More than its Second French Empire elegance of silk damask, velvet, marble and buffed oak parquetry, more than Michelin-starred cuisine or its Swiss spa treatments, the luxury at La Réserve is of a between-the-lines nature. Every aspect has a personal touch here – be it the welcome in the Salon Louis XV or the in-room check-in and your own dedicated butler; the family photos on the walls or your favourite fresh flowers scenting your suite. With just 40 rooms, this is a Parisian palace on the scale of a fabulously appointed home. The boutique property is renowned for its spa and the two-Michelin-starred Le Gabriel restaurant, where chef Jérôme Banctel serves sensational French fare.
A step removed from the Champs-Elysées, with views of the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais, the hotel is on a quiet street opposite gardens, making it a calm oasis in the busy heart of Paris. It’s about 55 minutes by taxi from Charles de Gaulle Airport.
From the Prestige rooms (45 square metres) to the Belle Epoque-style Grand Palais Suite (with two salons and a bar in its more than 200 square metres), the 26 suites and 14 rooms reflect the hotel’s 19th-century aristocratic origins. Some offer iconic city views or a terrace. A Premium room has floor-to-ceiling windows opening over the courtyard. Technology is used cleverly – a tablet for TV, lights, temperature and butler service; a Japanese toilet; under-floor heating in the Cararra marble bathrooms.
Food and drink
Executive chef Jérôme Banctel oversees the hotel’s two restaurants (the two-starred Le Gabriel, pictured above, and “brasserie chic” La Pagode du Cos) as well as the clubby Bar. The Breton puts a subtle fusion spin on traditional French dishes, using the finest seasonal produce and showcasing his love of Japanese cuisine. La Pagode du Cos, with its columns of gold Pakistani onyx and gilded armchairs upholstered in silk, is the heart of the hotel, from breakfast to dinner. Enjoy a pre-dinner flute of champagne from hotel owner Michel Reybier’s estate to the music from the Steinway piano in the adjoining library.
For business travellers
The hotel concierge or your room’s butler can fulfill any professional request, such as printing or translations. There is no business centre but the library, lined with leather-bound volumes, is a quiet place to work. For daytime meetings, Le Gabriel restaurant offers a light three-course business lunch that can be served within one hour.
For wellness travellers
The Spa at La Réserve centres on its 16-metre pool, flanked by curtained alcoves with red banquettes and tea on tap (the homemade ginger, lemon and honey infusion is delicious). The pool is open to guests 24 hours a day, as are the hammam and fully equipped fitness centre. The spa also has three treatment rooms offering signature “better ageing” massage, wellbeing and beauty treatments, available 9am to 9pm, using Swiss Nescens products.
The fab factor
The motion-sensitive nightlight under the bedside table lights any midnight sortie without waking your partner.
Best for: Luxury travellers looking for boutique digs
Number of rooms: 40, including 26 suites
Rates from: From €1400 (AU$2200) per night for a Prestige room
Wi-fi: High-speed throughout the hotel
Parking: Yes, with valet service
Address: 42 avenue Gabriel, 8th arrondissement, Paris
Telephone: +33 1 58 36 60 60