La Réserve Paris is simply one of the finest and best run establishments in the world. It is the hotel of the moment in Paris, the property has just been awarded Best Hotel in Paris in 2016 by Travel & Leisure, a peaceful haven for the cognoscenti. If you’ve lost track of your globe-trotting celebrities, try ringing La Réserve Paris first. This has become home away from home for discerning movie stars, sports luminaries, socialites, royals, business moguls, politicians from the neighboring Elysée Palace, emirs, maharajahs, nabobs, honorables and the jeunesse dore.
This luxurious landmark hotel off the Champs-Élysees lies a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. The building sits proudly on the chic rue Gabriel and was crafted for the Duc de Morny, the emperor’s half-brother, in 1854, the year after Haussmann started his majestic redo of the city. Its last owner was the fashion designer Pierre Cardin.
La Réserve Paris is immaculately kept and polished under the argus eye of the brilliant General Manager Didier Calvez whose razor-sharp staff is discreet, efficient, friendly and immaculate. M. Le Calvez is one of the world’s most distinguished hoteliers, formerly Managing Director of Le Bristol Paris and COO of the Oetker Collection. His blue chip resume includes Managing Director of Four Seasons Hotel George V and General Manager at The Pierre in New York. He presently also oversees The Reserve properties.
Upon entering you will be bowled over by bowers of magnificent flowers, dazzling parquet floors, Persian carpets and a well-groomed, friendly staff as sharp as a razor’s finely-honed edge. There is no hauteur often found in other grand Parisian hotels. The concierge team takes the trouble to learn your name and you are instantly whisked to a room or suite of rooms that are rhapsodies in modern tech and sublime, sure-footed, refined La Réserve comfort.
La Réserve Paris is in a class of its own—residential and evocative of a private hotel particulier, public and private rooms are in the best of taste, discreet and innovative. Expect a discreet and classic urban mansion with just 25 suites (some with wine cellars) and 15 rooms. Owner Michel Reybier, a silver-haired low-profile multi-millionaire, currently has five La Réserve properties, four in France and one in Switzerland. M. Reybier wished to imbue his Paris caravansary with the chic and confidential spirit of a club privé and he has succeeded spectacularly.
Jacques Garcia, the interiors megastar who also designed La Réserve Geneva and La Chartreuse de Cos found inspiration for this latest project in the paintings of James Tissot and Garcia’s interiors are sensual and dramatic: Louis XV decadence with exotic Chinoiserie in blacks, reds and greens, blue-greys, Champagne and chocolate, with flashes of gold and dashes of burgundy. The furniture was crafted by Henryot, the silk wallpaper by Rubelli, the fabric headboards by Prelle. All comme il faut. But the overall impression is underpinned by a cheerful sense of whimsy. The bright, sophisticated rooms and suites, styled after Louis XVI, offer free Wi-Fi, TVs with satellite channels and CD/DVD libraries, as well as espresso machines and room service. Elegant suites add sitting areas and private terraces. Bathrooms are lined in white and grey Carerra marble, mattresses have feather toppings, pillows are filled with fine goose-down, and beds are swathed in crisp white Quagliotti linens.
Walls are lined with silk damask, and window curtains in heavy silk and fine white voile which can be easily drawn back to reveal views through double-glazed floor-to-ceiling French doors. Walls and doors are solid and soundproofed. Wardrobes are built from heavy oak, with elegant hangers, a big umbrella and safe large enough for electronics, as well as jewelry and valuables.
Lights can be turned off with one simple switch. Room technology is the most high-tech yet surprisingly user-friendly with televisions disguised in mirrors, high-quality speakers that connect wirelessly to devices, and temperature-controlled kettles for tea.
The minibar consists of a refrigerated drawer, in which complimentary fresh-pressed juices (including strawberry and passion fruit) as well as Evian and sodas, are stored, and suites have a wine-fridge stocked with bottles from Reynier’s own vineyards, which can be decanted into a Riedel decanter or delicate glasses.
