As far as dedications go, the Platine Hôtel (around €140) immediately springs to mind. Here, the décor is entirely devoted to the most world’s most famous blonde: Marilyn Monroe. Its glamorous rooms are furnished like a Hollywood dressing room (complete with bottles of Chanel No.5 and replica Oscars), blending vintage 1950s furniture with contemporary design and black-and-white clichés of the silver-screen goddess. Guests have found the style of the Platine Hôtel original and fun, and described the service as irreproachable.
To the north of Paris on the lively Pigalle strip, the Chat Noir Design Hôtel pays homage to the iconic black cat, star of the famous posters for the cabaret which took place in the downstairs brasserie. For a price of around €100, guests generally concur that the staff and facilities make for a pleasant stay despite the slightly raucous area.
At the Hôtel des Académies et des Arts (from €170) in the district of Montparnasse, two artists – painter Jérôme Mesnager (the artist behind a number of Parisian murals) and sculptor Sophie de Watrigant – were invited to collaborate on the interior decoration. Mesnager’s acrobatic figures and de Watrigant’s mini sculptures spring from every corner of this contemporary hotel, with a colour palette of earthy hues acting as a backdrop for their artistic interventions. According to guests, the extremely tasteful, classy atmosphere is further reinforced by impeccable service.
In the 15th arrondissement near the Port de Versailles, fashion designer Chantal Thomass was given carte blanche to decorate the Vice Versa (from €130). Taking inspiration from the seven deadly sins – candy-floss pink, macaroon pillows and a dainty teahouse feel for gluttony; bank notes and bling for greed; feathers, clouds and butterflies for laziness – each room has its own deliciously naughty theme.
Another fashion guru who has successfully turned his hand to interior decoration is Martin Margiela. His Maison Champs Elysées (from €220) is a temple of minimalist chic with a very haute couture spirit. The designer has filled the hotel with brazen style choices including fabric-lined rooms, trompe-l’oeil mouldings, an unrestrained use of black, and de-structured furniture.
On a more musical note, every floor of the Hôtel du Triangle d'Or (from €119), which is located near to the legendary Olympia concert hall, was decorated in collaboration with a musician. MC Solaar, Rickie Lee Jones, Archie Shepp, Jaques Higelin and Manu Katché all had a say in the creation of the hotel’s interiors, which steer clear from the garish possibilities of the theme and stick to a resolutely hip vibe. In many glowing reviews, guests have commented on the vibrant soul and charming staff of the hotel.
This list would hardly be complete without the prolific Philippe Starck making an appearance. Founded by the Trigano family (cofounders of Club Med) and designed by Starck, Mama Shelter Paris undoubtedly offers the best value for money in this selection, with affordable rates (from €79) giving access to a highly original concept in Paris’s 19th arrondissement. A lack of clear lighting in the rooms has provoked several remarks from guests, but the atmosphere of the busy bar-restaurant and the décor in general are a unanimous hit.
Bold design concepts
A real trailblazer in France, the Hi Matic is a new concept of urban eco-lodging located in the 11th arrondissement. Each of the forty-two rooms features a made-to-measure multi-functional wooden unit that provides a place to sleep and nifty storage. Most travellers love its unique, playful design concept and some find it too much, but just about everyone agrees that at around €90, the rates are wholly reasonable.
Equally fun, the Color Design Hôtel (around €80) offers forty-six bright white rooms that each feature a different accent colour, resulting in a style that’s something like a cross between an Apple store and a Pantone colour-chart. The hotel is located in a quaint little neighbourhood full of wine bars and bistros near to the Aligre food market. The lively neighbourhoods of Bastille and Nation, and the banks of the Seine are also a short walk away. Guests mention both the design of the hotel and the pleasant staff among the highlights of their stay.
More romantic but no less quirky, the Hôtel Design Secret de Paris (around €180) in the 9th arrondissement offers its guests the experience of sleeping in Paris’s most iconic buildings. Its twenty-nine guest rooms elaborately imitate interiors from the Musée d’Orsay, the Moulin Rouge, the Eiffel Tower, the Opéra Garnier and Trocadéro. Guests have found the service impeccable, the rooms perfectly soundproofed and the bathrooms magnificent.
The design of the Hidden Hôtel (from €190) is in fact more of a philosophy. The interiors act as a vehicle to demonstrate a profound respect for organic materials (wood, metal, stone and ceramics) and handicrafts. It’s all about using materials in their purest forms, allowing their natural beauty to shine – a real breath of fresh air, just next to the Arc de Triomphe.
The recently opened Hotel O is also a trendsetter in the realm of bold concept hotels. Designed by Ora-ïto, it plays on the extreme minimalism of new technologies, taking inspiration from the convergence of ergonomic design and digital graphics. Each guest room has a strict design code of white, wood and one theme colour, with bathrooms separated from the bedrooms by snazzy coloured-glass panels. Altogether a very futuristic hotel. From €140.