The fun begins at five-star So/ Paris in the lobby, where guests are greeted by an abundance of trendy terrazzo, oversized flared columns and rose-gold mirrors lined with fanned tilework. Read on for the full review.
Hiding incredible views from a rooftop bar and state-of-the-art wellness facilities from a hammam to a spa, there isn’t a lot that’s typical of a luxury Parisian hotel: there’s no over-the-top chandelier, no gilt-framed mirrors and no Louis-period furniture. Nor is it pared-back or minimalist and finished in every shade of inoffensive neutral. This hotel is bright and bustling, while being intimate and welcoming – the perfect introduction to the approachable luxury that characterises the property.
Where is So/ Paris?
Housed on a block beside the River Seine in the recently redeveloped Morland Mixité Capitale complex, the building is also home to retail, housing and offices. Two streets away from Pont de Sully, it’s in a convenient locale adjacent to some of the most popular and trendy arrondissements on the right bank (namely the 3rd and its charming Marais neighbourhood and the museum-heavy 1st).
Well positioned between both Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, it’s the traffic that will dictate your travel time to So/ Paris. From Charles de Gaulle airport, the fastest journey would be 30 minutes, while getting to Orly airport takes a minimum of 20 minutes.
What’s near So/ Paris?
It’s less than a five-minute stroll across Pont de Sully to Île Saint-Louis (home of the beloved Berthillon ice-cream) and a further 10 minutes to Notre-Dame Cathedral. Head the other direction and walk the same distance to get to the beautiful Jardin de Plantes in the Latin Quarter. East, it’s just a five-minute walk to the Canal Saint-Martin (the canal, not the neighbourhood) or 10 minutes to get to the famed Place de la Bastille, the Opéra Bastille (Opéra Nationale de Paris’ modern venue). While it’s easy to catch a taxi or Uber, there are Metro stops nearby connecting you to some of the most convenient lines on the network. From Sully-Morland (six-minute walk), jump on line 7 to go to the Latin Quarter (for the Panthéon and Arènes de Lutèce), or towards Louvre-Rivoli (for the Musée du Louvre) and Tuileries (for the Jardin des Tuileries).
Each room has a cosy, inviting feel and is decorated in a contemporary and very colourful palette. The velvet curtains are a deep peacock blue, the bathroom is covered in shimmering bronze-toned mosaic tiles and the abstract carpet in shades of terracotta, blues and rich yellow shouldn’t work… but absolutely does.
Although the Iconic rooms are only nominally larger than entry-level Collection rooms, they do boast those views of the city skyline, Seine and Eiffel Tower. Family, friends and entourages – or those who just want more space – can book a Together suite which averages 70 square metres in size. Each has two bedrooms: Courtyard view rooms have one king and two singles and the Rooftop and Paris Skyline view options are both set up with king beds only.
The beauty of all rooms is that the windows open to the view, no matter the floor you’re on. The tech is functional and fun, with USB outlets in all powerpoints, a steamer instead of an iron and board, a canine-shaped Bluetooth speaker and even speakers in the bathroom, along with a heated towel rack, a spacious rain shower and adjustable magnified mirror. And the robes and slippers come in two sizes. Revolutionary!
Amenities include complimentary Evian and Badoit, soda, mixers and tea and coffee – replenished daily. Other mini bar goods are on consumption and include all of your favourites, but you’ll only have to raid the fridge after you polish off your complimentary treats from Maison Carrousel. You may also find some thoughtful considerations left for you during your turndown service.
Restaurants and bars
The venues at So/ Paris let you eat and drink from 7am through to 2am and are some of the hotel’s big drawcards, not least because of the amazing views to be had from the restaurant, bar and club on the 15th and 16th floors. The convenient Lobby Café also serves coffee and snacks in the day and cocktails at night.
Bonnie Restaurant is the largest and most impressive venue: you’ll hardly notice the psychedelic carpet because of the stunning reflections from the Olafur Eliasson installations that fit into the space. Dine on American-inspired fare (lobster rolls, tacos, mac and cheese) as well as Parisian classics (entrecôte, sole meunière, escargot) while taking in the Seine and other iconic landmarks from a plush banquette inside or out on the terrace.
The bar takes up one side of the 16th floor facing the Bastille side. Settle into the fuzzy, off-white seats with a signature cocktail (maybe the Gimme Gimme with pear brandy and cider or the Crown Hill featuring the house grenadine, or your liquor of choice) – there are some six pages of spirits, from apéritifs through to pisco, eau de vie and calvados (of course).
Feel like hitting a club? Bonnie’s your girl, open from 11pm on Thursday through Saturday. The vistas are incredible, enabling you to gaze at the Eiffel Tower’s light display from the luxurious leather lounges while sipping a glass of bubbly.
The 24-hour in-room dining is also worth a mention: in between meals there are substantial snacks and a night menu on offer. Try the Club Sandwich with a perfectly dressed sucrine salad for lunch or the truffled croque monsieur as a snack. After midnight? The lobster linguine and pecan pie is hard to beat.
Travel for work
While the wifi is free and fast, the rooms at So/ Paris aren’t particularly conducive to long stretches of laptop use because there isn’t a dedicated workspace or table. However, there are very comfortable armchairs and a coffee table, as well as an ethernet port and a large television screen with mirroring capability.
Four meeting rooms/flexible spaces are available for conferencing and events on the seventh floor, while the downstairs café is more than suitable for casual meetings and Bonnie Restaurant is ideal for a business lunch.
Spa, gym and pool
Ô Zenhit Sport Club and Maison Codage Spa take up the basement level of the building. The former offers a full range of fitness facilities with top-of-the-line equipment, sauna and steam rooms, well-equipped shower facilities, a 20-metre indoor pool as well as paid classes (booking required) and personal training (on request).
If it’s relaxation you’re after, book a hammam or a facial at the spa. A full menu of body, face and massage treatments are on offer and the Maison Codage team can also formulate a custom serum, just for you.
An effort to be sustainable is evident but not loudly broadcast. There’s no wasted paper with pamphlets or cards (all information is accessed via the portal on your television screen) but guests will notice, for instance, that there’s no plastic waste in rooms. Amenities come in refillable recycled plastic containers or cardboard packaging, there are cork bottoms on slippers and even your room keys are made from wood.
As a newer property, there’s easy accessibility from the foyer through to the rooms. And there are three types: Collection courtyard view rooms with king beds and courtyard views, Collection rooftop view rooms with either king or twin single configuration and Together courtyard view rooms in the king and twin single option (at least 70 square metres in size).
What you need to know
If your wallet can cope, book a room with a view. There are few Paris hotels that have the city stretched out in such stunning focus.
Best for: Couples and friends
Design: Fun chic
Number of rooms: 140, plus 22 suites
Rates: From €$384.75
Wi-fi: Fast and free
Parking: Valet for a (unspecified) fee
Address: 10 Rue Agrippa d’Aubigné 75004
Phone: +33 (0) 1 78 90 74 00
Earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 when you book your next stay at qantas.com/hotels
Image credit: Jeremie Leon