Collection by Diana Budds

Matali Crasset's Hi Matic Hotel


In Paris's 11th Arrondissement, the Bastille district, French design maven Matali Crasset has composed delightfully unique and über contemporary design hotel for weary travelers to lay their heads. Hi Matic is part Japanese ryokan, part hostel, part technophile's dream (virtually everything is automated from reservations to check-in to check-out), and wholly a hypersaturated chromatic delight. It's located in a bustling neighborhood a stone's throw from Canal St. Martin, Pere-Lachaise cemetery, and Opera Bastille, and four metro stops are in the vicinity; Notre Dame and all of the Left Bank attractions are a 30 minute stroll away. But before I get side tracked by City of Light at large, let's have a look inside…

Hi Matic: 71 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France; +33-1-43-67-56-56;; rooms from 106 euros.

The sliding window screens are made of afzelia wood.
Here's the lobby with an elevated seating area. Very treehouse like.
A large map to help guest plan their daily adventures. Photo by Simon Bouisson.
Guests check themselves in via computer terminals, like at an airport.
Another cozy seating "pod" in the lobby, complete with reading material stowed in the cubbies below.
The vending machine in the lobby dispenses maps of Paris, guide books, international plug adapters, toiletries,...
In the canteen, a communal table stretches through the center and smaller, more private tables dot the periphery.
Grab a complimentary organic continental breakfast from the vending machine in the morning.
The design is based off of the ryokan, Edo-period Japan's version of a motel.
I've stayed in my fair share of hostels, and as a defacto connoisseur of said hostels, this looks light years beyond...
"The rooms are conceived on a model of a cabin," explains Crasset.
By night, it transforms into a fort-like sleeping space. Just unravel the sleeping pad that's stowed atop.
Here's a graphic explaining how to stow everything away. Photo by Simon Bouisson.
Here's a colorful detail from one of the cabins. Photo by Simon Bouisson.
Here's another look inside the Mini Cabin.