Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gourmet Magazine - Paris On A Budget - A Collectors Issue

The current collectors issue of Gourmet is on newsstands now. It's a lovely issue about Paris.

It talks about all the new chefs revitalizing the culinary scene, and the neighborhoods they are doing it in, like 19th and 20th Arrondissements. Gritty Belleville is there, famous as the birthplace of Edith Piaf.
Piaf got her start singing in the streets of Belleville (as her mother before her did t00). There's a terrific movie, La Vie En Rose, you might like to watch. You can get it HERE
From the movie
La Vie En Rose

Piaf as a child street singer

Besides covering restaurants, new chefs, old neighborhoods made new again, Gourmet also did a little side bar on budget hotels in Paris. One that caught my eye was Hotel Amour. It is touted as the exclusive elusive little hotel without amenities - no phones, no working web site, no lobby. The idea is that it's a secret love shack. Well I just had to find some photos of it for us!
You check in at a small desk in the restaurant. The address is 8 Rue Navarin; phone 011-33-1-48-78-31-80; Rates: from $160. I love the room key!
You might get lucky and get the room with this sexy black bathroom.
Each room is small and different, decorated by an artist. I once saw a place like this in the early days of South Beach (Miami), where artist friends of mine were doing up the rooms. It was interesting, but I didn't want to check in.
I wonder if you can get extra pillows? Or if the scribbles over your head give you bad dreams if you happen to take a nap in the after glow.
Erotic images are used, such as the image on the skateboard (and who can forget the naughty Mickey on the check in desk?).
Some of the rooms look like eBay Decorating 101 to me.
More stingy pillows, but you have over 200 disco balls forming a canopy overhead.
This is one of the more jolly rooms, which seems to have your very own erotic Mickey Mouse to play with.
Another basic eBay room, but the one below has an intriguing window treatment, kind of a voluptuous opening.

The graffiti wall looks like fun. I wonder if you can leave your phone number there: Call me for a good time.
There is also a restaurant on the premises. It's very popular, and there are alot of happening parties that take place, especially during fashion events.
The food is supposed to pretty good bistro fare (French and American). To me it looks like any New York successful fringe restaurant that becomes trendy, like the Odeon or the now defunct Florent.
The courtyard is precious real estate, and very much appreciated by folks who live in the neighborhood, as well as those visiting Paris.Some people are very excited about the idea of Hotel Amour, wondering if you can rent the rooms by the hour. You cannot. But in Buenos Aires, you can find many hotels that do this.

A Buenos Aires Telos
About $25. for three hours

As it’s common in Argentina to live with your parents until your mid- to late-twenties-or until you marry-a trip to a love hotel is more than just a rite of passage: it’s the only way for many young Argentines to have a sex life. Officially known as “temporary lodgings,” and in local slang as telos, there are countless hotels renting rooms by the hour, discreetly located in every neighbourhood, with less subtle names such as You & I, Dreams, and Venus. Varying wildly in interior design—from chic, modern, and minimalist to twee, floral, and tacky—telos may feature overblown Egyptian-themed chambers or flashy Vegas-style boudoirs with mirrored ceilings. Around $25 buys you three hours of fun, porn on the TV, and access to all manner of toys, gels, and oils. The more expensive hotels boast luxurious suites, fully equipped with plasma screens, saunas, and complimentary champagne, while other, specialist establishments offer kinky vibrating beds and more technical apparatus such as sex chairs.

The hubs and I were in Paris a couple of years ago. Our friend Sabina told us about a cute hotel near the Moulin Rouge on Rue Lepic. It's not trendy like the Hotel Amour, but I think it is very romantic.

The Hotel Lepic has a proper entrance way, with a nice little lobby, with a chic and friendly person at the front desk. This is also considered a budget hotel, though that is a dirty rotten lie when someone thinks 130 Euros a night is being on a budget.I love the decor. There are fresh flowers everyday, and just outside the door are several beautiful flower stands selling flowers to Parisians. The whole neighborhood has tons of food shops, fashionista hat shops, very good bistros, cafes, beautiful clothing boutiques, shoe stores, antique shops, hardware stores, variety import stores, plus all that Montmartre has to offer.
The hotel cafe is so charming, and the lounge off the lobby has cable TV and lots of great magazines. There were no TVs in the rooms when we there (they might have changed that - ask), but there is Inter Net access, room service, etc.
Each room is decorated by a different type of arisit - an interior decorator! The rooms are small, but you can deal with it. Unpack your suitcase, and ask the front desk to store it for you until you need it to pack when you leave.
I love all the prints, especially the toiles. The draping over the beds is very sweet too. The beds are very comfy, and the teeny bathrooms are very clean and modern.
We stayed in this charming blue room. It overlooked the front of the hotel and ther street. We had huge windows we could open. The street noise was nominal when the windows were closed. It was wonderful to pull up a chair, and just watch the street scene below. I have photos somewhere of this trip, but right now it's too much for me to search for them and scan the prints. Maybe later.
We did go to the Moulin Rouge, and it was a wonderful evening in "our" neighborhood.


Ewa said...

wonderful issue it seems - very informative and useful.
thanks for sharing,

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

oooh, that black bath is just fab!

Hooked on Houses said...

What an interesting post! I really enjoyed seeing all the different rooms. So unusual. -Julia

Paul Pincus said...

this might be the post-of-the-month!

truly fantastic!

Country French Antiques said...

Bonjour Visual Vamp
Merci for visiting my blog and the nice comment.
You know all things are chic in Paris. I think I have unknowingly stayed at a few of those "love shacks" before.
You know I love have a Cavalier. I'm on my 3rd one now.
They are just one big ball of love!!
Have a beautiful day and kiss Cholo for me :)

K said...

Hi there!
I just wanted to tell you that I gave you an award! You can see it at Thank you so much!


That Girl Designs said...

wow, those are some great rooms. just fun and a little different. that is what i think a hotel room should be; something different than what one is use to in their own home.

Visual Vamp said...

Hello Everybody,
Thanks for taking a look!
The love shack I want to check into, is the telos in the photo in Buenos Aires with that sculpture, that makes it look like The Love Shack Formerly Known As Prince.
Award? To quote my friend Joni, oh chat...So kind of you to think of me.
BTW I have spent many wonderful times in the real love shack, the one in the B52s video. It was filmed at the home of dear friends, artists and master potters, Philp Maberry and Scott Walker. I'll dig up an old photo of their house, and post it some time. Tin roof rusted!!!!

Visual Vamp said...

Oh yes, Cholo got the kisses you sent his way...Merci mon ami...