Despite a new swath of Parisian hotel openings, the much-loved La Réserve remains intact, staying at the top of its game with extraordinarily gorgeous rooms: sumptuous black and white marble bathrooms you’ll never want to leave, a perfect 2 Michelin-star restaurant and a swimming pool which obviously has the right temperature.
On Avenue Gabriel, set back from the Champs-Elysées, with views of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais, making it an ideal base from which to stroll 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 Place de la Concorde.
An elegant, early 19th century, Haussman’s Hôtel Particulier on the outside gives way to Jacques Garcia’s warm and rich interiors on the inside. There is a feeling of intimacy and decadence, of luxury and sumptuousness, superimposed on the distinctive fragrance of La Réserve Paris. It is woody and spicy, a harmony of cedar, mahogany and patchouli.
The décor pays homage to the era, perfectly reinventing 19th Parisian chic of the century with antiques, velvet curtains, silk hanging walls, black and gold lacquered doors and herringbone oak parquet. The lamps softly illuminate the whole. The bathrooms are in Carrara marble or Turquin blue and most have natural light and city views. The hotel’s home-like feel is reflected in the common spaces divided into small rooms, one of which is a library.
A lush interior courtyard serves breakfast and lunch and dinner menus at La Pagode de Cos on sunny days. Otherwise, grab a red buttoned-back armchair next to the marble fireplace and indulge in an excellent assortment of dim sum or a classic Côte de Boeuf with Bernese sauce and Dauphine potatoes. Le Gabriel, two Michelin stars, serves the exquisite cuisine of chef Jérôme Banctel in a room dominated by white hydrangeas against the embossed leather walls. Do not miss its artichoke heart in lime water with Sakura vinegar or its characteristic salmon in miso, celery curry.
Before starting dinner, however, a stop at 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-meter indoor pool, flanked by red sofas, is a rare treat in Paris and the water is just the right side to cool off. Next to it are a hammam and fitness area and the spa where three treatment rooms (one for men only) offer Nescens, the results-oriented Swiss brand of anti-aging science. The hotel also has its own car to transport guests around Paris.
The hotel offers a myriad of experiences that can be organized for guests, from visiting the backstage of the Opéra Garnier to a trip along the Seine on a speedboat, accompanied by a specially prepared picnic. Those with children can book a treasure hunt around the city or have a tea party on the roof of the Ecole Militaire, with honey from its beehives.
Between the 25 suites and 15 rooms, there are no disappointments. All are spacious with king-size beds and many have small balconies that allow you to take your morning coffee while watching the city wake up. There is an emphasis on light, which enters through double doors in many of the rooms and through large windows in most of the bathrooms. The décor is in harmony with the period atmosphere, ie antiques, fabrics from velvet to silk to taffeta and marble in the bathroom. The bathrooms have a tub and shower and a small bag of Nescens travel products, a typically thoughtful detail.
Best for …
This is a hotel that overflows with a romantic atmosphere but also a place any girl would like to hole up alone and be looked after. She gets under your skin with her warm hospitality and excellent service and even when Paris is close at hand she is a key to going outside.
La Réserve Paris is part of the Michel Reybier Hospitality portfolio. Stays starting from 950 EUR per night in a Prestige room. For more information or to book, visit the website www.lareserve-paris.com