High Design + High Tech = Hi Matic
High tech meets high design in Hi Matic, an "urban eco lodge" from French designer Matali Crasset and hoteliers Philippe Chapelet and Patrick Elouarghi, the same team behind the Hi Hotel in Nice. Located in the lively Parisian neighborhood between the world's hippest cemetary, Père Lachaise, and the trendy Place de la Bastille, one might easily mistake Hi Matic for a hostel. The practical block shapes and twee colors are definitely youthful. But Hi Matic is not a budget hotel or a youth hostel. It's a new sort of technophile bed and breakfast placed square in the urban center of Paris with an eco-friendly ethos to boot.
Designer Crasset has taken the idea of a Japanese Ryokan and given it a modern twist. Instead of rooms, the 5-story Hi Matic has 42 "cabins" that feature transmutable elements
and multi-functional furnishings.
The memory-foam mattress at the center of the cabin turns into a lounge for daytime. Pillow and bedding are conveniently stowed overhead.
A pull out desk serves as a place to work, read, or regroup. Guests are encouraged to play with the moveable elements of the cabins and create their own perfect arrangement. And, yes, there's free Wi-Fi.
The communal areas at Hi Matic are just as playful as the cabin rooms, mixing up simple comfort with practical, space-conscious design. Matali has used almost exclusively eco-friendly materials in Hi Matic. All the furnishings are made out of sustainable wood and rubber, the fixtures include low-energy lightbulbs and water saving taps, and the duvets, hangers, bins, and pillows in the cabins are recyclable.
Bold color accents comes courtesy of natural paint. To keep Hi Matic sparkling, the hotel staff (who wear ethically sourced uniforms) use green cleaning products.
Hi Matic makes expansive use use of modern communication technology, allowing visitors to complete all business through a series of interactive screen places throughout the hotel. While there are staff onsite, the middleman is almost completely cut out of the guest's experience, from checking in and out to ordering food. And speaking of food.
In keeping with their emphasis on eco-friendliness and green living, Hi Matic serves a 100% organic breakfast in the hotel restaurant. And in keeping with their high tech approach to hospitality, the restaurant is totally automated.
There are no buffet lines, servers, or even chefs to be seen. Diners make their selection from a dispensary machine and eat breakfast on an airline-style tray while seated around communal tables.
For night owls and non-breakfast eaters, the 24-hour Shop-Matic is stocked with organic foodstuffs as well as maps, guides, hygiene kits, and other oft–forgotten travel essentials.
The coolest thing about Hi Matic is most definitely the inter-hotel social network that's been integrated into every part of the guest's experience. Need tips on cool places to go? No problem! The hotel has its own constantly evolving guide to Paris, created out of suggestions added in by guests. The network is incredibly comprehensive, allowing guests to do everything from choose the music playing in the lobby to sending out a call for chic bar recommendations.
Hi Matic aims to fill the needs of a
new kind of traveler, a plugged in young business type who craves the simplicity of an old fashioned pied-à-terre and the convenience of 24/7 social media integration, all wrapped up in practical, colorful design. Hi Matic opened in April of 2011. Rates start at $130 per night. MT