n one of the hottest summer hotspots in the French capital, the sexy new Molitor hotel is a chic and nostalgic getaway for sports enthusiasts and artsy looking for a romantic weekend in the city of love.
Used as an ice rink in winter and a catwalk in summer, the 46-meter outdoor swimming pool opened in 1929 and has a rich 60-year history: the first modern bikini was unveiled there in 1946, Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller was lifeguard. there and the protagonist of Life of Pi was even named after him. It was a place to see and be seen: bathers bask among the rich and famous, reclining topless on sparkling white loungers, and its cruise-ship-like design served as the backdrop to many numerous galas and fashion shows. The building closed in 1989 and was then occupied by artists, gradually becoming a refuge for the Parisian underground street art scene before reopening as a hotel in 2014 as part of the MGallery Hotel Collection.
West of the city, in a green area on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne park and next to the famous Roland Garros stadium, home of Roland-Garros. It’s just a 25-minute taxi ride from Gare du Nord and the city center, and there are two metro stations within a five-minute walk if you prefer to take the metro. The Eiffel Tower is a 40 minute walk along the river.
The hotel’s designers were keen to retain many of Molitor’s original features: leaded glass windows, mosaics, lamps, and the iconic yellow paint on the exterior of the building. The glass pool ticket booth has been preserved as an artifact framing the indoor bar, and a graffiti Rolls-Royce sits in the lobby as you enter, a nod to the building’s street art days. Expect contemporary vibes – exposed industrial ceilings, sleek low light fixtures, Hans Wegner-style seashell chairs – and artistic touches. The old locker rooms now function as the hotel’s unique art gallery, each decorated by various street artists and containing a different piece of art. Book a guided tour of the cabins with artistic director Sylvia Randazzo if you want to know more.
The 117 rooms and seven suites are designed by French architect Jean Philippe Nuel and overlook the outdoor pool, with the lower floors looking like retro changing rooms when you look up from the pool. All are surprisingly minimalist – white, gray, tan, and black – compared to the rest of the hotel, and each comes with a Bose docking station, safe, and 40-inch flat-screen TV, as well as a Nespresso machine for a pre-breakfast boost.
The fridge is stocked with two free bottles of water (still and soda) and there’s a book on the coffee table for flipping through photos of Molitor’s colorful history. The bathrooms are fitted with a walk-in rain shower, a Dyson hairdryer and Clarins toiletries. Slippers and bathrobes are provided for use in the spa. Choose the Pool Suite for a balcony overlooking the water or upgrade to the Grand Suite for the ultimate in pleasure: a luxurious 60 square meter suite featuring a king bed, soaking tub and private living room.
Molitor’s seasonal rooftop terrace and restaurant are a summer hot spot, serving food and cocktails with a sparkling view of the Eiffel Tower. Back on the ground floor, the art deco-style Urban Brasserie serves a deluxe buffet lunch and three-course dinner ranging from octopus carpaccio to pan-seared foie gras, with a soundtrack by a rotating collection of resident DJs. Ask to sit at an outdoor table by the pool and choose the pop art pomegranate and citrus salad for starter and raspberry and elderflower cheesecake for dessert. Breakfast the next morning – from eggs and avocado toast to French pastries and made-to-order pancakes – is served buffet style downstairs or in your room. One way to capitalize on the view from the bed.
Molitor’s 46-meter art deco “summer swimming pool” is naturally the hotel’s main feature, heated all year round for summer swimming, the installation of floats and winter dives). There’s also a matching 33-meter indoor pool and everything you could possibly need for an active retreat in the French capital: fitness classes from boxing to ballet, a luxury poolside gym, a yoga studio and the largest spa in Paris: a Clarins underground haven of peace on the 1st floor. Expect eight treatment rooms, a 50m² private suite, sauna, steam room, steam room, reading room, and hair salon. Sports massages are the USP here: choose from six options – swimming, running, tennis, golf, boxing, and skiing – and book for a 60-minute deep recovery. The swimmer’s massage by therapist Camille Lacourt is full body but focuses on the shoulders, neck and lumbar region in particular, just what you need at the end of a weekend spent sliding down the halls. .
The giant summer swimming pool, from all angles (the lounge chair, the rooftop bar, your bed). There is a constant stream of swimmers plying the lanes from the first hour of the morning to the last hour of the night, rain or shine.
Athletic types with an interest in art and design. You won’t get the traditional Parisian romance but you will get two giant swimming pools, artistic decor, and a giant underground spa for post-swim massages with Clarins products. The Eiffel Tower is only 40 minutes away on foot (or 15 minutes by scooter).
Board the Eurostar from St Pancras – you’ll be in Paris in just over two hours and it’ll only take 30 minutes by taxi to get from there. Upgrade to Standard Premier to avoid the panic lines in M&S before boarding – you’ll have spacious seats, dinner and wine on tap, perfect to get you in the mood for a night out in Paris when you get off the train. For the ultimate in luxury, choose Business Premier, which includes access to a brilliant business lounge for pre-train bubbles, plus free Sunday newspapers, then you’ll get a three-course meal on the way home – champagne included. One way to continue the holidays until you get home.
Summer is perfect if you want to combine a city break with sunbathing, but the summer pool is open year round and great for a Sunday morning refreshment – it’s so hot you can see the steam. escape the water on the cooler days. Molitor’s vibrant color palette will brighten up even the darkest weekends.
Room rates start from £ 198 per person per night on a room-only basis. (13 Rue Nungesser et Coli, 75016 Paris, France, mltr.fr)