And to save on travel time, they’re exactly the same room.
This schizophrenic suite is in the Au Vieux Panier hotel in Marseille, France. Each year, the hotel commissions artists, graphic designers, and painters to transform their five suites into unique works of art.
This year, French graffiti artist Tilt was invited to create the ‘Panic Room‘. Using about 50 cans of spray paint, Tilt (and his henchmen Tober, Grizz, and Don Cho) bombed and tagged precisely half of this hotel room – and to heighten the contrast, they left the other half a pristine white.
They painted half the ceiling, bed linens, vanity mirror, magazines, and even a pen on the vanity table. Depending on your tastes, it’s either a vivid mash-up or a horrendous train wreck. It’s certainly the perfect lair for Batman’s arch-nemesis supervillain, Two-Face. It also reminds me of an underpass crossed with a mental hospital, also known as ‘The Last Places Nick Nolte Will Visit’. Not exactly what you’d expect when you’re holidaying in a boutique hotel in Marseille’s Panier district on the southeast coast of France.
The room’s stark division is reminiscent of that Brady Bunch episode when young Pete and Bobby were squabbling over their shared bedroom. Instead of battling to their deaths, the boys taped their room in half, in what was no doubt a sly geopolitical reference to heated land disputes in the Middle East and Northern Ireland. Those sitcom scamps!
The Au Vieux Panier’s building, by the way, dates back to the 17th century when it was a Corsican grocery shop. Each of their modern suites comes with WiFi, hi-fi audio, air-conditioning, and a private toilet and shower. Occupancy is single or double, rooms range from small to extra large, and rates range from 85 to 120 Euros per night ($112 to 158 CDN).
On the hotel’s website, the Au Vieux Panier’s invites you to “Sleep in a work of Art!” and bills their inn as a “comfortable and welcoming house dedicated to elegance and refinement. The building puts together Art and Decadence, which represents freedom of expression and lifestyle. In short it is timeless and audacious!”
Timeless, indeed…until next year’s makeover.
What do you think? Could you stay in this room, or would it feel crazier than a speed date with Nicolas Cage? Would this room inspire you to create your own works of art? Or make you go on a gleeful axe-wielding spree like Jack Nicholson in The Shining?
— Ken Hegan
Bing: world’s weirdest hotel rooms?
Learn more about the hotel at auvieuxpanier.com
And check out more of these photos courtesy Big Addict