As lovers of design we dedicate our posts this month to the world’s love affair with art and there couldn’t have been a better city than Paris to begin. The City of Art – Paris has had a very long and steady marriage with art, design and fashion thanks to its monarchy. The French Baroque Era, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Art Deco all evolved in this city. Van Gogh, Gericault, Picasso rose to fame here with their paintings while Rodin, Girardon, Coustou chiseled the finest sculptures. It stands to reason that this city should be the mecca for the world’s best museums – Musee de Louvre and Musee D’Orsay.
Is it a wonder that Art, design and fashion alone make Paris the world’s most visited city? And the world’s most visited city does need the most number of hotels to accommodate these visitors who undoubtedly are art loving travellers. For the Parisian hotels, their art is their pride and some champion the league by collaborating with designers, fashion houses to give a bespoke experience to their guests. Whether it is a couturier like Christian Lacroix or celebrated interior designer Jacques Garcia or Pierre Loti there is a signature engraved on the suites and lounges of these hotels. Some even go to the extent of bringing the best art landmarks of Paris into your bedrooms. For all the art and decor lovers out there here is a compilation of some of the best design hotels that only leave you sighing with wonder J’adore Paris !!
La Maison Champs Élysée
In the heart of Paris’s famous triangular boulevard, La Maison des Centraliens’ heritage marries the contemporary design of La Maison Champs-Elysées. The meeting place of Ecole Centrale students was this Haussmann era townhouse which has been transformed into a luxury chic boutique hotel by fashion designer Martin Margiela. The Maison Margiela has maintained non-conformist and contemporary elegance as a running theme of the hotel. The townhouse underwent a monumental renovation with the architect Daniele Damon had to reconstruct some sections of the hotel such as the kitchen, restaurant and the glass roof. Retaining of the glorious first empire era facade was important for its pride and splendour. The restoration of the second empire Essling lounges with gold leafing, designing of 17 couture rooms and 40 of its boutique rooms were all a part of its cathartic journey to completion. Some of the couture rooms that catch the visitor’s eye are Gilded Lounge Suite and Curiosity Suite. They are the manifestation of Martin Margiela’s vivid imagination with signature French style. There is ample natural light to cover the rooms and the intimate spaces like bathrooms too have a mark of their own. Gilded Lounge Suite in particular, has wallpaper from black and white photographs of gilded lounges on the second floor.
The perspectives and ornamental richness of the Napoleon III style are thereby reproduced in trompe-l’œil fashion throughout the suite. There is a sense of old world meets the artistic chic of today in this suite. In the bedroom, a large bookcase filled with books covers the wall above the bed. In a continuation of the library theme, the walls of the WC are lined with a vast array of magazines. Curiosity Case Suite has been voted as the most surprising room of the year by “Feeling Hotels”. Wondering why? Firstly the walls are painted black and the parquet oak floor has been stained in black as well. The lounge has a wall with a curiosity case that has objects and texts displayed. The mysterious atmosphere stirring your curiosity is owing to the wash of black all over the suite. There is depth and warmth which is surprising thanks to the lighting in the room. For more details visit La Maison Champs Elysee.
A legend, an iconic address and witness to Parisian history – L’Hotel began its journey in 1868 as Hotel d’Allemagne. It wasn’t until Oscar Wilde made it his residence towards the end of 19th century that the hotel rose to fame.In the late 1960s, L’Hotel was the top haunt for Hollywood stars and royals. Salvador Dali, Princess Grace, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor to Richard Burton, Jim Morrison and Serge Gainsbourg chose this address to rendezvous.
The hotel’s refurbishment by Jacques Garcia – a legend in the designing world led to many awards and appreciation. Being an iconic luxury hotel it is also the smallest in Paris with only 20 bedrooms. L’Hotel is renowned world over for its Michelin star L’ Restaurant and the famous L’Bar. The signature suites of the hotel are distinguished in its design and character. The three Grand Suites are designed by Pierre Loti taking inspiration from the voyages of novelist Saint Petersbourg and reminds vividly of imperial Russia. The Chic couture rooms are inspired by Marco Polo, Mata Hari, Mistinguett and Reine Hortense each with its distinctive character played out through furnishings, artefacts and design. You can revisit the journey through the Silk Route by Marco Polo as well as the spying temptress’ Egyptian abode. The Chic suites owing to their personality and character are spacious with decorated bathrooms and living area. The piece de resistance is really why you would want to stay here – Oscar Wilde Suite. The man who made this hotel the coveted address that it is has an impeccably styled suite after him. It is like the hotel’s former resident esoteric and whimsical with a partially hidden bathtub, a large private terrace and inviting bedroom. Exquisitely detailed is what we’d describe it simply.
