1er Étage Opéra
Experience Paris as a Parisian at 1er Étage Opéra.
Located on the first floor of a Parisian town house on a quiet street in Paris’ 9e arrondissement (the Opera District) and just around the corner from Opéra Garnier and Les Galeries Lafayette is Le 1er Étage Opéra, a charming and elegant boutique hotel that feels like a home away from home.
This hotel is nothing like your typical hotel. It’s actually more like an oversized upscale guesthouse. It features six modernly decorated and renovated rooms, each equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV and (my personal favourite) strong WiFi. As this hotel is located in a Parisian town house, you must enter the big doors from the street and then enter the building itself from the first set of glass doors on the left in the inner courtyard. Either take the elevator or walk up one (very short) flight of stairs to the first floor (note: “1er étage” means “first floor”) and voilà – you’ve arrived!
As I’ve mentioned in almost every single hotel/airbnb review on this blog (lol), I love feeling like I am at home when I travel. This is why I more often than not choose to stay in Airbnb apartments. Staying at 1er Étage actually kind of felt like staying in a private apartment, but with the added comforts of daily housekeeping, a concierge and boutique décor.
The entrance to 1er Étage opens up to the concierge desk and a large communal seating area directly ahead, where you can enjoy a café or just relax and plan your day. This is also where continental breakfast is served every morning. Past the lounge area is where the rooms are located. They start along the back and left-side walls and continue down a hall to the left (the photos below illustrate this better).
To the right of the entrance and down the hall is a cozy kitchen area, which is open 24/7. The kitchen always has complimentary drinks (coffee, tea and juice) and snacks (cookies and biscuits, yum!) available and is equipped with a microwave, toaster, coffeemaker, sink and fridge for your convenience.
Each guest receives access codes via e-mail before their arrival, including a code to the outside entrance, a code to the building/hotel entrances (i.e., by the inner glass doors) and a room code. The codes are uniquely generated for each new guest to ensure security. Each room also has a safe for guests to store their valuables. Upon arrival, each guest also receives a thoughtful goodie bag that includes bonbons and a Paris guide to help inspire your daily activities.
The night we stayed there, we got in late from a dinner event and I was initially nervous that we would be too loud or make too much noise while cleaning up the mess we made while getting ready earlier. However, in spite of the close intimate setting of the hotel, you cannot really hear anything going on either in other rooms or in the communal areas. This gave me a really big sense of privacy and ensured me that despite the loud and clumsy person that I can be, I wasn’t disturbing any of the other guests. I think this is particularly important in the evenings and night, when the communal area is dead silent and the concierge has left for the day (side note: an English-speaking concierge is available from 7:30 am to 2:30pm). Even walking in at night felt like we were coming home to our own apartment and not to a hotel, which for me was a huge plus.
Another cool thing is that the hotel has its own mobile app. The app not only provides an additional means of maintaining communication with the hotel (aside from e-mail and phone) via its own chatting platform, it is also equipped with a ton of information, restaurant recommendations and even maps to help guests plan their activities and meals and to navigate the city.
We stayed in Room #1. Each room is uniquely decorated and, let me tell you, Room #1 is pretty adorable! It is the perfect size and has very high ceilings and big windows that open up to (my favourite) a French balcony overlooking the courtyard below. I was so obsessed that one of the first things I did was open the windows and climb on the rail for a little photo-taking (*disclaimer* I do not promote the unsafe scaling of window sills!). The feel of the room is very open and airy but also cozy and very stylish. Even its closets are cute! There is one on either side of the bed for you and your travel buddy to store your clothes or bags and the tops of the closets are adorned with decorative luggage. The bed also has USB outlets and very small shelves conveniently located on the walls on either side of it (i.e., for easy phone charging at night – at least, that’s what I used it for). The room is also equipped with a flat screen satellite TV, air conditioning and a work desk.
As I mentioned, each room has its own unique style, but with that very charming boutique feel. My two favourite things about my room were that it had 1) the comfiest bed and 2) a really nice bathroom.
Let’s face it, when you travel, an uncomfortable bed can be a real annoyance. Personally, I could sleep on the floor and be happy when I’m traveling, but for some people a good mattress and some soft sheets and blankies can really make the difference between waking up with that seize-the-day attitude that you need when sightseeing versus waking up in total grouch mode, amiright? At 1er Étage, trust me, you won’t be tossing or turning at night.
