Fancy a Night at the Museum? Airbnb Is Offering Stays at the Musée d’Orsay

The museum’s clock room promises unparalleled views of the Olympics Opening Ceremony.

The clock room at Musée d'Orsay, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur. Photo: Frederik Vercruysse, courtesy of Airbnb.

When the Musée d’Orsay took up residence in a historic rail station in Paris in 1986, it filled the building’s train hall with large-scale sculptures and the former railway hotel with its prized collection of Impressionist works.

The clock room on its fifth floor was open to visitors who could inspect the interior of the 19th-century timepiece, while taking in views of the Sacre Coeur and Tuileries Gardens across the Seine. It’s a breathtaking vista from a remarkable structure, enough to make you want to stay, non?

A large hall with massive skylights, with sculptures installed along the sides.

Inside the Musée d’Orsay. Photo: Frederik Vercruysse, courtesy of Airbnb.

Well, you can, says Airbnb. This summer, the online platform for short-term rentals is offering a stay at the Musée d’Orsay’s clock room, which has been made over by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur. “For the first time ever, and for just one night,” he wrote in the listing, “the museum’s iconic clock room will be transformed into a bedroom. I’ve crafted a unique space that is both romantic and contemporary, intimate yet sumptuous.” 

A wood-paneled lounge area furnished with white organically shaped sofas

A lounge area in the clock room at Musée d’Orsay, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur. Photo: Frederik Vercruysse, courtesy of Airbnb.

The space is now clad entirely in wood paneling, furnished with lounge-friendly furniture, and anchored by a plush-looking bed that is suspended off the ground. A punching bag has been installed in an alcove—a sporty touch alluding to the upcoming Paris Olympics. Lehanneur, after all, designed the torch and cauldron for this year’s games.  

An alcove installed with a punching bag.

An alcove in the clock room at Musée d’Orsay, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur. Photo: Frederik Vercruysse, courtesy of Airbnb.

The stay in the clock room includes private access to view d’Orsay’s Impressionist holdings, as well as a behind-the-scenes visit of “a space not available to the public.” And of course, from the vantage point of the room, one will also get quite the view of the Olympics Opening Ceremony.  

“Since the most beautiful room must have the most beautiful balcony, the museum’s large terrace will also be reserved for you,” said Lehanneur. “Paris is yours; the Ceremony can begin…” 

A man sitting in a white sofa in a wood-paneled bedroom

Mathieu Lehanneur in the clock room at Musée d’Orsay. Photo: Frederik Vercruysse, courtesy of Airbnb.

The Musée d’Orsay is one of 11 experiences that Airbnb is offering in a new category dubbed “Icons,” which features art, film, and sports-inspired stays that it is releasing throughout the year. “Icons take you inside worlds that only existed in your imagination,” raved Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, “until now.” 

Some of the highlights are stays at a recreation of the delightfully cozy house from Pixar’s Up in New Mexico; at the X-mansion from the animated series X-Men ’97, recreated in Westchester with a dynamic, comic-like color scheme; and in the room occupied by Prince in the 1984 film Purple Rain. 

A multi-colored house, attached to a clump of balloons, sitting in a vacant lot

The Up House. Photo: Ryan Lowry, courtesy of Airbnb.

The Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy, will also be opening its doors to overnight visitors. There, they will get to sleep in a bed crafted out of the same leather used in the sporting cars, amid an array of Ferraris and 110 elite trophies. The booking also includes a private tour of the museum, dinner at Enzo Ferrari’s favorite joint Cavallino, and a ride in a Ferrari with racing driver Marc Gené. 

A red-colored circular bed surrounded by Ferrari sports cars

The bedroom at the Ferrari Museum. Photo: Thomas Prior, courtesy of Airbnb.

Other Icon experiences range from a private “living room” performance by Doja Cat to a members-only access to a “secret speakeasy,” where one will be joined by Kevin Hart for a tequila tasting and live stand-up sets. 

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