The Hôtel de Joséphine Bonaparte, or shorter JoBo, is situated in the heart of Parisian bohemian quarter Le Marais. With its colorful interior design and amazing location, JoBo presents an interesting proposition for the new generation of modern travelers that, rather than the stereotypical run-of-the-mill accommodation, have something different and more artistic in mind. And, when it comes to JoBo we were introduced to unexpected, playful, theatrical and funky with a touch of rock’n’roll style. It is a very exciting place to be, so we could easily imagine Keith Richards at the bar, and his devotees following the same path.
As its name suggests, JoBo hotel is inspired by the life and times of Joséphine Bonaparte, a French Empress and first wife of Napoléon Bonaparte. Trendsetter and one of the most elegant women of the period, Joséphine was wild about decoration. She was known as a patroness of roses: her Chateau de Malmaison was, at the time of her death in 1814, a home to 250 roses, some of which Napoléon himself found on seized ships during his conquests and sent them to France, to his wife’s rose garden. Therefore, the rose is a leitmotif of this charming hotel.
Visual identity of JoBo hotel is entrusted to Bambi Sloan, a prominent Franco-American interior designer well known for the bold use of colors, patterns and styles. For the JoBo, she had the chance to play around with both the “Directoire” and “Josephine” eras. Her signature style is leopard-print seen on floors, walls, curtains and in this hotel it is imaginatively combined with various shades of pink and roses. She gave her best to create a playful and flamboyant, yet strangely pleasant and nonchalant atmosphere. Everything in this hotel follows the theme, that could best be described as a vibrant mixture of French and Glam Rock style.
Among JoBo’s 24 rooms, it is absolutely impossible not to find at least one that will put a huge grin on your face. Bambi Sloan magnified everything while telling a story. She designed all the carpets especially for the hotel: leopard print carpets sprinkled with roses for the bar, lounges and reception, a bed of roses for the corridors, trompe l’oeil marquetry parquet for the rooms. She imagined Joséphine going to cut roses, filling baskets, tossing them on the panther rug and walking all over them. That’s why there are roses on the rug. The interesting fact is that we have to thank Joséphine for the first leopard rug.
Of course, the funny stuff is reserved only for the design. When it comes to service, JoBo hotel becomes pretty serious affair. The staff is helpful and professional, the overall atmosphere is relaxed and very welcoming and, while the rooms are not the largest ones around, they are comfortable enough that you can put yourself at ease and simply enjoy your time in Paris.
Le Marais feels like a city within a city, full of beautifully narrow streets, romantic cafes and myriad of shops that are open even on weekends. A perfect period to enjoy this fabulous quarter is summer. During our stay, we challenged ourselves with endless walks up to the river Seine, and mandatory visits to Place des Vosges, Maison de Victor Hugo, Pompidou Centre and Musée Picasso. At the afternoon, we went to the nearby cafes and restaurants at the Place Sainte-Catherine.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Le Marais and the Jobo Hotel. As our stay was getting closer to an end, we were ready to pack our memories with one thought in mind: Bambi Sloan succeeded in her attempt to give Paris one of those hotels that will be remembered in years to come. We can only recommend you to go and see it for yourself, with high hopes that you will recognize its quirkiness as something intentionally funny and infinitely creative.
10 rue d’Ormesson
75004 – Paris
Vukota Brajovic for Fashionela