A hotel for Proustians.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

One afternoon in Paris The Delhi Walla entered Le Swann. This hotel in rue de Constantinople is named after Charles Swann, perhaps the most romantic/artistic/melancholic character in Marcel Proust’s seven-volume novel In Search of Lost Time.

The hotel is devoted to Proust and his world. The design is inspired from Lost Time. The dimly-lit lobby is decorated with various editions of his novel and with many books that are written on him. Passages from the novel adorn the walls of the hotel.

A set of Lost Time’s leather-bound first edition is stacked inside a locked glass case.

The tea lounge has a painting of Proust. Another painting presents the entire novel in extremely small-sized words – 3000 pages in a single glance(!)

The restroom has a wall-sized portrait of Proust as a child – he posed for the photographer with his brother.

Each of the 81 rooms bears the name of a character in the novel, or of an artist admired by Proust. In a room called Odette, I found a short text introducing Swann’s mistress. Each room also has an original watercolor inspired by the description of a character or a scene in the novel.

After exiting the hotel, I walked down the street for a few minutes, and then I turned back to throw a final look at Le Swann. I found a black and white watercolor of Marcel watching over me.

Room service, please send Proust

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

Be Sociable, Share!