An affordable hotel right on Rue Charonne? Across the street from the new resto that I didn't go to, Septime? And an eco-minded-organic one, no less, complete with great wifi access, and designed by Matali Crasset, one of the hottest designer in France who happens to be a nut about vin naturel, for about 100 euros?
The name Hi-Matic reminded me of my first almost real camera,
the Minolta Hi-Matic, one of the first gifts my father handed off to me, on a dreary winter ride to Jones Beach, when he was trying to figure out how to be a father to me as he had adopted a new family of his own. Funny how that vision came to me. But as it turns out, this Hi Matic is the new hotel in the 11th.
On my last night in France, in Paris, I walked up from Bastille and entered what I soon found out was a strictly DYI stay.
The hotel, dressed in slightly adjusted primary colors jolted me into Matali's universe and I tried to check in. Well, I tried to. I couldn't quite figure out that I was supposed to check in myself and what I was supposed to do. You see, there's no concierge, per se. But someone quickly showed up to assist. Then my room had no shades, and with the shower in full view of the window, I thought that was a bit much, no problem, they switched my room in a flash.That's the way it is at the Hi-Matic, the people taking care of you are almost invisibile, but if you need help, they're there.But mostly, in the age of smart phones and wifi, who needs a concierge to fuss over you anyway.
Forgotten or longed for items can be had from the Horn n Hardart- like vending machines, including extra hangers, organic snacks and the wine guide book RED. If you check out and need a place to stash your bags, there are the spacious lockers.
Matali's design sense is a scrubbed Scandi-meets Japanese functional Wabi-Sabi and way cute of Kawaii. The way she blends it comes together in the Hi-Matic is jungle gym goes hostel aesthetic.
The rooms are pod-like, lean, multi-purpose, shower strong. These aren't rooms you'll want to hang in, but they are serviceable if extremely tiny. Take a look at these colors and the lounge chairs, very amusing especially as they reflect the hotels clothing boomerang-ish hangers. In fact the design is always referring back to itself in unusual ways and just straddling the line of child/adult. Even down to the organic breakfast,
As long as calibrate your expectations for hostel instead of hotel, you'll be fine. Except for one crabby, grumbling couple who clearly made a mistake, most around me were amused, happy and curious.
A good address.
71 Rue De Charonne Paris, Paris 75011