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La Belle Juliette – even our signs are out of the ordinary

When you have a brand new hotel with impeccable décor, where every single detail has been studied, discussed and meticulously planned, there’s a risk the the whole thing can seem just a little too rigid, slightly uptight. To avoid this, our interior designer has added some quirky touches, surprising furniture, strange mixes of colours, and… a little touch of humour somewhere you wouldn’t expect it: the signs showing you the floor number and how to get to your room.

It just so happens that the idea fits perfectly with the concept of the hotel…
photos: JasonW

Everything began with an idea for doing things a little differently. We’ve all seen the standard plaques in hotels, with arrows telling you that room 402 is this way, rooms 409 is that way… Essential, obviously, but so terribly, terribly dull, and we want La Belle Juliette to be anything but dull. And so an idea was hatched to take something useful and give it an interesting twist, as if to prove that you can remain chic without having to take life too seriously.www.labellejuliette.comWe were inspired by a practice that was very common during Juliette’s time; sticking posters in the street for publicity, one over another, creating a sort of visual cacophony, albeit with a certain graphic elegance. We decided to do something similar with the directional information for our guests. With pages prepared by our graphic artist, we spent a morning at Anne Gelbard’s workshop making them look weathered, and then a few day before the hotel opened we organised a Banksy-style covert intervention, pasting them at pre-determined spots on every floor. Masked or hidden in hoodies, the whole event was taken very seriously by those involved (although a certain amount of giggling did entail)!www.labellejuliette.comwww.labellejuliette.comwww.labellejuliette.comwww.labellejuliette.comThere are posters at three places on each level. First of all, you’ll see them in the stairwell, so that sporty types who have come up on foot know which floor they are on ;-). Next, when you come out of the lift you’ll see a poster telling you to turn right to reach the rooms, and the last posters are in the corridor, telling you whether you should turn left or right, depending on your room number.www.labellejuliette.comwww.labellejuliette.comwww.labellejuliette.comEach floor has its own humorous touch; on the 4th floor, for “les Causeries” (a reference to the gossip that inevitably circulated at Juliette’s literary salons), the poster says “Shhhh!”. On the second floor, you’ll be invited to “follow the finger”, etc.

Several posters are stuck one over the other to evoke the chaotic billposting that was common during Juliette’s time. Some of our guests may be surprised at first that we haven’t chosen the usual plexiglass engraved plaques, but hopefully our explanation will help them to understand why.www.labellejuliette.comThe evening of billposting was a little longer than we imagined, but we’re very happy with the results, and spirits were high throughout (there was even a long fit of laughter to finish everything off).www.labellejuliette.comTo see all of our photos of the night’s poster-sticking at La Belle Juliette, click the play button on the slideshow below, then click the four little arrows bottom right to go into fullscreen mode.

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