Hotel Amour

June 6, 2006By Heidi EllisonHotels & Short-term Rentals

Coolness Credentials High, Prices Low

hotel-amour-chambre-andreThe room decorated by the artist André in the Hotel Amour.

It is not true, as the French press has reported, that the new Hôtel Amour is the Parisian version of Japanese Love Hotels, where rooms can be rented by the hour to those who want to take a nap, say, or entertain a loved one. The Hotel Amour is just an ordinary hotel with (mostly) refreshingly unpretentious decor and low prices, even though its coolness credentials couldn’t be higher.

The hotel was created by the current king of Paris’s nightlife scene, the artist André – one of the founders of the club Le Baron and its spin-off, Paris-Paris, the hot nightspot of the moment – and his friends Thierry Costes of the Costes family, famed for its designer cafés and restaurants, and Emmanuel Delaveine.

This youthful crowd claim they opened the hotel to have a place to put up their friends and DJs when they come to town. The 20 rooms of varying sizes are all decorated differently. The walls are painted black (like some of the corridors – darkness is de rigueur in trendy hotels) in some and fuchsia or apple green in others. The differences are in the details: flea market finds like a wooden magazine rack from the 1950s or an Art Deco console add a touch of flair to the otherwise simply decorated rooms. Even the wall-to-wall carpeting, though new, is vintage, in the colors (e.g., turquoise) and patterns of the 1960s. The curtains are made with cheery Merrimekko fabrics.

The prize room at the moment is the one decorated by André, with its two glass-covered walls of shelves stocked with artist-decorated Be@rBricks, Artoyz and other kitschy figurines. Partly hidden in the corner is a rather hardcore Terry Richardson photo of two men engaging in a certain sex act, which some guests might want to turn to the wall while others will perhaps display it more prominently. The hotel’s not-yet-finished suite will have a terrace overlooking the garden and big enough to hold parties on.

One of the hotel’s major charms. the courtyard garden, is set with tables for guests’ breakfasts and the hotel’s restaurant, which has a limited, reasonably priced menu of surprisingly sophisticated, deliciously fresh dishes. The assiette verte of fava beans, new peas, thinly sliced zucchini and mozzarella topped with flavorful olive oil sparkled with freshness, and the gourmet cheeseburger was a delight: high-quality ground beef on a sweetish nut-bread bun served with crispy matchstick fries. The 2004 Domaine d’Antugnac pinot noir was a treat and cost only €15.

The restaurant’s decor is as simple as that of the rooms, with unadorned black and white walls, a bright-red banquette and vintage wood chairs.

Heidi Ellison

© 2006 Paris Update

Hôtel Amour: 8, rue Navarin, 75009 Paris. Métro: Saint Georges. Tel.: 01 48 78 31 80. Rooms: €90-€150; suite: €250. Three-course dinner without wine: around €28.

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