The Hotel Grand Amour is a quirky boutique hotel in one of Paris’ bohemian districts which is a creative hub and a magnet for tourists. The hotel’s slightly erotic, artistic ambience makes this a great choice for a Valentine’s Day treat, while its mixture of traditional Parisian style and retro chic creates an unusual but affordable city base.
The unassuming entrance on a quiet side street belies the Aladdin’s cave of off-beat décor that we find inside. One of the first surprises is a Mickey Mouse statue sporting a huge phallus that stands in reception. Mickey sets the tone for a host of unusual discoveries to come.
The Hotel Grand Amour,opened in November 2015, is the brainchild of three friends, Andre Saraiva (a street artist) Emmanuel Delavenne (a restaurateur) and Thierry Costes (a hotelier) who launched the distinctive Hotel Amour in the Pigalle ten years ago. The owners have now poured their combined memories of hotels and motels stayed in over the years into Grand Amour. Personally chosen furniture from flea markets and antique shops as well as artworks from friends are found throughout. The result is an eclectic and charming mix of contemporary art and erotic photographs and drawings, unusual and eye catching 50s and 60s tables, lamps and mirrors.
There are 42 rooms each with their own character. The 6 floors are painted different colours, from magenta to pea green with coordinating patterned carpets by designer Pierre Frey. Expect to spot works by Man Ray and Helmut Newton on the walls as well as street art and piles of rare books. 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. The restaurant attracts a creative crowd and the buzz was tangible when we visited as the hotel was preparing for Paris Fashion Week.
Breakfast includes fresh eggs, bacon, croissants, pancakes, granola and fresh fruit – the perfect start to a day exploring the romantic French capital which never loses its charm even on a chilly winter’s morning. For lunch or dinner choose from hearty burgers or French classics including tartare de boeuf and volailles rotie.
Staff are friendly and wear outfits designed by French fashion and music label, Kitsuné. Soothing jazz plays in the background by day and in the evenings a retro turntable in the corner plays vintage vinyl. At the weekends, I am told the playlists create a funkier vibe. A delightful patio garden to the back of the hotel is a perfect meeting place for a drink or coffee.
Hotel Grand Amour, 18 Rue de la Fidélité, 75010 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 16 03 30
The hotel is in the Rue de la Fidlelite in the 10th arondissement of Paris, about a 20-minute walk from Garde du Nord and five minutes from the Gare de l’Est. It takes around 45 minutes by taxi from Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Type of Hotel: Boutique Hotel
Number of Rooms: 42 rooms and suites with complimentary Wi-Fi
The Aquarium is a secret lounge at the back of the restaurant which you can book for an intimate dinner or private meeting, and as its name suggests comes with its own aquarium and elegant sea-blue décor.
Price Band: Medium
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Judith Baker is a London-based freelance travel writer
Photographs courtesy of Hotel Grand Amour