OFF Paris Seine review, France: Paris's first floating hotel

Our rating

4 out of 5

There's no forgetting you're in Paris at this groundbreaking hotel afloat a stylish boat on the River Seine. Designer rooms are a nod to Le Corbusier, while the fashionable lounge-bar with dipping pool begs guests to switch off and relax in one of the city's loveliest new lifestyle spaces.

The location

On a purpose-built barge on the River Seine, between road bridge Pont Charles de Gaulle and the handsome Viaduc d'Austerlitz crossed by clattering aqua-green metro trains. Gare d'Austerlitz (metro line 5) is opposite and Gare de Lyon (metro lines 1, 14) is a five-minute walk away. Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte Chapelle are a delightful 15-minute riverside stroll west. 

The space

The innovative Elegancia hotel group behind Paris's first boat hotel has created a floating cocoon where guests can disconnect from urban life. With its beachy lounge bar – fast becoming a hot spot for sundowners among trendy Parisians – and laidback vibe, this is an address where guests kick off their shoes, dip their toes in the water and relax on a shimmering golden Fatboy with ethereal Seine views. The beauty of waking up to a water view and Parisian péniches sailing by is likewise undeniable. 

The hotel has four stars, but service still needs sharpening. Staff – called crew members – are trained to work all stations, be it reception, bar or breakfast room, and are encouraged to address guests by their first name.

Hotel life revolves around the lounge bar, a buzzy glass-and-steel affair arranged in a U-shape around the dipping pool – with inflatable gold swan – on the upper deck. Down below on the main deck, La Rue is a glass-topped space with more golden Fatboys. This is the best spot to understand the hotel's incredible architecture. Akin to an oversized catamaran, the boat was designed by Parisian boat architect Gérard Ronzatti and constructed in Rouen, Normandy. At 80m long and 20m wide, it's the largest vessel currently moored on the Seine.

The room

There are 58 rooms, including four suites, split between the main and upper decks. Rive Gauche rooms overlook the quay and Rive Droite rooms face the river. Gold, taupe and chocolate fabrics evoke an autumnal palette, complemented by wood-slat blinds and jazzy wall stickers. Lighting design is exceptional: the shower changes colour at the press of a button. Atelier Cologne welcome products are 100 per cent local and organic, and rooms have a minibar (with artisan beer by neighbouring brewery La Parisienne), Smart TV and USB plugs.

The Sunset suite by Maurizio Galante, haute couture fashion designer, wraps guests in a brilliant all-orange space (yes, that includes washbasins and bathtub).

The food

Nicolas Munoz from the Bespoke cocktail bar in the fashionable 11e arrondissement was consulted on the signature cocktails and the results are superb – the zesty Comme à l'amer was clearly created with balmy summer evenings in mind. Food-wise, the bar serves cheese and charcuterie platters and a short tapas menu of warm and cold dishes.

Breakfast is a continental buffet (€19/$A28) with ham, cheese, scrambled eggs and bacon. Room service is available during bar hours (5pm to 1am).

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Essentials

Double rooms from €160 in low season; rising to €469 in high. Breakfast excluded. Free Wi-Fi.

The hotel has three rooms which can accommodate wheelchairs; the boat has a lift for guests with disabilities.

It also has several communicating doubles and spacious Horizon suites have a third bed which makes it suitable for families.

OFF Paris Seine, 20-22 Port d'Austerlitz, 75013 Paris, France. Ph 00 33 1 44 06 62 65, see www.offparisseine.com

Highlights

The beauty of waking up to a water view and Parisian péniches sailing by is likewise undeniable. 

Lowlight

The hotel has four stars, but service still needs sharpening

The Telegraph, London

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