Eternal Fête

LES BAINS, Paris, France

Bacchus stares out from a Haussmannian façade as if to ask: Are you ready? Are you worthy? Do you know just where you are? You can feel them in the foyer: the ghosts of parties past. Warhol and Basquiat conspiring near the double-faced clock; Yves Saint Laurent under the David Rocheline frescoes, where puckish figures look on in wicked amusement. Footsteps echo across 19th-century floral tiles where Proust once walked. And the music reverberates—Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Prince—downstairs across the mosaic tile pool of a million late-night indiscretions; in the restaurant, where that legendary black-and-white-checkered dance floor still pulses with art, sex, excitement, laughter. The building has been reborn, yet the creative energy remains. And just like before, everyone is here.

"Oh, there was no other nightclub. It was like a place of freedom. A temple for night culture. And it was cool." André Saraiva

THE HOTEL — Before it was a hotel, Les Bains Douches opened in 1978 on the site of a 19th-century bathhouse in the Marais, later becoming Paris’s era-defining nightclub and making international stars of its then-unknown designer (Philippe Starck) and resident DJ (David Guetta). A favorite stomping ground of Yves Saint Laurent, Mick Jagger, Johnny Depp, and Kate Moss, to name a few, Les Bains Douches was a place where celebrity culture and the underground came together in spiked-heel, red-lipped, always-glamorous fashion. Thanks to the extraordinary joint work of architects and designers Vincent Bastie, Tristan Auer, and Denis Montel (RDAI), the iconic space reopended in 2015 as Les Bains, a vibrant, connected, international clubhouse, and hotel.

The trick is to abide by the aura of the place. I want people to feel the accumulated history, the years of incredible stories, and the lives that have touched the place. Jean-Pierre Marois – Filmmaker, Owner of Les Bains

It’s fitting that it took an artist—filmmaker Jean-Pierre Marois—to revive the fin de siècle splendor and bohemian verve of the legendary Parisian building where Marcel Proust came to unwind, Depeche Mode stormed the stage, and Philippe Starck made his name. The building had belonged to his family since the late 1960s, so Marois was intimately aware of its rich, storied past. In 2011, he founded La Société des Bains and set out to resurrect this Parisian institution—not to reinvent it but to reinvigorate its history and raw spirit for a new generation of rebels and revelers.

LES BAINS, Paris, France

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