Thursday, March 10, 2011

Less is Definitely More or How To Be A Romantic Lilliputian In Paris

On a trip to France and Provence, like all good tourists, we flew into De Gaulle, one of the largest, most bizarre airports on the planet. Tired from the nine hour flight from the worst airport on earth, JFK, we were in need of some serious R&R. The Hotel Mayet in Paris ( provided one of the truly great hotel experiences in one of the greatest cities on earth.

Webster's dictionary defines Lilliputian as a very small person or thing. Various descriptions, by reviewers,  of  The Hotel Mayet as " a hidden little gem" or "a well located compact hotel" do not begin to capture the essence of this little art filled hotel within easy walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. And the price was downright cheap for Paris!

So what makes this little hotel a favorite in the Nomad Architect's pantheon of great places?  Like any architect, I place great value on the "design" of a place.  The Hotel Mayet exceeds all expectations in this regard. From the massive graffiti wall in the lobby to the several hundred year old arched stone breakfast space with the striped linoleum floors in the basement, this place oozes character and style, without being pretentious.

The attention to detail in such a big/little hotel warms the cockles of my architect's heart every time I conjure up images of  this place unknown by most. Every door handle, every fixture, every painted wall has been designed with a unique combination of elegance and passion. The ride up the world's smallest hotel elevator alerted me to the fact that we were in a very cool place. We laughed all the way to our floor as the two of us squeezed in with our luggage. Like the rest of the place, no detail is left to chance.  With brushed stainless steel walls and low ambient lighting, it's the kind of design detail that makes the experience of just riding an elevator something to remember.

As we opened the door to our room, which had a large operable window opening onto the life and vigour of Paris, I realized that this hotel also had a sense of humor. Right there on the ceiling was a small eighteen inch rubber "inflated" fan that had the look of something from a graphic novel or comic book. The rest of the room, the bed, the shower, the walls - absolutely every square inch - combined efficiency, design and comfort that made sleeping in this little "cocoon" the best place we could be for that much needed R&R.

After a simple, wonderful dinner next door at a small bistro/restaurant, recommended by the gracious Parisian concierge, we decided to take a stroll in the Paris night air. As we turned a corner, there it was - The Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel's masterpiece of industrial age design, shining like a great beacon in this romantic city. As I held my wife's hand, I realized  what life can be with the one you love. As we returned late to our little world of comfort and elegance at our newly found Mayet, we wandered off into nod secure in the knowledge that this was indeed something special.

Travel Quote of The Day
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.   -  Yogi Berra

Bises      DLS

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