I have to say, Paris is a city I haven’t visited enough. So when it comes to accommodation and the best areas of the city to stay, I’m a bit clueless.
But when Elegancia’s Legend Hotel stumbled upon my radar, it sounded great. Just a 20 minute subway ride from the Eurostar at Gard du Nord station and within easy reach of the Left Bank, Notre Dame, Saint Germain and the Latin Quarter, I was very happy to try it out.
The Elegancia style, as you’ll see on the website, is very stylish indeed. They have 10 hotels in their collection. And the majority of them carry a distinct contemporary design which, (and some may disagree) can only be likened to the modern and arty setting you’d find in the likes of the W or Sanderson Hotel in London.
By that I mean bold colours and rich velvet fabrics contrasted with a mix of industrial feel surfaces and fantastical coloured lighting. Not very Parisien, you’ll say. But most definitely a chic place from which to explore this city.
A five minute walk from Montparnasse Bienvenue metro station found us on the busy shopping street of Rue de Rennes and then to here – the Legend Hotel entrance.
Style-wise one of the most striking things about Legend Hotel is its beautiful lighting installations that shine through incredibly intricate flower-like ‘bouquets’ (see below left). They continue throughout the hotel in all sorts of shapes and colours. These lights and the furniture throughout Legend Hotel come from designer Virginie Cauet and became quite a talking point for us. (ie. the words ‘I want’ came out of my mouth several times).
A colourful, modern foyer greets you upon arrival. And a variety of soft lounging chairs and garden-like seats are spread throughout with an outdoor patio and conservatory-like area with daily newspapers and magazines aplenty. To the other side you have a stylish breakfast bar and ‘help yourself’ drinks fridge.
It’s incredibly welcoming, helped by the fantastic lanterns (again) which hang from branches ‘sprouting’ through the breakfast bar. It’s like stepping into a very cool Shoreditch hangout.
We were greeted by one of the front of house staff at the bright yellow reception desk set against a slate wall. He was surprised we’d come from Montparnasse Bienvenue metro station, telling us most visitors hopped off at St Placide metro station, which as it turns out, is nearer to the hotel and isn’t as confusing as the gigantic Montparnasse. We explained to him about the multiple ‘sortie’ signs and the maze-like corridors which we spent several minutes trying to navigate and he chuckled. The most important thing was we’d made it.
I have to say, he (who’s name I shamefully have forgotten) made a great impression. He was friendly, warm, genuinely interested in what we wanted to do during our stay and gave us a handy map outlining all the local landmarks we’d probably visit. He also provided us with three wifi logins (iPhone, iPhone and iPad, naturally) and said he’d be there for anything else we needed. A brilliant start. The only thing was, we couldn’t check in until 4pm. He kindly managed to bring it forward to 2pm. So we left our bags and set out to explore the Paris sights for a few hours while we waited for our room to be ready.
We actually didn’t get back until around 4pm as we managed to fill our afternoon with lots of sightseeing. But on return, we checked into our fourth floor room to chill out for a bit.
It was so much smaller than you’re lead to believe when you view the photos on the website but it was a clever use of space. The very plush bed is the focal point – crisp white sheets, leather head rest, very alluring white drapes and of course the very stylish Virginie Cauet light fitting overhead and to each side of the bed.
The wall opposite the bed had a wide screen TV fitted to it and was covered in a velvety wallpaper. Oh so demure. I’m glad I was staying here with Mr OhSo with such a distinct ‘boudoir’ theme. The velvet, the drapes, the mood lighting. You get the idea. Saucy weekend away, yes. Nice weekend away with your mum, maybe not.
I’d have loved to have had a huge bath tub (you’d have to upgrade to a higher standard room to get this. But the bathroom was great. Sparkly white mosaic tiles with a roomy shower cubicle and choice of two shower heads – one regular and one gigantic rainforest shower above.
My pet hate is when you get to a hotel and the water isn’t hot enough (or it’s too hot). But it was easy to control the temperature (a basic need I know, but many hotels get it shockingly wrong) and a supply of L’Occitane products made me one very happy girl.
There’s no wardrobe in the Legend room as such. But you do have a little alcove where you can hang your jacket with maybe enough hangers for one or two extra things. The rest of your clothes would then have to be folded up and popped into the alcove shelves. Fine for a one or two-night city break, but you’ll need to book into one of the bigger rooms or suites if you’re hoping for a proper closet.
You can either have garden view or street view – ours was street view meaning we had a petite balcony with an interesting vista over the rooftops and down to the people dashing about on Rue de Rennes which I loved. A great way to take in the spectacular French architecture.
After a beautiful evening meal in Le Coupe-Chou that night, I made myself a hot chocolate in the help yourself drinks corner of the hotel and brought it up to my room.
The attention to detail then came when we went to hit the hay and were greeted with a choice of three pillows to sleep on, yes THREE – soft, firm or very firm. I went for the soft squishy one while Mr OhSo preferred the Tempur style pillow which moulds around your head. What a nice touch. We were a little bit concerned we wouldn’t have the best night sleep as the walls seemed worryingly thin when we were sharing next door’s hardcore dance music earlier in the day.
But worry we needn’t, as thankfully, they kept the noise down by the later hours. I snuggled into the Tempur mattress and enjoyed a very comfortable night’s sleep.
By the morning, we were too tired from the previous morning’s 5am start and the afternoon sightseeing to get up in time for breakfast downstairs, but we did call to have continental breakfast brought to the room – a basic tray of croissants, pain au chocolat, fruit, yoghurt, tea and coffee. Enough to kickstart us into another full day of sightseeing.
We checked out at midday and set off on exploring some more of Paris, with hopes to return and maybe even one day, make a holiday of it and stay in one of the Legend Hotel’s very stylish suites.
Cool, contemporary and very arty Hotel Legend is, traditional Parisien it is not. But would I stay here again? Absolutely. An incredibly stylish city break stay, fabulous staff and very comfortable night’s sleep. And a little bit saucy, if you like that kind of thing.
Hotel Legend, 151 Bis Rue de Rennes, Paris