Monday, January 1, 2018

Where to Stay on The Left Bank Now: The Privately-Owned Relais Christine Is My Latest Left Bank Favorite

Newly redesigned and decorated by Paris designer Laura Gonzalez, the Relais Christine has a rare and very charming garden and private sunny courtyard.
Since 1979, the Relais Christine has been one of the Left Bank’s best-kept secrets. Newly renovated, the ultra-private hotel has the warm and welcoming atmosphere of a family home with the refinement and amenities and polished service of a top luxury hotel. It’s quiet, hidden away on a secluded one-way street, opposite a private cinema showing classic films. It has some of have the most charming and inviting rooms and suites in Paris.

The Relais Christine reopened its doors post-renovation with a meticulously designed style imbued with French romanticism. Classic Parisian styles preserve all the classic codes (old furniture, 18th-century patterns, wallpaper and fabric by iconic brands such as Pierre Frey, Hermes, Le Manach, Braquenié, ) enhanced and rejuvenated by the choice of contemporary materials such as brass and marble.

Laura Gonzalez has redesigned the ground floor reception and lounge areas with a virtuoso blend of historic character, intimate ambiance and luxurious decoration. Charming and discreet spaces wrap guests in a mantle of comfort or simply make a wonderful place to read by the fireside.

At any hour of the day and evening, guests gather and relax with a cup of tea and a pick-me-up, a glass of wine or a Champagne aperitif. 

The Relais Christine pays tribute to the site’s dramatic centuries of history—and gives them a subtle tweak. This challenge was brilliantly met by noted French decorator Laura Gonzalez.

There is a new spa under the vaults.

The effect is modern and elegant and it feels entirely French and totally Parisian.

I love the lively colors Laura selected. They are the marine blues and leaf greens you see at Versailles, and the ruby and golden tones favored since Louis XV. When I stayed there, I especially appreciated the very French style of adding bolsters on sofas, and adding padded comfort to linen or twill headboards so that reading in bed feels cozy and quiet.

Pillows are trimmed with custom-crafted brush fringe, and edged with custom-colored cording and piping. Wall lights shimmer with a wash of gold. Sofas are large and relaxed.


Each of the 48 splendidly unique rooms and suites projects a resolutely chic and intimate universe: collections, paintings, antiques, cosy velvet, warm woodwork and noble materials, Toile de Jouy print in one room, canopy beds in another, beautifully lit Carrera marble bathrooms. The welcoming rooms are infused with warmth. At the same time they are practical and highly functional. 

When Gonzalez renovated the property, she first imagined the property as a whole, obsessing over the DNA of the place and its history and style. She drew inspiration from old stones of the (no-longer-extant) 16th-century friars’ college building upon which the hotel was built. Some excavated historic architecture is viewable in the basement near the fitness center.

Decorating Details

Laura Gonzalez was given the brief to ‘make it intensely French’ and ‘update the interiors’ and ‘keep our residential look’ and ‘make it comfortable’.

Using all French fabrics and fabricators and lighting and silhouettes, Gonzalez captured precisely the right tone—with traditional French favored colors and codes and proportions and motifs.

Curtains are tied back with large-scale tassels, and all the hardware has boldness and heft. Upholstery is generous in proportion and elegant in its detailing and shape.

Within Walking Distance

Location of a Paris hotel is extremely important to me.

I like to be able to walk out the front door—and within minutes I am at a favorite café, or at the Louvre, or walking into an antique shop of a fabric showroom, or enjoying lunch with a friend, or picking up French magazines or London newspapers at the newsstand off the rue de Buci (or a book at Taschen).

Close to Relais Christine:
• Museums and other cultural sites: Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Monnaie de Paris, Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, Saint Chapelle, Conciergerie.

 Strolls to the Luxembourg Garden, Ile Saint- Louis, Latin Quarter. The banks of the Seine and the bouquinistes are a block away.

• Shopping: boulevard Saint-Germain, rue de Rennes, rue du Four, rue Saint -Sulpice, Bon Marché.

• Art galleries.

• Mythic cafés (Café de Flore, Deux-Magots, Procope...) and Michelin-star gastronomic options. 

Services and Features

• Relais Christine has 48 unique rooms and suites. Some are 2 stories, some with terrace in the garden or in the courtyard, some for up to 4 persons, many connecting. 

• Some suites connect. Garden suites have their own terrace (potentially for sun-bathing).

• Cozy lounges in the garden. 

• In the reception is an Honor Bar, which is perfect for that evening when you bring a friend back to the hotel for a drink and to great your family. There’s a library for an impromptu private meeting.

• Guests may enjoy tea in the lounge—or coffee.

• Buffet breakfast.

• Room service 24.

 7 GUERLAIN spa with exclusive treatments, fitness, sauna and Jacuzzi .

• Concierges are Clefs d’Or.

• The hotel offers free WiFi. For anytime refreshment, a free in-room Nespresso machine and bottled water. 

 Rooms and suites are air-conditioned and equipped with a mini-bar, safe, and Bluetooth Marshall speakers. 

• Free parking and in the summer and good weather, free bicycles. 

• A car available for rental.

Relais Christine images are courtesy Relais Christine.

3 Rue Christine 
75006 Paris, France
T: +33 (0) 1 40 51 60 80 


ArchitectDesign™ said...

Charming hotel and a few doors down from our favorite restaurant in Paris, Chez Fernand. It's our tradition that we go there for our first meal every trip to Paris! amazing location.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

STEFAN---Thank you.

The hotel's decor is fresh and 'French' in a modern way...

I will check out Chez Ferdinand...

and there are several restaurants in the block and just around the corner...and of course close by are rue Mazarine and rue Dauphine and the Buci Market which is now packed with good and OK cafes...

thank you so much. Happy New Year. DIANE

diablesseblu said...

Love this piece, and the hotel. It is truly an oasis on the Left Bank.