Jump aboard the soul train, step inside Paris’s groovy-as-hell Idol Hotel, and prepare for a sensory overload; as you’re transported back to the soulful sounds of the ’60s and ’70s. A design hotel with sound and groove, the 32-roomed property in the city’s 8th Arrondissement is part of the Elegancia Hotels collection (which includes floating hotel OFF Paris Seine), and is owned by music lover Yann Gasparini; who realised a lifelong dream by turning the Idol into ‘a place to be for all Black Music lovers’.
Situated in a neighbourhood which homes the Opera Garnier and a plethora of musical instrument makers, the Idol is in great company. Its lobby features piles of vinyl records, a bright neon light sculpted by artist Julie Gauthron — The Sound of the Trumpet — graces the lounge, and a photocall backdrop encourages guests to dress-up, snap a pic and upload it to their preferred channel of social media. (Unfortunately not everything remains firmly affixed to the realm of retro.)
Rooms feature Motown and Stax album covers, glittering wallpaper, trumpet-shaped lighting and music curated and chosen by Gasparini and Parisian record shop owner François Mazza, a.k.a. ‘DJ Maz’. The soul brothers’ soothing selection and the (potentially migraine-inducing) interiors will have you wishing you’d turned up dressed like Youngblood Priest or Huggy Bear. This, kids, is not a bad thing.