Inside the Paris Cinema Hotel Where Guests Don't Leave Their Rooms

Ever dreamed of vacationing inside a movie theater? At Hotel Paradiso, you can

MK2 Hotel Paradiso

Courtesy of Romain Ricard/MK2 Nation

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mk2 Hotel Paradiso

135 Bd Diderot, 75012 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 88 59 20 01

Film buffs worldwide saw their wildest dreams come true this past spring when French hospitality group MK2 Nation announced the grand opening of their unique hotel-movie theater hybrid, Hotel Paradiso. Located in Paris's hip 12th arrondissement, the hotel, named after the 1966 film of the same name, boasts 34 rooms and two suites, each doubling as its own private movie theater complete with a 10-foot wide screen, laser projector, and professional-level sound system. Better yet, each room includes built-in access to several streaming services, a library catalog of 2,500 digital titles, and even the opportunity to stream new releases from the public movie theater downstairs (the MK2 Nation) for guests booking the hotel's suites.

As a huge movie fan, I knew I had to experience Hotel Paradiso, so on a recent trip to Paris, I booked a room and spent several days exploring the hotel. France's cinema culture is unrivaled; the French take movies seriously, and I knew I would be in great company among other cinephiles like myself. What I didn't realize is just how seriously the hotel's clientele would be about the cinema experience. What I found during my stay surprised and delighted me.

MK2 Hotel Paradiso 2

Courtesy of MK2 Nation

Upon checking in at the hotel, I scanned my surroundings to get a feel for the type of customer popping into Hotel Paradiso but didn't see many other people around. Throughout the week, the elevator up to my room was empty at all times, and I never bumped into anyone in the hallway—cleverly decorated with shelves full of classic DVDs and movie artwork selected by French photographer Ruben Brulat—despite being in and out of my room quite often.

Attributing the low foot traffic to me arriving on a weekday, I nevertheless settled in immediately, spending hours flipping through the thousands of films at my fingertips and instantly falling in love with my room's chic furnishings, helmed by former fashion designer Alix Thomsen, who scattered pops of yellow, red and purple alongside cushioned lounge chairs and bedside trays perfect for movie night popcorn and drinks. The film-themed Do Not Disturb signs were a particularly great touch, and I loved that the room's numbers were lit up cinema-style above the doors. To top it off, I had a perfect view of a cinematic mural painted by the artist (and collaborator of French film legend Agnès Varda) JR right outside my window.

I spent my days exploring Paris and returned to my hotel in the late afternoons armed with a mental checklist of the films I wanted to watch that evening. My heart fluttered every time I hit the button on my iPad to make my projector roll down, which automatically switched off the room's lights, just like a real theater. I streamed Wim Wenders' "Paris, Texas," one of my all-time favorites, and kicked back in ecstasy at the pin-drop perfect surround sound. I made my way through rewatches of several films by Èric Rohmer, whose chronicles of twenty- and thirty-something Parisians wearing light cardigans wrapped around their shoulders while drinking wine on a beach felt aspirational. But I still never saw another soul in the hotel beside me.

Until the following evening.

MK2 Hotel Paradiso

Courtesy of Romain Ricard/MK2 Nation

Arriving back to my room after a successful evening nabbing a last-minute solo late-night dinner reservation, I almost tripped over a room service tray in front of one of the rooms on my floor near the elevator. I looked down to see an empty glass and near-empty bag of popcorn from the hotel's room service menu, curated by popular Paris cafe Bob's Juice Bar. I then scanned the hallway, where I noticed room service trays in front of almost every room. Could it be? A sign of life?

I quickly ran down the stairwell to the floor below me to see if I had finally cracked the code, and indeed I had. I stared in awe, like a farmer discovering crop circles hidden behind tall grass, at what was right in front of me the entire time. I wasn't alone in the hotel after all—the other hotel guests just hadn't been leaving their rooms. Dedicated to the cinematic experience, they instead had been spending all of their time inside, watching films and ordering room service—the ultimate Parisian staycation.

I parted for the airport the following day, downhearted to leave the enchantment of Hotel Paradiso behind. While I didn't get to see any of the cinephiles who booked into the hotel with me, I walked away from the experience still knowing I was in the company of true film lovers. And while the moviegoing experience may look different these days, my time at Hotel Paradiso proved that the power of cinema can still transport you from anywhere—even a hotel room.

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Inside the Paris Cinema Hotel Where Guests Don't Leave Their Rooms