A Private worldLa Réserve Paris

The most talked-about and seductive new hotel in Paris, La Réserve has raised the stakes in decadence and sophistication
La Réserve, a new grand townhouse hotel and spa in the 8th arrondissement in Paris, conjures up all the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie with its extraordinary levels of service and seclusion. Exuding the atmosphere and style of a 19th-century mansion (it formerly belonged to Napoleon III's half-brother, the Duc de Morny, and then designer Pierre Cardin), the hotel puts an almost pathological emphasis on privacy. There is no check-in desk in the stunning belle époque salon, which is furnished with velvet tasselled love seats; this kind of tedious admin is instead confined to the comfort of your own suite and comprises a swift, painless scan of the passport. Such delicacy also extends to the spa, where guests can swim in the 16-meter pool by candlelight behind drawn curtains. Of course, this sense of theatre is a celebrated signature of designer Jacques Garcia - elegance with a hint of decadence, sin and romance - and makes La Réserve resemble a more sophisticated version of that fashionista favourite, Hôtel Costes.

Everywhere feels like a private club from a more civilized era: from the courtyard, to the library with its leather-bound volumes and honesty box, to the muraled smoking room. These communal areas are only open to hotel guests of La Réserve’s serviced apartments nearby, which overlook the Place du Trocadéro and neighbourhood brasseries such as Le Scheffer, whose busy terraces are attended by old-school, black-waistcoated, white-aproned waiters waltzing between the tables.

Guests can also dine at the hotel’s two Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Gabriel. While the views from the apartments showcase the beloved, unchanged face of Paris – with its classic Haussmann architecture of slated domes, floor-to-ceiling windows and grand wrought-iron statement entrances – the aesthetic inside is more contemporary, with high-tech flourishes and exquisite attention to detail.With views over the Eiffel Tower, which sparkles on the hour every hour after the sun sets, there is surely no more exclusive address in the whole of Paris.

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