Babel Hotel


Babel L1040154 Benoit Linero

Frequent visitors to France and those who have yet to discover the hidden delights of the capital will encounter its heart and soul in a cool Belleville pad with a community ethos.

The Eiffel Tower, the Champs- Élysées, the Louvre – most weekend visitors to Paris spend their time hanging around the big-hitters. But seasoned travellers know the most exciting bits of the city are the trendy 10th and 11th arrondissements, just north and east of the Marais. Packed with natural wine bars, cool boutiques and street art, this is where hip Parisians head to shake off the tourist crowds. Providing prime access to all of it is Babel, a boutique stay on the fringe of the 11th in multicultural Belleville with a minimalist, mid-century aesthetic and friendly, relaxed service.

What the rooms lack in size they make up for in clever design: compact side tables, open wardrobes, chic wet rooms. Bodum kettles, loose leaf herbal teas and coffee-table books add an indulgent touch, while straw lampshades, brass detailing and an earthy palette bring North African flair. The result is a globetrotting feel that fits right in with the hotel’s biblically-inspired name. But for all its appeal to holidaymakers, Babel also aims to serve its local community in a rapidly gentrifying area. Besides the late-night bar and popular lunch service, where locals come daily to feast on split-pea hummus or fennel salad with chickpeas and sumac, the hotel has worked with local associations, including the Refugee Food Festival, to provide employment for asylum seekers, and uses short supply chains to minimise impact on the planet. All the more reason to book in.

Doubles from £113. 00 33 1 8753 6232,

Words by Alicia Mellar. Photo by Benoit Linero.

This review was taken from the 25th anniversary issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe today, click here.

Babel L1040154 Benoit Linero

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