The library at La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa, located in the eighth arrondissement, has walls lined with antique books from the 19th century. // © 2015 La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa
Feature image (above): The hotel lounge // © 2015 La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa
Situated on a quiet street in the fashionable eighth arrondissement, La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa may not look like a hotel, but that’s exactly the point. The tony new property is designed to feel more residential for its highbrow guests who prefer intimate quarters and plenty of privacy.
Three years in the making, La Reserve Paris finally opened in February in a former 19th-century mansion that’s served as home to affluent residents such as fashion designer Pierre Cardin. With only 40 rooms, the hotel is romantic and discrete, yet palatial and grand. In every sense, it evokes the spirit of a posh private members’ club thanks to amenities such as a library bar and smoking parlor, a Michelin-chef restaurant and a subterranean spa hideaway.
The careful attention to design for the mansion’s transformation is ambitious and visionary, executed under the helm of French architect and interior designer Jacques Garcia. The world-renowned designer — responsible for top luxury properties such as NoMad Hotel in NYC and La Mamounia in Marrakech — breathed stylish, contemporary flair into the centuries-old property while preserving the historic structure and roots. Public and private spaces feature centuries-old antiques and vintage artwork, creating an elegant, old-world feel. At times, it’s easy to feel time-warped.
All 14 rooms and 26 suites are awash in sunlight, showing off their high ceilings, hardwood floors and bathrooms with windows and stand-alone bathtubs. Select details including damask wallpaper, velvet upholstery and brocade fabrics ensure that not one inch of interior design went unnoticed, and thoughtful touches such as televisions in mirrors and temperature-and-light-controlling tablets keep the modern traveler in mind. Many rooms feature balconies, some offering views of the Eiffel Tower.
Public spaces are so cozy that your client may feel right at home. The on-site library facing the courtyard floods with natural light, and walls are lined with antique books from the 19th century. The lobby bar is warm and inviting with an original fireplace and exciting French wine list. The signature restaurant Le Gabriel, helmed by Michelin chef Jerome Banctel, may feel the most contemporary out of the hotel’s niceties with its modern French cuisine.
La Reserve Paris also features an elaborately detailed spa, the perfect sanctuary for guests seeking “la bonne vie,” meaning “the good life.” The intimate space includes a fitness center, three treatment rooms with high-end products such as Swiss brand Nescens for facials, a 52-foot indoor pool and an in-house performance specialist who can be booked daily.
Wi-Fi access and breakfast are included in the room rate, and the hotel is just steps from the popular Champs Elysees, a boulevard known for its abundant cafes, shops and theaters.