Any aesthetes worth their salt know who Martin Brudnizki is – the designer is the man behind the gloriously over-the-top interiors at swish Mayfair members’ club Annabel’s and the newly opened Broadwick hotel in Soho. Now he has brought his decadent brand of sophistication to Le Marais in Paris with the opening of a stylish new bolthole, Le Grand Mazarin.
Located on a quiet side street in the French capital, the hotel may only have opened in September but it’s already cemented itself as one of the hottest new spots in the neighborhood – try a table to be found in their successful restaurant on Friday night. if you don’t believe us. With its central location and lively yet quiet vibe, it’s the perfect base for a weekend in the City of Light.
Located on Rue de la Verrerie – directly opposite the BHV Marais department store – is Le Grand Mazarin, a very stylish place in the heart of Le Marais. You will find the amenities of the most bohemian quarter of Paris right on your doorstep, from fashionable boutiques and quaint cafes to modern art galleries and avant-garde concept stores. The contemporary art sanctuary of the Center Pompidou is just a five-minute walk away, and you can reach the oldest food market in Paris, Le Marché des Enfants Rouge, within 15 minutes.
As you’d expect from a Martin Brudnizki property, one thing Le Grand Mazarin has in spades is style. Every corner of this beautiful hotel has been thought of, from the alcaves and artfully arranged bookshelves in the lobby to the gorgeous mural painted by local artist Jacques Merle above the indoor pool. Those familiar with Brudnizki’s other properties will recognize her trademark style in the public areas, all prints, colors and clashing textures.
The rooms feel quieter, although no less sumptuous. The most striking feature is the tapestry canopy above the bed, which makes you feel as if you are staying in a medieval chateau. Pistachio green walls are offset by painted wardrobes and striped chaise longues, while a wide range of knick knacks and coffee table books suggest a stay at a chic friend’s house rather than a hotel.
Food & Drink
The bustling restaurant and sultry bar are two of the main reasons to stay at Le Grand Mazarin – and they are largely why the hotel has already been so warmly received by the local community. Dinner at the delightfully named Boubalé (a Yiddish term for desire used by an Ashkenazi grandmother) is always a lively occasion, especially if you sit up at the counter, where you can watch the chefs busy at work preparing an array of dishes really inventive.
We’ll admit we didn’t know what to expect when the blurb told us the cuisine was inspired by Ashkenazi culture, but the array of filling dishes that came from the kitchen, from soft challah bread that was expected, we were surprised. with tahini and gravelax and arak on top, to a deconstructed version of chicken soup (otherwise known as ‘Jewish penicillin’).
Thanks to the genius of Michelin-starred Israeli executive chef Assaf Granit, each dish is a creative triumph worth raising a glass to – something you’ll definitely be doing if you’re up at the chef’s counter, because delivery for you a shot of white rum laced with passion fruit between each course.
The small but cozy bar is the perfect place to spend the night, drinking eclectic cocktails – our favorite is the Sababoush, an aubergine-laced riff on Baba ghanoush – and soaking up the lively atmosphere. A basement bar is also opening soon, with live DJ sets three nights a week – sure to make this more of a hopping venue than it already is.
Despite being a relatively compact city hotel, with just 50 rooms and 11 suites, Le Grand Mazarin has its own swimming pool, a rarity in Paris. And what a pool it is – we don’t think we’ve ever seen a more picturesque basement pool, complete with hand-painted columns, vaulted ceiling and striped green tiles. It’s almost too nice to splash around in.
There is also a beautiful hammam and hot tub where you can go for a soak and see the fresco above. Just across the way you’ll find a gym, complete with a box of fresh Technogym equipment, and Parisian favorite Anne Cali runs a treatment cabin just down the hall.
The friendly front desk and concierge staff are more than happy to provide local tips, from shopping at Fleux culture concept store to recommending an itinerary at Musée Carnavalet, the oldest museum in Paris. But ultimately, this is a great place to strike out in the city on your own and see what you find, whether that’s walking along the Seine to exploring the charm of nearby Île Saint-Louis by hand or hopping on the Metro to go further afield.
While all the rooms are delightful, the rooms here get top billing. Located on the top floors of the hotel, they offer stunning panoramic views across the city and some even come with their own private balconies.
Spacious and luxuriously appointed, the gleaming marble bathrooms have rainforest showers and deep soaking tubs, just waiting to be filled with scented Diptyque delights.
If you are traveling in the famille or as a group, there is the option to connect some of the rooms with neighboring Deluxe Rooms, and the Mazarin Suite comes right at the top of the hotel with its own private staircase. Whichever room you choose, ask for one that doesn’t overlook the courtyard, which can be a bit noisy at the weekend.
Couples booking a city break of the ultimate romance or with friends looking for a hip venue to drink, eat and meet the locals. With its elegant rooms and unbeatable location, it is perfectly placed to enjoy the best that Paris has to offer.
Rooms start from €690 (£598) on a B&B basis. legrandmazarin.com