Inside Le Grand Mazarin Hotel in Paris – WWD

Six years and a second to transform a 700-year-old landmark into a five-star luxury hotel.

That’s waiting for Marais’ new hideaway to grow from the drawing board to Le Grand Mazarin. During this process, the company joined two adjacent buildings, created underground platforms and discovered ancient pottery, resulting in a year-long archaeological dig.

Now the new 61-room hotel is filled with rich fabrics, eclectic patterns and lush textiles covering every inch, with intricate, hand-painted murals throughout the building.

Le Grand Mazarin is the jewel in Patrick Pariente’s hospitality crown. The hotelier has a history with fashion – he founded the French high street brand Naf Naf in 1973, which he sold to the now-defunct Vivarte fashion group in 2007.

After two independent hotel developments and acquisitions, Pariente founded the luxury group Maisons Pariente in 2019 with daughters Leslie Kouhana, who now serves as CEO, and Kimberly Cohen, who serves as artistic director.

They formed the backdrop for a large house property owned by a glamorous woman at the turn of the century. In that script he held salons with famous writers and artists, which led to several murals throughout the property.

The eye candy concept was conceived by London-based Swedish designer Martin Brutnisky. He plays with texture, with touches including embedding seashells on walls or hanging tapestries over beds in rooms.

The list of collaborators is practically France’s official directory of living heritage institutions, including Pierre Frey for fabrics, Lucien Gau for bronze works, Henryot & Cie for furniture, Art de Lys for bedsteads and Pinton 1867 for rugs.

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Installing rooms is a treasure hunt; The team sourced other pieces and materials from flea markets around Paris. The result is an eclectic mix of antiques that span the ages.

An underground pool area with murals.

Vincent Leroux / Courtesy Le Grand Mazarin

After a detailed architectural stabilization of the structures, they also created two subterranean floors that house the spa and the pool. The ceiling of the pool room is a dreamy painting of Narcissus, painted by local artist Jacques Merle.

Hand-painted art is infused throughout the hotel, with Sofia Bega adorning the walls of the interior garden with dreamlike scenes and tarot card-inspired designs, and Ateliers Cohort – the steady hands behind the restorations of the Palace of Versailles and the Dom des Invalides – painted on the ceiling of the restaurant.

The uniforms are another eclectic touch, imagined as costumes to match a scene from Wes Anderson’s „The Grand Budapest Hotel.” They were created by manoche designer Frederic Drew-Roy, known for bold patterns and rich textiles.

The result is bright purple suits with some surrealist touches like lobster pattern linings topped with dramatic capes.

„We wanted to move away from the uniforms you usually see in hotels in Paris,” Cohen said. „So it’s classical, but with a bit of a twist.”

The restaurant has an enclosed indoor garden.

If the decor is a feast for the eyes, Boubalé restaurant aims for it on the plate, where chef Assaf Granit serves traditional Ashkenazi dishes in a modern way. The restaurant has an outdoor garden and indoor, smoke-free seating.

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The bar has walls that can be moved and turns into a cabaret on some nights. The group was formed to recreate the louche lounge that was a hallmark of Paris in the 1970s and 80s. Cohen said he’s aiming for an informal, living-room feel when he opens in November. There will be no set shows, but rotating hosts.

It has a strict photos or filming policy.

„Now people go out and do things because they want to show off,” he said. „We want to make people understand that they can really enjoy what they do. This vibe is missing in Paris now and we want to bring it back.

A room inside the Le Grand Mazarin Hotel.

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