Condé Nast Traveller Middle East



When I first moved to Paris to study, aged 19, I lived on rue Saint-Roch – a 1er arrondisse­ment street which was then largely unloved and

little visited, except for financiers, a few tourists and the odd fashionist­a drawn to the church that hosted Yves Saint Laurent’s funeral. So there was a certain buzz when the corner townhouse at number 55 was unveiled during Paris Fashion Week as a new hotel

owned by Thierry Gillier, co-founder of cult fashion label Zadig & Voltaire. What was once the brand’s showroom has been transforme­d into a timelessly chic bolthole by in-demand architectu­ral duo Festen (also behind Hôtel Rochechoua­rt) and Franck Durand, the creative

director married to ex- Vogue Paris editor Emmanuelle Alt. The prevailing sense is of undone elegance; almost of being in Gillier’s home, with his art collection including a Picasso in the suite that was his private quarters. Like many great Paris hotels, there’s an in-house pet – in this case the GM’s French bulldog, Bobby. Spaces here seem

to be for locals as much as hotel guests: the low-lit, baroque-style La Coquille d’Or bar, with its scallop lights that are subtly echoed throughout the property; the inviting living room; and the understate­d Brasserie l’Emil, an almost rustic setting for oysters or steak bleu, with

its tiled walls and marble bar. The 32 rooms – the smallest at 226 square feet – are like smart little apartments, with dusty-pink velvet

sofas, bean-to-cup coffee machines and white bathrooms. Nothing here feels forced, which partly explains why it is already a key address

for Parisian insiders. And on the rue Saint-Roch, of all places. SHIVANI ASHOKA Doubles from about AED 1,660; chateauvol­

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