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A Trendy Parisian Gem Hotel du Petit Moulin, Paris
March 7, 2018
Hotel du Petit Moulin is one of Paris’ best kept secrets. Hidden away on a narrow street in the uber trendy neighbourhood of Le ‘haut’ Marais, the hotel occupies what was once Paris’ first boulangerie, where French novelist and poet Victor Hugo came to buy his daily baguettes. With the original painted glass façade still intact, the atmosphere of the hotel is relaxed, intimate and unassuming. Guests are treated like residents and welcomed to make use of the space however they please. We arrive late at night and are warmly greeted, given the keys to the room and told to help ourselves to the honesty bar. It’s refreshingly unfussy and calm in contrast to the flounce and decadence of the city’s grander hotels.
There’s no formal restaurant, but the room service menu has plenty of tasty options, including takeaway sushi, whilst the bar downstairs serves cocktails until 11pm, accompanied by the comforting lilt of vinyl music (guests have the pleasure of picking their own soundtrack). Otherwise, there’s an impressive array of excellent dining options right on the hotel’s doorstep – Jaja was one of our favourites for a relaxed meal in a beautiful setting.
The hotel’s quirky, fashionably mismatched interiors are the vision of renowned designer Christian Lacroix who manages to somehow present an authentic, old age Parisian feel, combined with bold clashing colours, lush fabrics and cool contemporary furniture. Each of the 17 rooms are strikingly different with their own painted murals depicting everything from; a starry night sky, catwalk sketches and wild floral scenes.
Our deluxe suite is surprisingly spacious with pale green walls, huge mirrors, retro furnishings, a flat screen TV and a surreal watercolour pencil drawing scrawled above the bed juxtaposed by the shiny black tiles which line the adjacent bathroom. It’s a completely mad and certainly unexpected, but it works and it’s fun; like waking up in some kind of psychedelic art installation. Even better are the wildly decorated, slide across wooden blinds which open onto a picturesque neighbouring street. We could have spent hours leaning out of our hotel window, listening to the gentle hum of the city, whilst locals lined the streets and snowflakes began to blanket the beautiful Parisian streets.
Breakfast is served in the bar, seated in colourful and extremely comfortable armchairs and as expected, the focus is on the pastries, served in a huge bread basket with delicious jams, juices and bowls of coffee – the perfect start to a busy day of wandering in and out of Marais’ intriguing collection of contemporary art galleries, cafes and boutiques. The quarter is the oldest and one of the prettiest in Paris, dating back to the 13th century, and it’s a brisk walk away from the bigger tourist attractions such the Musée National Picasso, Centre Pompidou and Notre-Dame. After a busy day of sight-seeing, we make use of the spa facilities – free to use for all Hotel Du Petit Moulin guests – at Pavillon de la Reine Hotel, including a well equipped gymnasium.
For a weekend break in Paris, Hotel du Petit Moulin is the idyllic spot. It’s as calm and understated in service and ambience as it is wildly theatrical and flamboyant in style, and if you’re interested in arts and fashion or simply romantically-minded, the location is unparalleled.
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