paris: maison souquet opening

© maison souquet / photography: eric antoine

ah, paris! acknowledged around the planet as the ultimate city of love, this specific reputation, however, also has a saucier side with a similar appeal. at the turn of the 20th century when morals were, let's say, more pliable, the maisons closes, or pleasure houses, played second home to the socialites and aesthetes of paris. and it's this bygone era of haute debauchery, also known as la belle époque, that has inspired the many sumptuous settings of maison souquet, a new hotel in the pigalle area of town. situated in a former pleasure house, behind an inconspicuous façade marked by two red lanterns and a matching canopy, unfolds a peculiar splendour concocted by french interior architect jacques garcia.

a renowned stylemaster with a penchant for unmistaken elegance, garcia has recreated a lavish, otherworldly refuge for those who prefer hospitality to be more than just ultimate comfort. intimate and oozing a sense of rare exclusivity, maison souquet boasts only 20 rooms, including six suites with unique interiors. upon entering the premises guests and visitors are wowed by the plush décor of the salon des 1001 nuits, an inviting place where to mingle or relax in style, nipping a signature cocktail from the nearby bar. the latter is a popular destination in its own right, featuring a monumental fireplace, replete with piano, books, and even games.

as an extension of sorts of the salon, the homely conservatory, furnished with a comfortable circle of sofas, leads to an outdoor smoking area. the grandeur downstairs obviously extends into each of the rooms upstairs where it manifests in various forms. the deluxe rooms may be the establishment's most compact pads, but what they may lack in size, the make up with a dazzling interior of a variety of precious silks. and whimsically, each of the rooms is named after a famous courtesan. for instance, room 203, also known as rita, is interwoven with thousands of colourful peacock feathers. 

upping the ante in more ways than one are the junior suites, featuring exquisite detailing, and a selection of well-picked furnishings and artworks to match. situated on the third and fourth floors, maison souquet's luxury is presented on a larger scale. two small apartments, named la païva and liane de pougy, are decorated especially in homage to these women. appointed in a style as exuberant as their courtesan lifestyles, the two la païva junior suites form an apartment that is home to a collection of objects rivaled only by the liane de pougy junior suite. and don't let the classic aesthetic fool you, all rooms are equipped with modern amenities, such as an hd flatscreen tv, climate control and wiress internet access.

adding up to the luxury feel of the place are complimentary toiletries and perfume provided by hermès. and the very same can be said of the spa facility. exclusively reserved to hotel guests, it's equipped with a 10-metre swimming pool, a hammam and treatment room, all in an equally evocative luxurious setting. mind you, it's also available for private use upon request. and being a five-star establishment, maison souquet's pampering scheme includes some handy extras, including a butler service for those who require tailor-made attention. location: 10 rue de bruxelles [pigalle].

© maison souquet / photography: eric antoine