Paris In The Spring, It’s A Thing >>> LWSY at Le Hôtel Bristol
Le Bristol Paris has been showered with accolades over the recent months. Voted the ‘Best Hotel in Europe’ by Condé Nast Traveller magazine last September, and ‘Best Hotel in France’ by TripAdvisor, I’ve always just known Le Bristol to be the most glamorous hotel possibly in the world (it was awarded ‘Palace’ status in 2011), and had always hoped to stay the night to experience the rumours of luxury beyond comprehension. With London being so convenient to the French Capital, I find myself visiting over a handful of times a year, and last weekends visit was strictly work related, and so a suitably glamorous hotel was required in which to conduct a very important pitch.
Paris has an incredible portfolio of diverse hotels (more of those here btw) from the supremely grand Le Meurice, to the design heavy Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris, and a quiet favourite of mine, Hôtel Thoumieux on rue Saint Dominique. There is a romantic/glamorous/discreet/modern/traditional or contemporary hotel to suit all visitors to one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Last weekend, I was up in the middle of the night to get the earliest possible train so that I could maximise the weekend in my favourite city.
The hotel is part of the Oetker Collection who own 8 other properties including the newly acquired Eden Rock in the Caribbean, the India Mahadvi and Joseph Dirand designed L’Apogee in Courchevel, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes and Palais Namaskar in Marrakech to name a few of my favourites. The Oetker family purchased this historic hotel in 1978 from the original owners the Jammet Family who founded the hotel in the mid twenties. Mrs Maja Oetker is still very present within the group and has personally been overseeing the recent 100 million euro design renovations with the much celebrated luxury hospitality designer Pierre Yves Rochon. Back in 2009 the Oetker Collection donated a vast sum of money to create extensions and renovations across the hotel, which were all completed last year. The renovated Jardin, Honeymoon and Impérilale Suites, and Epicure restaurant all being the most significant additions.
Let me take you back to my stay though. Just a short cab from Gare du Nord, I arrived at the elegant Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré mid morning. My bags were whisked away and off I fled to my first meeting in the Marais. Check in was set for 3pm, so I kept myself busy with that and lunch at the bonkers beautiful Le Meurice before arriving back for shortly before 3pm to check in.
My first meet greet of the weekend, this is Fa-raon. Le Bristol’s resident Sacré kitty from Burma. This little fluff ball has graced the Instagram accounts of the most famous models, actresses and musicians, so imagine my surprise to see him just lolling about on the steps as I arrived back to the hotel. Adopted by everyone, his beautiful piercing blue eyes have everyone cooing over him on a daily basis. Hopping in and out of the lift, I imagine this cat is the most spoiled animal of any hotel. Oh and Goyard made his collar.
My Living Room
Now for the room unveil. That moment when you think someone has made a big mistake. I was kindly delivered up to my room, with my bags already in set out for unpacking, when I should have really realised what I was about to enter seeing as my first set of doors were double doors, and my second guest key had a different room number on it. I had been allocated the most enormous and beautiful suite. Heavenly. Indulgent. Everything. Quick fling open all the windows and do what Carrie did!! The look on the duty managers face told me he’s seen this reaction before.
My suite which had magical views overlooking the ultra-chic rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The suite consisted of a bedroom, a sitting room and two bathrooms, both with twin basins, bidet and separate shower. I understand these suites can be connected opening up this space into mini apartments, often taking over a corner of a hotel floor.
You can see that the soul of the hotel has remained intact, even throughout the renovations. A design style of PYR, comfort, freshness and well-being are at the top of the agenda here at Le Bristol. The ceilings are vast, with so many windows in my suite (I think I counted 7 floor to ceiling double door windows, all opening out onto a little deck) my suite was bathed in glorious daylight, and the attention to detail was exceptional. Fabrics from Pierre Frey and Canovas, Rubelli and Veraseta are used throughout the hotel.
The widest bed that I have slept in, 2m of complete luxury. Starfish heaven!!
My bedroom living room, next to my actual living room, so much space for just me!
Sweet treats & gifts
The bathrooms at the hotel are all white Carrera marble, with a floor to ceiling sweeping window, the light is just luminous morning and night. With La Prairie toiletries, beautiful towelling bathrobes and slippers, and enough fluffy towels of keep you happy for a week, it’s always one of my favourite luxuries to have a bath before bed time, no matter how late an evening, this one was going to be a goodie. Gold stars all round for Le Bristol.
If you fancy the stairs…
The pool at Le Bristol is small but perfectly formed. On the 7th floor, I dashed up as soon as I was shown my room. Designed by architect Mr. Pinnau, he was selected for his famous yacht designs for the likes of the Onassis Family, and this pool was designed to be unique and only ever one of a kind. Built using Teak, you’re transported to a place as if you’re on a summer holiday, with the views from the painted sailboat in the murals above, and views of the pine and olive trees at the Hôtel du Cap Eden Roc, also belonging to the Oetkers, it’s really a magical setting. There is a beautiful terrace to the left, and a steam room by the entrance to the pool. A fitness suite and spa are in a separate wing. I have to say also, for all the guests I imagine staying over the weekend, the both times I visited the pool, I was the only guest there which was the ultimate luxury. A turn off from civilisation, with a dip in peace and quiet amongst the rooftops of the city. Gorgeous. I could have a little weep now at the thought of it. I can’t tell you how magical this place is.
