© Adrien Dirand

That's why French Style is in now

When it comes to couture, cuisine, lifestyle, and taste, we’ve always looked to France. But besides its accomplishments in those areas, La Grande Nation has also produced a new generation of hotel designers who will shape the aesthetic of luxury lodgings for many years to come.

September 4, 2023

Tristan Auer - Modern Flair


© provided

The belle époque façade of the Carlton Cannes is known the world over, and the hotel on La Croisette has been a firm favorite with the stars ever since it opened in 1911. Now Tristan Auer has created a modern, timeless interior for the grande dame of the Côte d’Azur: Glittering chandeliers, stucco, delicate pastel shades, modern furniture and ceramics from Vallauris for a splash of color bring fresh elegance to the 332 rooms and suites as well as its 37 residences. The designer, who grew up in Aix-en-Provence, has developed an aesthetic that features a broad color palette, lots of light and a mix of different eras. After graduating from Penninghen School of Art Direction and Interior Architecture in Paris, Tristan Auer worked for both Christian Liaigre and Philippe Starck. He founded his own company in 2002 and has made a name for himself with interiors that combine French savoir vivre with contemporary luxury. He is currently working on the Mandarin Oriental in Zurich, due to open in 2024.

Best of Tristan Auer

The Carlton Hotel Palace, which opened in 1911, was given a new look by Tristan Auer. Top: © Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel, Bottom Left and right: © Amaury Laparra.

Sofitel le Scribe Paris Opéra
In 2020, Auer gave the 1863 building a design that captures the flair of luxurious Parisian apartments.

Jumeirah Marsa al Arab
The form and interior of the luxury hotel in Dubai are evocative of a superyacht. In addition to 386 rooms and suites, it also has penthouses and apartments.

The Cottonhouse
The boutique hotel on Mustique has 17 individually designed suites and villas in tropical style.

Patrick Gilles and Dorothée Boissier - Urban Elegance


© Gilles Bensimon

The designs of Patrick Gilles and Dorothée Boissier are a blend of luxury and Parisian nonchalance. Both come from Paris; their cultural environment is a formative influence in their work, which is widely regarded as synonymous with elegant capital city design. He stands for clear lines, she stands for harmony – this contrast is often described as the key to their creative synergy and is consistent with their backgrounds: Gilles learned his craft from architect and designer Christian Liaigre and Boissier worked for industrial and hotel designer Philippe Starck. Their studio, Gilles & Boissier, specializes in design for the hospitality sector and has created numerous restaurant and hotel interiors, including the Baccarat in New York, a top address with 114 rooms and suites that opened in 2015, and the Mandarin Oriental Marrakech. For the latter, the duo used clear lines to create a contrast with oriental opulence, which they incorporated as forms and silhouettes to create a modern version of Arabian architecture. The resulting interiors are as intriguing as they are beautiful.

Best of Gilles & Boissier

Top and left: The Baccarat Hotel in New York glitters with incredible crystal cascades and gigantic chandeliers. © provided; Right: Dining at the Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf on St. Barts is like visiting friends with exceptionally good taste.© Gilles Bensimon.

Barriére le Carl Gustaf
The luxury hotel on St. Barts in the Antilles gives guests the feeling they’re staying with friends.

Mandarin Oriental Ritz
Apart from the opulent Royal Suite overlooking the Prado, the interiors of the belle époque palace in Madrid are the epitome of contemporary elegance.

The Ritz Carlton New York
The Parisian design duo created a modern townhouse look for the legendary hotel by Central Park.

Joseph Dirand - The Minimalist


© Melanie Acevedo

Joseph Dirand was born in Paris in 1974. His father was an interior photographer, his mother a fashion designer, so you could say he was predestined to take up a creative career. He studied architecture, fell in love with modernism and founded an interior design studio at the age of 25. Today he creates understated but warm interiors for shops, hotels and restaurants like the Girafe in Paris. With its marble bar, cream-colored furniture and original pilasters, it combines art deco elements with light Parisian elegance to provide a perfect backdrop for the culinary delights that have made the restaurant a hotspot.

Best of Joseph Dirand

Top and right: At Four Seasons The Surf Club in Miami Beach, cream-colored furnishings and tropical plants bring the look and feel of the glorious beach to the interior of the 1930s building. © Provided; Left: Different shades of cream, tropical greenery and art deco pilasters make the Girafe in Paris a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. © Adrien Dirand.

Hotel Habita Monterrey
In the mountains of northern Mexico, Dirand created a monochrome tribute to his love of minimalism.

Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club
For the art deco building in Miami Beach, Dirand designed a puristic interior reflecting the ocean's light and endless expanses.

Hotel L'Apogée
Joseph Dirand’s design for the Alpine resort in the Courchevel ski area exudes a timelessly modern chalet feel.

Dorothée Meilichzon - Embracing Color


© provided

Since founding design firm Chzon in 2009, Dorothée Meilichzon has won a string of accolades for projects that include bars, restaurants and a dozen iconic luxury hotels. Elegant, welcoming, colorful rooms and inviting lobbies that put guests at ease are the 40-year-old’s trademark, and she has made interiors for exquisite boutique hotels her specialty. Anchoring her design in the property’s context is important to Meilichzon, as she demonstrates with the Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden, London, and the Menorca Experimental on Ibiza. She’s also known for using unique headboards to create an unusual, individual look for hotel rooms.

Best of Dorothée Meilichzon 

Top: At the Henrietta Hotel in London, Meilichzon combined elements from the 1970s with four mellow color palettes.© Patrick Locqueneux; Left and right: The Montesol Experimantal. © Provided.

Hotel Regina
The magnificent belle époque building in Biarritz reopens in July.

Montesol Experimantal
The iconic hotel on Ibiza dates from 1933; the art deco look Dorothée Meilichzon created for its 33 rooms glows in the colors of sunlight.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards
Meilichzon’s design for the 300-year-old building in Paris plays with the era of the French Revolution: Royal bed canopies are contrasted with wooden elements that evoke the aesthetic of the simple life.

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Summer 2023.

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