Inside Le Grand Mazarin, the Flamboyant New Paris Hotel Inspired by Gertrude Stein’s Salons

In Paris, walking into a five-star hotel can feel like entering a palace—because, well, many of them are housed in the grand Belle-Epoque and Neoclassical buildings that once belonged to kings, queens, and other members of the French aristocracy. However, when I walked into the the recently opened Le Grand Mazarin in Le Marais, I found myself surrounded not by gilded mirrors and soaring ceilings, but by a reception room of warm, Venetian carnival-like pastels and accents that felt like they came from some otherworldly curiosity shop. (If those other places give off the airs of Marie Antoinette, this one evokes an eccentric, widowed Aunt Marie.)

Photo: Vincent Leroux


This was very much the point: Le Grand Mazarin’s interior designer Martin Brudnizki says he was inspired by the idea of the French salon—a place where intellectuals, artists, and other fascinating people would mingle and share ideas, beginning in the 17th century. (While in the Enlightenment era, salons were the birthplace of the French Revolution, in the 1920s Gertrude Stein brought together luminaries like Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso.) “Paris has always had the great hostesses who entertained like-minded artists, politicians, authors,” Brudnizki says. “We wanted to create a series of spaces within this hotel where you meet different creative people from different parts of life.”