You’d be hard-pressed to find a more memorable setting for an overnight stay in Paris. Say the word “Molitor” and Parisians will spin tales of bronzed bodies frolicking in the summer sun. The Art Deco pool complex was inaugurated in 1929 by three Olympic swimmers, including Johnny Weissmuller, who later snagged the film lead in Tarzan. This is where Micheline Bernardini modeled the very-first bikini in 1946, and the topless trend took off in 1968. When the Molitor closed in 1989, its crumbling pools became a canvas for street artists.
After an 80 million euro investment, the Molitor has been reborn as an urban hotel destination complete with a Clarins spa and a restaurant conceived by culinary maestro Yannick Alléno as an experimental kitchen for an inter-generational roster of M.O.F. chefs to work together.
Inside the famous “paquebot blanc” (as the Molitor was originally inspired by an ocean liner in its design), many of the 124 guest rooms have porthole windows overlooking the outdoor pool. The roof deck is a sublime spot for sipping a cocktail and gazing out over the rooftops. Tip: The Molitor is not far from Stade Roland-Garros, where the French Open is held every year, so tennis fans should consider making a reservation well in advance for the big event.
13 Rue Nungesser et Coli, 75016. Tel: +33 1 56 07 08 50. Rates vary depending on the season; a recent special offer listed 260 euros/nightwww.mgallery.com/gb/hotel-7326-hotel-molitor-paris-mgallery-collection/index.shtml