A lounge fit for love at Hotel Amour
August 20, 2012
PARIS, FRANCE – Oh l’amour…what’s a boy in love supposed to do? (Or so the classic Erasure song asks over a bouncy Euro-pop beat.) If that boy were in Paris’s Pigalle neighborhood–the city’s notorious red light district–you might expect him to rent a room by the, ahem, hour. (After all, the lover in the song laments that this is a relationship with “No emotional ties/You don’t remember my name.”)
But if he really wanted to win the girl (or boy, as the Erasure case may be…) and end his aching, he’d take her for a martini at Hotel Amour. Located in Pigalle, the hotel was once of the seedy by-the-hour variety, but today it’s a sexy boutique flophouse for boho-artsy types migrating south from Montmartre. Hotel Amour is nothing if not seductive, and its lounge is the most alluring space of all. Since rooms here don’t have TVs or phones, the lounge is a bustling place for hotel guests to gather (when they’re not busy with all things amour-related, bien sûr). That said, plenty of local cool kids (including more than a smattering of models and local rockers) make this their hangout of choice too.
Just like it says on the wrapper, the lounge is sultry and amour-themed, complete with romantic patio. The center of the action is the leafy courtyard, which hooks sceney types in the mood for love with its mod twist on the classically romantic white filagrée Parisian café chairs and tables and its intimate shady nooks. Inside, a liberal use of handsome dark paneling and flashy lipstick red creates more of a smoldering ambiance, and the ever-so-cool types posing effortlessly around the room enhance the mood.
Romantic-to-the-hilt though it may be, it’s just as fun to come here with a group of fashionable friends as it is to come with a lovah. The vibe is festive, and the drinks are strong. It’s one of our favorite alfresco drink spots in the summer months (and even into the winter, thanks to patio heaters). And though the food isn’t fab (stick to the cocktails), it’s worth checking out the Sunday brunches, complete with double-strength Bloody Marys.
Just because some of the patrons turn up looking for love doesn’t mean the dress code is hopelessly romantic. Leave the lace and velvet to other parts of the Pigalle and go for hip jeans, a designer top, and funky accessories instead. You’ll be glad you look ever-so-with-it when the French paparazzi rolls through, though unlike the lament of the Erasure song’s universal boy in love, they’re probably not “looking for you.”
Photo courtesy of Flickr user dolarz.