At the heart of the trendy 18th arrondissement, you'll find hotel owner Ilhame and her selection of rooms. As soon as the door is opened, the ‘smile of Montmartre’ in the name makes sense – Ilhame is always beaming. The living room on the top floor is impressive with its high ceiling and endless bookcases – but it feels very homely all the same. Everyone will find their place here – holidaying families, lovers on weekend breaks and workers stopping over during the week. Here simplicity is the done thing and the warmth is tangible.
Design hotel par excellence, the Déclic functions on its own originality. This unique establishment plunges you into visual fireworks for an overnight stay. Design by Sandrine Alouf – an “atmospherist” who combines decor and stories to take visitors on a motionless journey – is truly magical; a telescope that is within reach of the bed, luminous plexiglass furniture and a glowing night sky which covers every surface (with the occasional moving shooting star).
Rue Clauzel, a stone’s throw from rue des Martyrs, boasts several addresses including the great boutique shop Nous at number 19, the vintage store Zach & Sam at number 13, and of course hotel Matins de Paris at number three. This four-star hotel has 33 rooms with minimalist and functional decor, such as its kitsch paintings of Pigalle and beautiful brightly-coloured curtains. Rooms on the courtyard side are very quiet and overlook the Sacré-Cœur – ideal for a romantic getaway. These rooms also have a small balcony so guests can enjoy their sweet and savoury breakfast in the sun.
Named after the famous ‘Chat Noir’ cabaret that used to be in its place, this hotel has taken the theme and run with it. It’s about as retro as it gets, but the superstitious might want stay away, as there’s a black cat on every floor. On the first floor you’ll find the common room, which sets the tone of the rest of the hotel – cosy and warm, thanks to large tables, sofas and beautiful natural light. You can come for breakfast or just to have a drink among the melange of businessmen, tourists recharging their batteries and those brave enough to have walked the stairs of the Butte.
Ever since the hype of the Ground Control and Grand Train pop-ups, rue Ordener has become the place to be. And tucked away on this same street in the 18th arrondissement, is Les Jardins de Montmartre. Rooms are spread over two buildings and each floor has its own season. The pebbled-look carpets in the corridors are a common thread and the natural vibe is carried through to the large communal room, where the savoury and sweet buffet breakfast is held each morning.
A few steps from rue des Martyrs, in an adorable little Parisian courtyard hidden from the world, is the Alba Hotel. Everything is unique here, from the carpet to the wallpaper, with decor that is constantly evolving and fun to discover. Little touches are the highlight, such as a Christmas tree covered in Barbie dolls and gauze veils. The tone is fun and creative, and more than a little tongue-in-cheek. There’s a joyous patchwork of influences spread over the ground floor: top-of-the-range magazines, books, artefacts, velvet and Lui magazine covers jostling for your attention.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot par excellence or somewhere close to the Sacré-Cœur, you’ve found the right address. As well as being in one of the “fleur bleue” areas of Paris, this establishment also a little corner of paradise for lovers, thanks to the subtle decor by Sandrine Alouf. With 24 bedrooms (in three categories: classic, superior or deluxe), this chic and intimate hotel is perfect for romantic getaways. Staircases, lifts, walls, leather – red is a recurrent theme here.