reviewer: rawan hadid
We were staying in Barcelona for six months and it occurred to me that somehow, I hadn’t been to Paris in about eight years before this trip – we wanted a base from which to enjoy the city but also to retreat in total relaxation before drinks at Matignon. Yes, a trip to Centre Pompidou was in order, but so were crepes from Briezh, live music at Le Comptoir General, a night at The Crazy Horse, and aimless strolls on the left bank.
hotel name & website: Saint James Paris
who: Me & My Hubby
why: Because Paris is always a good idea
when: February 2014
stay: The only chateau hotel in the city of Paris sounded like just what the trip called for – grand gardens, a storied history, Parisian style and exceptional service. It was hardly summer – Paris is freezing in February and while we wanted a city break, break was a critical part of the trip. Everything always smelled delightful, we never felt that FOMO to leave our room and make use of our time in the city but we also delighted in stepping outside to stroll around the wide boulevards of the 16th arrondisement.
location: For nearly a century, a foundation hosted the most talented students from all of France at this grand neo-classical mansion. Today, it’s gotten a major makeover by Bambi Sloan who has skillfully painted and revamped the chateau from floor to ceiling with what can only be described as wacky and dreamlike chic. Napoleon III finery meets pop art and is very much at home in what was Paris’ first airfield from which hot air balloons used to take off.
rooms: 48, including 20 Junior Suites, 11 Suites and two Pavilions.
pool/gym/beach status: I never checked? There’s probably a Parisian understanding of a gym in their basement.
food situation (mini bar, restaurant, breakfast): yes, yes, oh yes.
bar: beautiful wood-paneled old world hotel bar where martinis are the standard.
data (wifi?): of course.
vibes: Parisian kitsch. Humorous Elegance? Wood paneling, animal prints, heavy velvets, ornate chandeliers and a marble staircase. Truly I don’t think there is any other city that could pull it off.
kiddie agreeable: Leave them at home if you can, although they would likely enjoy the almost cartoon dream-like décor and the hot air balloon theme.
specialty: making you feel special, this is a Relais & Chateaux property after all.
price scale: Exorbitant and totally worth every penny.