8 Rue de Navarin, Paris
Photo courtesy of Hotel Amour
Hotel AmourThis designer budget hotel, set in a former brothel, is the brainchild of Andre Saraiva, a graffiti artist and nightlife entrepreneur who worked with Parisian artists and designers to pull off an edgy balance of style and substance. Rooms, which are on the small side, are painted in unconventional palettes and decorated with graffiti, and curated flea market and auction finds, vary in their level of provocation, though each could double as a contemporary art gallery installation or soft-porn concept store. While traditional services are nonexistent, the hotel is perfectly located for exploring SoPi, the more upper-crust residential part of the 9th arrondissement just south of the transvestite cabarets and tourist zones of Montmartre, where classical mansions and 19th-century buildings are being colonized by young Parisians and expats opening bars, restaurants, vintage shops, and fashion boutiques. The restaurant that occupies most of the lobby and garden is a perennial favorite among Parisians of all ages for dinner and Sunday brunch.