In Paris, there are designer hotels, and then there are “designer” hotels. It’s in the latter category where the inimitable stamp of an internationally-renowned designer makes an aesthetic impact on guests, who in many cases stay to soak up the creative atmosphere.
When the designer Jacques Garcia takes over the decoration of hotels as prestigious as the Fouquet’s Barrière on the Champs-Élysées, all the different ranges of his style are expressed in even the smallest of details. Whether it be in one of the 107 guestrooms and suites, the bars Le Lucien, Le Diane and the Galerie Joy, or even in the reception areas of the hotel, guests rediscover a taste for flamboyant baroque reinterpreted in a pared down, futuristic and precious style of the designer. At the Hôtel Costes, for instance, Garcia used the Napoleon-III style that he loves so much. The restaurant and guestrooms exude a rich and comfortable atmosphere, turning the place into an extravagant establishment appreciated by jet-setters. The more intimate L’Hôtel, nestled in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, demonstrates the designer’s talent for evoking figures as legendary as Mistinguett, Oscar Wilde and Salvador Dalí – celebrated guests of this historic establishment.
Andrée Putman, grand dame of interior architecture and design, is behind the decoration of certain exceptional hotels in Paris like Pershing Hall, located a few steps from the Champs-Élysées. As well as offering a haven of peace and greenery with its interior garden and plant wall created by Patrick Blanc, the designer’s choice of guestroom furniture and the neutral and timeless colors of the décor give the establishment a simple and elegant feel. She also oversaw the décor of the Saint James Paris, a hotel in the heart of the 16th arrondissement between the Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro, with 48 guestrooms and suites and a private English style club. The exceptional setting of this former Parisian chateau enabled Putman to give free reign to her imagination while still respecting the spirit of the place.
Philippe Starck is also one of the creators and brilliant designers that has worked on numerous establishments in Paris. He was responsible for the partial makeover of Le Meurice, the luxury palace hotel on rue de Rivoli. While the establishment’s 160 guestrooms respect the Louis-XVI style and the French 18th-century spirit, Starck’s intervention in the reception areas brings a touch of modernity and contemporary chic. At Mama Shelter, the creativity of Starck is apparent from the reception areas through to the restaurant that mixes state-of-the-art technology, Bohemian spirit and childlike mischief. The 172 guestrooms combine refined concrete with deliciously playful details, like building-site lights for bedside lamps with fancy-dress face masks for lampshades – interchangeable according to the mood of each guest.
Lastly, fashion designer Christian Lacroix has been entrusted with the décor of several hotels. At the Hôtel du Petit Moulin, in the center of the Marais, the facade of the former bakery has been conserved and is a sign of the mix of genres offered by the fashion designer in each of the establishment’s 17 guestrooms. In one after the other you find a Toile de Jouy atmosphere, a Zen spirit style or pared down design. At Le Bellechasse, a few steps from the Musée d’Orsay, the tone is “from the old to the new” with a few hints of the future, as presented by Lacroix. The hotel rooms overlooking the street are ultra-contemporary in style, while the rooms overlooking the courtyard are “more academic, almost rustic”, in the words of the designer. His latest project at Le Notre Dame hotel, facing the famous cathedral in the heart of the Latin Quarter , has enabled the hotel to take the lead in hotels by designers, with its 26 guestrooms designed around six different themes.