Book Your Next Vacation to the Hotel Declic, a Fantastic, Photography-Themed Hotel in Paris
The Hôtel Déclic is a photographer’s theme park wrapped in the luxury of an elegant 4-star hotel in Paris, France. I discovered it as I was planning a trip to the City of Lights for the publication of a new book of my photographs.
Looking for accommodations I came across a mention of the Hôtel Déclic in a magazine I was reading. It sounded almost too good to be true: a hotel that sought to capture photographic sensibilities in wall-to-wall luxury. Even its name is a play on the photographic term in French for a shutter release: a “déclencheur.”
Paris is the most photographed city in the world and sees itself as the center of photographic arts and culture. Every year hundreds of thousands of the millions of tourists who come to France make a pilgrimage to pay homage to the city’s massive photography shows, assorted photography galleries, specialized museums and world class events like Paris Photo.
With the growth of these events in the last few years, it’s not surprising that someone recognized the need for the photography world to have its own stylish hotel to match the sophisticated tastes of photographers, visiting gallery owners and photography-mad enthusiasts.
A Snapshot of Déclic
The Hôtel Déclic sprang from the fertile imagination and exquisite taste of Sandrine Alouf of the hotel company Groupe Maranatha. She envisioned a unique photography-themed hotel that would wrap the guests in a subtle interplay of images, light and lavish materials all done with a touch of charm and playfulness.
The hotel is in Montmartre, Paris’ residential 18th arrondissement. It’s a neighborhood that since the 19th century has been synonymous with and was a Mecca for painters such as Dali, Monet, Picasso and van Gogh, and many of the old bars, bistros and cabarets are still operating. It’s also not far from the landmark Sacré-Coeur Basilica and a funicular whose automatic cars carry visitors up and down the Montmartre butte along a 350-foot long tramway with panoramic views of the city.
The hotel is on a quiet street with a rather plain vanilla exterior that belies the nearly hallucinogenic photographic wonderland within. It’s the perfect end to a day of metro schlepping across Paris to enter corridors lined with hundreds of images and rooms with names like the Reflex, the Contact Sheet and the Selfie.
Yes, you read that right: all 18 rooms and nine suites at the Hôtel Déclic are named for and decorated to reflect different photographic themes; often with tongue deeply in cheek. In the Reflex Room, for example, you can stretch out on a bed shaped like a vintage interchangeable lens reflex camera.
The room, in shades of blue night and grey, has bed stands shaped like old photo boxes and a carpet decorated with “pixels.”
In the Black & White Room (see image at the top of this story), the headboard of the bed is a giant backlit screen that offers a projected show of “retro” black-and-white images of photographers and their cameras.
As director Alouf charmingly puts it, “it captures the beauty of the art of photography, the taste of the image, and the joy of snapping.” It’s a room readymade for dreaming in black and white.
The Sexy Black Darkroom
Paris is a very feminine city and there’s always a whiff of sensuality in the air. Montmartre is one of its most romantic “quartiers” and has been the setting for films such as “Can-Can,” “Moulin Rouge” and “Amélie." The hotel is not too far from the famous and risqué “Folies Bergère” and Moulin Rouge.
Hotel Déclic has a seductiveness befitting a 4-star hotel in Montmartre and it is most evident in the room named the Sexy Black Suite, also known as the “Darkroom Suite.”
This suite is decorated on the theme of a photo darkroom. It is complete with overhead “safelight” illumination for perhaps more intimate “photographic” moments. (Please note that the hotel does frown on any actual darkroom work being done in the suite as yellow fixer stains are terribly difficult to get out of bed sheets and towels.)
Red is the color of passion and it dominates several other rooms like the luscious intense red décor of the Paparazzi Suite. This room is fit for a visiting celebrity or paparazzi complete with red carpet lit by LED runner lights with a big gold Hollywood star on it.
The carpet leads to a sleek metal four-poster bed and, to keep a guest from getting too starstruck, there’s a bit of comic touch here. While lying in the bed one looks up to see a group of paparazzi staring down at them taking pictures.
Days start at the Déclic with a sumptuous French breakfast served in a dining area dominated by a huge camera lens with an eye peering through it center. Like many Paris accomodations, parking near the hotel is problematic but most visitors to Paris should avoid driving in the city anyway.
Guests even have the opportunity to use the hotel photo studio or to set out a photo shoot around the city with staff photographer Thierry Hugon.
Rates at the Hôtel Déclic are between $129-499, which is quite in line with the other 4-star rated lodgings in the City of Lights.
For more information or to make reservations go to: http://declichotel.com/en/contact.html. Check out a video tour of the hotel below.
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