The making of Les Bains
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Press Release
Les Bains
Celebrating the past with an eye to the future
Berlin, June 06, 2017 - You would expect the man behind the re-invention of the famed Parisian nightclub Les Bains Douches to have an impeccable pedigree, but that would only be half the story. For Jean-Pierre Marois it was not only a matter of family ties but also a desire to recapture the essence of the storied celebrity hotspot—once the splashy playground for the likes of Bowie, Jagger, and Gainsbourg—that brought about the transformation of Les Bains. Today’s Les Bains is both a tribute to its illustrious past and a bold new take on Parisian hospitality.


The building that housed the iconic Belle Époque bathhouse, and later the cult-status nightclub of the decadent 1970s, belonged to Marois’ father, meaning that he was both intrinsically linked to Les Bains and fluent in its history. And Les Bains’ past is as diverse as it is legendary, from playing host to the likes of Marcel Proust in the elegant spa, to welcoming workers from Les Halles market for coffee and brandy at dawn. “The building has a powerful aura, a mix of glamour and raw spirit,” says Marois. “Les Bains pays tribute to the heritage of a Parisian icon while projecting it into the future. It is a hotel unlike any other.’’ 


In order to celebrate the building’s legacy—both iconic and iconoclastic—and carry it forward, Marois knew that he needed to be authentic and innovative all at once. He explains: “I have seen wonderful hotels ruined by remodeling and great places denuded by design. The trick is to abide by the aura of the place. I want people to enter this spectacular building and feel that it was always a hotel. I want them to feel the accumulated history, the years of incredible stories, and the lives that have touched the place.” 


Innovation is, of course, something Marois knows a great deal about. As a hotelier, he proved so adept at turning around his first endeavor—a business hotel in Paris—that the bank urged him to undertake another project, which ended up being a popular boutique hotel in the city. But unlike most hotel impresarios, he is also a successful filmmaker. Among other credits, he helped produce the star-studded “Mary” by Abel Ferrara, as well as working on Oliver Stone’s documentary “South of the Border” and directed the satirical “American Virgin.”  


Though the skillsets for these two professions seem unrelated, Marois insists otherwise. “Looking for a hotel is like looking for a book to adapt into a screenplay, and finding the right architect is like choosing the director,” he explains, “and both projects are all-consuming. Everything has to be in harmony, the camera work needs to complement the acting, the editing must enhance the material, just as design must illuminate a building’s nature, and welcome new life.” To achieve his vision, Marois had clear guidelines: Les Bains cannot be a nostalgia trip or a swanky homage to old glories, but a leap forward. Taking its form and spirit from the building’s revered, promiscuous past, the hotel remains focused on the future. It inherits a great deal, from the exquisite interiors to its edgy bohemianism, but will remain innovative to the core.


About the hotel
Set at 7 Rue du Bourg L’Abbé, a jewel of the historic third arrondissement, Les Bains is ideally ensconced in Paris’s old aristocratic district, a trove of atmospheric streets and architectural splendors. Thanks to the outstanding joint work of the architects and designers Vincent Bastie, Tristan Auer, and Denis Montel, the property shines as a vibrant, connected, international clubhouse and hotel, which includes a restaurant, a bar, a private lounge, a club, guest rooms, and suites. And it is a short walk along tree-lined boulevards, past galleries and cafés, to several museums, including the Pompidou Center. Le Coin Gourmand is the new take-away café serving exquisite espresso by the Belleville Brulerie, and those looking to bring a little Les Bains into their lives need only pop by La Boutique Les Bains, located opposite the hotel and club, or visit: 


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