Hotel Design Secret de Paris

Paris, the city of love! The hotel you choose – and there’s so much choice – can affect the quality of your stay. So when I had a work trip and had to find a hotel in the 9th Arrondissement, near the Moulin Rouge, I was worried because the area can be a little sketchy at night. I did my research and found this hidden gem: Hotel Design Secret de Paris.

Design aficionados rejoice! This hot spot is a destination all on its own. Every room in the hotel has a different theme related to Paris: Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge, Musee D’Orsay, Opera Garnier… Bedridden on my first day with a cold and jet lag, I was happy to find I didn’t need to leave the hotel at all to get to know new sides of Paris!

When I was feeling better, I discovered that the location was actually great. I’m used to booking hotel stays in Paris near the more tourist-y parts of town (St Michel, the Latin Quartier, Champs Elysee), but this was new for me. To the left of the hotel was the Moulin Rouge strip and artsy Montmartre, and to the right was a fabulous shopping area with H&M and Galerie Lafayette. And yes, I actually saw Uma Thurman climb out of an unmarked black sedan for a little retail therapy here. If its good enough for Uma, its good enough for me!

Blocking off the entrance for Uma!


Sweet Suite

From the outside, the hotel is a typical Parisian building with black wrought iron fences on windows. Inside, it’s a wonderland.

The major drawcard of this little boutique hotel is that each room has its own unique design. Doors have this cute keyhole element – this one is the entry to the Trocadero themed room.

And inside is a whole new world… And thanks to attention to detail and a great eye for interior design, the concept doesn’t come across as cheesy. This was my favorite room, modeled after the Musee D’Orsay, my favorite museum in Paris that is a converted train station housing beautiful works, including Rodin sculptures.

My friend stayed in a bright red Moulin Rouge theme and must have been dreaming of dancing the can-can all night 😀

The attention to detail is quite remarkable. The down comforters and goose down pillows were incredibly warm and the carpet on the floor made it easy to walk around without wearing the fifty layers I needed to stay warm outdoors. The mood lighting added a nice touch, and a rather quirky one in the bathrooms. Did I mention the lovely Azzaro products?

Naturally, being the curious journalist that I am, I asked to see some of the other rooms. Each were delightful in their own way. The biggest room in the hotel is on the top floor and is modelled after an artist’s retreat.


Breakfast is a cosy affair in the purple restaurant on the main floor, right next to reception. Prepare for an array of assorted croissants (pain au chocolat, don’t mind if I do!) and lovely teas. I discovered my new favorite type of tea in the world here: a vanilla roiboos that I couldn’t get enough of. The kind staff even gave me a few as a goodbye present when I left!

There are restaurants all over Paris that will have you drooling, but if you’re jet lagged or need a quick bite, the main restaurant in the hotel does some lovely dishes including a homemade vegetable soup that really hits the spot on a cold wintery night.


Sweat it Out

I consider retail therapy and long walks along the Seine to be enough exercise while I’m in Paris, but gym bunnies will rejoice in the holistic approach at the hotel’s wellness center. Doesn’t this make you want to get off the couch and jump on a treadmill?

Overall, I absolutely loved this cosy corner of Paris. It’s affordable, a good location, and a fun story to tell to friends back home. Shout out to really lovely staff at reception!



This trendy outfit can take you from a daytime stroll along the river to drinks at a bar with grace. Bisous!






Cropped top
64 AED –

Proenza Schouler wool coat
3,560 AED –

Emilio Pucci floral skirt
2,505 AED –

Bandolino black knee high boots
330 AED –

Kayu lucite purse
550 AED –

Jennifer Zeuner gold ring
365 AED –


Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
The rooms
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
Don’t miss
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450


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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

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