Hôtel des Académies et des Arts: A Unique Paris Hotel
Tue 16 Jun 2009
Picking the perfect Paris hotel for your visit can be a challenge. With a plethora of options—from superchic to basic budget—it’s hard to know where to start. A boutique hotel that best matches your preferred style has many advantages; a small, intimate accommodation offers the personal touch.
The Hôtel des Académies et des Arts, located just steps from the Jardin du Luxembourg, is inspired by the creative quartier of which it’s a part. Situated in a neighborhood where luminaries like Gauguin and Picasso hung out, and with an arts academy in front, the hotel is well positioned to capitalize on the area’s artistic legacy. In fact, the famed sculptor and painter Modigliani had his atelier in what is now the present-day hotel!
Owners Laurent and Charlotte Inchauspé have created not simply a place to lay your head but rather an entire aesthetic experience. From a breakfast room featuring curated video programming to a plum-colored tearoom lined with photographs, the hotel’s unique details make it stand apart.
Their biggest coup was getting renowned street artist Jérôme Mesnager to paint his iconic corps blanc on whichever spaces he pleased. A different version of his white figures adorns each of the Paris hotel’s 20 rooms and its unexpected places, too. Behind the elevator’s glass, figures appear to move as you ride up and down. There’s a 15-meter high painting located on an exterior wall but visible only from the inside. Joyful bodies dance around the lobby’s fireplace, and one makes a bold appearance on the facade, framed in bright red.
The idea to invite Mesnager came as did everything for the hotel: from the owners’ passion. Charlotte had been a fan of the artist since she was a little girl and saw a dream come true when he agreed to take on the project. Other artistic flourishes include whimsical sculptures that echo Mesnager’s white bodies but in fact were created by Charlotte’s mother. One remarkable work is a ladder stretching up the hotel’s six floors, with tiny figures climbing upward as the stairs wind around.
Rooms come in four different “ambiences”: the sophisticated Parisienne, the theatrical Comédienne, the masculine Man Ray and the Art Deco–inspired Ruhlmann.
Even if you don’t spend the night, the hotel is well worth a visit. It boasts the only tearoom in Paris where you can sit down to enjoy Pierre Hermé macarons with tea from Le Palais des Thés. It’s no wonder that one of the services most adored by the hotel’s clientele is the daily delivery of macarons to their rooms!
These personal touches make the Hôtel des Académies et des Arts a lovely home base on the left bank. Like the decor, the hotel feels contemporary, but comfortable. Classic, but cozy. The owners infuse the hotel with warmth and enthusiasm. The staff speaks good English.
Rates begin at 189 euros. The tearoom is open daily from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Hôtel des Académies et des Arts
15, rue de la Grande Chaumière, in the 6th Arrondissement.
01 43 26 66 44.
Sion Dayson is an American writer living in Paris. She blogs about the quirkier side of the City of Light at paris (im)perfect.