Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels
Sleek and modern don’t always equal welcoming and friendly, but the Murano Resort in Paris is an exception to the rule. Situated in the fashionable Marais, Murano Resort is unassuming on the outside, but is striking within. Design elements drip from every detail with a long fireplace to greet you in the otherwise all white lobby, a red, lacquered bar with over 150 types of vodka, and luxe marbled hallways.
When thinking of a minimalist, well-designed hotel, one does not immediately think of a welcoming and pretension-free vibe. But solid recommendations for dinner, drinks, and shopping are at the ready (no matter what your bizarre request may be) from the cool, informal concierge and the sommelier and bartender seem to be waiting to inspire a new go-to drink order.
Bustling Boulevard du Temple, on which the hotel sits, is a peek into the crowd that fills the lobby bar in the evenings. That is always a sign of a successful hotel — when, seven years on, locals still flock to your confines to drink and dine amongst the guests. From the late afternoon, the lobby bar is pulsing with small parties of Parisians sipping on a kir or glass of wine and snacking on the hotel’s mysteriously delicious breadsticks and dip.
For all the glassy, minimal white accents downstairs, to call the hallways to the guestrooms “darkened” would be understating them — seriously, get your room key out in the elevator. But braving the dark means uncovering a modern Bohemian room with retro-inspired artwork hanging above the bed, oversized pillows to welcome a weary traveler, and the option to swathe your room in any colored light you wish.
The over-sized (particularly by Paris standards) rooms are nothing if not fun, encouraging an adventurous and carefree spirit in those who sleep there. Whether you partake in the colored lights or not, the Murano Resort-produced CDs, bright orange chairs, and well-stocked mini-bar will afflict you with a sense of playfulness. Blackout curtains are the final touch in inspiring a good time — there is no rude awakening quite like the jarring sun shining through your curtains.
And when guests do rise, Murano seems to be one of a handful of hotels that lets breakfast run all the way to 11 a.m. The spread is unprecedented (again, by Paris standards especially). The continental breakfast is a feast of mini-pastries, strong coffee, sweetened yogurts, freshly squeezed orange juice, a selection of cereals, scrambled eggs, and sliced meats like ham and turkey.
Leaving Murano Resort isn’t difficult in the same way it is to leave an all-inclusive resort on a beach somewhere. Instead, it feels like leaving a friend’s place after a visit — you have the sweeping sense that whenever you do come back, things will be largely unchanged, the kind of unaffected fun will still be had, and you’ll essentially pick up just where you left off.
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(All photos courtesy of Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels)