I was so excited to find myself travelling again after the second lockdown, that any stimulus seemed heavenly.
But nothing have prepared me for Cheval Blanc, LVMH’s first five-star accommodation in the heart of Paris!
The hotel, which opened this fall, after a 16-year restoration of Paris’s historic La Samaritaine department-store complex!
The Cheval Blanc occupies the south side of the compound, in a chic Art Deco building distinct from La Samaritaine and overlooking the Pont Neuf—the oldest bridge in Paris, inaugurated in 1607 by Henri IV. With only 72 rooms and suites on 10 floors, this hotel is designed by Peter Marino in tones of beige and white with gold details.
The hotel is intended “to promote the French art de vivre.” The lobby has vivid artwork, elegant furniture with pop flashes and perfect lighting. I am informed while on tour that some suites have balconies and deep bathtubs with a view of the Seine, others at the Notre Dame and there are even exclusive apartments as an option. Its concierge services include tours of Montmartre, and a “gentlemen’s day” that includes a trip to the barber or babysitting services in the conscious and educational in- house playroom called ‘Le Carrousel’.
The Cheval Blanc experience includes an underground Dior spa offering massages and I was lucky enough to try the Le Petit Bonheur Talons Aiguilles or ‘take your heels off’ foot massage experience in an off -white wellness area with divine Dior perfume and scented pillows.
There is also a swimming pool at Seine level decorated with waves of blue and green mosaic tiles. It sits in a room whose back wall is covered in screens projecting the undulations of the Seine, a video installation by Franco-Israeli artist Yorame Mevorach, who works under the name of Oyoram. The aquatic theme relates not just to the hotel’s location but also to its past: La Samaritaine takes its name from a pump house decorated with images of the biblical parable of Jesus and the Samaritan woman.
As I exit the glass lift with representations of the city of Paris, I find myself at the rooftop bar-lounge-restaurant ‘Le Tout Paris’!
Enticing cocktails, homemade bites and tasty nuts accompany a view and sunset like no other in a colorful, stylish and contemporary environment and with attention to every single detail. This Art Deco bistro is open from midday to midnight and there is a Sunday brunch not to be missed.
From the Seine below to the skies above, the hotel’s locations and view in the heart of Paris is a key part of its unique identity.
Just what you need after long Covid periods: a refreshing, modern experience and a scenic panorama in the City of light!
With Gratitude, T.