The windmill that gave Paris’ Moulin Rouge its name is now an Airbnb and books for just $1 | Smart News

Originally founded in 1889, the Moulin Rouge has been a Paris landmark for over 130 years.

For more than a century, glamorous showgirls dressed in elaborate costumes have been sweeping the stage at the Moulin Rouge, Paris’ iconic cabaret.

Now, for the first time, travelers can spend the night inside this long-running performing arts venue and get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to put on a show. through Airbnb– all for just a dollar a night.

The interior designers have transformed a secret room inside the building’s namesake windmill (Moulin Rouge means ‘red mill’) which was not previously open to the public and created a unique opportunity to sleep outside. interior of a Parisian monument. Inside, guests will find late 19th century-inspired decor and furnishings meant to transport them back in time to the Belle Époque, the “Bel Age,” when the the arts flourished in France between around 1870 and the start of the First World War in 1914.

Moulin Rouge Room

Interior designers designed the room to transport travelers back in time to the late 19th century.


As Sara Lieberman writes for Conde Nast Traveler, the piece, which was designed by Amplify Design Agency in about a week, is “glorious, absolutely out of this world and dreamy.” She slept in the four-poster bed surrounded by antique furniture, wrought-iron birdcages, draped pastel fabrics and other “romantic fairy tale” decor.

Travelers who book the Moulin Rouge boudoir can imagine what life as a sought-after cabaret entertainer would be like while exploring an adjoining dressing room overflowing with vintage costumes, love letters and perfumes. They can enjoy a drink on a private rooftop terrace outfitted with vintage patio furniture and pretend with a miniature cabaret-inspired paper scene below.

The experience includes more than just an overnight stay: guests also get a private behind-the-scenes tour of the venue, a meet-and-greet with principal dancer Claudine Van Den Bergh (who is also the Airbnb host), and a opportunity to take pictures on stage with the cast. Tickets for the cabaret show magic are also included, along with a three-course dinner created by resident chef Arnaud Demerville and a classic Parisian breakfast.

Travelers can book this experience for just €1 ($1) per night.

If that all sounds too good to be true, here’s the catch: the offer is only available for three individual one-night stays (for a maximum of two people) this summer on June 13, 20 and 27. Reservation opens May 17.

(Another catch, according to Lieberman, is that guests have to walk down the stairs to the nearby club to use the restroom.)

Co-founders Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler opened the Moulin Rouge in the Montmartre district of Paris in 1889, with the aim of creating “the largest and most beautiful of cabarets; a temple dedicated to Women, Dance and Cancan”, according to the The Moulin Rouge website.

They topped the building with a windmill to pay homage to Montmartre’s past and painted it red “because they wanted it to be seen from everywhere”, said Fanny Rabasse, spokesperson for the Moulin. Red. CBS News‘Alina Cho in 2020.

Exterior of the Moulin Rouge windmill

Travelers can stay inside the Red Windmill at the top of the Moulin Rouge, where 80 dancers perform every night.


People from all walks of life attended the dance hall performances, from eccentrics and entertainers to wealthy socialites. During the Belle Epoque period, the peaceful years between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War, the Parisians embodied the joy of living— joie de vivre — by indulging in art, haute couture, music, and other lavish pastimes that reflected the prosperity of the time.

“The café-concerts have become the true symbol of this social and cultural mix”, according to the Moulin Rouge website. “Workers, artists, bourgeois and aristocrats gathered at the same table in a joyful atmosphere of celebration and frivolity.”

Music hall fans are quickly seduced by the cancanan energetic new dance style inspired by the quadrille in which the dancers threw their legs in the air and exposed their petticoats in the process. A fire destroy the building in 1915, but the crews rebuilt it and the Moulin Rouge reopened in 1921.

The historic site also inspired the popular 2001 film by Baz Luhrmann Red Mill!an adaptation of the opera Bohemian which follows a young English poet who falls in love with a cabaret artist. Starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, the film inspired new generations of cabaret-goers and led to the creation of a hit broadway musical of the same name.

Balcony of the Moulin Rouge

Guests staying in the Windmill also have access to a private rooftop terrace.


Although management and shows have changed over time, the venue has remained a hub for the performing arts through the centuries. Today, the Parisian institution celebrates 133 years of activity.

During the current broadcast, magic, 80 dancers from 14 different countries perform twice a night, donning an impressive 1,000 sequined costumes and elaborate headpieces. The dizzying kicks and choreography are an integral part of an institution that still serves as a shortcut to an era of beauty and excess in the City of Light.

And if their popularity over the past century is any indication, Parisian dancers – and their musical theater counterparts on Broadway – will be a dazzling audience of “outcasts and rascals, artists and upstarts, maids and sodomites.” “, as the fictional owner of the Moulin Rouge, Harold Zidler. croons in the musical based on Luhrmann’s film, well into the future.

Comments are closed.