Au Petit Moulin: A French Folly

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Reviewed on 10/20/2010 | 1 Review

Imagine a sumptuous Lacroix dress transformed into a room. Or imagine a whole dressing packed with wonderful Lacroix outfits transformed into several rooms. No, better, imagine a whole hotel. Think clashes of colour, mixture of textures and plucky patterns. Did you get the picture?

Well, this is exactly how you have to imagine the Hôtel du Petit Moulin, a small and stupendous boutique hotel with only 17 rooms and suites in the trendy Marais district that Christian Lacroix has designed in 2005.

Booked a year in advance

It was Lacroix’s first boutique hotel and the media coverage was worldwide after opening. But it was not only buzz. Take the occupation as a good sign: during fashion week or Paris Photo, in very busy times, the few rooms are booked a whole year in advance. For normal weekends several weeks before will be enough.

No wonder that the hotel is always busy: Nadine Murano, the owner, takes personally care of everything and does her best to make your stay pleasant and special. There is no spa, no restaurant, no fitness room, but there is a soul.

This is all you need to know about this hidden place, which is nothing less than an inside tip. You’re not convinced yet? Well, let’s put it like this: the Hotel du Petit Moulin is fashionable, but not cold; it’s style, but not excessive luxury; it’s a place for individualists and a romantic getaway.

Facade of old bakery: L'Hôtel au Petit Moulin

And it’s a bit like the whole Marais itself: a sophisticated and modern interpretation of a highly historic place. Several buildings dating from the 17th century have actually been joined; one of them was a bakery from which the hotel takes its name: petit moulin means nothing else than small mill. I still can remember it being a bakery. But it seems that it was the oldest one of Paris, opened in 1615 and there is the rumour that even Victor Hugo, living at Place de Vosges, bought his bread there. You still can admire the shop signs made of glass, even if they only date from the beginning of the 20th century.

Situated in the middle of Bobo’s heaven

If you like the Bobo neighbourhood of the upper Marais, which I love, well than you’ll feel at home. It’s in walking distance to the Picasso museum (which will reopen after renovation in 2011), it’s very close to most important galleries, the fanciest boutiques like Isabel Marant and Vanessa Bruno and the choice of nice restaurants is just embarrassing big.

The only thing you need to do to enjoy a highly unique hotel: plan your trip in advance.

Hôtel au Petit Moulin
29/31, rue de Poitou
75003 Paris
+33(0)1  42 74 10 10
Métro: Filles du Calvaire  
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Au Petit Moulin: A French Folly, 3.2 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

User reviews

  1. Muriel 18 April 2011 Reply

    Victor Hugo’s mistress, Juliette Drouet, even lived closer (rue Sainte Anastase) to Rue de Poitou. Then, that’s highly probable that he happened to buy his bread there… or at least his “bonne” ;)

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