Located directly north of the 1st arrondissement, the smallest of all the arrondissements, the unassuming 2eme is known for its banking and business presence, particularly for housing the Bourse – the historic HQ of the Paris stock exchange. The 2nd arrondissement is also a haven of fashion and food, lined with covered commercial passageways, trendy boutiques and vibrant open-air markets, some of which date back to 19th century. Most notable are the circular Place des Victoires, one of the oldest royal squares in Paris, and La Gallerie Vivienne, a gorgeous 19th century covered arcade that’s simply perfect for an afternoon of coffee and shopping. The open-air market on pedestrianised Rue Motorgueil is one of the city’s oldest, and a host of speciality food shops sell everything from bread, wine and cheese to fresh fish and cut flowers. The 2nd arrondissement is also home to the textile district, known as the Sentier. It is in the epicentre of this cool part of the French capital – in an enviable position on Rue du Sentier – that supremely funky hospitality brand Hoxton recently opened its hot new Paris hotel.
The fourth outpost from what one of the world’s most exciting hotel groups, Hoxton Paris is the largest to date in the brand’s portfolio, with 172 guestrooms complemented by a brasserie, cocktail bar, two courtyards, seven meeting rooms and a communal pantry-style kitchen. Housed within an imposing 18th century townhouse originally designed by architect Nicolas d’Orbay for Etienne Rivié, a courtier to King Louis XV, the building sat empty for more than a decade and was last used as a clothing factory. Taking inspiration from the diversity and originality of the streets and scenes that surround it, a trio of design firms spent four years carefully renovating the ‘monument historique’ – a title it shares with the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame. Parisian studio Humbert & Poyet created the bedrooms, Soho House the public spaces, and Ennismore Creative Studio oversaw the project. As a result, the space has been skilfully reimagined and the history of the property beautifully captured through cornicing, panels and reclaimed oak chevron flooring, juxtaposed with contemporary feature walls and laminates to create an ultra-edgy urban haven of contemporary chic in a historic setting.