A splash of high-end hospitality spicing up Le Passage du Caire!
There is Champs Elysees and the impressive Arc de Triomphe and there is also the cute Monmartre and the romantic nights sur-Seine – but Paris is just so much more. One of the city’s new entry Hôtel du Sentier makes for the best excuse to dive into the history of Le Passage du Caire, the oldest covered passageway of Paris!
Built in 1798, Le Passage du Caire is also the longest and the narrowest and walking along it is like taking a pleasant stroll along an Egyptian street. With its arching glass roof, three wings and six street front entrances, the hotel has a rich history: it was designed to celebrate Napoleon’s victorious campaign in Egypt and is a symbol of the Egyptomania that took France over at that time. Some key highlights are the three statues erected to the goddess Hathor (recognizable by her emblematic cow ears) as well as the bas-reliefs on the frontage at 2, place du Caire, which is classified as a Historic Monument of France.
A stone’s throw from the Cour des Miracles, this Parisian passageway concentrated its commercial activity on printing and lithography until the end of the Second Empire, when the tailors took over to this day. In the morning, you can witness the fabric being loaded onto trolleys -a perfect example of the charm of the Passage du Caire.
This historic passageway has evolved along with the surrounding neighbourhood. And if the Passage du Caire is today home to Hôtel du Sentier, a place to relax and make yourself at home, it is only an indication of how this little segment of the Sentier neighbourhood, this mini-Egypt – located beside the rue du Nil, the rue d’Alexandrie and the rue d’Aboukir – has changed, and continues to change, over time. The place du Caire is set to become the locals’ new favourite spot: a “village square” in which to enjoy meeting and mingling.
To build a hotel in a passageway with a heritage listing is complicated, so the main focus was connecting the past to the present. Hôtel du Sentier, brings the comfort of a Parisian apartment, replicating the warmth and conviviality of a home into a timeless hospitality landmark. After 18 months of renovation work, l’Hôtel du Sentier appears delightful: as if it had always been ready to welcome its guests.
The hotel offers a total of 30 rooms: five on each of six floors. And it boasts an impressive 76 windows, each one more fascinating than the last. The trefoil-shaped windows deserve an extra bit of attention, as the final work is identical to the original 1826 design. This exceptionally rare feature makes for distinctive authenticity.
All the rooms are bathed in daylight, looking onto the city but in a peaceful atmosphere, and equipped with first-rate technology but no gimmickry. These contrasts contribute to the relaxing charm of these unconventional cocoons. It should also be noted that the accommodation includes the option to reserve connecting rooms and there are two duplexes that benefit from a roof terrace overlooking the French capital. Here also, everything is designed to promote a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Each element has been carefully selected down to the smallest detail and with the utmost attention to the quality of the materials (solid oak, black porcelain switches, marble in the bathrooms, light wooden floors), highlighted with allusions and original touches.
L’Hôtel du Sentier perfectly blends in with its surroundings: lively, relaxed and inclusive. The common areas are open to hotel guests, locals, visiting friends and light-hearted tourists alike. The informal atmosphere wafts out to the sunny terrace, at the crossroads of several bustling streets. This place is above all ideal for mingling, serious or small talk, and for sharing pleasant moments with friends, colleagues or strangers.