After unpacking, we lingered in the cozy Bar by the fireplace and sipped a glass of fizz. We spied several well-tailored vert-galants and a clutch of Catherine Deneuve-Kate-Moss-Giselle Bunchen lookalikes. With an impressive collection of wines, the Bar has enough to satisfy the most demanding oenophile savant. All the world’s most renowned wine regions are represented, including Italy, California, Argentina, South Africa, Hungary, Chile and, of course, France – rare vintage wines from Bordeaux, Bourgogne and the Rhône Valley are highlights. Guests also have the option of tasting their favorite vintages in the Library. And all the greatest classics in the art of cocktail-making feature on the menu. Name your firewater, they have it.
Then it was off to the candle-lit Spa set around a 16-meter indoor pool, three treatment rooms, a fitness area with a sports coach, a Zen-like peaceful atmosphere where one is finally relieved of pressure and can succumb to a complete disconnect from the daily grind. The Spa has a menu of dazzling signature treatments, massages and facials and hair services. Men are not forgotten, with a range of services indispensable to modern-day gentlemen. La Réserve Paris spa offers Nescens-Swiss anti-aging science cosmeceutical products. Born of the medical expertise of the Center for the Prevention of Aging at the Clinique de Genolier (Switzerland), created by Professor Jacques Proust, a pioneer in the realm of aging biology and anti-aging medicine, the Nescens-Swiss anti-aging science brand offers in exclusivity at La Réserve Paris sophisticated treatments for all, better-aging massages and cosmeceutical anti-aging products.
In a capital as stimulating as Paris when it comes to gastronomy, La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa rises ably to the challenge with its restaurant, Le Gabriel, offering contemporary French cuisine (2 Michelin stars) inspired by the seasons. Enhanced but never disguised, products are left to be discovered and rediscovered in all their natural glory. Chef Jérôme Banctel is a wizard of haute cuisine and his dishes deliver a light freshness exploding with flavors. The dining room itself is romantic–decadently dark: all woods, Chinese-style black furnishings, mirrors and gilt.
Le Grand Salon serves food all day from morning until night. Compiled by Chef Le Banctel, the Grand Salon menu offers all the most popular classics with the culinary sensitivity of an exceptional chef in a relaxed atmosphere with service as speedy as required. So for a snack at any time, a lunch break on the run, a gourmet tea or an informal dinner, reserve a table at Le Grand Salon.
La Réserve Paris is the quintessence of Parisian chic in the Belle Époque: beautiful Flemish tapestries, marble fireplaces, 19th-century paintings and furniture, as well as many exquisite objets d’art. This is where the most fashionable Parisians gather for a drink or light bite if they are not in the Bar whispering among the beautiful mahogany and cognac color woods and large windows with sunlight streaming in. At La Réserve Paris you are perfectly placed to immerse yourself in the heart of the city’s culture, art and commerce, all within a delightful walk. The hotel makes a bold and exciting statement with dignity and style. We always feel privileged to be a guest there.
A front rank experience living up to and beyond legendary La Réserve connoisseur standards with a fiercely loyal clientele. La Réserve Paris, 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris (www.lareserve-paris.com), Tel: 33 1 58 36 60 60. Doubles from about £560. We recommend the fifth floor, in the mansard roof, with far-reaching views – and the third-floor suites with balconies furnished with wrought-iron tables and chairs. Book a transfer from the Gare du Nord – about 20 minutes’ drive away or from the airport–are by polished black Mercedes.
ENTREE is proud to be offering to the highest bidder a three night stay at La Réserve Paris including dinner for two and a spa treatment, entrée to a most confidential and privileged world of luxury, a $3000+ value. Please call our Editor, William Tomicki, (805) 969-5848 or e-mail him at email@example.com with your bid. A voucher will be issued for one year subject to occupancy.