MIRIAM  SILVIA
Miriam Braun
Les Bains Paris
7 Rue du Bourg l'Abbé, 75003 Paris, France
18th December 2015

With a history like Les Bains Paris, it’s hard not to attract attention, and attention of the best kind. I visited this 19th century bathhouse turned 1970’s nightclub turned luxury hotel, loved the atmosphere, but not the service. Would I wait a few more months before visiting again? Read on to find out.

Location
Located in the 3rd arrondissement, the hotel is a short walk from Le Marais, one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Paris. There's not much in the immediate vicinity, and it's not one of Paris' more fancy areas, but you're a 7 minute walk from Chatelet-Les-Halles station, which easily connects you to the rest of the city.
Who stays?
To be honest I didn't encounter more than 5 people in total during my short stay here. One French couple at check-in, and three very busy looking Americans at breakfast, hurrying to start their Monday morning. There's no doubt the hotel would attract people from the fashion and design industries, but also those looking for some seclusion and privacy in the heart of Paris.
Style and Character
The place just screams Rock 'n' Roll, and it works. It's sexy, dark, and mysterious. You find yourself getting drawn towards those almost electrifying stairs that lead down to the nightclub in the basement, and you want to know more. You want to feel what it was like partying with Mick Jagger at 4 AM in 1979.

The dramatic restaurant is exactly that, designed with powerful purples, reds, and dark browns. Breakfast is served until 15:00 for hotel guests who partied hard the night before, and the lack of light in the restaurant is very hangover-friendly. If you need to be fresh and awake for a work-week in Paris, sit by the window for more light.
Service
This is where I found myself slightly disappointed, because even though the hotel has only been open for 6 months (and every hotel has a grace period), I was expecting more. When we arrived at the hotel there was no one to help schlep our suitcases up the 6 or 7 stairs to the hotel lobby. We were then asked to wait in a small room adjacent to the lobby since the receptionist was in the process of checking in other guests; no problem at all. After 15 minutes it seemed unreasonable that their check-in was not completed, so we looked in and went back up again to finally check-in. The receptionist was very sweet, but it was her first day on the job and she seemed a bit clueless. The front desk manager, Julien, was very helpful though and later on gave us a lovely tour of the hotel.

At breakfast the next day our waiter just didn't speak English, and we had to use our below-average French to communicate what we'd like to eat. He wasn't familiar with the menu, and it was just all a bit unprofessional.
Rooms and Suites
There are 39 rooms and suites at the hotel, and I stayed in a 33sqm Deluxe room which was extremely spacious. The room had a huge double bed, one gorgeous red sofa, vintage (yet modern) Marshall MP3 docking station that connects to your smart phone, and I loved it. The bathroom was quite small, but had everything you needed, including some very interesting, or practical, bathroom amenities (personalised Les Bains condoms, reminiscent of its promiscuous past).

One tip: I found the Deluxe room a lot more spacious than the Junior Suite, which is one category up. The Junior Suites have baths and terraces which make them more desirable on paper, but they do in fact feel a lot smaller.
Food and Drink
Breakfast was very nice and I had the Les Bains breakfast with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. Nothing to write home about, but it was tasty and filling. The pastry basket was delicious, as always in Paris.
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
The hotel has a small swimming pool, located in the extension of the club which it was once part of. Today it's fully restored and can be use by guests between 9:30-20:30. From Wednesday to Saturday, the pool once again becomes part of the club in the wee hours of the morning. There is also a small hammam.
Perceived Value
Depending on the time of year, you can find a Classic Room here for EUR 400 per night, the starting rate. The Deluxe rooms are around EUR 550, and the Junior Suites sell for EUR 700 and up. As I mentioned, I would go for a Deluxe rather than a Junior Suite, so keep that in mind. For Paris, this is not bad at all, and for the most part there is good value for money here. The hotel has a lot of potential, but its not yet 100% 'there'.
Verdict
I'd give Les Bains another few months to improve on service, but other than that it's definitely one of the places 'to be' in Paris today. It's got the history, it's cool, and the renovation is spot-on. If you want to go partying in Paris for the weekend, at Les Bains, your room is just a few floors up. If you're in town for more official business, I might choose somewhere with a bit more light.