For those after Champs-Elysées glam: smart Right Bank on a grand avenue leading between the [node:168629] and Parc Monceau.
The clutter of the rooms comes as a bit of a shock after the minimalism we're used to in contemporary hotels, although Starck insists he's not doing "decoration". Empire chairs have been turned into bedside tables, lampshades are artistically scrawled upon, artworks are leaned casually around the walls, potential rock stars will find a guitar in every room, but satin eiderdowns seem a little strange on fashionable island beds and I'm not sure I fancy waking up looking into a vast mirror (which also conceals the TV screen). The standard rooms are quite small considering the enormous prices, some of the suites are gigantic – like no.500 with its huge drawing room littered with eclectic tables and sofas, dressing room and a white marble and mirror hexagonal bathroom, and most of the rooms appear to be interconnected should you wish to privatise a whole floor for yourself. Five vast apartments are due to open in the adjacent building in March 2011.
It's a red carpet route to the reception in one direction, an art bookshop the other and the bar and French restaurant beyond. The hotel has its own art gallery, "The Art District", its own cinema, and will soon also have a mini concept store of clothes, accessories and desirable items. In the large salon small seating areas alternate with artworks and books, although whether you are actully meant to read is unsure: books are arranged at the top of columns, far too high to reach.
Eating and drinking
Two gastronomic restaurants overlook the garden courtyard, one French, La Cuisine, under chef Laurent André, the other Italian, Il Carpaccio, with Tuscan chef Roberto Rispoli, set in a pavilion with fantastical shell grotto decor. But it seems the real centre of the hotel is intended to be the Bar Long, where you can sit over cocktails along a long, high table.
The hotel has its own in-house cinema with deep leather seats for private projections. A vast Clarins spa and indoor swimming pool are due to open in March 2011, although a small gym is already in situ.
All the doormen, concierges, bar staff and room service you'd expect, plus a special art concierge to organise your gallery trips.
Who stays there
This is intended to be a luxury hotel for creative types but given the prices only those who've made it – and their patrons.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Mature travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- People watching
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Aiming to be different from standard luxury
- Spacious and salubrious with hundreds of staff
- Very expensive
- The clutter in the bedrooms