Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Maison Souquet


Deliciously decadent and charmingly illusive

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Maison Souquet
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Maison Souquet


Rue de Bruxelles, a short stroll from Le Moulin Rouge and Sacré Coeur

Travel Information

A fifteen minute taxi ride from Gare du Nord. The right side of Paris for Charles de Gaulle airport

Top Tips

Explore Pigalle and the cobbled streets of Montmatre, but don't miss cocktails in the sexy bar

5-Star X-Factors

Service is outstanding, but it is the decadent interiors that truly seduce

Sensual pleasures with pitch-perfect finesse

The unassuming, though classic, 19th century building sits quietly on Rue de Bruxelles, a short stroll from the iconic Moulin Rouge, in the Bohemian area between Montmartre and Pigalle. In the early 20th Century, ‘pleasure houses’ or ‘maison closes’ were commonplace in this part of Paris, and this one was renowned as the most… err… salubrious.

Consequently, the petite-luxe 5-star gem is deliciously decadent on the inside and charmingly illusive on the outside. Two red lanterns, a nod to its licentious past, and a small red awning hang beside and above the entrance. A little like Alice in Wonderland: once you enter, you are mesmerised. It’s an ode to the best of Belle Époque but in piquant Parisian haute-style. It is thanks to the masterful and gifted design skills of Jacques Garcia that Maison Souquet delights and titillates the senses, leaving you deliciously spellbound in spaces that resonate with timeless allure. It’s absorbing, mysterious and tantalizing.


The service, mainly concierge, but also in-room and bar, is outstanding. Nothing was too much to ask for, and they went the extra mile on every request.

Suite Surprise

Maison Souquet charmingly and succinctly refers to its suites and rooms as haute-couture cocoons. We had the pleasure of staying in one of the two La Paive junior suites. It felt like the perfect homage to Pierre Frey, with glorious eau de nil embossed silk on the walls, along with an exotic bedhead. The bed was not only dressed to impress, it was deeply comfortable: no money spared on the mattress.

An inviting, moss green, camel-backed and pin-cushioned sofa, upholstered in silk with a thick velvet edge, sits beneath an oil of a demure damsel, holding wild flowers, dressed in white satin with a blue sash. Did she live here? This really is petit-luxe at it’s best. It’s very romantic and the attention to detail is outstanding.

The all-marble bathroom was stocked with Hermès products, and off the sitting room was a well-sized dressing room, complete with mini bar and mirrored wall. It had it all, along with two east-facing French windows allowing the morning sun to set the scene for our fabulous breakfast.

The Reception Rooms

The reception lounge known as Salon des 1001 nuits, sparkles with a panoply of Arabian and Napoleonic references. There are columns topped with quatrefoil framework, hand-carved furniture, ornate gilt mirrors, lashings of crystal, iridescent turquoise enamels and mosaics, stained glass windows and a ruby-red marble floor. Set out like an ornate labyrinth you lose yourself from one resplendent salon to the next, however, our favourite was the Maison Souquet Bar.

At this point I am tempted to name-drop but that goes against the grain of this secret hideaway. However, let’s just say, those in the know would choose this bar over most. It’s the heart of the hotel, pulsating in a kaleidoscope of crimson trappings and designed as a cossetting reading room; an antiquarian wall, a piano, a fireplace, board games and dreamy crushed velvet seating along with a lustrous, mirror-backed bar, stocked with designer alcohol.

Nudes, exquisitely painted, frame the walls and a large ornate chandelier with glass beads and fuchsia-pink pleated shades, hangs above a cradle of white orchids. The bar menu can suffice as a meal and we enjoyed both cocktails and a few excellent plates with our friends from Paris.

The Celestial Spa

My head was throbbing a little from a mystery nightcap conjured up by the barman the night before. I wasn’t sure that a massage was what I needed, but when I opened the door to this glittering galaxy, I surrendered. Forgetting my head, I spun around gazing in wonder at the golden stars shimmering in the cobalt blue dome, above a pristine reflecting pool. It was warm but not too warm and the intoxicating aroma of essential oil all but consumed me. Then I had a massage in the hammam with Joanna. Being Japanese she has a gift that is rare but special: healing-hands.

The location

Montmartre and Pigalle are situated on a hill in the 18th arrondissement towards the north of Paris. An area famed for the city’s most romantic landmark, the majestic white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur, it provides romance, worship and creativity in abundance.

Getting lost in the narrow cobbled streets which lead to Sacré-Coeur, filled with piano bars, boutiques, cafés and galleries, is as interesting and fun as getting there. Sitting on the steps of this Roman-Byzantine place of worship is a Parisian imperative.

Best boutiques

The Maje outlet is excellent if you like this label. There are discounted items in abundance and you could invest in an entire wardrobe for a third of the original price. In addition, there are plenty of original, colourful and creative boutiques, many with an arty vibe and mostly well priced. For some outstanding and unique costume jewellery, go to Satellite on 29 Passage Dubail; it’s amazing and staggeringly good value.

A fabulously ‘fowl’ dinner

If you love chicken then Le Coq Rico on 98 Rue Lepic is the only option. You need to book as it’s on the wish list of many a gastronome, and while the service was a little slow due to its popularity, the delicious result is worth the wait. If you think you’ve eaten poulet every which way, think again.

Maison Souquet has a sister property, another deluxe gem, Maison Athénée, just steps from the Place Vendôme and the Opéra Garnier. I think I need to visit this sister soon to find our whether she is as perfect...

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant

Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer