Rates: from €220
Added extras: Outdoor pool (48m long and heated to 27° in winter)
Services: wifi, rooftop, restaurant and spa
The opening of the MGallery Molitor made quite a splash. The famous Art Deco swimming pool was defunct for twenty years after closing its doors in 1989. However, after two years of colossal work, the mythical establishment of the 16th arrondissement has reincarnated as a luxurious complex complete with five star hotel, restaurant and spa. The redevelopment of this listed heritage site by the group MGallery has created a something of a stir. In particular, the admission fees: it costs €1,200 to enter the club, plus to the annual membership fee of €3,300 or €180 for a day pass. Ouch.
Some people may have cold feet about the rejuvenated Molitor but the place is undeniably hot property. Even from a distance, the immense mustard yellow facade of this architectural masterpiece catches the eye. Straight through the main doors, visitors are faced with an open-top Rolls Royce Corniche tagged by the artist JonOne. Behind this, a bay window reveals the famous Molitor pool surrounded on all sides by the hotel building with the rooms looking out onto the pool. The 48m outdoor pool (and the 33m indoor pool) are particularly popular with the sporty.
As you pass through the corridors to get to the pool, the decor is full of historical references: its humble beginning in 1929, references to the actor-cum-swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, the invention of the bikini in 1946 and the graffiti that characterised the Molitor’s second wave as a venue for illegal raves. Today, everything is a lot more coherent; the street art complements the contemporary art and the Art Deco marries perfectly with the salvaged objects from the building’s past.
The hotel also boasts a gigantic 1,700m2 Clarins spa, a gym, a yoga club and an exhibition space for shows throughout the year. The jury may still be out for some, but the nighttime view overlooking the pool is priceless.