As you might’ve seen from my last review, storytelling design is central to each 25Hours hotel: quirky, vibrant, and always reflecting the city and neighborhood of the hotel itself; staying here feels like stepping into a trendy ultra-colored visual universe.
A fresh design approach:
The concept at 25Hours Hotel Terminus Nord was dreamt up by design agency Dreimeta. They pulled inspiration from the station’s locals and multi-cultural environment, which means you’ll find playful, colorful wall murals in street-art style, bright textiles, and other elements reflecting the African and Indian communities typical of the 10th arrondissement.
"As colorful as an African bazaar; a cosmopolitan mix of cultures an urban refuge at Gare du Nord."
Terminus nord, Built in 1860
You know I have a weak spot for buildings with history, and 25Hours Paris doesn’t disappoint. On my tour, I learned the hotel used to be a Mercure and has since been transformed and opened into what’s now this 25Hours. The building offers a view on the front of the iconic station as well as Montmartre hill views. At the epicenter of train travel, Gare du Nord has seen the comings and goings of travelers since 1864. In fact, Gare du Nord serves as a nexus for 700,00 transit travelers passing through every day, one of the busiest in Europe. The area is a city within a city, with a vibrant local community that’s grown out of the hustle and bustle of Gare du Nord.
Historian Alex Toledano played a large part in informing the story and design of 25Hours Terminus Nord. His book “Portraits of the Gare du Nord” looks at the diverse multi-cultural community surrounding the station. His book was written to showcase locals in the area and a copy of his book is placed on the bed in each room to encourage guests to expand the way they think about ‘ethnic’ neighborhoods and what they offer a traveler when they come to Paris.
"But a station is also a terminus. It is an end unto itself and that is the theme I explore [in this book]. The Gare du Nord, in capital letters - the sum of its surrounding streets and neighborhoods, which rely upon its trains to populate their streets and buildings - is a cosmopolitan, crucial part of Paris." - Alex Toledano from his book, The Gare du Nord
With 237 rooms to choose from in four categories ranging from small to XL, there’s something for all tastes. I was in a Medium + room with balcony and great station view.
The entire hotel is filled with winks and nods to the eclectic and warm theme and the rooms are no different. Retro and vibrant elements instantly won me over like a rotary-dial telephone, African boubou textiles covering the bed, movie poster made by Indian filmmaker Sushant Sandal, and a bright blue sink imitating a traditional tajine dish. There are decor touches made of recycled materials keeping in line with their sustainable efforts.
+ Functional layout with plenty of storage space
+ Rain-fall shower head
+ Bluetooth speaker
+ A minibar (beers craft, Fritz-kola),
+ Highspeed wifi (optical fiber overboost)
+ Soft bedding with a thick comforter
NENI RESTAURANT 🍴
My velvet obsession has recently started to get out of hand, but visiting NENI restaurant on the first floor at 25Hours Terminus Nord was the tipping point! NENI Paris offers Israeli-Oriental cuisine with a fabulous view of Gare du Nord and might just be my favorite part of this hotel.
When you enter through the dining room closest to the bar, you’ll notice the wonderfully girly decor: colorful rugs, velvet sofas, armchairs in shades of pink and gray and solid marble tables. I fell in love instantly.
The dining room is well-lit thanks to its numerous windows facing out towards Gare du Nord and warm lighting. From more of a lounge area to a more fine dining setup, there’s a range of table types to choose from. I loved having a snack and wine here as well as waking up over my coffee (from Terre de Café roasters in Paris) and buffet breakfast basking in luscious shades of pink, gold and blue. The cuisine is inspired by Persian, Arabic, French, and Russian influences and the menu encourages sharing in style. I honestly still can’t get over how eclectic and beautiful this place was.
SAPE BAR: Come sit and sip expertly crafted cocktails
Both locals and guests will feel right at home here at the bar of this hotel.
The speakeasy wave has recently hit Paris and Sape Bar definitely pays homage to that while also honoring the spirit of sapology, a popular form of colorful Congolese clothing and fashion, and you’ll find bright accents decorating the bar in true vibrant sape spirit. Sape Bar is a classy retreat in a busy neighborhood, drawing you in with its velvet seating, leather armchairs, colorful cushions, and ultra-colored framed art. Sit down and sip on your beverage of choice at the counter blinged out in bronze mosaic. Expert mixologist and bar extraordinaire Joerg Meyer from Germany has worked with 25Hours for years to create inventive and delicious bar experiences at their hotels.
DJs spin Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
It’s true: the 10th arrondissement is not somewhere I typically go to hang out in Paris. I rush to the neighborhood to pick up friends and family and leave without thinking to hang out in the area. After being in the 10th and seeing its place in Paris’s culture through a different lens and with a little more time, I would gladly make a pit stop, come back and enjoy it again.
Sure, the hotel isn’t set in the most serene location, but if you want to feel the real pulse of the city center, then definitely don’t skip this place. Coming to 25Hours was a great excuse to revisit and rethink what the neighborhood has to offer. I’m impressed at how original 25Hours has been with its locations and how they’ve avoided the ‘standard’. I’ll definitely be back to lounge at the bar with friends, make an airport transfer more pleasant, or dine in Neni’s gorgeous dining room. Terminus Nord is another display of 25Hours Hotel’s creative spirit and their flare for going against the grain and making the hotel experience more fun, colorful and a hell of a lot more culturally grounded. A definite must-visit.
Disclaimer: my trip to 25Hours Hotel Terminus Nord was part of a collaboration for this blog; all thoughts and opinions are my own.