Boutique Parisian hotel Nuage has been described as a place to “decompress, dream and meditate”. It even has its own cinema. Olivia Palamountain reports
Mon dieu! We just can’t get enough of Paris. The French capital was the most booked European city in 2022, says data from Virtuoso, and it is currently the number-one city in the world for leisure stays this year.
Reflecting this success is an outrageous number of new and notable hotel debuts, from boutique cutie Maison Mère and future-retro five-star Madame Rève to grande dame in the making, St James Paris and Art Deco jewel, Hotel Rochechouart.
While openings come thick and fast and tourists rush to Paris, Nuage, a boutique hotel in the 8th arrondissement, wants guests to take their time.Dedicated to the art of “slow living”, this delightful homage to hygge has been in the same family for three generations, set in a stately 19th-century building in the heart of the golden triangle.
The hotel underwent an extreme makeover last year under the eye of designer and artist-owner Olivier Breuil, transitioning from the decent but dated Hotel Elysées Mermoz into the swan we see today. Nuage, French for “cloud”, was a name chosen to encapsulate Breuil’s vision of an urban haven that encourages guests to decompress, dream and meditate.
Also intrinsic to the rebrand was a commitment to eschewing showy extravagance in favour of an “all-new luxury”, one with an eco-responsible vision of the hotel industry and that champions local artisans and suppliers.This concept has been creatively translated in every detail of the hotel, from the ambient lighting and dreamy colour palette of calming neutrals, to the soft-textured furniture, blonde natural wood accents and collection of original artworks and ceramics.The staff uniforms – blush-pink Lacoste polo shirts – echo this serene theme (I want one) and guest interaction is minimal, which I adore.
The result is thoughtful, soothing and intimate. Put it this way, romance is certainly not dead in the city of amour; when I landed at Nuage it was love at first sight.
A warm and inviting lounge, christened with art and travel books, beckons guests to linger over coffee or a glass of wine, elevated each afternoon by a gâteau du jour that graces the bar.On select evenings, this convivial meeting place hosts private concerts, readings and tastings.
Upstairs are 27 ethereal rooms and suites. I stayed in a luminous Deluxe street view room, decked out with a cute sofa-banquette area, with a separate loo and bathroom that featured both a shower and a bath.Generously proportioned and in perfect nick, the rooms don’t have desks, but rather loungers or hanging armchairs, perfect for curling up with a book (you’ll find a classic novel or two in every room), while natural materials, gentle hues and soft textures emphasise a cosy ambience.This room’s finest feature? A large window that framed the pretty street below – and it that actually opened (anyone else frustrated by hotel rooms that don’t let you access fresh air?), allowing me to tease in some milky spring sunshine.Nuage cares about holistic guest wellness – and it shows. Not only did I find a surprise bottle of champagne and a glass stand adorned by delicate macarons in my room when I arrived, but next to these treats was a pink yoga mat: chic.
Heritage Parisian buildings aren’t exactly renowned for their thick walls, so particular attention has been paid to sound insulation; a troupe of excitable Saturday night street revellers aside, I didn’t hear a peep from anyone.Night owls rejoice: an included help-yourself breakfast is served all day long, so you won’t have to drag yourself out of your cocoon before you’re ready to sample what’s on offer – think fresh fruit salads, dried fruits and granola bowls, plus house speciality, the “egg cloud” (a muffin-meets-quiche) and boards groaning with IGP Grison charcuterie and cheeses.Guests can also tuck into Nuage’s local baker’s selection of mini baguettes and rustic breads, butter croissants and pain au chocolat, all fresh out of the oven and accompanied by French jams, maple syrup, honey and artisan spreads.
Oh, and all dietary requirements are catered for. Last time I heard of a tourist ordering an oat milk latte in a Parisian café, the answer was a resolute “non”. Nuage is happy to be more flexible, with a selection of plant-based milks propping up breakfast bar, and gluten-free pastries and cereals available on request.
Adjacent to the dining space is a squishy private cinema room where you’ll find a wide selection of cult movies and classic titles across every genre.
A special kids’ screening, complete with traditional cinema treats such as sweeties and ice cream, is available upon request.
There’s no way anyone travels to Paris to stay put in their hotel, but siren Nuage is more than capable of ensuring you remain in its embrace. Should this happen, fear not – a room service menu is available until 11pm.
Featuring the likes of wholesome poke bowls, seasonal vegetable soups, cheese plates, chicken rolls and tortellini, you’ll be well fed if by some crazy chance you haven’t already eaten yourself silly on the streets of Paris.If you really need to create an excuse to leave, the hotel concierge will arrange experiences such as romantic horse rides and boating excursions, all of which can be pre-booked before arrival.
Nuage seduces and delights at every turn; there can be no finer stay in the French capital to rest your head in the clouds.