Monday, July 2, 2018

When in Paris: La Réserve Paris Hotel — The Exciting, Super-chic New Place to Stay

La Réserve Paris: Romantic, opulent décor by the legendary Jacques Garcia.

I was fortunate recently to stay at La Réserve Paris hotel, located in a quiet neighborhood near the American Embassy and the Elysée Palace.

La Réserve Paris is privately owned (by the owner of the great Cos D’Estournel vineyard) and it’s small, with only forty rooms and suites, ultra-discreet and with a warm and professional style.

I loved it. Come with me for a visit and see why I admire this new Paris discovery.

Where to stay in France now:  With luxe interiors, an indoor pool, two fine restaurants, an elegant location, and ultra-silent suites, La Réserve Paris is the new choice for Francophile travelers.

When noted French hotelier and winery owner Michel Reybier planned to expand his illustrious hotel portfolio recently with La Réserve Paris hotel and spa, he ensured the most luxurious nineteenth-century French Empire style by hiring noted French designer Jacques Garcia. Over his four-decade career, Garcia is admired for creating classical interiors with a sense of history, elegance and comfort. He designed Hotel Costes, one of the most coveted hotels for the fashion/ design/ style and luxury world. (Who can resist its sensual decor, roses, private fragrances, scented candles, and sexy décor.)?

For La Réserve Paris, Garcia and his couture-level studio created a luxury hotel with the feeling of a grand mansion. When guests arrive at the glossy crimson lacquered entry door, they are swept into a private, pampered world, surrounded by precious antiques, silk fabrics, custom-crafted furniture with lavish velvet and silk trim, and a warm atmosphere.

La Réserve Paris opened almost two years ago in discreet tree-lined avenue Gabriel in the Eighth Arrondissement, close to legendary avenue Montaigne, headquarters for French fashion darlings Chanel, Dior and Hermes. It’s also a few minutes from top antique dealers and art galleries.

The La Réserve building was originally constructed in 1854 and owned by the family of the Duc de Morny (step-brother of Emperor Napoleon III) until 1888. Today it is a 40-room hotel (26 of which are suites) and Garcia crafted his signature style for the décor, with luscious crimson Rubelli silk damask walls, velvet curtains, and plump tufted sofas.

Garcia’s signature is very comme il fautand true to the Belle Epoque style, with charm and flair, a sense of modernity.Itfeels like an hôtel particulier, the former grand residence of a Duke.

La Réserve Paris restaurants and the wine-tasting library have become favorite spots of French diplomats, fashion designers, business executives and travelers who value privacy and tranquility.

The hotel feels more like a private club than a hotel. The Duc de Morny Library is reserved for guests only during the day to dine, drink afternoon tea, and enjoy an honor bar. At 6pm it turns into a jazz bar that is open to the public. And there’s the top-secret cigar room.

Library walls lined with over 3,000 antique books and volumes on French historic wines, make it the ideal setting to meet friends, taste rare wines, and sip a midnight cognac. 

Cuisine with Style and Delicacy

There are two restaurants led by Chef Jérôme Banctel — Le Gabriel and La Pagode de Cos. Le Gabriel received two Michelin stars just one year after its opening. 

Banctel trained under some of the greatest names in the business and is considered the protégée of Alain Senderens, under whom he worked at the famous Lucas-Carton restaurant. Senderens instilled in him a rigorous approach to selecting produce and the art of enhancing them by meticulously chosen wines. He has also traveled extensively in Japan.

Le Gabriel offers tasting menus as well as a la carte options. La Pagode de Cos is a tribute to Michel Reybier's wine estate in the Medoc, Cos d’Estournel.

La Pagode de Cos is open daily for lunch and dinner and offers an a la carte menu as well as 3- and 4- course menus. One highlight is the silver dessert trolley. On the first Thursday of every month they host wine French winemakers for special tastings. 

Jacques Garcia added a sense of relaxed elegance by commissioning custom furniture pieces from exceptional French furniture makers like Henryot, which usually craft residential furnishings.

The rich color palette at La Réserve moves beautifully from restaurants to the bar, and from room to room, with the bold use of burgundy red for velvets and silks.

In the bar/lounge, Garcia and his team created an eighteenth-century décor with black-painted wood panels with gold detailing, along with emerald green Rubelli silk jacquard tufted sofas for the wine library. There’s a soothing Champagne tone on walls in the popular restaurant, with here and there some vivid flashes of gold, bronze and moss green. 

Many of the rooms have balconies with views of Paris monuments including the Eiffel Tower, the spires of Notre Dame. 

A guests-only location includes the three-room spa with a 52-foot indoor swimming pool (a rarity in Paris). 

Guests can also dine al fresco at one of three terraces, including one in the courtyard. The terraces are very secluded, known mostly to Parisians. Lunch and dinner are served with great style. I loved the afternoon tea…with its elegant pastries, selection of teas (the hotel has its own blends), and perhaps a sip of Champagne. Luxury like this is rare, even in Paris.

Personalized in-room amenities include monogrammed linens, his/hers bathrobes, a jewelry box in La Réserve red. There are also, for those for whom custom mini-bars are a must, special La Réserve Paris snacks and cocktail bites, as well as wine selections, chocolates and other treats.

Each room has its own butler to ensure that bedside tables are stocked with books from guests’ favorite authors. They can also coordinate supe- exclusive, over-the-top experiences including: an appointment with a special l perfumer to create a custom scent. a couture fashion house visit to coordinate a dress or a tuxedo for a night at the opera; and a private recital in the suite.

And guests, pampered and rested, entertained, and wined and dined, have no reason to leave its hushed confines.

The hotel’s exclusive cologne was designed by famed perfumer, Rami Mekdachi. It’s subtle and distinctive, to create memories, said Mekdachi.

Diane often writes travel features for Gentry magazine, based in Silicon Valley. Here’s an image of the La Reserve signature cologne she shot. This scent is mysterious, light, can be worn by men and women, and has a delightful lingering uniqueness. Peppery. Floral. Light. Spirited.

La Réserve Paris is full-immersion in the best of French hospitality, and a jolt of unforgettable, classic, very Parisian luxury.


Perfume photo by Diane Dorrans Saeks.

Images of La Réserve Paris courtesy La Réserve Paris. Used here with express permission.

1 comment:

lindaraxa said...

I love the JG signature red color, particularly on the front door. The hotel is fabulous, only "but" is, it's not in the West Bank; but I would never leave, so who cares! You are so lucky, Diane. Enjoy!!!!