Things that I really appreciate in a bathroom include counter/shelf space, a good shower and a towel heater. Our bathroom had all of it! Unfortunately, the photos below don’t really show the extra bit of shelving on the side of the counters, but I assure you they are there! To the right of the bathroom entrance is the towel heater and the door to the walk-in shower. The toilet is separated from the rest of the bathroom by the door to the left. The shower is huge and has a built-in bench on the side opposite the shower head. I liked it so much that I actually told my mom, who is planning to redo her bathroom, that she has to do the shower like this one (which you can check out on my Instagram story highlights from Paris if you’re interested). Hah!
All in all, I really enjoyed my room, it had all of the amenities I would need and was so so comfortable. I didn’t get to see any of the other rooms in person (the hotel was fully booked when we got there), but I have seen photos of them and they all look just as great if not better. So, if you’re thinking of staying here, you can rest assured that any room you book will be just lovely.
1er Étage is quietly tucked away on a safe and low-key street in one of the most popular areas of Paris, the Opera District. It is conveniently located just steps away from various attractions, metro stops, restaurants and grocery stores. Well known for its shopping, the area is home to malls and department stores for all styles and budgets.
Just to give you a bit of an idea…
Opera Garnier – 450 m (6-min walk)
Théâtre Mogador – 260 m (3-min walk)
Printemps Haussmann – 260 m (3-min walk)
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann – 300 m (4-min walk)
Passage du Havre – 230 m (3-min walk)
Chaussée d’Antin – La Fayette (metro Lines 7 & 9) – 300 m (4-min walk)
Havre – Caumartin (metro Line s 3 & 9) – 290 m (4-min walk)
Gare Saint-Lazare – Havre (metro Lines 3, 12, 13, & 14 + RER) – 500 m (6-min walk)
Not only is the hotel in a pretty lively district, but with its proximity to public transport on all sides, you can find yourself almost anywhere in the city in very little time!
I hate to sound like a broken record, but if you’ve read by last hotel reviews or even some of my Instagram captions, you’ll know how much I believe that the people you interact with while traveling can make or break your experience. And that holds true for those that host your stay.
From the beginning, Serge, Juliette and the rest of those at 1er Étage were nothing but so pleasant to communicate with. And man are they organized! Upon making your reservation, they send you a detailed e-mail (with pictures!) outlining how to get to the hotel, illustrating what the outside entrances look like and providing you with your personalized entry codes. They even follow up before your arrival as a courtesy. They honestly make the process of booking and even staying at the hotel so easy and personable that you can tell how much they care about their guests and how much they want your stay in Paris to be as comfortable and memorable as possible.
The hotel staff are also so kind, helpful and accommodating. We had arrived in Paris the day before we checked into 1er Étage and had an early Airbnb check out that morning. The hotel staff very kindly allowed us to bring our luggage over and store it in the lounge while our room was being cleaned. We used the time to stroll around the area and within an hour, our room had been cleaned and our bags put inside for our arrival. They even let us store our luggage in the lounge upon check-out, as we had some extra time in the interim.
I know it may seem trivial, but thoughtful services like this really help any traveler feel comfortable and welcomed (at least, that’s how I feel!) and honestly make life that much easier. Trust me, if you’ve ever been put out on the street while traveling without anywhere to store your luggage, you’ll know what I mean. When you think about how much luggage storage facilities cost and what a pain it can be to even get there, having your hotel allow you to store your bags until you’re ready to take them is a really helpful gesture, especially if the space is more intimate.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Serge. However, right before checking out, I did get to meet Juliette, who spent some time giving us some amazing and less common recommendations for how to spend the rest of our time in Paris. Some of the places she suggested include Le Bon Marché, La Grande Mosqueé de Paris, the botanical gardens and the Museum of Natural History.
Overall, would I recommend this hotel? Absolutely! It’s the perfect fusion between comfort, elegance and boutique Parisian style. It really allows you to experience Paris as freely as a local. The hotel is also centrally located so you don’t miss a second of action. It also offers incredible value, comfort and amazing amenities. I feel like the owners thought of every single detail possible to make sure that their guests have a comfortable, enjoyable and worry-free stay. Lastly, the staff are there to help you throughout, making the experience that much more fulfilling. What else is there to ask for!?
If you’re planning your own Parisian getaway and like what you see, you can browse the rest of the hotel or book your stay here. Remember, rooms fill fast! Luckily, 1er Étage has two other locations, so be sure to check out 1er Étage Marais and 1er Étage SoPi as well!
À la prochaine, chère Paris!
Also be sure to use my personalized LeCab (Paris region only) and Uber discounts (click here) for your transport needs during your next trip to Paris. Need more recommendations? Let me know in the comments below or DM me on Instagram!
This piece was written in conjunction with Le 1er Étage Opéra. A special thank you to Serge, Juliette and the rest of the staff members at 1er Étage is in order for helping make my recent visit to Paris one to remember. All opinions are my own.