An artful hotel in the heart of the Latin Quarter, Maison Colbert brings the historical heritage of Paris back to life.
Rive Gauche. Those two words always resonate with artists and creativity, suggesting a close proximity to the River Seine. Steps away from Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, newly opened Hotel Maison Colbert is an artful venue: set in a listed 16th century building, the 39-room address is hidden away from the touristic routes and yet so utterly Parisian.
It sits next to another listed gem: the Hotel Particulier which once belonged to Colbert (1619-1683), a legendary French statesman who served as First Minister of State under the rule of King Louis XIV and was known as a great lover - and defender - of arts and culture, hence the hotel’s name.
The building’s classical architecture was renovated by 5th generation of architects Alvaro Sans and his daughter Adriana Sans, and the façades cleaned up to create a beautiful ensemble around a large terrace that becomes a perfect Parisian café under clear skies.
The terrace is also a natural extension of Café Clothilde, the hotel’s restaurant which was created as a dining destination that serves quintessential French dishes, with a modern twist. On weekends, a brunch offer puts talented Nina Métayer – who was recognized as best pastry chef in 2017 by Gault & Millau – into the light. Paris would not be Paris without an incredible patisserie.
To celebrate the City of Light’s rich cultural past, Spanish hotel group Melia also chose to pay tribute to another artistic figure: Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923). And through the Spanish painter’s love story with Paris, the hotel becomes a place where art, architecture, and history unfold. Born in Valencia in 1863, Sorolla is known, to this day, as the most renowned representative of the impressionist and post-impressionist movements in Spain.
Yet Paris played an important role in Sorolla’s career: some of his paintings are even held, today, at the Musée D’Orsay. The painter’s love for Paris, elegant women and bright colors were a definite source of inspiration for Maison Colbert’s architects, who reproduced major works of art to bring the ancient walls back to life. “We were struck by most of his paintings and their colorful intensity during a Sorolla exhibition at Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. What also surprised us was the importance of fashion in each and every single feminine portrait, plus the style of his wife and muse Clothilde, a major figure throughout the painter’s career. It made all the more sense to bring his talent to Paris, the capital of fashion”, the architects explain.
A feminine touch naturally runs through the hotel – who also used to be the home of intellectual and feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir – “each room has its own personality, references a Sorolla painting. We’ve custom-designed furniture to fit with the colorful interiors, and even imagined bed posts after details of Sorolla’s paintings”, adds Adriana Sans. Living with art has never been so tangible in the heart of the fifth arrondissement.