Le Jardin Français
This is one of the bars at the hotel, and elegantly reflects life at the hotel. Le Jardin Francais serves breakfast, lunches, a classic English-style afternoon tea by day, and cocktails in the evening. In fine weather, guests can sit outside on the terrace of the hotel’s magnificent garden. This is where I conducted my important afternoon meeting. Fa-raon every once in a while roamed through his garden, giving us all the knowing nod. Let me tell you, the cakes I saw coming in and out of the kitchen, go there for the cake!
The garden at Le Bristol is the largest Parisian Palace garden. Recently renovated the hotel are very proud of this space. Surrounded by four magnolia trees with a beautiful fountain, ‘Aux Amours’, the garden is filled with tulips, daffodils, my favourite narcissus, yellow laburnum and anthemis. The meeting rooms at the back have been decorated with orangery style trestles in the windows to match the hotels restaurant. A place for tea or cocktails in the centre courtyard, and to the left is the terrace dining area for the hotels three Michlin star restaurant Epicure which you can see below.
Epicure Terrace above
Again, designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, and in close collaboration with Mrs Maja Oetker, Epicure is the hotels finest dining experience. I was invited to see the kitchens, the beautiful Christofle silver, and the tableware created by Raynaud in Limoges were unlike anything I’ve seen before, so intricate and delicate. The stemware was Baccarat, and the linen is made by Garnier Thibault. The embroidered fabrics were designed especially for the restaurant by French fabric house Pierre Frey, and the Italian Botticino marble flooring with it’s green onyx cabochons match the interior perfectly.
Chef Eric Frechon celebrates seasonal cuisine, the restaurant has been designed around three main themes. Transparency, refinement and light.
“I don’t follow fashion so my cooking never goes our of fashion. I’m constantly making headway and choose my menus according to the season.”
For now though, it was time to celebrate. My meeting was a success, and a celebration was in order. Thank you to Veuve Clicquot for such incredible treats, you guys know how to spoil a girl. It was time for me to shoo my guest out, I had to get ready for my dinner. What a pleasure in such a beautiful suite. The AV system allowed me to hook up my own playlist in between catching up with all the London news/radio stations. Such a luxury to have these all pre-programmed. It’s surprising how many hotels still don’t offer the right edit of European and International media. Once I was dressed I had to stop by and meet Maxime Hoerth, the head barman at Le Bar du Bristol. I have it on my good friends authority that this is THE bar to be seen in during the evenings right now. The perfect spot for an aperitif as the hotel called me a car.
Le Bar du Bristol
This bar opened in September 2012 but continues to update it’s visual by way of artwork, installations or cocktail additions. Elected ‘Best luxury hotel bar in the world’ by American Luxury Travel Advisor magazine, it’s not a bar to miss whilst in Paris.
I arrived home in the early hours, and was met by a gorgeous turndown service. After a long dinner with friends, the bliss of my new monogrammed Poplin PJs, and that giant bath, I couldn’t have been happier. All that I needed to add were placing one of the many floral arrangements to my bedside so I could wake up smelling the roses.
I was a little late to enjoy breakfast at Epicure, but I was more than happy to sit in Le Jardin Français for my morning coffee.
I popped my head into 114 Faubourg, the hotels second restaurant. I hoped to come back for dinner that evening but my schedule was already set (I went to the amazing Monsieur Blue!) so maybe another time, I hear it’s incredible, and Marie I know you wanted me to try it so sorry I couldn’t make it!
I come to Paris, I drink alot of red wine. Never has my head been cleared so quickly than by jumping (I mean elegantly stepping) into the hotel pool. Complete bliss! The perfect Saturday morning treat, and a bonus that I was the only one there all morning.
With no time to visit the spa, again I’ll have to come and try a treatment next time I’m in Paris. My request for a few more minutes to pack and take a few calls was received with an offer of a late check out. This small offering, from any hotel is such a bonus. Not helped by never wanting the leave the hotel, ever, that extra hour was so gratefully received by the front desk. A little touch, never making a guest feel rushed, goes along way in spreading the love.
Awesome hotel key chain, yes I bought myself one, so every time I come home to my little London flat, I can pretend I’m entering my own little Parisian apartment!
Time to say goodbye..
I was a guest of Le Bristol Hôtel, courtesy of Perowne Charles Communications. Thank you to all of the hotel staff, Lucy Knockton and Marie Le Vavasseur. Thank you also to Smythson & Globetrotter for my beautiful luggage. What a spoiled girl I am!
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