Jacques Garcia-designed boutique hotel with ornate Belle Epoque interiors
Well-done “pleasure house” theme—each room resembles the original brothel
Plush guest rooms with sensuous decor, luxe amenities, and butler service
Fantastic bar with a creative cocktail menu and seductive atmosphere
Charming “winter garden” breakfast room with lovely breakfast selections
Beautiful underground spa with a pool and private hammam
Free one-hour use of the spa per guest
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Pigalle location can be seedy at night
Dark, thematic atmosphere isn’t for everyone
No full-service restaurant on-site
A former brothel across from the Moulin Rouge, Maison Souquet evokes the debaucherous history of Belle Epoque Paris. Stepping inside transports you to turn-of-the-century Montmartre, where ladies of the night waited for high society men to greet them in their boudoirs. Each area of Maison Souquet makes reference to its pleasure house history, and while the setting is always PG-rated, it certainly won't suit all tastes. Private butlers attend to each of the hotel’s 20 guest rooms, which feature sensuous, over-the-top decor and luxe amenities. The hotel’s surrounding neighborhood, Pigalle, can be a little seedy at night; travelers looking for a posh hood may prefer Hotel Da Vinci & Spa, located in St-Germain-des-Pres.
A refurbished pleasure house with an atmosphere that's still seductive
In 1905, Madame Souquet opened a discreet maison close on the rue de Bruxelles to entertain the elite members of Paris’s high society after their nights at the Moulin Rouge. Today, the excellently refurbished Maison Souquet allows guests to relive the Belle Epoque, and imagine themselves as part of the city’s sultry past. From the street, the unmarked Maison Souquet looks like its neighbors, except for two red lanterns hanging at its entrance. Interiors are the fantastical imaginings of Jacques Garcia, whose flamboyant decor brings the extravagance of turn-of-the-century Paris to life. Just off the entryway, gold leaf moorish archways lead to a velvet-covered room, where an ornate chandelier and lavish fabrics create a seductive aesthetic. Clearly, the atmosphere at Maison Souquet is meant for adults. It's no surprise that the majority of guests are couples looking to capture the vibe.
In Pigalle, across from the Moulin Rouge at the bottom of Montmartre
Maison Souquet is located in the 9th Arrondissement in Pigalle, which is a busy neighborhood but it can get seedy at night. The Boulevard de Clichy separates it from the 18th Arrondissement—home of the famous Moulin Rouge. From the hotel, attractions like Sacre-Coeur, Montmartre Cemetery, and Place du Tertre are within 15 minutes on foot, but the walk is hilly, considering Montmartre is the highest point in the city. Metro station Blanche (line 2) is across the street from the hotel, and the Place de Clichy station (lines 2 and 13) is a five-minute walk. Central Paris attractions can take 25 to 35 minutes to reach via metro, so the hotel’s location isn’t particularly ideal for travelers who want to see the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, or Arc de Triomphe. It takes about an hour to reach Maison Souquet from Charles de Gaulle or Orly International Airport via public transportation, and both are about a 30-minute drive away (often more with traffic).
Guest rooms are as lavish as the lobby and have amenities that are suitably luxe—including private butlers. Each room is named after prominent 19th-century courtesans, such as Le Castiglione or La Belle Otero, and spaces are meant to reflect individual styles and personalities. While there's definitely variation, expect decadent silk drapery and custom headboards, black-and-gold moldings, and damask wall coverings with a glamours sheen. In-room amenities include wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, terrycloth bathrobes and slippers, electronic safes, and well-stocked minibars. Bathrooms feature honed black marble surfaces and Hermes toiletries. Deluxe rooms have glass-enclosed shower stalls, and suites add soaking tubs. Rooms are described as “love nests” by hotel staff members, which means they’re romantic, but also quite cozy.
Maison Souquet has three room types: Deluxe Rooms, Junior Suites, and Two Bedroom Suites. Deluxe Rooms are the hotel’s entry-level category, and range from 172 to 193 square feet. Junior Suites are bit bigger, and they have separate seating areas with tufted chaises and ottomans. Two-bedroom suites are interconnecting Junior Suites.
No full-service restaurant, but a can't-miss bar, tiny spa, and free Wi-Fi
Maison Souquet doesn’t have a ton of on-site features—a full-service restaurant is most noticeably missing. But the amenities it does offer are exceptional. No trip to Maison Souquet is complete without spending an evening at the hotel bar. The mahogany-paneled room, replete with red velvet inlays and a stunning central banquette, feels equal parts luxurious and risqué. A handsome fireplace occupies one wall, while a Manet-inspired nude hangs on the other. The bar is meant to resemble the house’s old presentation room, where courtesans would be introducted to the waiting gentlemen before joining them for drinks. Today, the bar’s cocktails are named after the brothel's residents. Drinks are listed under three different categories—Les Belles Horizontales, Les Cocottes, and Les Courtesans—19th-century French euphemisms for first-rate prostitutes. Thematics aside, the hotel bar is excellent, and its signature cocktails are creative. Think: pisco with rose syrup and cinnamon, cognac with celery bitters, and gin with egg whites, lemon, pepper, and fresh cucumber.
Adjacent to the bar is the “winter garden,” a beautifully decorated atrium that serves as the hotel’s breakfast room. Green walls and floral fabrics give the space a garden-like ambience, and French doors lead outside to an ivy-covered courtyard. Continental or full breakfast with eggs is offered; both include fresh pastries, yogurt, and fruit, and both are shockingly expensive. Guests who’d prefer to stay in bed can order breakfast to their rooms.
All guests have private on-call butlers and are greeted upon arrival. Luggage is ferried to rooms and the introduction includes schooling on the hotel's unique history. Every guest is also entitled to one free hour-long session in the subterranean spa (butlers handle reservations). The celestial-themed spa is a gorgeous space with a gold solar system painted above the 10 meter swimming pool. Within the spa, there’s also a steam room and a private shower. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.