After a long, pandemic-induced slumber, the City of Light is starting to twinkle again with a slew of stunning hotel, restaurant and retail openings this fall and beyond. From the lush grounds at Versailles to the Côte d’Azur, the latest hospitality experiences outside the French capital also make visitors feel cosseted as never before. We suggest booking a ticket on all-business class boutique airline La Compagnie, which flies daily from New York to Paris and Nice.
Ritz Paris Le Comptoir
For gourmands or those simply in search of a snack on the go, Ritz Paris Le Comptoir is the city’s latest foodie destination from morning to night. A gourmet boutique from noted pastry chef François Perret, Ritz Paris Le Comptoir opened this summer and continues to draw locals and tourists alike into its chic, bustling environs within the storied hotel. From Monday through Saturday, Ritz Paris Le Comptoir features a short menu of breakfast pastries—perfectly flaky croissants and pains au chocolat that fly out the door—as well as lunchtime sandwiches including the César (inspired by the salad, but with a Perret touch), the Salmon, on fluffy sliced bread, and the Vegan, a uniquely delicious focaccia creation. Perret’s signature treats fill bespoke cases; madeleines in various flavors with passionfruit and raspberry confit make perfect takeaways in boxes illustrated with founders César Ritz and Auguste Escoffier. Perret’s favorite marble cake, seasonal tartlets that double as objets d’art and the famous Ritz au lait chocolate bar can all be found here as well. “The opening of the Ritz Paris Le Comptoir is the first step in a dynamic new phase for the Cambon wing of the hotel,” says the hotel’s general manager, Marc Raffray. “It’s also a more spontaneous, accessible alternative designed with Parisians in mind.” For a peek into the world of haut pastry-making—not to mention a mouthwatering mille-feuille or éclair—this café is a perfect destination. With art deco dessert trolleys, an open “pastry lab” kitchen, opulent lighting and plenty of seating, this wonderful new place is an ideal location to while away an afternoon. “The opening of this gourmet boutique offers Parisians the chance to take away pastries and enjoy a taste of the Ritz Paris legend at home,” says Perret. “I love the spontaneity and sharing of takeaway—it fits perfectly with a spur-of-the-moment desire to indulge or to treat those you love.”
Inside Ritz Paris Le Comptoir
Completed just before lockdown in 2020, this bijou boutique hotel—the fifth in LVMH’s luxury Cheval Blanc portfolio—finally opened on September 7 to much fanfare. Set within the art deco department store La Samaritaine, the building has been reimagined by architect Edouard François with subtly sumptuous interiors by frequent LVMH collaborator Peter Marino. With just 72 accommodations (26 rooms and 46 suites), the maison promises to be an intimate Parisian home away from home, complete with sweeping views of the Louvre, Notre-Dame and the dazzling Eiffel Tower beyond. In addition to the finest linens, signature scents by Maison Dior’s perfumer, François Demachy, and sprawling marble baths, rooms include butler services to satisfy that midnight madeleine craving and more. The Quintessence Suite promises to be the pinnacle of opulence with a dedicated swimming pool, sauna and hammam as well as a light-filled fitness studio.
Food, of course, takes center stage at Cheval Blanc Paris with four restaurants including a fine dining concept helmed by Chef Arnaud Donckele of La Vague d’Or at Cheval Blanc St-Tropez. A vibrant terrace brasserie, Le Tout-Paris, promises casual cuisine with breathtaking city views. The Dior Spa Cheval Blanc is a study in serene white onyx with luxe treatments like sapphire crystal microdermabrasion. And kids are welcome, too, with dedicated areas offering oceanic themes complete with an enormous technicolor fish tank. From the fashion crowd to travelers en famille, Cheval Blanc Paris offers this season’s ultimate grand escape.
Location, location, location! The latest offering from Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts—a Parisian outpost set on the glamorous Avenue George V—is set to open in late 2021 and will offer prime access to some of the city’s finest shopping, culture and dining just steps from the iconic Arc de Triomphe. The 76 rooms are being designed by the Milanese architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, in concert with Parisian architects Valode & Pistre, and much like the seven other Bvlgari properties in cities including Shanghai, London and Dubai, the design aesthetic promises to be richly modern and very, very Italian. As with other Bvlgari hotels, the spa will take pride of place with a 25-meter swimming pool—in central Paris!—drawing sybarites and fitness fanatics alike. For those in search of a proper aperitivo, the as-yet-unnamed bar, restaurant and a hidden courtyard garden will offer ideal convivial settings for that late-day Aperol spritz, in close proximity to the Champs Elysées.
Two properties worth escaping Paris for:
For a truly regal experience, book one of the 14 exquisitely appointed rooms at Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, the first hotel to open within the grounds of the Château de Versailles with direct access to the Orangerie and rare views of the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses and the sprawling palace. Spread across three buildings designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart—Le Grand Contrôle, Le Petit Contrôle and the Pavillon des Premières Cent Marches—the hotel is a faithful, uber-luxe restoration that recreates an 18th-century ambience, right down to the staff uniforms. No expense has been spared with finishes including gilded furnishings, parquet wood floors and period tapestries. A 50-foot pool, Valmont spa and formal, haut-cuisine restaurant helmed by Alain Ducasse are also on offer. Best of all, however, is the private access to the palace and gardens that a stay here affords. Not only can you have the dazzling Hall of Mirrors to yourself after hours, but dedicated early-morning tours promise to illuminate the ghosts of Versaille and unlock the secrets of André Le Nôtre’s formal gardens and The Trianon. Le Grand Contrôle promises a hotel stay unlike any other; it’s a completely immersive experience for history buffs, epicures and aesthetes alike.
The view of Le Grand Contrôle and the Orangerie Gardens
Set high above the picturesque town of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin with coastline views of Italy to the west and Monte Carlo to the east, you’ll find The Maybourne Riviera, the fifth hotel from the hospitality experts behind such iconic London properties as Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley. A sleek, modernist perch comprising 69 rooms—all with stunning sea views—the hotel has been designed with the help of local artisans as well as world-class designers including Andre Fu, Bryan O’Sullivan and Pierre Yovanovitch, to name but a few of the stellar talents. Guests will be treated to gustatory delights courtesy of chef Mauro Colagreco—of three-Michelin-starred Mirazur in nearby Menton—whose seafood-centric menu is set to be served atop the hotel, with panoramic Mediterranean views to match. Jean-Georges Vongerichten will launch a concept—his first in the South of France—inspired by its location on the French-Italian border, while Japanese chef Hiro Sato will prepare the finest sushi. Surrounded by acres of gardens and fragrant citrus orchards, guests can expect restorative spa treatments, indoor and outdoor pools and access to the chic Maybourne Riviera Beach Club. “The location of the hotel rich in art and history begs to be explored and discovered, but, equally, we believe we have created a place that if our guests just want to check in, sit back with a glass of rosé, admire the view and never leave, that will make us happy, too,” says Paddy McKillen, co-owner of the Maybourne Hotel Group. This might just be the ne plus ultra place to park it this fall.
The Maybourne Riviera
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