For more details visit L’Hotel Paris
Design Hotels de Secret Paris
In the Trinité quarter, is a design hotel offering a taste of Parisian life around the landmarks of the city – Hotel Secret de Paris. By its name, you can be sure to discover a secret or two about the city’s Joie de vivre lifestyle. The hotel spaces are luxuriously designed yet remain understated. The rooms are designed to honour iconic landmarks of Paris and delve into the secrets of the city. Whether you are an Eiffel Tower fan or an art lover or a hedonist or music enthusiast there is a room for you. For the art lovers, the Musee d’Orsay Room which is a take on the former railway station converted museum has station clock arms by the wall looking over the bed. The tones of the room are beige and grey and have a subtle feel to it reminding of the 1900 built museum at Orsay station. But if you are a fashion or artistic lover then perhaps the better-suited room would be Atelier D’Artiste. Designed like an ideal Atelier of an artist this room does have its touches of being removed away from the typical hotel room. With blank canvases propping up your pillow, and a carpet splashed with vibrant gouache there is a play of colour and splash of light in this room. Then there are the opulent rooms like Opera Garnier and Moulin Rouge rooms adding splendour and vibrancy of the city to the abode. Some rather subtle ones like Eiffel Room which give you a feeling of sleeping by the landmark but not quite.
For more details visit Hotel Design Secret de Paris
Hotel Du Petit Moulin
If you’d fancy a stay at one of the best couturier Christian Lacroix work of art then the historic 17th-century building is perfect accommodation in Paris for you. Retaining the original and the first French boulangerie as the façade, Hôtel du Petit Moulin reflects Parisian historic events, it’s affair with art and the cauldron of modern culture that it has been. The design is quite whimsical, evocative and flamboyant much like the city’s spirit. Since it is the art lover’s abode of choice most museums are within walking distance. The spaces in the hotel are eclectic and have shades of character within its walls. The bar is very mod 60s with bright hues, boho chic art, leather sofa and rich textures while the corridor leading out is green with polka-dot carpet. The Baroque, Rococo and Couture Rooms are designed with Lacroix’s signature touches that pique the interest of the guests. The upholstery, walls and floor are richly decorated with vibrant fabric and have exquisite patterns. It does seem like being transported into the mind of the couturier and his playful imagination.
For more details visit Hotel du Petit Moulin.
La Maison Souquet
Sensual pleasures and hedonism seep through the walls and corners of La Maison Souquet’s design and style as if tales from its past are being whispered softly into the guests’ ears. The luxury of a stay in this part of Paris will be significant for those who would like to revisit La Belle Epoque in this building around Montmartre. The credit of evoking a sense of exotic elegance, mystery and sensual charisma with luxury goes to Jacques Garcia. One look at any of the spaces of this boutique hotel and you’d be curious to know its history if you don’t already. Pleasure and fantasy dance in synchrony with its silk furnishings and elaborate decor.
La Maison Souquet intimately houses 20 rooms, including six suites with distinct interiors. Each room plays its role as the perfect love nest with the richest textiles used to weave it. Jacques Garcia plays freely with his fantasies and inspirations from the historic houses of Belle Epoque. The deep warmth in the rooms set by the lighting and the headboards over the bed can get you carried away in guilty pleasures. The deep rouge velvet sofas and Arabic gilded arch in the lounge area open the doors to primal instincts quite easily. He has brought together the Arabian and Napoleon III style with the furniture, art on the walls lending it a sense of magic. Two thousand meters of 120 different silks were carefully selected over a period of months to make these lovers’ hideaways exceptional rooms. In turn Napoleon III, Indian, Chinese, 18th century, or Japanese, they each bear the name of famous courtesans who turned heads and caused hearts to race. If you always wanted to taste a slice of French luxury and good living this would be your crash course in literally living it. The hotel has everything you might have heard or read about the French back in the late 19th century or early 20th century when art, fashion and luxury were at its peak in Paris. There is ample intimacy, only the ultimate luxuries of life all within your private four walls. The individual rooms like La Belle Otero, Castiglione are an ode to the greatest courtesans in history while La Paiva and Liane de Pougy embodies the sensual beauty and courage shown by these legendary women in social history.
For more details visit La Maison Souquet