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Hotel Molitor Paris-MGallery, Paris, France
MGallery hotels are a collection of design-led properties that have a unique story - and this small and luxurious one in the west of Paris is a shining example. Opened in 1929 as state-of-the-art public swimming baths, La Piscine Molitor survived for sixty years before becoming a derelict canvas for street artists and a venue for illicit raves. Meticulously rebuilt in 2011-14, it is now a reborn art deco gem painted in mustard and black with two glorious pools and carefully composed bedrooms on three levels. Other Paris hotels may be more central but Hôtel Molitor is well worth the journey, particularly if you like swimming and art. Add in a stimulating restaurant and a classy Clarins spa and this is an exceptionally enjoyable place to stay.
The leafy Jardins des Serres-d'Auteuil botanical gardens, created in 1898, are next door with free entry. There's also a Jardin des Poètes commemorating French writers.
In the heart of 16th Arrondissement, the hotel is near Roland Garros (home of the French Open tennis championship) and Parc des Princes. The area is well-served by public transport so the city's sights are within easy reach.
By plane: Flights from London or Manchester to Paris Charles De Gaulle take 1 hour 15 minutes and the hotel is 40 minutes' drive away. skyscanner.com
By train: Eurostar from London to Paris Gare du Nord takes 2 hours 20 minutes and the hotel is 40 minutes' drive away. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Swimmers, spa-lovers, devotees of design hotels and 1930s architecture and anyone interested in street art will love this hotel. The hotel also fills up with sports fans when a big event is on. The 78 changing cubicles bordering the indoor pool have become a vibrant showcase for street and graffiti artists. Curator-led tours, both free and paid for, are available.
Service & Facilities
Swim after dark in the sensitively-lit outdoor pool heated to 28C which every year is enhanced by a commissioned piece of art such as a giant squid fashioned from pink netting.
- Swimming Pool
- Fitness centre
- Wellness suite
- Art gallery
- Free Wi-Fi
The Classic Rooms looking onto the outdoor pool have everything you need, with those on the third floor the most attractive. The corridors are enlivened by large black-and-white photos of the outdoor pool in its glory years, including the launch of the bikini which was first seen here in 1946.
Classic Room, Deluxe Room, Executive Room, Family Room, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, pillow menu, Nespresso machine, TV, bottled water, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Breakfast is a superb and beautifully presented spread that includes detox juices, featherlight croissants, regional cheeses and organic eggs cooked to order. We recommend the starter of pâté en croûte featuring duck, foie gras, pistachio and apple followed by skate cooked with cumin and a kumquat confit.
1929: poolside restaurant, intimate private dining. European cuisine. Open daily, 8am-9:30pm. Mains from €32.