The Byrne Notice

My Favorite Hotel – Ruschmeyer’s Ben Pundole

Nord Hotels // Travel 

The Founder of King & Grove, the team behind acclaimed Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk, the soon-to-be relaunched Hotel Williamsburg and the Chelsea Hotel tells us about the most memorable place he’s laid his head…

“I love Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus in Arles, France. It’s equal parts eccentric and bohemian and charming and feels like you’ve stepped onto the set of a Wes Anderson film It was a regular hangout for the artists such Picasso and Cocteau, and this legendary bullfighter Dominguín. The original owners were a cabaret dancer and her husband, a tightrope walking clown (how French!), so it’s pretty easy to imagine what the scene must have been like back in the day.

The décor is cool; the original characteristics of the lobby have been restored with wrought iron, North African and mid century modern-ish elements and there’s an incredible photography collection hanging on the walls, which features the likes of Peter Beard, Peter Lindbergh and an iconic Helmut Newton photograph of Charlotte Rampling.

There’s a little bar packed with bullfighting memorabilia, artists’ sketches, photos and absinthe, which inspires you conjure up images of an eccentric asylum of nostalgia and debauchery, and oh, the debauchery we had in that little bar. I don’t remember his name but the front desk guy who was also the bartender was effortlessly entertaining with seriously heavy-handed pours and absurd anecdotes about the hotel’s infamous visitors.

The 26 rooms are really simple, tiled, many with windows out onto the main square. You’re not here for the rooms though, just for a day or two to slip into character and let your spirit wander… ”

14 Place du Forum, 13200 Arles, France tel 04 90 93 44 44
Nord-pinus.com

-- Fiona Byrne

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