Condé Nast Traveller Middle East



What is it with hotels and department stores in Paris? Within months of the Cheval Blanc appearing next door to the famous La Samaritain­e last year, Kimpton’s first French property opened in what was once

the department store’s luxury outpost on the storied boulevard des Capucines. Designed by La Samaritain­e architect Frantz Jourdain in

1914, its Belle Epoque façade is still a showstoppe­r, with its wroughtiro­n balconies and arched bay windows that once housed elaborate

product displays. Inside, many of the original features remain: the imposing spiral staircase, balconies and monumental period lifts that

have been restored but aren’t in use. The scheme by local design darling Charles Zana is sympatheti­c to the history, and feels like a Parisian pied-à-terre meeting the Art Deco style of Thirties luxury hotels. There’s a creamy elegance to the 149 bedrooms and suites, all parquet floors, Carrara marble and Chanel-inspired black-and-white curtains. If the design feels quintessen­tially French, from the Pierre

Mesguich mosaics to archive-inspired Pierre Frey fabrics, there is also an American notion of convenienc­e that’s true to the Kimpton

brand: yoga mats and portable phone chargers. But the most un-Parisian place of all is the 190-seat Montecito restaurant that channels insouciant Palm Springs, with its green-walled terrace, seaside colour scheme and Cali-Mex menu created by Paris-based food writer Carrie Solomon. With a modest but inviting pool and a spa from French cosmetics company Codage, there’s a sense that

this American brand has done right by a Parisian icon. LT Doubles from about AED 1,660; kimptonsth­

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