Best Western Masqhotel La Rochelle
Best Western masqhotel La Rochelle
17 rue de l’Ouvrage à cornes
17000 La Rochelle
tel +33 5 46 41 83 83
fax +33 5 46 07 04 43
Opened June 20th 2006
The masqhotel is the work of one man. Michel Dufour, holder of the Grand Prix de Rome for architecture, is the owner, architect and decorator of the hotel. His project was to create a new sort of hotel in la Rochelle, breaking with old fashioned traditions, he wanted to create a subtle and refined atmosphere in a distinctively modern environment, and he has succeeded magnificently.
The interior space of the masqhotel provides a surprising contrast with the sober exterior of the building and the character of the surrounding area. The internal volumes, the lighting, the colours and the materials entirely change the frame of reference.
“I wanted to decorate this hotel as though it were my own home, for my friends. I wanted it to be simple, but yet chic, subtle, and light but without ostentation. I wanted to bring out the volumes of the space and the architecture with the materials, the colours and the shape of the furniture and the accessories. I wanted to take care with every detail, everywhere, without forgetting anything.
I wanted to surprise and astonish. To leave behind what we’ve seen too many times already. I wanted the décor to hold the visitor’s attention while remaining harmonious. I wanted the hotel to be of its time, and to celebrate a global consciousness. I wanted to offer a new art of living and to make the guest think. I wanted to make a contribution.”
On the ground floor, the large dimensions of the hall (reception and lounge bar) serve to enhance the green area, where the dark green of luxuriant vegetation dominates the space, and the furniture is just an accessory whose curves challenge the horizontals and verticals of the architecture. The Maxima armchairs are made by Sawaya in plain plastic, the Lord Yo leather seats and the Carrara marble tables are designed by Philippe Starck for Driade, the sofas are made by Maxalto and upholstered in cloth, the pipe lights and the coloured lights are made in Murano for Artemide. They all blend together in curves of black, red and orange.
The dominant feature of the hall is, however, the large (4.5 square metres) and magnificent painting by Geredeg. It is composed in green, black and white and hangs in the bar area. It symbolises the brotherhood of man. May it prove to be an inspiration.
In the bedrooms the soft cottons and the gentle forms of the Simplice armchairs (made by Maxalto) contrast with the straight lines of the headboards made of Wengé (designed by Michel Dufour for La Fibule), the Diana bedside tables made of painted sheet steel and designed by Konstantin Grcic for Classicom, and the small and elegant Volino round table covered in leather and made by Poltrona Frau and Artemide’s latest light fittings. The larger Helsinky table by Desalto has a glass top, chrome feet and a translucent chair. The whole is very discreet, but the black drawer recalls the theme set by the headboard and the luggage carrier.
The door to the bathroom is also made of glass with chrome fittings. The white sanitary fittings are made by Ideal Standard. Jado supplied the taps. The walls and floors are tiled with Porcelansa in shades that are both neutral and clear. The white walls of the bedroom are revisited in the tints of the duvet, the bed covering matches the beige carpets and the subtle shade of the net curtains. The bright colours are in unexpected places- on the armchairs, on the courtesy tray and the bathroom waste bin.
In each of the hotel’s bedrooms there is a large abstract painting by the brothers Mantra and Geredeg. These original artworks are lively and colourful. They set off the decoration to perfection and reorder the space in the room. For a moment the guest sees only the painting and forgets everything else.
The corridor is silent, decked in soft felt, a place for movement. The subdued lighting picks out the doors, identified by big white numbers. This accentuates the luminous interior of the room and gives the guest a feeling of getting home.
The emblem of the hotel is a big wooden mask, sculpted from a single tree and which can be struck into the ground. This mask is linked to the cultivation of yams, the staple food of the mountain dwellers in Papua New Guinea, and is rich in religious and sexual symbolism.
This piece of primitive art is, in truth, neither very rare nor very old, but the mask stares out at the world with a startling intensity.
The two brothers Mantra and Geredeg are Balinese Hindus. Their studio is in Lombok. They were trained in the best art schools in Indonesia. Their work is abstract, brightly coloured and vigorous and compares favourably with anything artists can produce in the west.
It was the chance meeting of the architect with these painters that finalised the style of the hotel.
The hotel is situated on the Rue de l’Ouvrage à cornes (which literally means in French the “Street with the Hornwork”) which is the name given to a complicated system of fortifications designed to attack the enemy on his flanks. At the start of the seventeenth century there was such a fortification at La Rochelle protecting the Porte Saint Nicolas. Sixty years after the famous siege of 1629 building work started on new fortifications 150 metres to the east of the town but the project was gradually abandoned due to lack of funds. When the construction of the hotel started traces of the foundations of this new fortification were discovered running diagonally across the building site.
The masqhotel has four areas designed for all conference needs. They are spacious and airy, of modern design and well lit. They are ideal for seminars, conferences, receptions, working parties and product presentations and launches. The perfectly smooth running of all events is guaranteed by the comfort and adaptability of the Howe furniture made in Denmark and the high tech audio, video and communications equipment.
The Lounge Bar and Tea Room L’Ouvrage à cornes
The bar is open to everyone. It’s the ideal place to have a drink in a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, whether you are there to relax or to talk, for work or a business meeting.
We have an underground car park with 40 spaces and direct access to the bedrooms.
76 Rooms and Suites
Buffet Breakfast, or Breakfast in your room
The products we serve for breakfast are chosen for their quality, M. Chisson provides a selection of breads and mini pastries such as croissants and pains au chocolat made with Appellation Contrôlée butter, freshly squeezed fruit juice, a selection of hams, cheeses and eggs, dairy products and cereals.
Pierre Cizeau has a background in science and the financial markets but he was seduced by the quality and the innovation of the hotel. While the hotel was being built he was responsible for the installation of the high tech equipment. Since then Pierre has taken over its management. With his young and dynamic team he ensures that the hotel’s guests enjoy flexible, efficient and attentive service.
For further information please contact Ms Celine Dufour:
Telephone landline +33 5 46 44 31 66