Voulez-vous couch in the Moulin Rouge? Grab an extra pair of slips (or not!) and pack your toothbrush, because for the first time in its 133-year history, Moulin has been transformed into a beautiful Airbnb and we’ve got an exclusive look. While Airbnb offers wild windmill lodgings around the world, there may be nothing quite as beautiful as Paris’ Boulevard de Clichy in Montmartre.
Starting Tuesday, May 17 at 1 p.m. EST, anyone with a verified Airbnb account and positive review will have the opportunity to book one of three nights (June 13, 20, and 27) at the 3,000-square-foot windmill.
Plus, it costs just €1 – includes dinner, long-running Féerie show, and backstage access to meet your Airbnb host (and lead dancer) Claudine Van Den Bergh and the artisans applying feathers, beads , and rhinestones from bespoke costume shows.
A Parisian by choice for over seven years now – and a lover of stage and sequins – I get dizzy at the thought of sleeping above a famous nightclub during media previews. Instead of being one of the hordes of tourists snapping selfies from the boulevard below, I’ll be bombarding them with photo bombs, but I’ll have to be patient.
The opening of the room will be after the 9pm show, which is a bit old fashioned and outdated as 20+ years go by, but still an amazing 90 minutes of snakes, clowns, nipples, flip flops and acrobatic shows. I sat in one of four exclusive theaters (tables shared) during a three-course meal, curated by chef Arnaud Demerville.
It was delicious and seasonal: green bean and snow pea tartare with raw prawns, monkfish with braised cabbage and After Eight-inspired chocolate torte. Of course, our coup is never empty.
I’m hesitant to drink too much though, though, as the only drawback to sleeping in a centuries-old windmill typically used for storage is that there’s no en suite bathroom. To reach the next bathroom, I had to go outside onto the terrace, down the stairs and into the club next door, Le Bar Bulles.
It wasn’t too bad, but once was enough, so instead of pairing my pajamas with heels to brush my teeth with the partygoers still sipping champagne after the show (pro tip: package sandals), I did it like I used to. early 1900s and filled porcelain bowls with water for washing in the room.
Which brings me to the room itself. So beautiful – totally out of this world. Less sexy boudoirs and Lady Marmalade, more romantic fairy tales and Lady Mary. With a 16-foot ceiling from which pastel-colored fabric drapes over a wrought iron aviary and feather chandelier above the four-poster bed, it is filled to the brim with antique furniture and Belle Epoque decor.
Amplify Design Agency spent about a month scouring flea markets and antique shops for materials, including a bedside table with Voltaire books, a dresser decorated with perfume bottles with beaded necklaces and knitted gloves. simply hung over a mirror, and a love letter written in cursive script could only be described as passionate but illegible.
While the biggest renovation challenge was scrubbing and painting the circular walls and replacing the red carpet with a beige burlap carpet, the facelift otherwise took about a week.
While “dancing in the windmill is allowed if you can” as the Airbnb listing states, I accept my cliché by watching Baz Luhrmann movies on my phone; Falling asleep to the combined sound of Nicole Kidman singing and revelers came out of the second show. The outside lights of the windmill didn’t go out until just after 2am, prompting me to use the silk eye mask provided.
But I was comfortable and cozy thanks to the hot water bottle under the covers. (Towels, earplugs, and a bar of lavender soap are also provided.) In the morning, breakfast is pushed on an antique cart: fresh strawberries, pastries, juice and coffee, which I eat slowly to prolong my stay.
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Five windmills around the world worth a visit
They may not be the Moulin Rouge, but if you can’t spend the night at the famous windmill, consider this Airbnb instead.
1. Wissenskerke, Netherlands
This list would not be complete without at least one Dutch windmill. This in New Zealand manages to be quaint and super chic, with exposed brick walls and Scandinavian-style furnishings in the fully equipped kitchen and lounge. From £172 per night
2. Antiparos, Greece
There is no shortage of windmills in all of Greece – especially on the islands. But this one in quiet Antiparos gets our vote for having All The Things: chic décor, infinity pool, two bedrooms, and an outdoor kitchen and terrace. From £359 per night
3. Rosebud, Canada
We were blown away by the display of local craftsmanship at the full-service windmill dubbed The Impossible Dream in Alberta, just an hour outside Calgary: cedar plank floors, European beech tables, and exposed Douglas fir beams—there’s even a secret library. From £100 per night
4. Setbal, Portugal
Built in 1855 just outside the center of Lisbon, this windmill has retained all its original charm (see: wooden beams, stone steps, azulejos tiles). We love the little corner where the microwave or books are crammed in. From £116 per night
5. Capitola, California
Bright red on the outside and rainbow colors on the inside, this California windmill has a 1970s feel – complete with modular leather sofas and mirrored bathrooms. It also has a lovely outdoor area overlooking the river. From £1,214 per night