The most appropriate places to smoke a cigar in Paris

lieux ou fumer le cigare à Paris

Parliamentarians, lawyers, investment bankers – whether mixed-sex or not, the world of cigars is small and selective. It has its own codes and address book. Being a cigar enthusiast gives access to them, and to celebrities who are otherwise out of bounds. Now we just need to disclose to you the private or public, sometimes secret addresses, where you can smoke in excellent companyCigar lovers often appreciate the nuances of traditional elegance, where every detail is a sign of refinement and personality. Sartorialism is front and centre in the cigar-smoking experience, creating an atmosphere where style and pleasure meet in harmony.

Private members’ clubs with smoking lounges

Some cigar clubs don’t really have their own venue. They meet as events dictate or in established smoking lounges. Private members’ clubs that also hire a dedicated venue are harder to come by. Members who are aficionados can bring along a carefully-chosen guest.

The Viñales club in the Royal Monceau

Between the Arc de Triomphe and Parc Monceau, this magnificent hotel on Avenue Hoche is categorised as a palace. There are only 12 such hotels in Paris. The smoking lounge is reserved for club members, and not everyone can afford the entrance fee. This status brings with it a number of advantages within the Palace itself, such as guaranteed reservations in the restaurants, and also access to an completely private terrace for Havana cigar smokers.

Le Travellers Club de Paris

The Travellers club is hidden awayin the La Païva mansion, which is also known as the “Blue Louvre”. This is the property steeped in eroticism at 25 avenue des Champs-Élysées which was once home to the countess after whom it is named. Her loose morals, and her way of making a name for herself among the Paris elite, were an open secret. In the end it makes sense that the club is only open to men, leaving them free to admire the rare marble nudes with gay abandon. Its signature style is that of the Second Empire. These days, the gentlemen will only get their pleasure from spirits and puro rum.

Itinerant private members’ clubs

There are enough places in Paris to accommodate cigar aficionados and keen smokers. So, without giving you a specific address, let us introduce you to the best-known private cigar club in Paris.

The Cigar Social Club

The reference won’t be lost on you: that’s right, it’s a nod to the Buena Vista Social Club, that famous band straight out of Cuba. This club is a benchmark in the whole of Paris. It is much less exclusive, admitting the largest number of cigar enthusiasts, of which there are not that many either… Around 2,500 members (who register for free) meet up at themed events. The Cigar Social Club is also the event management agency of the cigar scene.

Cigar lounges in Paris

Not everything that bears the name of smoking room is about a cigar-related experience. So you should avoid certain bars or areas reserved for cigarette smokers that aren’t up to scratch. However, in Paris you can also find smoking rooms with a party atmosphere.

The smoking lounge in the Cubana Café

This is one of the Cuban hotspots in Paris, which has an authentic smoking lounge where you can feel like you’re in Havana. On a leather Chesterfield – tobacco-coloured, of course – you can enjoy the Latino beats, the salsa atmosphere and a good cigar. There’s no need to bring your cigars, you’ll find a wonderful cigar cellar on site. This place is perfect for gathering together and chatting, in the Montparnasse neighbourhood (47 rue Vavin), a stone’s throw from the jardin du Luxembourg.

The cigar bar at Cuba Compagnie Café

Upstairs, above the restaurant area, is the smoking lounge with its selection of Cuban cigars. The place is also a tapas bar and a Cuban and Latino restaurant. In the heart of the Bastille district, on boulevard Beaumarchais, nightlife beckons. This is where the vibrant Paris nightlife is, and this is not lost on the young revellers. At the Cuba Compagnie Café, you start the evening off with a bang by enjoying a good rum (a Havana Club one that’s at least 7 years old), which you can have set aside until your next visit. And why not?

The l’Aristide speakeasy in the Lutetia palace

This very easy-living, plush bar hosts music sets ranging from jazz to electronic. It is at 45 Boulevard Raspail in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. It has two smoking lounges away from the bar and offers a particularly fine selection of cigars for a fully satisfying smoking experience in palatial surroundings.

Here, go for a mixologist’s creation rather than spirits, as this is one of its strong points.

The very exclusive Chez Castel restaurant and club in Saint-Germain-Des-Prés

It’s absolutely the stuff of legend, and you’ll have to pull a few strings to get into the inner sanctum. Either that or be a household name. Once you’re in it’s access all areas, with cigars to boot. The quintessential sight to see is right there in the smoking lounge: the piano that once belonged to Serge Gainsbourg is there. This precious piece alone makes it worth the trip. The venue’s renown speaks for itself… Head to 15 rue Princesse in the 6th arrondissement.

 

Other quintessential smoking lounges in Paris

Every luxury hotel in Paris has a smoking room, and they all deserve to feature in our article. Let us single out La Maison Champs-Élysées, le Crillon, le Park-Hyatt Paris Vendôme, and La Réserve, as well as the 4-star Maison Athénée.

There’s also the Club Pierre Charon which, as a gaming room, perfectly mimics the casino feel whereby you can have some food, play games and smoke good Cuban cigars.

For an exhaustive list of establishments, the interactive map provided by the Cigar Social Club is particularly handy.

A few cigar-related events

Do your qualities include enjoying parties and the feelgood vibe? You can meet with international cigar aficionados at the annual Big Smoke, which takes place at a different venue each year. Paris did host Big Smoke in 2017. We look forward to the next edition.

This event is a contest whereby the smokers have to keep their cigar ash from falling off for as long as possible.

This game has recently become part of the fledgling Art de Vivre Festival held in Andorra every year.

The made-to-measure tailoring scene in Paris: check out our guide to the best suit workshops

Smoking cigars: a feelgood habit if ever there was one

Cigars have been around for two centuries, and some illustrious French public figures have drawn some nuggets of wisdom from them. Victor Hugo wrote:  “a cigar is not a cigar if you’re smoking it solo”.

And even George Sand was moved to write about it: “cigar smokers are different without trying to be so”. But you first need to have one on you! If it’s not the case, head over to our guide to Parisian cigar shops.

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