Hôtel Providence, Paris, France
Hôtel Providence is the epitome of good old-fashioned Parisian charm, boasting of romance, character and style. Nestled in a traditional Parisian square, SPACE’s Tonje Odegard takes a look at the hotel’s unique interior and wonderful story…
The boutique hotel only houses 18 guestrooms, a bar and a restaurant, but has managed to pack eccentric design and inviting style into the relatively small space.
The building dates from 1854 and is located behind the Renaissance and Porte Saint Martin theatres, in the Rue René Boulanger, a traditional cobbled street just waiting to be rediscovered. The hotel is nuzzled in a little square where Maison Gatti herringbone-pattern wicker chairs are lined up on café terraces.
The owners of the hotel, Sophie Richard, Élodie Moussié and Pierre Moussié have taken painstaking care in decorating the place, down to every last nook and cranny. Made-to-measure pieces are mixed with items found in antique shops. Every detail has been carefully thought out, from the USB socket above the bedside tables in the guestrooms, to the cocktail bar and the choice of wallpapers.
On the ground floor, on either side of the cocktail bar, there is a lounge with a log fire where the guests are welcome under the benevolent gaze of two wooden angels and the reception where patrons can watch the world go by.
On the other side, the dining room decorated with velvet wallpaper, blue and white floral-patterned Gien porcelain crockery sits proudly on the Saint Laurent time-honoured wood and marble tables. You can choose between leather cabriolet seating or old-fashioned bistro chairs.
The reception welcomes guests under the benevolent gaze of two wooden angels in the lounge, where patrons can watch the world go by.
To access the guestrooms, you use the glass-panelled lift or the staircase adorned with Madeleine Castings banana leaf patterns.
Restaurant and bar
The restaurant – a mix of bistro tables, Gentlemen Club-style leather armchairs and dark, velvet, floral-patterned walls – serves lunch and dinner. Cool, industrial-like ceiling lamps contrast the Renaissance-styled paintings with strong, golden picture frames.
Hovering over the bar disk is a set of ceiling kerosene lamps, bringing the authentic Parisian style back into the space. The area is dark and gloomy, but in a distinctly charming and atmospheric way. The dark wooden furniture and joinery is just perfect.
Lots of fresh flowers are dotted around, giving the areas a lush and lively touch. It also creates that characteristic Parisian café-look where you can sit eating French pastries all day. Huge, romantic windows allow natural light to come in, which further brightens up the place.
Al fresco dining is naturally an option at Hôtel Providence, in a classic French bistro-style.
On the terrace, you are surrounded by green plants climbing up walls, partitions and poles. Banana palms form the pattern printed on the seating cushions, adding a playful touch.
Each of the 18 guestrooms have its own individual identity with distinct wallpapers, giving them all a statement look. Meymeh, Palmeral, Tarovine and Flight of Fancy prints create a different atmosphere in each room. Every room also has a bar inspired by the design of the traditional Parisian counter.
There are five different room types: Mini, Classic, Superior, Deluxe and the Suite. The designers have managed to create a rare level of intimacy and hominess that you don’t see often with luxury hotels. Curious artefacts and bespoke design really make the rooms in Hôtel Providence special.
The Mini rooms encompass the true spirit of Bohemian chic with velvet upholstery throughout, giving associations to an open treasure chest. The strong wallpaper in a bold renaissance pattern in warm colours is contrasted by the white ceiling with intricate details. The sun-spiked-shaped headboard in gold is another statement element that contributes to the uniqueness and coolness of the room. Heavy drapery and bright colours are further touches that help complete the look.
The Classic rooms provide a truly Parisian feel. With printed velvet fabrics and azure-blue walls, the rooms have a bathroom with marble mosaic flooring and an Estriado glass partition to let in the light. In a class of its own, the room affords a superb view of the magnificent Théâtre de la Renaissance. The pattern on the feature wall is revisited in lampshades and stools, and clothing racks in gold add a residential and intriguing element. The sun-spiked headboard is seen here as well, and a sophisticated bed throw in scarlet velvet brings the rooms to life. All of this is brought together by stylish wooden floors.
Both elegant and unconventional, the Superior rooms combine superior comfort with a touch of eccentricity. The walls are lined with patterned velvet fabric, stylish en-suite bathrooms and beautiful views of the Rue René Boulanger and/or the Théâtre de la Renaissance.
The luxury and charm of Paris is all rolled up into one in the Deluxe rooms. With a plush, cosy feel, the large Haussmann-style doors and the small lounge make the room spacious and residential. With a warm colour scheme with a strong presence of gold, the heavy drapes and impressive wallpaper print go so well with the wooden floors and deep-coloured furniture. The golden leaves of the wallpaper are again revisited in lampshades and bar stools, creating consistency and playfulness. Renaissance-style paintings in bold frames are dotted around the rooms, further contributing to the authenticity of the design story. The extremely spacious bathroom moreover makes you feel at home with its free-standing bath.
The top-floor suite offers breathtaking views of Paris’ rooftops and you can take in the beauty of the Sacré-Coeur while taking a bath. The suite is a picture postcard, as Parisian as they come, with a mansard roof, designed as a flat. There is even a selection of LPs to be played on the retro LP music player. The art-deco banana palm-printed wallpaper is dramatic and bold, yet fresh and exotic at the same time, helped by the luxuriant green colour. The mustard-coloured furniture in leather is sophisticated and lush – perfect for sitting in and looking through the charming windows with white glazing bars.
Hôtel Providence is the sort of hotel where you don’t want to leave, because the design and the story keeps you intrigued. You want to explore more of the small nooks, feel the many textures or stick around to design your own cocktail. Hôtel Providence is a true accomplishment.