Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (www.eyepreferparistours.com), and also writes a popular insider's blog www.eyepreferparis.com.
Nestled in a quiet upscale residential area next to the Bois de Boulogne Park and the Roland Garros Tennis Center is the latest five-star concept hotel in Paris, The Molitor.
The focal point and basis of the new hotel is the Molitor Pool, a legendary Art Deco pool built in 1929. It became one of the most beloved pools of Paris till 1989 when it was closed by the city but ironically designated as an historical monument. Graffiti artists had their way with the pool and created elaborate works of art.
The pool has a rich history behind it: Olympic winner and star of the Tarzan films, Johnny Weissmuller inaugurated the pool along with being a lifeguard. It was also the site for the debut of the bikini in 1946, designed by Louis Reard. In the book and film Life of Pi, the main character Patel is named Pi after Piscine Molitor.
In August 2007, Mayor Bertrand Delanoe accepted bids from three companies for the renovation of the pool. The Accor Hotel Group won the bid and proceeded to completely rebuild the pool and added a luxury hotel, spa and pool club.
The hotel and rebuilt pool opened in May, and is one of the more unique hotel properties in Paris. It’s a resort paradise far enough away from the commercial center, but still only a 15-minute taxi ride. There are now two pools, the outdoor heated one measuring 150 ft. long, and the indoor one measuring 108 ft.
The 104 rooms and 20 suites, managed by the MGallery, from the signature collection of Accor Group, are luxuriously minimalist, decorated in tasteful soft shades of white and gray. Interior designer and architect Philippe Nuel has sumptuously appointed the restaurant, bar, and lobby lounge areas with an eclectic mix of Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern furniture. A room divider of milk glass panels was salvaged from the famed former department store Le Samaritane and beautiful reproductions of the original Art Deco stained glass panels are from 1929 and have depictions of bathers and sail boats.
In the spirit of the former graffiti that covered the pool before it was rebuilt, the hotel has a commitment to forward and display the work of street artists, with a reception room on the lower level featuring murals painted by various street artists.
Yannick Alleno, one of the most sought after chefs in Paris, who was the head chef at the Le Meurice Hotel, created the menu for the indoor and poolside restaurant. A rooftop terrace has also has a restaurant, lounge, and garden area with a panoramic view of the city.
The facility has a Clarins Spa and state of the art gym. There is limited membership available to the spa, pool and gym for residents but one can also obtain a day pass for 180 euros.
The motto of the hotel is Pool, Art, Life! A perfect description.
Molitor Hotel and Pool
8 Ave. de la Porte Molitor, 75016