Designs on the Senses
|The suspended bed in the romantic room 603 won’t make you seasick by swaying, since it hangs from rigid steel cables.|
Paris’s stock of small neighborhood hotels is slowly being taken over and transformed from musty and dowdy to chic and cozy by design-minded hoteliers. Following the creation of the Hotel Amour and the Hôtel du Petit Moulin, one of the latest entrants is The Five Hotel, located on a quiet back street in a little-visited part of the fifth arrondissement.
In the spirit of the Hotel Amour, the Five has set out to create the appropriate setting for lovers and to turn its 23 tiny rooms and one suite into intimate havens that satisfy the five senses (hence the name). After choosing one of four scents by Diptyque (classified as relaxing, stimulating, gourmet or sensual) to be diffused in their room and one of nine different color schemes (based on white, black, turquoise, anis green, purple, red, gold, orange and taupe), guests are ushered into a softly lit, colorfully decorated room with a starry ceiling sprinkled with fiber-optic lights.
Owners Philippe Vaurs and Pascal Laffon brought in architect Vincent Bastie (who also worked on the trendy Murano and the Hôtel du Petit Moulin) and decorator Marie-Paule Clout to create this colorful setting, which gives an illusion of spaciousness in the small rooms by distracting the eye with lighting and color effects, and clever furniture arrangements. Artist Isabelle Emmerique, who specializes in lacquer, has created a handsome original artwork for each room.
Some of the rooms have special features. Room 603 on the sixth floor, for example, has a suspended bed (which doesn’t sway, by the way, being firmly fixed to the ceiling by steel cables). The ground-floor suite has a private patio carpeted with Astroturf and equipped with a four-person Jacuzzi. A free hour-long massage is offered to guests booking the suite, and in-room professional massages can be arranged for other guests.
While it has no mini-bars, the Five offers flat-screen TVs, Internet access with Wi-Fi and whimsical touches like reading lamps next to the toilets. The hotel has a non-smoking rule, but in a concession to reality, the rooms are equipped with special lamps to absorb the odor of tobacco smoke.
Since it opened last September, its guests have been primarily Parisians (could that explain the anti-smoke lamps), according to the hotel’s manager. Why would Parisians need a hotel in Paris, you wonder? They want a change of scene without the expense and bother of leaving town for the weekend, she suggests discreetly, but perhaps the couples who stay here have other reasons for needing a hotel.
Even singles are welcome to form couples while staying at the Five. The manager points out that the single rooms all have double beds “in case a guest meets someone while staying here.” It’s all part of a policy of creating a friendly ambiance…
© 2007 Paris Update
The Five Hotel: 3, rue Flatters, 75005 Paris. Métro: Gobelins. Tel.: 01 43 31 74 21. Fax: 01 43 31 61 96.
Rooms: €150.00-€270.00. Suite: €320.00. Breakfast: €15.00.
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