Designed entirely by French couture fashion designer Christian Lacroix, the Hotel du Petit Moulin is a real gem of a find in the hip and trendy Haut Marais neighbourhood. When I first came across this small boutique hotel, I was intrigued by its wacky avant-garde design, it’s like nothing I’d seen in a hotel before and I didn’t hesitate in reserving the Hotel du Petit Moulin for my recent trip to the Marais neighbourhood in Paris.
The hotel was previously a bakery on rue de Poitou, in fact, one of Paris’ oldest dating back to 1859; apparently Victor Hugo who used to live on the Place des Vosges 5 minutes away used to come here to get his bread. The original vintage shopfront of the boulangerie and its sign still remains as it was and has a protected status as do the original paintings on the ceiling of the hotel reception.
The location of the hotel is perfect for discovering all that the Marias has to offer from traditional bistros and café’s to up-and-coming wine bars and restaurants and the many museums and boutiques just waiting to be discovered; mythical and bohemian, the Marais with its medieval narrow cobbled streets is fast becoming one of my favourite districts in Paris. The other plus point of staying in the Marais neighbourhood is that it’s less than a 10 minute taxi ride from the Gare du Nord and as we were visiting in August, the streets of Paris were hauntingly quiet as many Parisians leave the city for their annual holidays and this is the best time to see Paris in my opinion.
First Impressions of the Hotel du Petit Moulin
We arrived at the hotel at lunch time and were immediately struck by how quaint the hotel looks. It’s so easy to walk past and not know you just passed a 4* hotel, many people stop and peek from the window curious to know what this building is. Inside, the hotel reception and lobby area might be small, after all, this is only a 17 room hotel but it’s massive in character.
The paintings that adorn the ceiling dating back to 1859 are completely awe inspiring and beautiful representing the traditional wheat fields with reapers and such like. The hotel is definitely dramatic and flamboyant thanks to Christian Lacroixs’ quirky touches with rich fabrics and rock and roll chicness, a theme that continues throughout all 17 bedrooms which are uniquely different.
I chose the Deluxe room for our short break. There are four room categories from the classic comfort room, upper room, deluxe suite which is the room type we chose and the junior suite. Each room is styled individually by Christian Lacroix and no two rooms are the same.
Some rooms have dramatic bold fabrics and décor such as Zebra prints, you never know quite what you’ll find until your arrival.
Our room was the most unusual hotel room Mr A and I had ever stayed in. The rooms’ flamboyant interiors with rich paisley-like toile de jouy textured wallpaper and carpet, rich fabrics and 1960’s almost space-age chairs are an odd combination that somehow really works; The pristine white bedspread is quite tame in comparison to the rest of the décor however behind the bed, the most dramatic scene of a painted canopy giving the illusion that the bed has a real canopy draped around it.
The deluxe room also has tea and coffee making facilities courtesy of a Nespresso style coffee machine, complimentary water that is supplied every day of your stay, a safe, air conditioning, WIFI, satellite TV, safe and a mini bar.
And then there’s the bathroom, I’m sure the bathrooms in all the bedrooms are different but this one really took my breath away. For a room of this size, it’s quite big but it’s the dramatic glossy black tiles, sleek and sexy that had me saying “wow”.
The only downside is even with the lights, the bathroom is a bit dark to facilitate good make-up application in the evening. The bathroom only has a shower but boy is it powerful plus there are large towels, soft bath robes and toiletries supplied by French skincare brand Maison Codage.
The hotel has a small dining area for breakfast and a vintage bar where you can enjoy a cocktail or glass of champagne as well as an honor bar at your disposal. In keeping with the rest of the hotel, the colours are striking and the fabrics bold.
Next to the lobby and reception is a small cosy lounge with sumptuous velvet and leather sofas, draped curtains and more of that dramatic art, it oozes sex appeal while the ambience evokes dark mystery.
Guests also have free access to the Queen’s Spa at the Petit Moulin’s sister hotel Pavillon de la Reine located in the Place des Vosges. There is also room service and access to free bike rental at the Le Pavillon de la Reine. The reception is manned 24 hours and there is a concierge service to help with all your dining and sightseeing needs.
After check-in, we ventured out to enjoy all that the Marais has to offer with its many galleries, museums, café’s and bistros. Concierge helped us book a restaurant for the evening as many are closed in August for their annual vacation, do bear this in mind when visiting Paris in August. My restaurants of choice were also closed and although we didn’t end up going to the Mini Palais restaurant which we booked with the hotel’s help, we decided to just enjoy the Paris evening at a leisurely pace and choose a restaurant last minute. The Marais has so many good bistros to choose from, Café des Musées and Les Philosophes are both fantastic, equally so, Le Trésor is a great restaurant to try on rue du Trésor with a pretty terrace. We decided to stop first for a glass of wine and beer and decided to go to a restaurant in the 7th arrondissement on rue Saint-Dominique where President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle dined in a few years back. La Fontaine de Mars.
Breakfast at the hotel is continental style and quite a simple affair but still sufficient. We enjoyed lots of that delicious crunchy French bread with lashings of rich creamy butter, Viennoiserie, charcuterie and cheese, yoghurt, fruit, juice and plenty of tea and coffee.
The Hotel du Petit Moulin is part of a group of four boutique hotels in Paris, Le Pavillon des Lettres in the Champs Élysées, Le Pavillon de la Reine in the Marais (Place des Vosges) and the Hotel Le Saint in the Saint-Germain des Prés. The Hotel du Petit Moulin is a perfect little gem tucked away in a quiet street in the Marais but within close proximity to the Marais’ many boutiques, restaurants galleries and museums. It’s hip and trendy, unique and chic and above all, very reasonably priced. We couldn’t have asked for more on our short trip to Paris.
Our Deluxe room cost £230 and included breakfast. There are many options available but the best value for money is the pre-paid option but changes to your booking cannot be made. The price of rooms also varies throughout the year.
Hotel du Petit Moulin
29/31 rue de Poitou
Tel: +33 1 42 74 10 10
All photos unless otherwise mentioned and opinions are my own.