Paris Suites: Chic Pieds-à-Terre

(No) Le Meurice’s Belle Etoile Suite has a vast terrace with a private garden inspired by the Tuileries Garden below. The terrace affords views of all the Parisian landmarks.

Paris is always a good idea. But soon-to-open cultural landmarks — like the Pinault Collection at the Bourse de Commerce and the Hôtel de la Marine, housing the royal collections on the Place de la Concorde — will be added enticements in 2020. When it comes to choosing your pied-à-terre, the French capital offers a plethora of luxury suites that exude Parisian chic. 

You’d be hard-pressed to find better real estate than the Place des Vosges. Constructed in the early 17th century by Henri IV, this royal square is the focal point of the Marais district. It’s here where Evok Hotels launched its latest property in October 2019. A 12-room hideaway directly on this picturesque square, the Cour des Vosges is, in fact, the final Parisian address for the hip hotel group following the Nolinski, Brach and Sinner. Evok has developed a reputation as a “lifestyle creator,” developing luxurious addresses with distinct personalities. Their mission is to offer a diverse portfolio, so clients can choose the best spot — classic French elegance? Sporty and relaxed? Decadent rock-n-roll? — depending on their mood. Evok Hotels has now set its sights beyond France, with new hotels in the pipeline in Venice, Madrid and Rome.

There is an ultra-exclusive vibe at the Cour des Vosges, housed in the former Hôtel de Montbrun, a 17th-century residence at 19 Place des Vosges. The project to create this intimate five-star hotel took approximately two years, and the result is a maison de luxe with no public spaces, except for the lovely, leafy terrace beneath the arcade on the square’s ground floor. Here, you can enjoy light bites and pastries by the Brach’s pastry chef Yann Brys (an average of 350 treats leave the Brach’s test kitchen-laboratory every day to be distributed to the Evok Hotels around Paris).

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Behind the heritage-listed façade is a landscaped, cobblestoned courtyard perfumed with the hotel’s signature scent, where the hotel hostess or butler will greet you. Upstairs, on four floors, the 12 rooms frame pretty views of the regal square through large windows custom-made with wavy glass in a nod to the historic nature of the building. The views change the higher you go. On the top (fifth) floor, above the trees on the Place des Vosges, you can soak in a tub overlooking Parisian rooftops.

Cour des Vosges is a 12-room hotel housed in the former Hôtel de Montbrun, a 17th-century residence on Place des Vosges.

In designing the hotel’s rooms, architects Yann Le Coadic and Alessandro Scotto sought to create a conversation between eras, so historic details are showcased alongside custom décor and 1970s vintage pieces. These are rooms made for connoisseurs, with beautiful objets d’art and books curated by Anatole Desachy, an independent bookseller in Fontainebleau. We love Suite No. 103, which is situated on the “noble floor” and has soaring, 16-foot ceilings. During the construction, the architects discovered original 17th-century beams hidden behind a fake ceiling. These hand-painted beams have been carefully preserved. Each suite comes with a kitchen (even a hidden dishwasher), ready-to-pour decanters, soaking tubs, and Guerlain bath amenities. Note: All the rooms on a floor can connect, making a large, interconnected space for private events, showrooms or families traveling together. For VIP bookings, reach out to Terence Robin ([email protected]; 011-330-784-560-152), sales and revenue manager. Madeleine Sadin is the general deputy manager.

Fans of Le Meurice, the palace hotel facing the Tuileries Gardens, are no stranger to the Dalí Suite. This sumptuous pad is where the famous artist threw tea parties, splattered paint on the walls and brought his pet ocelot. The other Presidential Suite, called the Tuileries Suite, also faces the gardens where Salvador Dalí demanded hotel staff capture him jars of flies.

But did you know that the hotel is showing off 29 newly renovated suites, conjuring a modern-day Palace of Versailles? Of these pretty rooms, conceived by young design duo Margaux Lally and Luc Berger, the Belle Etoile Suite is a stand-out in a city that’s celebrated for its high-quality luxury accommodation. This seventh-floor penthouse is so alluring that guests have been known to prolong their stay as long as possible. In fact, a séjour here would make it difficult to leave the hotel at all. It has the feel of a plush Parisian apartment with artwork, designer fabric and bespoke furniture crafted by top French artisans. Lush accoutrements include the home cinema, wine cellar and marble bathroom kitted out with hammam and Jacuzzi. Did we mention the rooftop terrace?

