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Molitor: the Parisian lido-hotel loved by the locals

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Alessia Armenise
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Hotel Molitor Paris

A hotel, a swimming pool, a cultural hub and the best seats to watch the tennis: Molitor has a lot more to offer than a bed to sleep in.  

Rarely does a hotel give its guests the opportunity to mix with the locals, but Molitor is no traditional hotel. Back in 1929, this now-luxury hotel used to be a Parisian lido and its role as a place for locals to swim, exercise and sunbathe is still very much intact.

Closed in 1989, after 60 years, the building was classed as a listed historic building and became an underground cultural hub, home to graffiti artists that transformed the huge building in a sacred street art museum.

In 2014, the iconic building was given a makeover and transformed by the MGallery Hotel Collection into the luxury hotel that we see today.

The need-to-knows

  • Location

    Hotel Molitor Paris

    Molitor is tucked away in the north of Paris, in the residential 16th arrondissement. It’s not the most central location but the city centre is easy to reach by metro – the metro station Michel-Ange Molitor is a 10-minute walk away – and it’s a less busy part of the city for those who don’t enjoy being in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

    The hotel is a great base to see the northern part of the city, often overlooked in favour of the more famous Parisian locations. The Bois de Boulogne is one of Paris’ biggest parks – it’s located right next to the hotel – and you can reach the Jardin d’Acclimatation by walking through it. Once there, visiting the Fondation Louis Vuitton is a must – a wonderful museum which has quickly become a favourite local cultural spot.

    For tennis fans, there is no better place to be: Molitor sits right in front of Rolland Garros and its rooftop terrace boasts an incredible view over the courts. If you prefer football, no need to worry: the hotel is also very close to Paris Saint-Germain’s stadium, the Parc des Princes.

  • Style

    hotel molitor paris

    The style of Molitor is like no other – which other hotel has had three different lives?

    The classic art deco and brutalist architecture of the building is emphasised by the industrial design which has been replicated inside.

    The graffiti is still an important part of the hotel’s decor and the pool is its heart. The 78 cubicles that surround the 33m pool have been ‘refurbished’ by different street artists from all over the world. The cubicles can, of course, be visited by the guests making the pool space an urban art gallery.

  • Rooms

    hotel molitor paris

    The rooms and suites, designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel, are both modern and minimalistic: a lot of space and very little clutter brings out the best of each room.

    All rooms have a wonderful view of the pool but the executive suites with terraces have extra space and overlook the city.

    A little bonus: all products provided in the rooms are from Clarins.

  • Amenities

    Clarins spa Molitor Paris

    Molitor is a sport-lover’s dream. With a 46-metre outdoor pool, a 33-metre indoor pool – both open all-year round – and a very spacious gym that features daily yoga sessions, it will be very difficult to find an excuse to avoid a daily work-out routine.

    The hotel is also home to Shu Uemura and Redken hair salons and a fabulous spa by Clarins, which includes eight treatment rooms (and one 50 square-metre private suite), a steam room, a hammam and a relaxing reading room.

Food & Drinks

  • Brasserie Urbaine

    The hotel’s main restaurant is a modern French brasserie, with an urban twist (as suggested by the name). Chef Nader Hassan takes inspiration from the much-loved staples of traditional French cuisine to create a contemporary menu that will appeal to their multicultural clientele – always using fresh and seasonal ingredients.

    From Thursday to Saturday, a DJ takes over the restaurants from 9pm to keep the party going until midnight. 

  • Le bar de Molitor

    The perfect place to have a drink before dinner or to continue the night. Molitor’s bar is the heart of the hotel and a great place to spend an evening with friends. 

  • Le Toit-terrasse

    Molitor’s rooftop is one of the most loved by Parisians in the summer. A great place to have a drink and some snacks or a delicious lunch while overlooking the city or, for the tennis fans, the famous Roland Garros courts.

    If you are in Paris during Roland Garros and you would like a great seat to see the matches, make sure you book well in advance – you won’t be the only one fighting for a spot. 

How to get to Molitor

The best way to get to Molitor is by taking the Parisian metro.

From Charles de Gaulle, take the RER B to Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame and then the line 10 to Porte d’Auteuil. The hotel will only be a 9-minute walk away.

From Orly take the Blablabus to Paris-Trocadero, then the metro 9 to Michel-Ange - Molitor, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from the station.

From Beauvais, take the bus to Paris and from Porte Maillot take line 1 to Franklin D. Roosevelt, then the line 9 to Michel-Ange - Molitor, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from the station.

Stylist.co.uk tips:

  • If you are in Paris for Roland Garros and you would like to stay at Molitor, make sure you book your room well in advance. The hotel’s incredible location makes it very appealing to tennis fans. You’d have to do the same if you want to stay there while a big football match takes place at the Parc des Princes stadium, only minutes away from the hotel.
  • Make sure you take some time out of your schedule to enjoy what the hotel has to offer. You can’t stay at Molitor and not swim at least once in their iconic pool.
  • If you feel tired after a long day visiting the city, get back to the hotel and enjoy a lovely dinner and drinks on the rooftop. The view doesn’t really get better than that and you won’t have to worry about getting back late. 

Rooms at Molitor start from £198 for a classic room. Lowest Rate available for one person for a one-night stay, room only, city tax. For more information visit www.mltr.fr. 

Pictures: provided by Molitor / Sebastien Giraud / Ludwig Favre. 

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Alessia Armenise

Alessia Armenise is picture editor of Stylist and Stylist.co.uk. In her free time you'll find her tasting vegan street food around east London and sharing her (many) opinions on London Fields Radio. Instagram

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