CHECK IT OUT LE ROCH HO­TEL & SPA, PARIS

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

One of the smartest pieds-a-terre in Paris, newly opened six months ago with in­te­ri­ors by lo­cal de­signer of the mo­ment Sarah Lavoine, has added an el­e­gant day spa to its chic line-up.

With only 37 gue­strooms, a restau­rant headed by an up-and-com­ing chef and stel­lar lo­ca­tion in the city’s el­e­gant 1st ar­rondisse­ment, an easy walk from the Lou­vre and Tui­leries Gar­den, Le Roch Ho­tel & Spa is housed in a clas­sic for­mer pub­lic build­ing clev­erly adapted by award-win­ning ar­chi­tect Vin­cent Bastie.

Lavoine’s in­te­ri­ors are modern but cosy and fea­ture solid wal­nut floor­boards, jewel-like pas­tels on walls and chairs and be­spoke fur­ni­ture, some made by the de­signer.

The new De­sign Ho­tels mem­ber styles it­self as a home away from home with book-lined shelves and squishy so­fas by the fire and, be­cause this is a Parisian ho­tel, ser­vices in­clude a per­sonal shop­per. The day spa fea­tures an in­door, nat­u­rally lit pool with swim-through ham­mam; cult Parisian brand Codage has de­signed the treat­ment menu.

Gue­strooms are pe­tite with the en­try level Cosy Room mea­sur­ing 20sq m, but all the lit­tle lux­u­ries are here, from smartly dressed bed and flat-screen TV to mu­sic stream­ing, free Wi-Fi and in-room tablet.

Bath­rooms fea­ture hand­made Moroc­can tiles, suites have large mar­ble bath­tubs, plus four have an en­suite ham­mam.

The en­tire sixth floor, in­clud­ing the premier suite with ter­race, can be block-booked to pro­vide the ul­ti­mate Paris apart­ment.

DON’T MISS: A pri­vate tour of the nearby Lou­vre. The Lo­calers out­fit of­fers an ex­cel­lent three­hour, no-queues ex­cur­sion of the vast mu­seum led by an art his­to­rian.

Book a 5pm tour on Wed­nes­day or Fri­day when crowds are thin­ner. More: lo­calers.com. DIN­ING IN: Two Miche­lin-starred chef Ar­naud Faye de­signs the menus and chef Remy Ber­erd de­liv­ers the re­fined dishes in the el­e­gant in-house restau­rant and court­yard gar­den.

Try the pan-fried scal­lops with leeks and can­died lemon; veni­son haunch with ba­con, pota­toes and co­coa; or sir­loin steak with win­ter veg­etable and hazel­nuts.

DIN­ING OUT: The ho­tel’s head concierge Ben­jamin Ca­mus Du­rand (the youngest Clefs d’Or concierge in the world) rec­om­mends Daroco, “an Ital­ian restau­rant lo­cated in the old fa­mous shop of Jean Paul Gau­tier, Racines 2 serv­ing cre­ative and re­fined plates in a cosy at­mos­phere” and Cafe des Abat­toirs, one of the best ad­dresses lo­cated near the ho­tel, at the start of Place du Marche Saint Honore.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Ben­jamin says he loves the Palais Royal so re­lax in that fa­mous gar­den or find a cafe un­der the ar­cades and be sure to drop by Ga­lerie Vivi­enne, one of the oldest cov­ered pas­sages in Paris and home to lux­ury bou­tiques.

CHECK­ING IN: From €350 ($492). More: de­sign­ho­tels.com.

ALSO TRY: Amas­tan, Le Pi­galle and L’Ho­tel (all in Paris); Ho­tel Metropole Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

CHRIS­TINE McCABE

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