The masterplan to revitalise Paris’ riverfront and transform the Seine into the city’s 21st arrondissement is well under way as the country’s first floating hotel launches.
Permanently docked between the Gare d’Austerlitz and Gare de Lyon, Off Paris Seine is the creation of nautical architect Gérard Ronzatti of Seine Design who, along with co-visionary Christophe Gallineau, set up a think tank called Citysurfing to bring the project to life.
Prefabricated off-site in Le Havre, a port in France’s upper north west region, the hotel’s 19 components were transported down the river until they reached their destination to be assembled. The final result is a smart, elegantly designed structure, that discreetly fits into its surroundings, while preserving iconic views of the Seine.
A central skylight floods the interior with light, highlighting the metallic palette, while a copper reception desk is topped with a two a two-thousand-year-old piece of Vitex parviflora wood, that is illuminated with a chandelier by Italian furniture company Opinion Ciatti. ‘This is a jewel- we deigned the reception desk around it’ says Tal Lancman, who along with Maurizio Galante, are behind the hotel’s interiors.
There are 58 rooms that have views of either the left or right banks of the city, but we’d plump for the Designer Sunset Suite. With unending views of the river and with the sunlight streaming through the windows, the mandarin and copper colour scheme, says Lancman, makes you feel as if you are floating in a bubble. ‘Waking up in the Sunet Suite is like being inside a flame or a massive Vitamin C capsule,’ he continues. ‘It pumps you full of energy.’
If the open-air plunge pool and killer cocktails in the buzzing bar are not enough to satiate, head onto dry land, where the pop-up bars and beach clubs in the 13th arrondissement definitely will.