AN ICON RE­BORN

The re­opened Hô­tel de Cril­lon pre­serves its his­toric legacy within a bold new look that’s un­mis­tak­ably mod­ern

Philippine Tatler Traveller - - Checking In | Luxe Stays -

In an in­spir­ing show­case of French crafts­man­ship and savoir faire, the Hô­tel de Cril­lon—which re­opened in July 2017 af­ter a four-year facelift— mas­ter­fully bal­ances its 18th-cen­tury her­itage with state-of-the-art lux­u­ries.

When the ho­tel closed its doors in 2013 for ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions, two key prin­ci­ples guided the project: the con­ser­va­tion of the ho­tel’s his­tory and clas­si­fied land­marks, and its trans­for­ma­tion into a mod­ern palace for the 21st cen­tury. The build­ing dates back to 1758 as a façade built by famed ar­chi­tect Ange-Jac­ques Gabriel, who was com­mis­sioned by Louis XV to beau­tify the Place de la Con­corde—where the French Revo­lu­tion reached its bloody cli­max just a few decades later. With the ad­di­tion of sur­round­ing build­ings, it be­came a lux­u­ri­ous pri­vate res­i­dence be­fore open­ing as a ho­tel in 1909.

The ar­chi­tect Richard Martinet, who spe­cialises in the restora­tion of his­tor­i­cal prop­er­ties, led the metic­u­lous 21st-cen­tury re­vamp, with spe­cial at­ten­tion paid to the ho­tel’s pro­tected her­itage mon­u­ments— in­clud­ing the Corinthian-columned façade and trio of re­mark­able sa­lons, whose six-me­tre-high ceil­ings, gilded pi­lasters and cor­nices date back to 1776. Align­ing it­self with the ex­pec­ta­tions of to­day’s dis­cern­ing trav­eller, the ho­tel, part of the pres­ti­gious Rose­wood port­fo­lio, also needed a re­vi­talised look and at­ti­tude. And if it had to break tra­di­tion—plus a few walls—in or­der to achieve that, then so be it. “We want this iconic ho­tel to of­fer some­thing dif­fer­ent and very

Parisian,” says Gen­eral Man­ager, Marc Raf­fray. “We have to break the codes, de­con­struct them and make things fresh.”

To trans­form the out­dated in­te­ri­ors into a mod­ern haven of lux­ury—chan­nelling the look of a chic Parisian res­i­dence rather than a ho­tel—artis­tic direc­tor Aline d’Am­man en­listed the tal­ents of four de­sign­ers, each re­spon­si­ble for par­tic­u­lar ar­eas. Tris­tan Auer took charge of most of the pub­lic spa­ces, such as the new men’s groom­ing area fea­tur­ing leather chairs fash­ioned from vin­tage As­ton Martin seats, and the main lobby, where he raised the ceil­ing by one me­tre for a more spa­cious feel. Cha­han Mi­nas­sian over­saw the brand-new sub­ter­ranean swim­ming pool and spa level (which re­quired dig­ging two floors deep), as well as three of the four F&B out­lets, con­vert­ing Les Am­bas­sadeurs from a fine din­ing restau­rant to a buzzy cock­tail bar to draw in the lo­cals.

Cyril Vergniol tack­led the cor­ri­dors and 114 guest rooms, fill­ing them with con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture, mir­rored bars, cu­rated books, and ob­jets d’art. The to­tal num­ber of rooms was also re­duced from 147 to 124, al­low­ing more space for the brand’s 10 sig­na­ture suites. Lastly, Chanel de­signer Karl Lager­feld was com­mis­sioned to de­sign two of these ex­cep­tional suites, named Les Grands Ap­parte­ments. His lav­ish res­i­dences are out­fit­ted with pas­tel-toned be­spoke fur­nish­ings, two-tonne mar­ble bath­tubs, tex­tured dove-grey walls and de­sign work by some of the same ar­ti­sans en­listed for Lager­feld’s own Parisian home.

“Ev­ery sin­gle de­tail has been thought out by the de­sign­ers to main­tain this re­spect for the past, while giv­ing it some­thing of this cen­tury,” says Raf­fray. “It brings life back to these mon­u­men­tal rooms.” With a to­tal team of 147 ar­ti­sans and crafts­men work­ing to bring the vi­sion to life, the end re­sult is a pala­tial prop­erty fit for roy­alty, yet equally ap­peal­ing to hip Parisians and re­fined trav­ellers alike. A liv­ing tes­ta­ment to the French art de vivre, to­day’s Hô­tel de Cril­lon em­bod­ies a con­tem­po­rary spirit that never for­gets its his­toric soul. ho­tel-de-cril­lon.com

THIS PAGE The Marie An­toinette suite was in­spired by the French queen

CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT Once an un­used space, the Cour D’Hon­neur is now a ver­dant space that of­fers plenty of shade; the ho­tel’s swim­ming pool fea­tures 17,600 mo­saic tiles

ABOVE IT ALL In the Les Am­bas­sadeurs bar, the vaulted ceil­ing is a pro­tected land­mark that was mod­ernised with the ad­di­tion of a dra­matic cloud­scape. The 18th-cen­tury chan­de­liers have been draped with chains for a cool, edgy aes­thetic.

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