 The Belle Etoile Suite in Le Meurice has a marble bathroom with Jacuzzi overlooking Montmartre.

From the private elevator, you arrive in the so-called boudoir, its walls hand-painted with clouds. Take a step inside the luminous suite and the panoramas of Paris are evident at every turn. But it’s the 360-degree terrace, wrapping around the entire suite, that puts the city at your feet: from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, a sweeping vista wrapped in the verdure of the Tuileries. Bref, you’ll be bowled over by the unobstructed views. Good to know: A total of four bedrooms can be connected to the Belle Etoile Suite, catering to those traveling with an entourage, children or security detail.

Note on the suite renovations: The designers have retained the hotel’s elegant 18th-century ambiance — gold fittings, ornate moldings, crystal, fine French fabrics and marble — while updating the rooms with 21st-century comforts and the latest technology (TVs embedded in mirrors, hidden phone chargers, convenient one-switch light controls). On the highest floor, renovated rooms like No. 605 are cozy aeries under the eaves, with hand-painted wallpaper by de Gournay and extraordinary views from the juliette balconies. (You can even see the Eiffel Tower from the bathroom.)

Booking Tip: Note that all the suites facing the Tuileries Gardens are interconnecting, making Le Meurice a favorite of families traveling together, who also appreciate the proximity of the gardens and the Louvre.

The Lutetia's St. Germain Penthouse by Coppola has a terrace with 360-degree views of Paris. // Photo by Anthony Parkinson 

Meanwhile, the Lutetia — the historic St. Germain hangout, which reopened in 2018 after a lavish four-year restoration by renowned architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte — made waves when it unveiled the St. Germain Penthouse by Coppola in October 2019. This was the last of the hotel’s signature suites to be launched, and it was created in collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola, a frequent Lutetia guest alongside daughter Sofia. Film memorabilia and artwork from Coppola’s collection are sprinkled throughout the one-bedroom hideaway, which is equipped with a walk-in closet and lavish bathroom in Carrera marble. The highlight is the rooftop terrace, accessed via a winding staircase. Measuring nearly 650 square feet, this outdoor retreat offers 360-degree panoramas over the City of Light.

Shortly after its buzzy debut, the Lutetia was awarded the prestigious palace distinction by Atout France. The historic hotel first opened in 1910 and became a Left Bank hub for stars and literati, and now it’s regained its place as a hot spot in St. Germain with buzzing restaurants and the Bar Joséphine. For VIP bookings, reach out to Stéphanie Clarke (011-330-149-544-600), the new director of sales and marketing.

The Lutetia's St. Germain Penthouse by Coppola is decorated with film memorabilia and artwork from Francis Ford Coppola’s collection. // Photo by Anthony Parkinson 

Paris Restaurants

Celebrity sightings are guaranteed at À L’Épi d’Or, a historic bistro near Les Halles that was recently revived by star chef Jean-François Piège and his wife Elodie. This is the couple’s fifth address, alongside popular spots, including Clover Green, Clover Grill, La Poule au Pot and Le Grand Restaurant. Shabour, which opened in autumn 2019 as the sister restaurant to fabulous Israeli spot Balagan. Chef Stéphanie Le Quellec, who was a “Top Chef” winner before running the show at the Prince de Galles Hotel for many years, has opened her own venue on avenue Matignon in the 8th. She’s kept the same restaurant name: La Scène. The Jules Verne, the famous gastronomic restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower, has reopened after a renovation under chef Frédéric Anton, who holds three Michelin stars at his 16th arrondissement destination Le Pré Catelan. Meanwhile, Mordu is a neo-bistro delight in the Marché Saint-Germain, the old covered market that now houses stores and restaurants.

While Luxury Travel Advisor continues to cover the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, we will also be posting the latest luxury travel developments and reports, so that way you can stay up to date and ready to roll once we're give the "all clear" to travel again. 

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