Are you looking to sleep under a massive typewriter, dance through clouds on a rainy Paris evening, and step directly into a lush romantic shower, all without leaving your hotel? If so, I would recommend the Apostrophe Hotel. It’s the perfect pit stop for the wordsmith-come-design geek, and it’s a sure thing if you’ve been dying to check in to a stunningly lettered, uber-chic Tower of Babel nestled into one of the most beautiful, quiet blocks on the Left Bank.
A self-professed book nerd, I visited Paris for the first time recently and set aside one day for traveling around the Montparnasse area, following in the footsteps of famous writers and trying to imagine the world as it was for Hemingway, Sartre, De Beauvoir.
When I was researching appropriately bookish hotels in my desired area, I came across one of the most phenomenally and appropriately designed boutique hotels I’ve ever seen, and perhaps the world’s only poem hotel. They even have their own app.
The Apostrophe Hotel is described on Facebook as a “tromp l’oeil” hotel, and I think this is because the design is wildly vivid, almost multi-dimensional. Every room has a different theme, every vine and cloud a projected verbal scene. Each room is somehow related to words and language, music, or — teehee — the universal Language of Love. The outside of the Apostrophe Hotel is painted in vine, so it feels like you’re walking into a fairytale. The lobby walls look like trees with proclamations of love etched into the bark. Behind the desk, the counter is a giant bookcase painted with oversized book-bindings.
As you ascend to your room, you walk the winding staircase, stepping over a rug stitched with lettering, as if each stair is whispering words you can’t quite decipher but you follow them anyway. The theme of my Apostrophe Hotel room was “Homme.” The room comes with its very own ‘Once Upon A Time’ instruction manual in a binder that reads: “Your room is special, here is the story…” In the chambre “Homme,” there is a giant bronze man towering over the bed facing a sketch of a naked man formed from “text that is the definition of mankind.” Even the shower is crafted to feel like an illuminated high-tech rain room.
On my way out, I peeked inside the “Lover’s Alphabet” room to linger over the colors from A-Z above the headboard, the Jacuzzi in the corner, and a ladder to the “7th Heaven” parting the clouds on the ceiling.