If you’re planning a trip to Paris and are keen to experience the city like an actual Parisian, head to the 16th Arrondissement. This super-chic district on the west side of the city features grand apartment buildings on wide, tree-lined boulevards where older women walk their dogs in Balenciaga sneakers at night. Long home to the wealthiest families of Paris, its stately buildings offer much larger homes than can be found in the rest of the city and it attracts virtually no foreign tourists.
In the midst of this urban haven is the modern Brach Paris Hotel, designed by Phillipe Starck. Its super-sleek and eclectically decorated rooms overlook traditional Parisian residences, which makes for a stunning visual contrast from within. The rooms feature high ceilings, colorful artwork, Italian designer lighting, and some of the most incredibly stocked mini-bars we’ve ever seen (many of the same cocktails and snacks as its sister property in the Marais).
Our favorite aspect of the Brach was the social scene, specifically its terrace bar on the first floor. The outdoor patio attracts some of the most fashionable neighboring residents at cocktail hour and is the perfect place to spot the latest fashion trends in modern Parisian society. The cocktails are excellent, as are the sushi selections. In the summer, there is also a bar on the rooftop, which features an incredible and unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower, along with a garden, chickens, and a hot tub.
After cocktails, you can head to dinner at one of the many sophisticated and understated restaurants in the neighborhood, or stay in and experience the hotel’s own L’Univers restaurant. Featuring live music every night, it was clear that the restaurant had become a neighborhood favorite (they also had a busy Sunday brunch scene). We didn’t eat dinner at the restaurant but after an unexpectedly light dinner out, we did order room service and can attest that the kofta-inspired burger was delicious.
Brach Paris even has a 1930s-inspired athletic club and spa, which if we were neighboring residents we would be tempted to join. Stay here for modern luxury accommodations with some of the best people-watching in Paris.
Note: Brach Paris provided support for the reporting of this story.