So, what's the story? A legendary site in the 16th arrondissement, everyone in Paris has heard of the Molitor, whether it's as a pool in the 1930s, where the smart set would meet for parties, galas and a dip, or as its slightly less glamorous incarnation - a run-down artists' squat in the 1990s. Inaugurated by Johnny Weissmuller, aka Tarzan, for more than 60 years it was the place to be seen in the French capital. In 1946, it dared to launch the new-fangled bikini. After its closure, in 1989, the listed building soon became home to street artists and ravers. Thankfully, last year, the Molitor was restored to its former glory and given a new lease of life as a 124-room hip hotel. Under Accor's MGallery brand, it sees itself as a space combining "pool, art and life".
What's it like? Architecturally, it's a sight to behold. You can't fail to be impressed by the art deco aesthetics. The Lido pool (above) is the main attraction, but the trimmings are very welcome and include a rooftop cocktail bar (with its own herb garden and views stretching to the Eiffel Tower), a gym and a dark, moody bar where beautiful people mingle.
What about the restaurant? A gourmet treat run by Yannick Alleno where you can sample delights such as truffle risotto with poached egg, vine grilled beef with marrow and the crunchiest, tastiest coffee éclair this side of the Seine. In summer, the 30 seats by the pool are hot property, but you'll eat just as well at one of the 80 indoors (above).
In or out? What most people don't realise is that in addition to the famous outdoor 46-metre pool (which is heated to 28 degrees Celsius year round), there is a 33-metre indoor pool lined with its original cabins, each now a self-contained exhibit by a contemporary artist.
It's really pretty arty. Indeed, Molitor exhibits works by a variety of creative types, including graffiti king Futura 2000. In the lobby you can't miss Eric Cantona's infamous graffiti-covered Rolls-Royce. On the intentionally unfinished walls, art aficionados will spot the odd Jacques Villeglé or pieces by the interestingly named Blek le Rat.
What about the rooms? The sleek guest rooms are simple yet sophisticated, in neutral shades with a nod to the hotel's art-deco roots. The porthole windows in the junior suites are the most obvious and charming of touches. Each room also has a lithograph created for Molitor by artists involved in the revamp. They are for sale, should you wish to take a souvenir home.
Is that it? Not likely. The relaxation side of things is provided by French beauty gurus Clarins, with 13 dark and cosy booths (above) in keeping with the bathing theme. Should you wish to unwind in style, you'll find steam rooms, saunas, "experience" showers and a surreal space-age Wave Dream relaxation room. Beauty addicts will also love the Shu Uemura hair salon and Kure Bazaar nail bar. For those who prefer their manicure with a glass of champagne, the bar offers bubble manis. Civilised, yet cool. A bit like the Molitor itself.
What does it cost? The starting price for a classic room is €220 (HK$1,900) a night while junior suites with a pool view will set you back €320. Want a terrace? They're from €520. Need more space? The grand suite is yours from €720. For more information, visit mltr.fr.