We stayed a night in one of Paris’ most uniquely beautiful hotels.
You might have head of André Saraiva. Usually known mononymously as André, he’s the graffiti artist turned club owner who sits atop Paris’ restaurant and nightlife scene. He’s also an hotelier, and L’Hotel Grand Amour is his latest project. Nestled between the Gare de l’Est and the Grands Boulevards, the Grand Amour is a truly unique proposition: housed in an impossibly chic and luxurious building, the lobby harkens back to those halcyon days when being in a hotel meant more than a comfortable bed for the night. There’s a small shop filled with eclectic one-of-a-kind curios, as well as a bar-cum-café that serves artisanal black coffee until six o’clock – at which point things get exciting with a range of expertly mixed cocktails.
Perhaps the hotel’s crowning glory, though, is its two luxurious lounges. In the first, you’ll find a kaleidoscopic aquarium replete with tropical fish (even more impressive after a few whisky sours) and in the second a roaring fireplace and a selection of historical knick-knacks belonging to André himself. Where else could you see letters addressed to the surrealist Breton, archival copies of Lui magazine and antique Chinese pots? Even if you disdain clutter, this is undoubtedly a collection to remember.
But what of the rooms? Well, by the time I dragged myself away from the spacious ground floor and stepped into the brass mirrored lift, I was expecting something pretty special. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed. Each of the 42 rooms on all five floors are beautifully appointed with amenities from Hermès, individually sourced antiques from across the globe, countless photographs from Helmut Newton and Man Ray, and even cult drawings from the great Marcel Duchamp. This place really is an aesthete’s dream. Oh, and the restaurant staff’s uniforms are designed by the Kitsune team – the food ain’t bad either. In a world where so many hotels are shrines to dreary, slick anonymity, L’Hotel Grand Amour is like a window into the lively, surprising, and ever so pretty mind of André Saraiva.