The talk of the town in Paris this week? Sure, fashion week drew the crowds, as did the Ryder Cup—the first time the prestigious golf tournament was held in France. But for those hotel-obsessed travelers among us, the buzz is about the Brach.
This autumn is turning into a bonanza for new hotel openings: From the restored Hotel Lutetia to Fauchon, the first hospitality concept for the renowned gourmet brand. Now, Evok Hotels has joined the buzz of la rentrée with a new five-star hotel in the 16th arrondissement, designed by Philippe Starck. (Evok is also behind the Nolinski, situated between the Louvre and the Opera Garnier.) The renowned designer was given carte blanche with a former postal sorting center—a vast space of 7,000 square meters (more than 75,000 square feet). Starck describes it as 1930s architecture meets modernism, Bauhaus, Dada, Surrealism and Art Brut.
When we stopped by during the soft opening (the hotel will not officially open until later in October), we found the result to be chic, fun and decidedly eclectic—a warm, light-filled space with abundant marble, leather and rare exotic wood. Starck says, “Sensual and rigorous, minimal and eclectic, there reigns a raw and modernist romanticism warmed by multicultural influences from Africa, Asia and South America. It is an unusual place that invites you to a unique exploration.”
The trendy restaurant was already filled with locals. And that’s exactly the point. In this tony, residential corner of the 16th, there’s been a void in terms of cool hotel options. It’s a vibrant quarter, and the hotel will serve as a gathering place.
Here’s what we love. The downstairs sports club will offer a packed program of classes (boxing, Pilates) for its Parisian members and hotel guests. The swimming pool is flanked by an enormous hot tub—calling it a “jacuzzi” would be a misnomer because it’s such a large pool. There will also be a hammam, salt grotto and sauna.
Did we mention the rooftop terrace? It’s glorious. There’s a vegetable garden, egg-laying hens and a dining space—with all of Paris at your feet, the Eiffel Tower in the distance. This is exclusively for the use of suite guests (there are seven suites in the hotel). Suites also have wonderful terraces.