From its caged elevators to its grand arches, Nîmes’ Hotel Imperator is a taste of Art Deco at its height.
The hotel first opened in 1920, under the management of the same company that ran the Orient Express. It’s just reopened after an almost two-year-long restoration, which revives the spirit of the roaring twenties.
Paris practice Naço Architectures oversaw the refurb, looking back at original Hotel Imperator postcards – which featured a large round logo – for some inspiration. The historic motif is echoed across the updated interiors, which feature circular details in carpets, walls and mirrors, as well as cut-out sections. The original metal elevator and staircase remain intact, alongside antique lighting.
Huge windows and oversized mirrors bring light into the 53-room hotel – which costs from €100 per night – that also offers a spa, three swimming pools and three restaurants. Bedrooms are named to remind visitors of former guests, which include Salvador Dali, Picasso and Ernest Hemingway.