We stayed at the Gabriel in 2011 (see my review) and it was rather a wow-experience - the second time around last weekend was still good but less wow.
We chose this hotel (then and now) for its modern, sleek, light look and the ingeneous pod-like spaceship-ish rooms, just like advertised on the designhotels.com website. Much to our surprise, when we came in, we noticed that the lobby was recently filled with ebony-coloured furniture and an abundance of dark accessoiries. Filled being the operative word - an entire shop-full of furniture crammed in the lobby. Mind you - not ugly furniture, it was all great boudoir-style stuff, but because they kept the white science fiction counter, it combines two styles that are simply impossible to combine and that gives the hotel a strange and little "off" appearance. If you're going for the sleek modern style a la the Seven or Kube hotels (also in Paris), this is no longer it.
Even though the rooms didn't change as much as the lobby, our room had a few extra accessoiries and ill-matching paintings that negatively impact the initial great clean stylish appearance of the original design. Several covers of lighting strips were loose and on the floor, the shower curtain (which is a little impractical and behind the times thing anyway for a hotel) had a little mold, the bed had big chunks of veneer missing, the iPod dock isn't compatible with current iPod/iPhone devices and there was that overall sort of 'worn' look.
That said, we only paid EUR 160 for a 'glowing' room, which is great for Parisian standards, even more so in combination with a lot of positive things that, despite the above, we haven't lost sight of:
- the location is wonderful (very close to the subway, to lots of Vélib' stands and to indoor parking Alhambra);
- the staff is beyond helpful (when we arrived parking Alhambra was full and the guy at reception, without even knowing we were guests, went out of his way to give and print directions to a different parking and to explain where else we could park - thank you);
- the rooms are cleverly designed and especially the deluxe/glowing rooms are very decent sized for Parisian standards;
- quiet street, but even if it's not, the insulation is very good, I usually need earplugs in Paris but not at the Gabriel;
- the street feels safe and comfortable;
- apples on the bed is a nice touch;
- it's getting increasingly difficult to find a hotel that offers twin beds, and this one does;
- they're good-sized and the best beds I've slept on in Paris;
- breakfast was good, the food was obviously not taken out of plastic three minutes before like in so many other hotels, there were lots of fresh things and the woman taking car of the breakfast bar was friendly and fast;
- the hotel (room, hallways, lobby) was very clean;
- out bathroom was very spacious;
- I love the fact that the management takes the time to read Tripadvisor reviews;
- small details (like their wonderful own tableware and the cool napkins, and the attentive and attractively designed mini-guide to the neighbourhood) do make a difference;
- wifi worked like a charm (be aware that one wifi code works on whatever device you have, but only on one at a time);
- check-in and check-out were very friendly and very fast.
The deluxe room, or at least ours, only have a tub, not a shower, which to us is strange and inconvenient - there was a shower head on a chord you can pull out of the side of the tub, but that is less than a meter long and the other person would have to hold that up and spray you with it to give you somewhat of a shower. Might not be a big deal for some people, but just thought it's worth mentioning.
For this price, this is still one of the best Parisian hotels to stay at and in certain areas they easily outdo many similarly and higher prices hotels! We'd definitely go again, but just with slightly adjusted expectations.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Design and boutique hotel 4*, well located near Place de la République and Le Marais. Comfortable hotel with AC, lcd, shower, mini bar, room service, conciergerie. All rooms are white for a zen experience. ... more less
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