Condé Nast Traveller Middle East



If ever there were a reason to camp out in the elegant but sleepy 16ème arrondisse­ment, it’s for this property, Paris’ only officially designated

château-hotel. Occupying what was once the site of the city’s first hot-air balloon landing field, this neoclassic­al former home of President

Adolphe Thiers became the site of the Thiers Foundation, a school and academic residence, in 1892. In the 1980s, the space was transforme­d into

the Saint James Club of Paris, a London-style private hangout. The hotel came about a decade later, with the decor handled by legendary designer Andrée Putman. Since then, it’s undergone two other radical transforma­tions, most recently by Laura Gonzalez, whose affection for mixing antiques with modern furnishing­s has turned it into a romantic Parisian abode once again. Soaring volumes, decorative frescoes and

contempora­ry nods to old-world elegance abound, from the grand entrance to the library bar. That extends upstairs to 50 bedrooms and

suites done up with nature-inspired wallpaper, custom-designed carpets, stunning chinoiseri­es and a warm palette of earthy greens, mustards and terracotta­s, alongside a mish-mash of motifs and Pierre

Frey fabrics. Chef Julien Dumas plays exclusivel­y with seasonal ingredient­s (sourced largely from the hotel’s organic garden) for an inventive menu at Bellefeuil­le restaurant, kitted out like a winter

garden. The most notable change comes one floor down with the addition of a three-room Guerlain spa, inspired by Greco-Roman thermal baths. It all seems decidedly more château than hotel, and entirely unlike any other getaway in Paris. LINDSEY TRAMUTA

Doubles from about AED 1,815;

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