La Réserve Paris

Saint-Tropez, France during the day
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La Réserve Paris’ fifth floor balcony rooms afford views of the Grand Palais, Eiffel Tower and gold dome of Invalides.
La Réserve Paris’ fifth floor balcony rooms afford views of the Grand Palais, Eiffel Tower and gold dome of Invalides.

La Réserve quickly secured status as a top insider’s address for international jetsetters and chic Parisians when it opened in January — no easy feat, considering the high quality of the city’s luxury hotels. But the hotel was years in the making for entrepreneur Michel Reybier, whose La Réserve Hospitality Collection comprises prestigious properties in Geneva, Bordeaux and the French Riviera.

La Réserve Paris complements the collection’s ultra-luxury private apartments, tucked away off the Trocadéro in the 16th arrondissement. While the apartments cater to a high-end clientele seeking complete privacy, the hotel attracts a fashionable crowd that still enjoys rubbing shoulders with the world’s beau monde. Here’s an example: The evening when we dined in the restaurant just after the hotel’s opening, the dining room hosted French celebrities such as Bernard-Henri Lévy and his actress wife Arielle Dombasle. That’s not to say that hotel guests won’t find privacy here — au contraire! The public spaces, including a smoking parlor and a fire-lit library stocked with antique books, are strictly limited to hotel guests. But the restaurant and bar exude the vibe of a swanky, private club.

La Réserve Paris only has 26 suites and 14 rooms, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it quickly earns “palace hotel” status — the distinction bestowed by Atout France for the country’s highest caliber hotels. For one thing, there is a staff of 130 for just 40 keys. The service is stellar — starting with in-room check-in using high-tech equipment that can actually scan passports in the blink of an eye. This discreet technology is everywhere; you can change in-room lighting and temperature with the touch of a button on your tablet. You can also live-chat with the concierge, and, for suite guests, quickly summon your personal butler for unpacking your luggage. No request is too large for the concierge team, headed by Nicolas Avril ([email protected]; 011-331-583-660), who took the reins in May 2015 after being recruited from the InterContinental in Geneva.

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Rooms such as this at La Réserve are decorated with antiques and artwork.
Rooms such as this at La Réserve are decorated with antiques and artwork.

Inspired by the style of the Belle Époque, each room is decorated with antiques and artwork — like pencil sketches, oil paintings and framed architectural plans — that demonstrate a real collector’s eye. A large bar has a Nespresso machine, fresh juices and snacks, all complimentary with room rates, further creating the feel of a private Parisian apartment. Bordeaux wines from Reybier’s renowned Château Cos d’Estournel estate are also available. The spacious bathrooms are done up in Carrara marble and have heated floors along with full-size luxury toiletries.

For the best views, choose a fifth (top) floor room with a balcony, even though the ceilings are lower at the top of the building. From here, you can gaze out over the Parisian rooftops to the Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower and the gold dome of Invalides. Don’t forget to peek in your walk-in closet, where you’ll find yoga mats and work-out weights at the ready. The crème de la crème of suites include the Presidential Suite; the Elysée Suite, equipped with a grand piano and an exclusive wine cellar; and the Grand Palais Suite, the largest room in the house. Tip: Some suites interconnect so you can take over the entire floor. For VIP bookings, travel advisors can reach out to Annabelle Gamelin ([email protected]; 011-331-5836-6060), director of sales and marketing.

The elegant Library has a collection of antique books and a cozy fireplace.
The elegant Library has a collection of antique books and a cozy fireplace.

About that dinner. Helmed by Chef Jérôme Banctel, who was awarded two Michelin stars at Senderens, Le Gabriel restaurant has one of the top tables in town right now. Tempt your palate with artful mains such as Tokaji-steeped duck or cacao-marinated pigeon, followed by “Le Soufflé,” a bottomless silver bowl of melted chocolate sprinkled with saffron. During Paris Fashion Week, the restaurant’s “Detox Breakfast” was an instant hit (think juice shots, gluten-free pastries and veggie rolls). To work off the extra calorie intake in the world’s culinary capital, hit the hotel gym or swim laps in the pool, housed in the basement. Here, the spa offers a hammam and luxury treatments by Nescens. The spa’s director, Astrid Mifsud ([email protected]; 011-331-5638-6090), is a wealth of information about the highly personalized treatments.

The hotel is managed by Directeur Général Frédéric Picard; you may know him from the opening of the Oetker Collection’s L’Apogèe Courchevel and the Palais Namaskar. Picard is often on hand to personally greet hotel guests, and happily shares insider recommendations for exploring the city of Paris.

A Handsome Hotel Particulier

“We looked for the right property for years before buying this building four years ago,” affirmed Raouf Finan, director of the Michel Reybier Group, in an interview with Luxury Travel Advisor. “It has the feeling of a big house, rather than a hotel, with endless views in every direction because there are no buildings around it — just the greenery of the park in front of the Champs-Elysées.”

Once owned by designer Pierre Cardin, the mansion at 42 Avenue Gabriel — just a stone’s throw from the Elysée Presidential Palace — was gutted and re-created from scratch to conjure the ambiance of a historic hotel particulier, or an aristocrat’s townhouse. Over a two-year period, a team of 120 Louvre-trained artisans worked on the interiors, using 250 tons of marble and almost four miles of fabric to craft a stunning Parisian pied-à-terre, masterminded by designer Jacques Garcia.

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