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10 Rue de Bruxelles, 75009 Paris, France
Photo courtesy of Maison Souquet
Maison SouquetThough the Pigalle neighborhood has mostly shaken off its red-light reputation, the bon vivant spirit of the area’s past has been elegantly revived at Maison Souquet. The owners gave carte blanche to Jacques Garcia, the venerated French designer with a passion for Belle Époque interiors, who masterfully reworked the early 1900s design codes to bring to life the space, itself a former pleasure house. As during the heyday of these maison closes, which brought together artists and socialites, Garcia created an intimate, multi-room layout, meant to take guests from one stage of the experience to the next. It begins in the entrance lounge bedecked in Moorish tiles and Cordovan leather, leads into the Salon des Petits Bonheurs (Little Delights), where you’ll find the bar, and ends under the glass canopy of the Jardin d’Hiver (Winter Garden), which also doubles as the breakfast lounge.
Bedrooms, each named after a famous courtesan, vary in style (oriental, Napoleon III velveteen, Empire, Indian), but most are done up in plush drapery, and original artwork. It’s the cunning details, from antique furnishings and heart-shaped lamps designed by Garcia exclusively for each room, that transport guests to an era of boundless joie de vivre. Rooms feel pocket-sized by American standards, but make the most of the stunning public spaces.