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Cheval Blanc Paris_Plénitude © Alexandre Tabaste (2)
© Alexandre Tabaste
CityExperiencesHotelLuxury

Cheval Blanc: The art of emotion

If luxury were a place, Cheval Blanc would need its own league - because only a few hotel collections manage to charm their guests in a similar way. The brand's fifth hotel is no exception: only recently opened, the "Cheval Blanc Paris" is already setting new standards.

29 December 2021


A perfect holiday is like a painting, where brushstrokes of emotion, unforgettable moments and impressive details come together to create a work of art. Cheval Blanc combines tradition and innovation, local architecture, timeless elegance, bold design, contemporary elements and craftsmanship, a warm atmosphere and the highest level of service - these are the ingredients that give guests in the most beautiful places in the world, on the Riviera as well as in the Caribbean or in the French Alps, the memories they will cherish for a lifetime. The latest member of the hotel collection of the luxury goods group LVMH, to which brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Tiffany & Co. belong, which only opened in September and now comprises five maisons, is no exception. On the contrary: The "Cheval Blanc Paris" redefines the "Code of Luxury".

Paris, mon amour!

Housed in the iconic La Samaritaine department store, which opened in 1870 and has now been owned by LVMH for over 20 years, Cheval Blanc Paris is located next to the Maisons in Saint-Tropezon Saint-Barthélemy, in Courchevel and Randheli the brand's first urban hideaway. While the building's remarkable façade - a blend of art deco and art nouveau - remains as once conceived by architects Frantz Jourdain and Henri Sauvage, Japanese firm Sanaa expanded the structure to include, among other things, an undulating glass façade, a lushly landscaped terrace in the historic atrium, as well as numerous offices, around 600 boutiques, and many other shops. The stylish setting for the 72 rooms of the "Cheval Blanc Paris" is the part of the building designed in 1928 on the Quai du Louvre. It is the only hotel in the entire city located directly on the Seine, overlooking the water. Notre Dame, the Conciergerie, Sacré-Coeur, the Champs-Élysées and the Pont Neuf: thanks to the excellent location, every view from the window becomes a sightseeing moment. The celebrated architect Peter Marino was responsible for this part of the conversion. He has already completed several boutiques for Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Chanel - so Marino is no stranger to luxury. "Peter has created something that didn't exist in Paris until now. He has reinvented the 'Code of Luxury'," says Olivier Lefebvre, CEO of Cheval Blanc, in praise of Marino.

©Alexandre Tabaste

 

Art Collaborations

Of course, the "Cheval Blanc Paris" is ultimately not the work of a single person. More than 600 French artists from a wide variety of backgrounds, from carpenters to textile designers, worked together to offer guests the same Cheval Blanc experience in Paris that they already know from the four other maisons - with local flair, of course. The iconic soaring horse, a Frank Gehry design and symbol of the brand, can be found in the hallowed halls as well as lithographs from the 1930s and paintings almost four meters high in the lobby. Even the huge spiral staircase leading into the Dior spa is a work of art made of interwoven metal. Guests swim in the 30-metre pool, which is made of hand-crafted blue mosaic stones, indulge in one of the six treatment rooms and luxuriate in the spa paradise, whose signature scent was specially created by Dior perfumer François Demachy. The spa team, led by Sophie Levy Kraemer, spent five years developing and perfecting the 48 treatment options.

©Alexandre Tabaste

Another sensory firework is offered to the guests when visiting the restaurants and bars. None other than Arnaud Donckele, awarded three Michelin stars and already known from the "Cheval Blanc St-Tropez", was responsible for the new "Plénitude" restaurant. One of his secrets is the cheese room, which is hidden behind a mirrored door. The wine cellar, designed by French artist Etienne Moyat with a chainsaw, is where the liquid treasures of the "Cheval Blanc Paris" are kept. Enrico Buonocore's famous Milanese restaurant "Langosteria" in turn finds its first home outside Italy on the seventh floor of the Maison. Here, the team serves creations that are unparalleled in their freshness, modern twist and sophistication. Guests are also offered experiences of a special kind; concierge chef Margaux Médeau's team makes sure of that: secret doors are opened, experiences off the beaten track are offered, waiting times are shortened, glimpses behind the scenes are made possible. No detail is left to chance - just as the brand DNA of Cheval Blanc envisages.

 

©Alexandre Tabaste

 

Birth of a legend

"Cheval Blanc is based on four core values, the sum of which is unique in the world of hospitality," says CEO Lefebvre, summing up the collection's philosophy: "Craftsmanship with a sense of detail pushed to the extreme and meticulous preparatory work on the product itself; exclusive privacy, as the number of rooms is deliberately kept to a minimum; creativity, i.e. the reinterpretation of traditional codes with boldness and modernity - and finally, the 'Art de Recevoir' and thoughtful service that gives each stay unique character." This vision was already in place before Cheval Blanc debuted with its Maison in Courchevel. It continued at "Cheval Blanc Randheli" in the Maldives, "Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France" in the Caribbean and "Cheval Blanc St-Tropez" - and has now arrived in Paris. But there is no break for architect Peter Marino: he is already working on the first "Cheval Blanc" in the USA; it will open its doors in Beverly Hills, California.

©Alexandre Tabaste

Highlights Cheval Blanc Paris

  • Spa
    48 comprehensive treatments are available. Already legendary: "Precious Energy", a Dior signature full-body massage with warm semi-precious stones.
  • Culinary
    Four restaurants and bars spoil the guests. The "Langosteria" serves steamed lobster, king crabs, oysters, shrimps and sea truffles.
  • Special Service
    The excellent concierge team sees itself as the key to a series of exclusive moments, such as private visits to jewellers and accessory designers.
  • Prices
    Room rates start at € 1150 per night, including gourmet breakfast.

Cheval Blanc Paris
chevalblanc.com
8 Quai du Louvre, 75001 Paris, France,
T: +33 140 28 0000

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Winter 2021/22.

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