CHECK IT OUT LA RESERVE PARIS HOTEL & SPA
PIERRE Cardin’s former Haussmann-style mansion, tucked away in Paris’s desirable 8th arrondissement moments from the Champs-Elysees, has been reborn as a drop-dead gorgeous hotel particulier with sumptuous salons and more suites than rooms.
With only 40 of each accommodation style, La Reserve Paris Hotel & Spa has the feel of a private, chic club offering views of the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais and featuring an indoor swimming pool, small day spa, library and smoking room.
The ambitious two-year restoration project was undertaken by Michel Reybier, who owns hotels in Geneva and Ramatuelle, near St-Tropez, working with his favourite decorator Jacques Garcia. With a generous budget and inspired by James Tissot’s canvases depicting 19th-century Parisian bourgeois life, Garcia employed more than 120 specialist artisans and shipped in 250 tonnes of Italian marble and more than 6km of fabric to realise his vision.
The spacious suites outnumber rooms almost two to one and even come equipped with wine cellars, but all guestrooms are lavishly kitted out with Carrara and Turquin marbles, oak parquet flooring and damascene brocade drapes. The mood is restrained belle epoque, that’s if the belle epoque era were to have included flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi and tablet technology.
DON’T MISS: The chance to relive the World War II liberation of Paris in a tour of the city in General de Gaulle’s car, one of many specialist touring options offered by the hotel.
DINING IN: Executive chef Jerome Banctel oversees the elegant Restaurant Le Gabriel, where signature dishes include the likes of squab marinated in cocoa with organic buckwheat tagliatelle. And because this is a hotel that’s meant to feel like a private home, guests are welcome to dine in the library, their guestroom or just about wherever they wish. DINING OUT: A few steps from the hotel, Le Griffonnier is a typical Parisian bistro, while within 10 minutes on foot is the legendary temple of jazz, Le Boeuf sur le Toit. Also nearby is La Cantine du Faubourg, which gives a modern twist to French classics; or pop into Mini Palais (in The Grand Palais), claiming one of the most attractive dining terraces in the city.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: Special guest experiences include a private visit to Yves Saint Laurent’s studio (travelling in the late designer’s Jaguar); or how about creating your own fragrance with the help of a famous “nose”.
CHECKING IN: From €750 ($1090), including breakfast, tax and services. More: lareserve-paris.com.
ALSO TRY: Chateau Gutsch, Lucerne; Brown’s Hotel, London; L’Hotel, Paris.