Christian Lacroix is Paris's most celebrated maximalist, artfully mixing baroque velvets, religious references, lace, and vivid white-on-black dots—and that's just in one look. When the fashion designer was called on to re-create the interiors for a small hotel in the hippest corner of the Marais, he dressed every one of the 17 rooms differently, then transformed his fat "inspiration notebooks" of sketches and collages into digitized frescoes for the guest quarters, bar, and lobby (which was once a boulangerie). Each room is now outfitted with bright prints, Modernist furniture, and flat-screen TV's, though old-fashioned touches (such as the elevated porcelain water tanks with pull chains in some bathrooms) keep the 17th-century property appropriately quirky. You might even bump into the designer in the downstairs bar; he's been taking appointments there. When you've dreamed up a hotel this stylish, why go anywhere else?Hôtel du Petit Moulin, 2931 Rue de Poitou; 33-1/42-74-10-10; www.hoteldupetitmoulin.com; doubles from $240.
—SARAH RAPER LARENAUDIE
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