The Hoxton, ParisJoann Plockova • December 8, 2017
An 18th-century Parisian hôtel particulier’s oldest section shares the honorable monument historique designation (given to heritage sites in France) with some of the city’s most iconic sites, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, and the Louvre. Now, after four years of restoration, the grand townhouse—originally built by Nicolas d’Orbay in the Parisian high rococo style for Louis XV advisor Etienne Rivié—has been transformed into Hoxton’s latest (and biggest to date) in the city’s buzzing 2nd arrondissement.
Spread across three buildings, two courtyards, and five floors, the 172-room Hoxton, Paris—joining two properties in London and one in Amsterdam, with Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, Oregon, and Brooklyn, New York on the boards—takes its design cues from the location, the ornately sculpted building, and the coveted Hoxton hyper-local mix of sophisticated yet eclectic design. With the creative studio of Ennismore (the London-based owner and developer of the brand) overseeing the design, guestrooms were crafted by Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet of local studio Humbert & Poyet, while all public spaces come courtesy of Soho House’s in-house team.
“The design of the public spaces was all about trying to find the right balance between the character of this amazing building and the exciting Sentier neighborhood while embracing the Hoxton spirit,” says Tala Gharagozlou, senior project architect at Soho House. Ennismore founder and CEO Sharan Pasricha and Soho House founder Nick Jones, who have collaborated together on the other Hoxton locations, had a common vision to “create a space that would feel welcoming, fun, and warm,” she says. Adds Pasricha: “Our way of doing things is to be relaxed and very welcoming. The Hoxton, Paris is a place for locals and international visitors to cross paths, hang out, and get a taste of the local culture.”
Setting the tone is one of the two original 300-year-old spiraling staircases (there are 15 staircases in all) in the living room-like lobby that was restored and relocated. “[It] is one of the first things you see and really gives an idea of how the building used to be,” says Ennismore senior design manager Emma Montier. A second leads to Jacques’ Bar, named after French painter Jacques Majorelle and inspired by his Majorelle garden in Marrakesh, with whimsical touches like decorative floral wallpaper, flute sofas, and palms. “It was designed to feel quite lush and almost like a little world of its own,” adds Gharagozlou. “We put a lot of work in developing the bespoke velvet barstools and the floor, which is [an original] marble hexagonal mosaic.” Indeed, original elements are sprinkled throughout, including repurposed iron columns found propping up the staircases in the passageways between the building’s two adjoined cobblestone courtyards and the exposed timber beams in the upper floor guestrooms, where three attic rooms offer distant views of the Eiffel Tower.
Including the usual Hoxton quirks, from Roberts radios to breakfast in a bag, the rooms—offered in Shoebox, Cosy, Roomy, and Biggy categories—juxtapose the 18th-century building with midcentury homages found in classic 1950s materials that reference designers Jean Prouvé and Mathieu Matégot. “The architectural elements of the room have a certain classical Parisian flair,” Poyet explains, noting that the herringbone parquet flooring and moldings were “energized by the colors inherited from the Hoxton’s ethos,” pointing to the blue and orange hues that echo the plush jewel-toned palette found in the lobby. “There’s a playful aspect in the colorful patterns used for the bathrooms—it’s very graphic.” Metal partitions offer both aesthetic interest and function. Those pieces “adapt and evolve according to the size of the room,” says Humbert. “Similar to a light box, it’s versatile in the sense that it can be a central island, a closet, or even a workspace.”
Downstairs, the sumptuous French brasserie-inspired Rivié restaurant is a haunt for guests and locals alike. “As [with all Hoxton hotels], we want to be part of the neighborhood, for the neighborhood,” says Montier. “Rivié is as busy at breakfast as it is for that 1 a.m. nightcap.”