Despite a new swathe of Parisian hotel openings, the much-loved La Réserve remains undimmed, staying at the top of its game with remarkably gorgeous bedrooms — sumptuous black and white marble bathrooms that you never want to leave, a pitch-perfect 2 Michelin star restaurant and a swimming pool that is, of course, just the right temperature.
Where is it?
On Avenue Gabriel, set back from the Champs-Elysées, with views over the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais, making it an ideal base from which to walk around the City of Light. An important consideration given the terrible traffic in Paris. The street is named after Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the royal architect, who created today’s nearby Place de la Concorde.
An elegant, early 19th century, Hôtel Particulier by Haussman on the outside gives way to warm, rich interiors by Jacques Garcia on the inside. There is a feeling of intimacy and decadence, of luxury and lavishness, overlayered by the signature fragrance of La Réserve Paris. It is woody and spicy, a harmony of cedar, mahogany and patchouli.
Décor pays homage to the period, perfectly reimagining 19th century Parisian chic with antique furniture, velvet curtains, silk hung walls, black and gold lacquer doorways and herringbone oak parquet. Lamps softly illuminate the whole. Bathrooms come in Carrara or Turquin blue marble and most have natural light and views on the city. The feeling of the hotel as a home is reflected in the public spaces being divided into small rooms, one of which is a library.
Food & Drink
A leafy inner courtyard serves breakfast and the lunch and dinner menu of La Pagode de Cos, on sunny days. Otherwise pull up a red, button-back arm chair by the marble fireplace and indulge in an excellent assortment of dim-sum or a classic Côte de Boeuf with Bearnaise sauce and Dauphine potatoes. Two Michelin starred Le Gabriel serves the exquisite cuisine of Chef Jérôme Banctel in a room dominated by white hydrangeas set against the leather-embossed walls. Don’t miss his artichoke heart in lime water with Sakura vinegar or his signature salmon in miso, celery with curry.
Before you start dinner however, a stop at the Bar Gaspard is a must for their memorable Gaspard Martini Cocktail, made with cardamom infused Tanqueray and a drop or two of Tokaji. And don’t forget to explore owner Michel Reybier’s wines at dinner, among others Château Cos d’Estournel.
A 16-metre indoor pool, flanked by red sofas, is a rare pleasure in Paris and the water is just the right side of refreshing. Beside it are a hammam and fitness area and the spa where three treatment rooms (one for men only) offer the results-driven Nescens, the Swiss anti-ageing science brand. The hotel also has its own car to transport guests around Paris.
The hotel offers a plethora of experiences which can be organised for guests from visiting the Opéra Garnier back stage to a journey down the Seine River on a motoscafo, accompanied by a specially prepared picnic. Those with children can book a treasure hunt across the city or have a tea party on the roof of the Ecole Militaire, with honey from its hives.
Amongst the 25 suites and 15 rooms, there are no disappointments. All of them are spacious with king-size beds and many have small balconies allowing you to have your morning coffee watching the city wake up. There is an emphasis on light, it streams in through double doors in many of the rooms and through large windows in most bathrooms. Décor is in keeping with the period atmosphere meaning antiques, fabrics from velvet to silk to taffeta and marble in the bathroom. Bathrooms come with a tub and shower and a little bag of travel size Nescens products, a typically thoughtful detail.
This is a hotel that brims with romantic atmosphere but also a place that any girl would want to hole up in solo and be looked after. It gets under your skin with its warm hospitality and superb service and even when it is Paris on your doorstep it is a wrench to sally outside.
La Réserve Paris is part of the Michel Reybier Hospitality portfolio. Stays start from 950 EUR per night in a Prestige Room. For more information or to book, please visit www.lareserve-paris.com