After achieving tremendous success in Paris, London, New York, and Ibiza with the Experimental Cocktail Club and a handful of other nightlife hangouts, the three bons vivants behind the Experimental Group have expanded the concept into hospitality. Their first hotel is located in Paris’s most coveted neighborhood, South Pigalle, overlooking the Villa Frochot (Toulouse-Lautrec’s former abode). Unsurprisingly, these pioneers of the Paris cocktail movement have integrated their savoir-faire in top-shelf drinks. In fact, they go so far as to bill it a “bed and beverage” boutique hotel, which translates to custom cocktails offered in the ground-floor lounge, delivered straight to rooms, and available in guestroom minibars. To further drive their vision, the trio enlisted the talents of Dorothée Meilichzon, the city’s most in-demand interior designer, who has already directed the look and feel of each of the group’s establishments. Here, she applies her flair for mixing unique patterns and design styles to the cocktail lounge and rooms, kitted out with sumptuous velour sofas, black leather armchairs, and brass light fixtures. The result is a style that feels like understated Hollywood regency meets 1920s Parisian glam. While rooms afford less quiet and privacy than most design hotels, the (tolerable) din feels like a necessary component to the stay-up-late Pigalle experience.
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For much of its history, the Pigalle neighborhood has been known as the city’s red-light district, a gritty redoubt for no-frills nightlife and massage parlors, presided over by the Moulin Rouge, its cinematic beacon. But in recent years, the steady ascent of food entrepreneurs, cocktail visionaries, and independent boutiques has radically softened its image. On the streets abutting the hotel, you’ll find cupcakes by an American expat at Sugar Daze (20 Rue Henry Monnier), art prints and design knickknacks at Le Rocketship (also serving Coutume coffee—13 Rue Henry Monnier), gussied-up tacos from two Frenchie alums at Luz Verde (24 Rue Henri Monnier), and ultra-local streetwear by Pigalle (7 Rue Henry Monnier), which is both a brand and a shop also carrying imports. Walk a couple of blocks from the hotel to brunch in the garden courtyard at Hotel Amour (8 Rue de Navarin), pick up a few pastries from Sébastien Gaudard (22 Rue des Martyrs) known for his riffs on classic treats, and take afternoon tea at Café Marlette (51 Rue des Martyrs), the first physical salon de thé for the organic baked-goods brand.
Need to Know
Rooms: 37 rooms, from $216. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon (late check-out possible). Dining options:One hardly comes here to eat, but the impressive cocktail offerings and wine list of 200 Italian bottles pair nicely with simple small plates like sea bream carpaccio, red mullet cooked on the plancha, boudin noir, and superior charcuterie. For a full dinner, make a reservation at Le Pantruche, a nearby modern bistro and neighborhood favorite, or head across the street to the no-reservations Buvette Gastrothèque wine bar transplanted from New York City by American chef Jody Williams. Spa and gym details: No pool, spa, or gym, but bath products offered in each room do an excellent job at providing the necessities and inspiration for an in-room (self-administered) beauty treatment.
Who it’s best for: Night owls and couples on a romantic getaway. Our favorite rooms:The Parisian Roofs top-floor suites offer charming views of the Villa Frochot and the Sacré-Coeur from beneath the eaves. Pigalle rooms open right onto the street below and benefit from large bathtubs you’ll want to take advantage of during your stay. Threads and tipples: If you’re into the staff’s wardrobe supplied by French Trotters, you needn’t look far to take a piece of their style home with you. A selection of the brand’s accessories and T-shirts are available for purchase at the reception desk. And to get a taste of the Experimental Cocktail Group’s other offerings, request to be taken to one of their Paris cocktail bars in the hotel’s DS Citroën. The service is free for guests.