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Hotel Rochechouart Offers a Taste of 1920s Parisian Love and Art in Montmartre

by Ron Bernthal

May 15, 2024

© Ludovic Balay

Daily

Paris has lots of modern, newly built hotel towers, but it may be better to find a historic property, well cared for, a 5-minute walk to Quartier-Pigalle and with a view of Basilica of Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre from your window. Walk around the 9th arrondissement, sample the bars and cafés, and make time for sleeping or kissing.

When Hotel Rochechouart at 55 Boulevard Rochechouart was a privately owned, eight-story hotel in the 1920s, it welcomed international travelers, local Parisian writers, actors, and lots of European intellectuals who spent time in the nearby theaters and art galleries of the neighborhood.

interior

© Ludovic Balay

Rochechouart was the last of the great Parisian hotels dedicated to Art Deco, but you would not know it after spending time in its lobby, restaurant, bars, and 106 rooms and suites. In addition to the Art Deco façade and other period touches, the rooms themselves reveal many details and furnishings that replicate an earlier Belle Époque style. This is thanks to the property belonging to Orso hotels, with its portfolio of seven unique properties in Paris. Orso describes the Rochechouart as “very Parisian without being luxurious, with a theatrical facade. A true Pigalle monument.”

The building’s interior furnishings and ornaments speak for themselves and will make you jealous you cannot take them home. From the marble staircase to the old glass elevator, the hotel’s entrance was designed for a warm welcome no matter the time of day. As soon as guests arrive in the lobby or their room, they are delighted by a generous, buttery madeleine made daily by the chef. Through its large corridor-gallery, the library is always open for reading, and the Honesty bar offers homemade drinks and gourmet bites.

guestroom

© Ludovic Balay

The hotel embraces colors of the 1920s: dull green, bronze, tobacco, mocha, terracotta, faded yellow and red, all used in the décor of the rooms. No two guestrooms or suites are alike. Rooms just under the building’s rooftop are charming and Parisian, and many offer great views of the Sacré-Coeur. Do not forget to bring your easel, canvas, paints and a close partner.

In the suites, the long, wide sofa or king bed with a skyline view is perfect for an afternoon nap, and all the minibars offer carafes of whisky and gin, tailor-made cocktails, and a few surprise beverages from staff.

Orso hotels have created its own line of bathroom products made in the city of Grasse, located in the hills north of Cannes in Provence. Grasse is known for its long-established perfume industry, and the hotel’s brand, Colomba, infuses each bathroom with its lovely fig and wild fennel, lemon and bergamot oil scents.

On the ninth floor, Rooftop Bar is, as they say, the place to see and be seen. A large terrace, filled with fig trees, Chinese almond trees and lots of vines offers stunning panoramic views of Montmarte, Sacré-Cœur, the Eiffel Tower and much more of the Paris skyline.

founders

Anouk and Louis Solanet © Ludovic Balay

With its wrought-iron lounges, benches, sofas and tables, Rooftop Bar is open to guests and local residents from 5 p.m. for tea time and light bites and may stay open until 2 a.m., offering cocktails with gin, vodka and whiskey. Another cool venue is downstairs in the Mikado, a cozy, intimate club where you and your partner can dance, drink or just hang out until bedtime.

Hotel Rochechouart restaurant, open from noon to 11 p.m., reopened after a major renovation, which preserved its original Art Deco sculptural arches and large mirrors. Even the flooring has been thoroughly sanded to reveal the original blue mosaic design, all ringed in gold, 1930’s style. The cuisine is excellent, from the beef tenderloin with pepper sauce and crispy frites to the pan-fried scallops alongside candied potatoes with Grenoble sauce.

And just as one would expect, the restaurant dresses all of its tables in white tablecloths and serves dishes on plates inscribed with the hotel’s new insignia. And, thanks to the owners, Anouk and Louis, the restaurant’s 180 napkin rings are all unique, a long French tradition used to add a personal touch to the table.

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