DESIGN + TRAVEL: Hotel Bachaumont, Hotel Vernet
I love Paris, don't you ? I love it even when driving back to Calais we got stopped for speeding (it was Easter Sunday, no one was about!) and our car impounded. No seriously, this HAS happened. It's surprising how when you are asked whether you speak French, you answer "a little" but when the guy from the Gendarmerie (who happens to be the Chief or whatever of the local station too) tells you you have to pay an 800 Euro fine, your French comes pouring out in a diarrhoea of excuses. Yes, this has happened, and no, we were not sparred the fine because it was Easter Sunday... But that is another story altogether.
When in Paris, do everything in style. For us, the time lounging around Hotel Costes is in the past (we did that in our late 20s) so now we like something a bit more sophisticated, mature. Hence, we go Art Deco.
Entirely designed by Dorothée Meilichzon – the designer behind cocktail-focused Grand Pigalle Hotel - the 49-room Bachaumont opened in September 2015 and is a sleek mix of contemporary Parisian flair and Art Deco. The building started its journey as a clinic and then a trendy hotel. It is located in the heart of the city and within walking distance from Notre Dame and the Louvre, both of which can be reached on foot in 20 minutes.
Inviting couches set the scene around the bar while the restaurant is full of gorgeous looking dining chairs and people. The mod furniture is covered in fabric by Pierre Frey. The vibe is really good around this hotel. And if you want to head out, you will find a number of old fashioned boulangeries (bakeries) and tea houses.
Around the rooms you will find teals and light mint-blue colours, combined with brass fixtures, it's so gorgeous as a scheme I really want to replicate it at home!
Click here to book at the Bachaumont.
Located a few steps from Paris’ celebrated Arc de Triomphe, within the city’s golden triangle, the once traditional Hotel Vernet has been completely transformed by Paris-based architect François Champsaur into a sleek new 50-room boutique hotel.
Housed in a post Haussmann building that dates from 1913, the exterior is the embodiment of Parisian charm, which complements the fresh modernity that lies within. The façade and charming black ironwork balconies is the work of French architect Albert Joseph Sélonier, who over his career designed close to 300 buildings which can be seen throughout the capital.
Marseille-born François Champsaur has employed his characteristic attention to detail, by artfully playing with light and volume, complementing the space in warming tones with modern furniture and tactile fabrics. Among the facilities is an avant-garde restaurant under an ornate glass dome, designed by legendary civil engineer Gustave Eiffel.
Click here to book at the Vernet. All photos are from the hotel website.
Huge mirrors accentuate already large baths, with double sinks (in Superior rooms), black-and-white tiling, sleek wood finishings, and chic designer tubs or walk-in rain showers.
The best thing about the sleek hotel restaurant is its drop-dead gorgeous stained-glass ceiling designed by Gustave Eiffel, under which you're offered an à la carte breakfast with a sufficient but not overwhelming choice or a more basic continental breakfast in your room.
At lunch and dinner, attractive, skilfully prepared dishes by the talented chef Richard Robe (formerly of Taillevent) make dining in the restaurant a pleasant convenience, though the à la carte menu is pricey. Consider the three-course tasting menu, if you're not up for a splurge.
This boutique hotel, member of the 'Small Luxury Hotels of the World', offers personalised and attentive service with a cosy yet refined atmosphere. Abstract rugs, copper screens and lights and different accessories like chandeliers created by Eric Schmitt and a fresco by Jean-Michel Alberta on the ceiling over the bar turn the hotel into a large art gallery, which extends even to the rooms, whose numbers are sculptures.
Unlike many Parisian hotels that are in converted buildings, the Vernet has been a hotel ever since it was built in 1913, so spaces are generally generous with rooms opening off a large stairwell. These bedrooms feel made for relaxation, in a timeless style with high-ceilings, big comfortable beds and armchairs, where natural wood and fabrics are enlivened by colourful throws and cushions.
Click here to book at the Vernet.
All photos are from the hotel website.