Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (www.eyepreferparistours.com), and also writes a popular insider's blog at www.eyepreferparis.com.
The five-star hotel market in Paris has become quite competitive in recent years with opening of the Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental, and the Peninsula. The splashy new entries with 100 plus rooms have brought their own distinct style to Paris, often resonating with the interiors of their other locations.
La Reserve Paris Hotel takes a different tack by offering guests a smaller, more intimate experience in a purely Parisian setting, an urban mansion. Owner Michael Reybier aims to make guests of his hotels, also located in Geneva and the south of France, feel like they are in a home away from home.
La Reserve is mostly a suite hotel, with 26 suites and 14 rooms. Decorated by Jacques Garcia, one of the most sought after interior designers in France, the décor is unmistakably Parisian. Some of the features we liked in the suites were the freestanding bathtubs wrapped in stainless steel in the Carrera marble bathrooms, the subtle colors, and the handsome writing desks.
The lobby has the feel of a salon from a 19th century bourgeois Belle époque Parisian apartment, decorated in sumptuous silk, damask, velvet, brocade, dark polished wood and fringe. Off the lobby are a series of comfortable public rooms including a library and card playing room and a cigar lounge.
The ideal location on a quiet, tree lined street between the Champs Elysees and the Elysees Palace where the president lives is close to top restaurants, shops, and art and furniture galleries.
Jerome Bactel is the head chef of the sumptuous Le Gabriel restaurant, the lush outdoor terrace dining surrounded by high box shrubs and the bar. A Brittany native, he has worked at some of the finest dining establishments in Paris, including L' Ambroisie and the restaurant at Le Crillon Hotel. A delicate ravioli stuffed with local seafood, an unusual preparation of squab dusted in cocoa, and a gorgeous lemon meringue tart are just a sampling of some of the eclectic dishes on the menu. Another perk is the menu is served in all of the public rooms, plus there's full room service 24 hours per day.
An exclusive La Reserve coup is the first Nescens spa in France. Nescens is an anti-aging center headed by Jacques Proust at the Clinique de Genollier Switzerland. Sophisticated facial treatments and massages are completely personalized taking into account the client's needs. A 50-foot pool surrounds the three treatment rooms, a steam room, and fitness area with a personal trainer optional.
La Reserve Paris Hotel
42 Ave. Gabriel, 75008