It’s the oldest story in real estate: the red-light district, down at heel and thus affordable for the creative artists who make up the avant garde of urban renewal, inevitably becomes the up-and-coming neighborhood where the rest of the city comes out to play. So it is with Paris’s Pigalle. And eventually, inevitably — if we’re lucky — along comes a hotel like Le Pigalle.
The proprietor is no rank beginner, having cut his teeth on a couple of Alpine resorts, of all things — though he seems more at home, frankly, in this edgiest of urban districts. And while the eclectic décor has that perfectly measured casual charm that looks as though it just sort of came together, it’s the work of a pair of talented architects, and features contributions from any number of artisans and craftspeople local to Pigalle.
Rooms dispense with most of the luxury-hotel trappings and focus on what matters: inviting spaces, whether compact or capacious; iPads and turntables, complete with enough music to get you through the night; and plentiful personality, in the form of artworks, objets, books, and furnishings both modern and vintage.
A hotel like this doesn’t just get by on guest rooms, of course. The ground floor features a café, a restaurant and bar (overseen by Camille Fourmont, from Buvette, a wine bar in the 11th), and a kiosk selling a carefully curated selection of books and newspapers. At the weekend the hotel puts on a proper party, complete with DJ, and even on a Sunday night it feels like a nexus of activity. And it bears keeping in mind that Pigalle hasn’t entirely lost touch with its red-light roots — mixed in with the cocktail bars of SoPi are some establishments that lend a decided edge. (It also bears keeping in mind that Le Pigalle Paris is far from the quietest hotel in our Parisian collection; if you’re here in search of perfect silence you’ve come to the wrong place.)