The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas

The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas

After a first meeting for the C.O.Q Hotel, Michel Delloye joined Pauline D’Hoop and Delphine Sauvaget for a new project, and no mean feat, Monte Cristo, a four-star hotel located just a stone’s throw from the Jardin des Plantes. In the spotlight, Alexandre Dumas, an elusive character, and an indefatigable traveller through the senses. Delphine Sauvaget and Pauline d’Hoop are making no mistake, Monte Cristo will be a tribute to the 19th century and the poetic worlds of Dumas. Like his novels, they are multifaceted, exotic, colourful and brimming with detail as well as highly unusual characters. To name but a few of these, a multitude of antique vases and objects, a rather special aviary, the women’s rooms and their stretched painted canvases, a bustling rum bar and finally a swimming pool – 16 metres, if you please. All in all, a taste from elsewhere, here in Paris for you to discover step by step.

, 20-22 rue Pascal.  75005 Paris.

Hôtel Monte Cristo
Hall Entrée Monte Cristo Paris
Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Salle de restaurant Monte Cristo Paris
Salle de restaurant Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Salle de restaurant Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas

Michel, what do you like about the hotel business?

Michel

Above all, it is outward facing. What better objective could there be than to welcome people and offer a unique experience? Hospitality is a very extensive and exciting sector. It implies different action verbs: we must develop, calculate, organise, share in creation, control. Few sectors offer such wonderful encounters or such a variety of activities which go into creating unique places.

What story did you want to tell here?

Michel

We wanted to regain aesthetic freedom and work on the history of France. The 19th century was the time when France had artistic, social and economic influence throughout the world. Alexandra Dumas remains the most widely read French writer in the world and is buried five minutes from the hotel, in the Pantheon. This place is, therefore, paying an up-to-date homage to a time, a man and a body of work, without attempting to imitate it The houses of the era are at one with its image: one blends, associates, magnifies all the influences and countries, the better to travel. Dumas and his books, his ideas and his travels offer superb material for an epic voyage.

What were your choices and inspirations for this project?

Delphine

The client wanted to create a hotel in the 19th arrondissement, and more particularly one based around Alexandra Dumas, who is a character with a thousand facets, which can be sensed in the very atmosphere of the hotel. Our immediate desire was to evoke the journey, that of Dumas, that of his characters, and it was what we wanted to bring to life for guests at this hotel. The 19th century was a rich period, not only because of the different regimes that succeeded one another but also because of the multiplicity of styles and colourful atmospheres that ensued. We wanted to highlight this cross-fertilisation by mixing Asian influences anchored in a 19th bourgeois.

Pauline

We started by immersing ourselves in the world of Dumas and the 19th century! I really enjoyed rediscovering this writer, the abundance of his works, the richness of his protagonists, the complexity of their characters, the profusion of details and the level of description of the settings he knows how to lay out so well, he made me travel with him. We were eager to dust off an antiquated and turgid vision of the 19th century and to convey the taste of the time for exoticism, travel and collections.

Bar Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas
The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas
The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas
The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas
The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas
The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas
Chambre Bureau Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris

Can you tell us about the different atmospheres created in the rooms?

Delphine

The atmosphere of the rooms evokes the personality of Dumas and the characters who gravitated around him, his women and his guests. The women’s rooms have been conceived as jewel caskets, entirely covered with patterned fabric on the stretched canvas walls, which can be found again in the curtains. Alexandre’s rooms are more masculine in deep tones. The guests’ rooms are an invitation to travel. The red colours and the patterns of the fabrics refer to the Japanese influence of the 19th century.

You have done a lot of treasure hunting for this project, can you tell us about your finds?

Pauline

We have indeed been hunting a lot for this project. What impressed me the most were the meetings we were able to have with enthusiasts who helped us to assemble this impressive collection (we sourced more than fifty antique vases for the rooms for example): specialists from the 19th century at the flea markets, collectors of antique glass in Belgium, and Claude, the taxidermy specialist, who opened the doors of his house and his personal collection for us to choose the specimens that now inhabit the aviary at the hotel entrance.

Delphine

Hunting is always a very important element for me, for us. I like to feel the secret soul of objects and the imprint of time. I am sensitive to mixtures of styles, sometimes abrupt and offbeat. The difficulty of this project lay in designing a 19th-century hotel without falling into the trap of faux decor. We wanted to reinvent a fantasised past. We didn’t want to take it to the ultimate degree. Our wish was to tell a story, to pass on an emotion using the profusion of genres specific to that time. In the rum bar area, we accentuated this mix with Delft tiles on the walls. On the latter, inky blue panels highlight a collection of antique Imari plates and two large Asian portraits of the time preside at the back of the room. There is also a 19th-century Chinese screen from a castle in the Netherlands and red velvet banquettes with fringes. Ancient Persian rugs contrast with an Aremberg parquet panel floor. We also had the desire to collect antique Asian pottery that we found in flea markets in France and Drouot.

Chambre Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Chambre Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Chambre Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Chambre Cabinet toilette Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
The Hotel Monte Cristo, a tribute to Dumas
Chambre Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Chambre Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris

Have you an anecdote about this project?

Pauline

There would be a thousand, but nothing beats getting up in the early morning, when all Paris is still asleep, to take the wheel of a big lorry and being among the first to arrive, as the antique dealers are unpacking, to find a beautiful piece!

Delphine

We pushed the idea of the trip to find some pieces of furniture in India, in collaboration with Amandine and Guillaume from the La French Studio. We needed to create hotel furniture with the quality and finesse of unique pieces. The marbles and onyx of the pedestal tables have been meticulously selected and are similar to real paintings. The sconces, made of sheets of glass, were cast and carved one by one. We designed headboards with a rattan pattern, also made in a traditional and craftsman-like way. It is always very important in our projects to highlight the artisan skills and knowledge required to create particular pieces.

If you had to describe the Monte Cristo in a few words?

Delphine

The client wanted a time machine. I think the wager was successful.

Pauline

A house from an era that never existed, a decor worthy of those invented by Dumas
.

And projects in the pipeline?

Michel

We are currently working on two projects, notably a new concept, rue de Belleville in Paris.

Salle de bain Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Chambre Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Chambre Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Piscine Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Piscine Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris
Piscine Hôtel Monte Cristo Paris

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