Paris’s newest hotels embrace color and quirkiness | ET REALITY


Until recently, few Parisian hotels dared to distract from the classic aesthetic of the city itself. The decor of its gilded palatial hotels, resolute embassies of French heritage, was largely ornate and excessively impersonal, as if a streak of out-of-place color could break the city’s spell. Today the capital is finally getting over its seriousness, thanks in part to its vibrant post-Brexit rise in contemporary arts and cultural scenes. Many of its new hotels seek to delight rather than simply impress, often evoking other worlds, as at the Marais’s Maison Proust, a candlelit Belle Époque fantasy half-hidden behind tasseled indigo velvet curtains, or the nearby Le Grand Mazarin, designed by London-based Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki, of contrasting styles and eras, all in a swirl of candy colours. “It took longer than New York and London,” says Italian architect and designer Fabrizio Casiraghi, “but Paris is finally discovering the kind of small hotel that has something to say.”

New, extroverted hotspots tend to pop up in trendy Right Bank areas such as the Marais, and the lively streets around the former red-light district of Pigalle, now home to La Fantaisie. Also designed by Brudnizki, the 73-room pistachio and pastel yellow hotel, which opened in July, is a whimsical bucolic escape, with fruit trees growing on its rooftop bar and botanical mosaics lining a trio of pools. Roman bath; A delicate trellis garden adjoins the California-inspired Golden Poppy restaurant, overseen by San Francisco-based French chef Dominique Crenn. Rooms from approx. $440 per night.

Ahead of the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris, and amid a years-long tourism boom, a handful of noteworthy boutique hotels are also arriving in quieter, lesser-known parts of the city. L’Eldorado, which opened in July after a four-year renovation by French hoteliers Pierre, Élodie Moussié and Sophie Richard, is located in the village-like heart of the 17th arrondissement, the exclusive but unpretentious Batignolles. The romantic new neighborhood institution exudes retro glamor with cheetah print and rattan accents that extends to a 19th-century detached house at the back of a festive garden courtyard. Walking into one of its 26 rooms evokes the feeling of stepping into a maxi-printed Victorian jewel box, quilted from ceiling to bedspread in a lush House of Hackney linen or velvet print. Rooms from approx. $350 per night.

Across the Seine, Casiraghi is bringing a touch of wanderlust back to Saint-Placide, the residential neighborhood where, according to the designer, “truly Parisian, very bourgeois” locals still outnumber tourists. Called Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs, this latest property has all the aerodynamic curves and restless optimism of sleeper trains and ocean liners. Its French-American brasserie serves seafood towers and, downstairs, a hidden bar invites visitors and locals to relax with cocktails, set in a starry night sky motif that also carpets the hotel’s 138 elegant rooms. Rooms from approx. $330 a night.

A cluster of small, discerning new hotels serve as cozy retreats in the notoriously imposing Eighth District. Among them: the delicately imagined Château des Fleurs, which opened its doors in the spring, and most recently, the fall newcomer, Norman Hôtel and Spa. The latter pays homage to its namesake, American artist and graphic designer Norman Ives, with a pleasingly eclectic mix of mid-century modern furniture in neutral tones. Beyond the courtyard café and luxurious ground-floor lobby, which includes a library nook with fireplace, there are 29 elegantly designed rooms and eight suites, many of which are designed to interconnect. Rooms from approx. $533 per night.

Further along the Champs-Elysées, an area generally antithetical to extravagance, is the charming and unconventional new Hôtel de la Boétie. London-based Swedish designer Beata Heuman created the hotel with Touriste, a Parisian brand known for partnering with emerging designers on her first hotel projects. Here, she preserved the building’s modest original 1970s entrance while redoing its 40 rooms in a bold, mischievous palette of periwinkle, emerald green, and shimmering dark navy. Above the beds, dressed in elegant baby pink satin, hang custom-woven headboards, with rococo motifs borrowed from the marble tiles of Florentine chapels. Breakfast is served in a spacious, minimalist room that could be mistaken for one in Stockholm if it weren’t for the meter-long oversaturated painting of an essentially French messy mid-morning table, strewn with flaky pastries, tiny strawberries and a cigarette at a time. half smoke. . Rooms from approx. $265 per night.

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