Romance is never far away in Paris
Alexia at The Hotel Grand Amour tells me that the area where it is situated, Paris’ quirky 10th arrondissement, is ‘like Shoreditch’. I take this to mean that the locale - once a no-go edgy red-light district - is now a creative hub popular with media types and filling up with lively bars and restaurants . Grand Amour itself encapsulates the new energy that abounds in the French capital, still one of Europe’s favourite destinations for romance.
The hotel has a slightly erotic, artistic ambience with a combination of classic Parisian style and a mismatched décor which is welcoming and surprising at the same time. A Mickey Mouse statue with a giant phallus stands in reception, and piles of rare books are arranged in the bedrooms. The owners, Andre Saraiva (a street artist) Emmanuel Delavenne (a restaurateur) and Thierry Costes (an hotelier) launched the distinctive Hotel Amour in the Pigalle, another red-light district, ten years ago. Grand Amour builds on the style they created there, with 42 rooms each with their own individual style on 6 floors painted in different colours from deep magenta to sea blue. They have handpicked antiques and retro pieces from auction houses and flea markets which mean the hotel is dotted with 50s and 60s furniture, lamps and mirrors. Pierre Frey carpeting (a designer also used by the Elysée Palace for the President) designed by André lines the hallways. Contemporary art and erotic photomontages line the walls, with works from the likes of modern legends Helmut Newton, Pierre Molinier and Man Ray to Brassai, Marcel Duchamp and Guy Bourdin, plus series of street art from friends. .
Some rooms have an integrated bathtub and all have Italian ceramic tiles and lovely Hermes toiletries. There are no TVs in the room but there is free Wi-Fi throughout.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served seamlessly in the hotel’s lively brasserie on the ground floor, separated from the entrance by a swathe of turquoise velvet curtain. There is a delightful private room, The Aquarium, at the back of the dining room and there is also a pretty terrace.
To add to its serious design kudos, the staff’s outfits are designed by French fashion and electronic music label, Kitsuné and menus designed by fashion designer, Olympia Le Tan
Medium room from £112 (two sharing).www.hotelamourparis.fr