The Francis Files
Travel by Design: Chateau Voltaire Paris
FEBRUARY 9, 2023 - Written by Kevin O'Gara
Château Voltaire is a newly established and beautifully appointed hotel located in the heart of Paris on rue Saint-Roch. It is situated in close proximity to the Opera Garnier and boasts a captivating and scandalous past, with local legends claiming it was once a brothel. The hotel's interior is equally intriguing, embued with a laid-back elegance that is so authentically Parisian – it was very intentionally designed to stand apart from trendier accommodations.
The hotel was established by Thierry Guiller, founder of fashion brand Zadig & Voltaire (the hotel's namesake, notably not the philosopher), in partnership with creative director Franck Durand and artchitecture studio Festen. The transformation of the corner townhouse at number 55 into a chic and timeless hotel was a project that combined Durand's passion for design and Guiller's flair for fashion. The hotel exudes a sense of inviting style that feels like stepping into Guiller's own home, with his personal art collection including a Picasso in the suite that was once his private quarters.
The hotel's restaurant, Brasserie Emil, is a true gem, with its contemporary stained-glass windows creates a warm diffusion of light throughout the space. The waitstaff offers an old-school brasserie-style service, and guests can indulge in sumptuous scallop carpaccio and decadent mousse au chocolat while basking in the heavenly glow.
Like many great Parisian hotels, Château Voltaire has its own pet, in this case the General Manager's French bulldog, Bobby. The hotel's spaces, including the low-lit baroque-style bar La Coquille d'Or, the inviting living room, and the rustic Brasserie Emil, are designed to cater to both hotel guests and local patrons. The 32 rooms are designed to feel like smart little apartments (each a little different), with dusty-pink velvet sofas, bean-to-cup coffee machines, and white bathrooms. Nothing at Château Voltaire feels forced, and it is quickly becoming a key address for Parisian insiders.