The newest addition to Paris’ luxury hotel scene, Madame Rêve brings together three centuries under one roof.
Nestled in a late-19th century Haussmannian building, Madame Rêve finds inspiration in the capital’s historic brasseries as well as in 1970s masculine chic; and takes guests by surprise on its cutting-edge rooftop.
Paris’ very centre has been undergoing quite a few changes recently. Known for its historical landmarks – like The Louvre or the Palais Royal – the 1st arrondissement now welcomes François Pinault’ eponymous foundation: inside the expertly renovated Bourse de Commerce, one finds works from the businessman’s private collection, complete with an incredible architectural statement by Japanese genius Tadao Ando.
Today, the Pinault Collection is as modern as its impressive granary was back then: its unique circular 18th-century design was capped in 1812 with a spectacular metal and glass dome. Around the Foundation, the neighborhood has fundamentally changed, also coinciding with the restructuring of another iconic building: the Louvre Post Office. Designed by Julien Gaudet, it was inaugurated on July 14, 1888, as a symbol of Paris’s new city center at the time. Quickly, the central building became a key element in the modernization of Paris.
With history repeating itself, today, the former Louvre Post Office welcomes Paris’ newest luxury hotel: Madame Rêve. Why that name? Simply because maverick entrepreneur Laurent Taïeb took on the project to craft a dream come true: open a luxury hotel that feels and breathes Paris. If nine years were required to revive the Parisian icon, when entering the property, one feels it has always existed with its mosaic floor, chandeliers, and ancient limestone column between the classical wooden check-in counters.
Further down, the corridor leads to the former mail processing room which was turned into the 300m2 Madame Rêve Café. At first sight, it echoes historic brasseries under its eight-meter-high ceiling with rich wooden paneling and an impressively long bar. Yes, as one looks closer, a handful of old iron Eiffel piles add a resolutely modern side to the grand café. Going up a few levels, one finds 82 rooms and suites on the same floor: labyrinth-like, the dark-brown corridors create a masculine feel.
Yet, each room is bathed in natural light: those on Rue du Louvre or Rue Etienne Marcel welcome slanted bay windows that seem like a modern tribute to the 70s. Cognac colored leather, wood paneling and golden light compose a unique pied-à-terre that Tom Ford’s Single Man would appreciate.
Hinting at the building’s history, the rooms are decorated with mail art, carpeting, or postcards that feature old letters, stamps and telegrams. Reaching the budling’s higher levels and rooftop, one swaps classical architecture for a much more modern vision: restructured by architect Dominique Perrault, the Haussmannian gem welcomes a contemporary roof structure composed of a series of metallic arches and canopies covered in solar panels.
Efficient, the green architecture provides the building with 50 percent of its hot water. Stepping out onto the rooftop however, one forgets about technical elements: above the Parisian rooftops, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Sacré Coeur and the Saint-Eustache church, and the Pompidou Center are at one’s fingertips. The 360° view is simply breathtaking.
Surrounded by plants and lush greenery, one orders a signature cocktail in what seems like a suspended garden above Paris. Right in front, the Bourse de Commerce’s exceptional dome lights up as well as a contemporary neon-art piece from the Pinault collection. Welcome to Paris’ beating heart.