The legendary Les Bains, a former 19th Century bathhouse turned nightclub, is reborn into a hybrid hotel dripping with soulful decadence.

It was originally built in 1885 as Les Bains Guerbois, a private thermal bath house founded by Francois Auguste Guerbois—who also owned the bohemian mecca Cafe’ Guerbois in Montmartre, beloved by Edouard Manet and Emile Zola. That clientele soon began to also frequent the baths, including Marcel Proust, who enjoyed regular steam sessions alongside local workers from the nearby Les Halles.

In 1978, the ailing building was resurrected as the nightclub Les Bains Douches, which, designed by a relatively unknown Philippe Starck, became a playground to glitterati including Yves Saint-Laurent and Catherine Deneuve. The club closed in 2010, after which the tattered property briefly functioned as a temporary artist space. In 2014, construction began on the 39-room boutique hotel Les Bains, which opened in April.

Photos courtesy Paul Raeside; text courtesy