Headed to Paris last minute? We never need an excuse, but Fashion Week is as good as any! We rounded up our top properties in the City of Lights for your travel enjoyment. If the fashion isn’t enough motivation to jet away for the weekend, then surely these ultra chic hotels will do the trick.
uxury-hotel junkies were licking their chops for ages before this one opened. Paris is a city that’s no stranger to high-end luxury hospitality, and it was long clear that a Mandarin Oriental would have to be something special, even by the company’s lofty standards, if it was going to make a dent here. And when it was revealed that its location would be on the rue Saint-Honoré, in the heart of the luxury shopping district just north of the Louvre, the anticipation turned to frenzy.
Suffice it to say that the real thing, once it opened, didn’t disappoint — and isn’t likely to start disappointing any time soon. This is the rarest of things in Paris, a contemporary-style hotel building, and not an unstylish one, as a dream team of architects and designers was assembled and tasked with creating an environment that’s suitably modern yet still suitably Parisian, with a healthy dose of Art Deco influence, a tribute to the building’s historic roots.
Once inside, you’ll find the 99 rooms to be chic and solidly constructed — it’s clear no expense was spared anywhere in the building. Bathrooms, increasingly, are where luxury hotel rooms are made, and these ones are huge and lavish, almost, but not quite, rendering the spa redundant. And the 39 suites, in ten different styles, range from merely extravagant to shockingly opulent.
The bottom line: just about faultless, if you’re in the market for faultless. The Mandarin Oriental Paris joins a very short list of hotels where, as long as you’re not counting your pennies, you’re virtually guaranteed to come away impressed. And if it’s got an edge on any of the others, it’s in the location, which is a shopper’s dream, and yards away (well, hundreds) from the Louvre and the Opéra Garnier.”
aris is one city that’s certainly not lacking for home-grown high-gloss luxury hotels. Of course there’s always room for another good one, and the Shangri-La group has spent decades honing its expertise in the major markets of the Far East, which has to be good preparation for Paris’s notoriously exacting clientele. And when it comes to hotel interiors designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, the more the better.
In fact the only thing Far Eastern about the place is the name; though it’s a recent restoration, the Shangri-La plays the part of grande dame to a tee. The building was formerly the residence of one Roland Bonaparte, whose surname provides all the biography you need — from there the choice of 19th-century Paris as a stylistic inspiration was an entirely natural one.
So convincing is Rochon’s work that you’ll marvel at the condition of the rooms and suites — it’s impossible to remember that they’re brand-new and not just meticulously well-kept. Of course certain modern innovations do provide some clue: the electronics are quite seamlessly integrated, and the bathrooms play a central role, as is the contemporary fashion.
There’s an outstanding Cantonese restaurant, and the Shangri-La’s two French restaurants serve upscale cuisine in theatrical settings, from the dining room at L’Abeille to the grand glass cupola of La Bauhinia. And there’s a bit of a subtle Asian influence in the cocktail bar, too, as the bartenders in this Empire-style lounge are only too happy to pour a Pékin Express.”
uffice it to say that the Saint James is anything but typical. In Paris an hôtel particulier, a freestanding house, is unusual enough — something like the Saint James, almost a country-style château, surrounded by a wall and garden, is vanishingly rare. And now that it’s open for business as a hotel, it’s almost too much to take. Our English teachers taught us that something either is or is not unique — there are no such things as degrees of uniqueness. But then they’ve never stayed at the Saint James, which is, grammar be damned, one of the most unique hotels we’ve ever seen.
It’s partly owing to the house’s situation, to be sure, but most of the place’s personality is thanks to the work of Bambi Sloan, an iconoclastic, self-taught Parisian designer whose work shows no regard at all for the uptight geometries and constrained palettes of the stereotypical “minimalist” boutique hotel. The common thread is a sensibility that’s eclectic and whimsical but never kitschy or unserious; the spaces are full of unexpected detail but sophisticated all the same.
And many of these bedrooms are given country-house space to work with, despite their city location, the suites, particularly, spreading out quite comfortably. A chic restaurant in the well-preserved dining room and a well-equipped spa and fitness room are among the Saint James’s other decidedly genteel charms. And for all its seeming seclusion, the hotel is surrounded by some of urban Paris’s most desirable residential real estate— thus the Saint James Club, an English-style social club, can be depended upon to draw a posh crowd.”
deally located in a quiet street in the diverse and intellectual 9th arrondissement, Hotel de NELL blends comfort and exceptional service with an innovative trend in French cuisine – bistronomie. La Régalade, the hotel’s bistro, serves honest yet sophisticated dishes from Bruno Doucet, one of France’s leading chefs, and the decor follows the same school of thought – clean lines and minimal furnishings create an atmosphere that is polished and elegant, without being too formal. Guests will also marvel at the restored facade of the 19th century building, which is stark white and flawless. The interiors showcase exceptional design by acclaimed architect Jean Michel Wilmotte. Through the use of natural wood panelling, under floor heating, fireplaces, retro lighting, and pure white marble in the Japanese-style bathrooms, Wilmotte created a warm atmosphere in the 33 rooms and suites.
The perfect location also offers numerous restaurants, bars and theatres, as well as an easy walk to the Grands Boulevards shopping area and the Palais Garnier Opera House.”
tep into a world of comfort and French elegance where reality blends with surreal style, at La Maison Champs Élysées, in the heart of the Parisian Golden Triangle. Here, dramatic illusions and ironic interiors will entice guests to return, time and time again. Although it is ambling distance from the luxury and fashion epicenter Avenue Montaigne, Champs-Élysées and many more of Paris’ iconic landmarks, the entrance to the townhouse at No. 8 rue Jean Goujon is discreet, an address you must know to discover. Behind its doors, the stage is set for fashion house Maison Martin Margiela’s first hotel interior. Their minimal, yet sophisticated and offbeat décor makes guests the audience of a theatrical show. The 57 rooms and suites boast state-of-the-art bedding, high-quality linen sheets, and mattress pads and duvets in pure goose down. Seventeen rooms and suites belong to the Couture Collection, designed by Maison Martin Margiela and are decorated with a touch of whimsy that plays with proportion and perception. Persian rugs are woven into the carpets; walls are covered in wallpaper made from black and white photographs of the gilded lounge on the second floor to reproduce the trompe-l’œil fashion; and squares of painted light give the illusion of sun streaming in from the windows. The hotel’s dedication to comfort is evident throughout, with careful attention paid to lighting, acoustics and the finest in-room furnishings. The townhouse – owned by La Maison des Centraliens, the Alumni Association of École Centrale Paris– was renovated by architect Danièle Damon, who enhanced and dramatized the historic features, while respecting the heritage of the building. With a philosophy that revolves around light-heartedness, the service is attentive and well-mannered, without being too formal. This laid-back style can be felt in La Table du 8 Restaurant and The Bar, where innovative French cuisine is served, right through to The Cigar Bar, and The White Lounge which is surrounded by a terrace and a dense year-round garden which blooms into a kaleidoscope of color come spring. Discovering No. 8 rue Jean Goujon is a unique experience, combining generosity, poetry, luxury and lightness, pleasure and an offbeat vision. Guests will set off on a journey within a journey, as in a film – La Maison Champs Élysées is a destination in its own right.”