Take one old boulangerie in the Marais, add a few typically lavish Christian Lacroix flourishes, and what have you got? Hotel du Petit Moulin – one of Paris’s very chicest boutique hotels. You enter the hotel, having passed through the lovely original shop front, into a reception area which, with its mix of edgy, high design and more traditional elements, is pure Lacroix.
As with Lacroix’s other Paris hotel creations, Hotel Notre Dame and Hotel Bellechasse, it’s upstairs in the 17 brightly coloured, dreamlike rooms that his imagination is really allowed to run riot. A couple of rooms stand out, in particular: 201, for its mix of shocking pink fabrics from Finnish design Marimekko, cool, wood-effect tiles, absurdist fashion prints and (glory be) a claw-foot bathtub; 202 has some gorgeous frescoes made of beads and original wooden beams, while 205 has a striking monochromatic bathroom to go with its heady claret hues and bold coral motifs.
There’s not a great deal in the way of facilities to keep you hanging around the hotel. But that just gives you all the more incentive to get out there and explore the Marais. On your return, after a hard day’s working your way through the area’s rich shopping pickings, there’s a small and inevitably stylish bar (strictly for guests only) to settle into for a drink or two before heading out again for the evening.
- Lacroix’s fantastical designs
- The fact that style never (quite) triumphs over substance – this is still a very good little hotel
- The Marais location
- Sketches from the man himself dotted around the place
- None of the rooms are huge – but this is Paris, after all
- Style-heavy but facilities-lite
Need to Know: Hotel du Petit Moulin
Number of rooms: 17
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 12noon
Room service: Yes.
Swimming pool: No
Dogs welcome: No
Eating and drinking: There’s no restaurant, though this being the Marais, there’s no shortage of nearby places to eat. Breakfast is served in the morning, and there’s a cool-as-you-like little guests-only bar for pre/post-night out cocktails.
Near to? The hotel is in the heart of the 6th arrondissement, with its wealth of quirky little boutiques on Rue Charlot, atmospheric neighbourhood cafes and hip cocktail bars.
Getting there: Charles de Gaulle Airport is around a 50-minute taxi ride to/from the hotel, while Orly Airport is located about half an hour away. If you're arriving in the city by Eurostar, the hotel is around a 10-15 minute cab ride from Paris Gare Du Nord, or a few stops on the Metro to the nearest station, St-Sebastien Froissart (changing at Republique).