder 75009 Paris, France

Rating: Four-Star

The vibe: A youthful, light-filled, and delightfully French boutique hotel with 63 charmingly unique rooms, a friendly staff, indulgent private baths, and a tasty, if not extravagant, daily breakfast spread.

Food + Drink: Coffee and espresso drinks, still and sparkling water are available complimentary to guests at all times, which will no doubt come in handy for those fighting off jet lag. The daily breakfast is served buffet-style and offers freshly prepared French staples, including delicate crepes (with Nutella on the side), croissants (chocolate and butter), pain au raisin, thick slivers of smoked salmon, and soft scrambled eggs. The hotel’s restaurant, Guinguette, is open for lunch and dinner and offers classic French cuisine, including herb-roasted chicken with ratatouille, Provençal-style beef tartar alongside housemade frites, and a stunning crackle-topped vanilla creme brulee. 

Our Favorite Part of the Hotel: It’s hard not to fall in love with the totally French design that’s thoughtfully infused into every nook and cranny of this urban property. The light-filled courtyard off the lobby is a quaint spot for breakfast that transitions to a nightlife destination when the sun goes down. Each room is decorated with bold black-and-white accents, lovely built-in bookcases, and the sort of unexpected architecture you only get in an old building renovated into a modern hotel.  

Amenities: Free Wifi; Daily Breakfast; Complimentary coffee and espresso drinks; Private baths (not complimentary) 

What’s nearby? Opera House; Galleries de Lafayette Department Store; Jardin des Tuileries; Musée Grévin; Musée de l’Orangerie; Musée du Louvre

Any personal neighborhood recs? Liza is a lively Lebanese restaurant that’s vegetarian-friendly (not easy to find in Paris) and great for groups who love to share. You can’t go wrong with a pastry from Café Michalak that almost looks too artful to eat (almost), but the glossy mango trompe de’l’oeil is as delicious as it is stunning. Next door, Bonhomme is an exquisite French restaurant that’s perfected both delicate seafood dishes and perfectly cooked steak. For great vintage shopping, walk about 30 minutes to the Marais district. 

Rooms: 63

Pricing: Rates start at $348 per night.

Closest Airport: Orly, Charles de Gaulle

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