From the Big Easy to the City of Light, this month’s hottest hotels
Backstory Opened last spring, the 124-room hotel occupies the Piscine Molitor, an Art Deco swimming complex that dates back to 1929. Its indoor and outdoor pools—and winter ice rink—were a fashionable staple for generations. The building began its decline in the 1970s, eventually closing in 1989, at which point its derelict, graffiti-covered shell was used for raves and fashion shows.
Best Place to Hang Out The pool, of course. Eat a lobster brunch on the terrace, tan on a chaise longue or dive right in. And remember to dress for the occasion: It was on this very site, in 1946, that automobile engineer turned fashion designer Louis Réard unveiled the world’s first bikini. Fun fact: The pool also gave its name to the hero of Yann Martel’s 2001 best-seller Life of Pi: Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel.
Design Notes Soccer star Eric Cantona’s Rolls-Royce has been graffitied and parked smack dab in the lobby. But that not-so-subtle nod to the property’s grittier decades (when it was a favorite canvas for street artists) doesn’t mean the designers have forgotten the place’s chic Art Deco beginnings. Original mosaics and stained-glass windows—featuring scenes of bathers and water-skiers—have been restored.
What You’ll Find Just Outside The chichi 16th arrondissement, on Paris’ western flank, often gets compared to New York City’s Upper East Side or London’s Chelsea. But despite its genteel reputation, the district has always had a sportier side. It’s home to the Parc des Princes soccer stadium, the Stade Jean-Bouin rugby stadium and the Stade Roland Garros, where the French Open takes place.