Stay the night at the birthplace of the can-can: A ‘secret’ room in the iconic Moulin Rouge windmill in Paris is now on Airbnb – and it’s been ‘designed to take guests back to the 19th century’
- The Airbnb stay includes a ‘peek behind the velvet curtains’ of the Moulin Rouge club and tickets to a show
- Historian Jean-Claude Yon, who specialises in 19th-century France, helped to decorate the windmill’s boudoir
- Guests can sip on an aperitif and dine on a three-course meal on the windmill’s adjoining private terrace
The windmill at the top of the Moulin Rouge nightclub is one of the most distinctive landmarks in Paris. And now, you can stay there.
A ‘secret room’ inside the windmill – which has never before been open to the public – is now available to rent on Airbnb, and it has been ‘sumptuously designed to transport guests back in time to the late 19th century’.
During their stay, guests will get the chance to ‘peek behind the velvet curtains’ of the world-renowned cabaret below, enjoying backstage access to the theatre before settling into the ‘best seats’ in the house to watch the show.
A ‘secret room’ inside the Moulin Rouge windmill – that has never before been open to the public – is now available to rent on Airbnb
The room has been ‘sumptuously designed to transport guests back in time to the late 19th century’
Nestled in the heart of the city’s Montmartre district, the Moulin Rouge is known as the birthplace of the French can-can, a dance that’s symbolic of the Belle Epoque Era – which spanned from the late 1800s to the start of World War I – and 1920s dance-halls.
The club has always been characterised by its red windmill, which was first constructed in 1889. The original windmill burnt down in a fire, but was reconstructed in the 1920s.
Airbnb worked with the historian Jean-Claude Yon, who specialises in 19th-century France, to authentically renovate the windmill to make it appear ‘exactly as it would have been’ in the Belle Epoque era.
Airbnb worked with the historian Jean-Claude Yon, who specialises in 19th-century France, to decorate the windmill in the Belle Epoque style
The space is described as an ‘opulent boudoir filled with exquisite art nouveau features’. Guests can play dress-up in the boudoir’s wardrobe area, which has been filled with vintage costumes.
It’s described as an ‘opulent boudoir filled with exquisite art nouveau features’, including a miniature paper stage that will ‘immerse guests in the spirit of the cabaret’.
What’s more, guests can play dress-up in the boudoir’s wardrobe area, which has been filled with ‘glamorous accessories from the Belle Epoque, including vintage costumes, fragrant perfumes and effusive letters from admirers’.
Pictures reveal the space has a soft-pink colour scheme, with decorative features such as an old sewing machine, elaborate candlesticks and draped curtains adding to its ambience.
‘Fragrant perfumes and effusive letters from admirers’ are among the decorative features in the space
The space has a miniature paper stage, pictured on the left, that will ‘immerse guests in the spirit of the cabaret’. ‘This secret room inside the cabaret’s famous windmill has been designed to take you on an authentic journey back in time to experience the French capital of arts and pleasures during a moment in history,’ says historian Jean-Claude Yon
An old sewing machine adds to the room’s ambience
To take in views of Paris by night, guests can step out onto the adjoining private rooftop terrace, which has similarly been decorated with garden furniture that’s characteristic of the 19th century.
After getting acquainted with their sleeping quarters, guests will be treated to a ‘carefully curated evening designed to embrace the grandeur of the illustrious cabaret’.
This will include a private tour of the Moulin Rouge, learning about its colourful history and its costume-makers.
And guests won’t go hungry. They’ll nurse an aperitif on the rooftop terrace, before feasting on a three-course dinner – crafted in the Belle Epoque style, apparently – that has been prepared by Moulin Rouge’s resident chef, Arnaud Demerville.
To take in views of Paris by night, guests can step out onto the adjoining private rooftop terrace, pictured above
Guests will be treated to a ‘carefully curated evening designed to embrace the grandeur of the illustrious cabaret’
Downstairs in the cabaret club, they’ll head to lead dancer Claudine Van Den Bergh’s dressing room for a meet and greet, before taking photos on stage with the cast of the show.
Next, it’s showtime. Guests will settle in to watch the Moulin Rouge’s ‘Féerie’ show, which is billed as a ‘fantasy world of feathers and French opulence, featuring sensational performances, sumptuous sets and original music’.
The following morning, guests will be treated to a ‘classic Parisian petit dejeuner (breakfast)’ on the terrace before saying au revoir to the iconic landmark.
A meet and greet with Moulin Rouge’s lead dancer, Claudine Van Den Bergh, pictured, is one of the highlights of the Airbnb stay
Above is the film poster for the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! starring Nicole Kidman as cabaret performer Satine
Though the Moulin Rouge cabaret club has long been a Parisian icon, the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! starring Nicole Kidman as cabaret performer Satine, further fuelled its fame. The movie, which was mostly filmed at Fox studio in Sydney, Australia, rather than Paris, has since been adapted into an award-winning musical, hitting the stage in London’s West End and New York’s Broadway.
Commenting on the new Airbnb experience, dancer Claudine Van Den Bergh says: ‘Attending a show at the Moulin Rouge offers an escape from the every day and an incredible immersion into the glamour and grandeur of French Music Hall. The Belle Epoque-inspired interior of our much-loved windmill will transport guests to the era from which this timeless cabaret emerged.’
Historian Jean-Claude Yon adds: ‘The Belle Epoque era was a time when French culture and arts flourished – and no landmark is more iconic to that period than the Moulin Rouge.
‘This secret room inside the cabaret’s famous windmill has been designed to take you on an authentic journey back in time to experience the French capital of arts and pleasures during a moment in history.’
There are three individual one-night stays up for grabs – with up to two guests permitted per night – on June 13, 20 and 27. Bookings can be made from Tuesday, May 17, at airbnb.com/moulinrouge.
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